The effect of telematics on fleet fuel usage

The effect of telematics on fleet fuel usage #BeyondTracking

Fleet management originated with the ability to track vehicles and has progressed at a rapid rate over the years. In addition to knowing the precise location of assets, fleet managers now have access to a myriad of information, including speed, fuel consumption and so much more.

With the ever-increasing fuel price, fleet managers are forced to reduce the overall fuel consumption of fleets. The way vehicles are used has a direct influence on costs and a properly managed fleet results in better driving behaviour, the elimination of dangerous driving habits, a reduction in insurance claims, improved productivity, and overall safer driving, factors that all contribute to increased fuel consumption too.

Managing the following four contributors is vital in improving fuel usage:

Route planning and monitoring:

Live maps allow fleet managers to know exactly when and where a driver is on a particular route. This allows for swift action should situations change, for example, protest action can lead to long queuing and standing around on critical routes throughout South Africa and is best avoided Being able to plan ahead or make adjustments when required is important for the safety of both the driver and vehicles. Fleet managers are able to optimise routes via the Ctrack Crystal app and can also communicate with the driver when required.

Speed control & driver behaviour:

With world factors contributing to the rise of fuel costs, every litre counts. According to research, a large vehicle that travels at 100 km/h instead of 120 km/h could potentially experience an improvement in fuel consumption of up to 27%. (NG, 2011). Fleet management systems like Ctrack Crystal allow for individual driver behaviour to be monitored according to a variety of user-defined parameters. This gives the fleet manager an accurate picture of how vehicles are being used, in real-time. Driver scorecards allow drivers to measure their own performance against the company average while allowing fleet managers to easily identify common infringements.

Vehicle inspection and maintenance:

The condition of a vehicle and its engine is another big contributor to fuel consumption. If an engine is not performing optimally it could lead to higher usage of fuel. In the same way, worn-out or incorrectly inflated tyres could affect fuel consumption. Good-condition tyres that are correctly inflated will have lower rolling resistance and thus contribute to lower fuel consumption (News24, 2015). As part of the Ctrack Crystal app drivers can complete pre-vehicle inspections, where they can upload photos of any issues directly to the cloud for managers to view. The inspection feature provides a valuable data stream and assists in identifying any issues and staying on top of services, maintenance, and license renewals.

Fuel siphoning and theft:

With criminality in South Africa becoming more and more brazen, recent reports on News24 reported criminals siphoning fuel from large trucks while drivers rested (News24, 2022). Ctrack Crystal utilises in-tank censors that can measure fuel levels in real-time. Dangerous areas can be avoided, by setting up no-go areas via geofencing where drivers are not allowed to operate at all or at certain times of day, controlling where specialised vehicles can be operated, and disabling functions if certain criteria are not met.

The latest technology in terms of telematics and fleet management is no longer reserved for big companies with large fleets. Ctrack offers solutions that will address the needs and budget of any fleet size with the same results in terms of cost savings and risk management, in a manner that is easy to implement and simple to use and manage on a daily basis.