COVID-19 pandemic has opened up a can of worms for businesses in the affected countries. While a few businesses barely managed to handle the crisis, a lot many businesses plunged into despair. The pandemic has, in essence, redefined the age-old maxim, the survival of the fittest.
If there is one industry that has survived the onslaught relatively better, it’s the trucking industry. As trucking is the lifeline of the economy, its survival is linked to a country’s prosperity. As a fact, the pandemic has opened up a world of opportunities for the trucking business.
5 operation-driven tips to give your trucking business a much needed boost
Read on to discover the top-5 things you need to do right away to grab the opportunities that exist in the trucking business now or are in the offing
1. Work On Improving the Safety of Your Fleet
In the USA, every 15 minutes, there is one casualty on the road involving a truck. While many of the accidents are fatal, a few lucky ones get away with minor injuries. No wonder nearly 5 lac truck accidents take place every year, of which 5000 results in a fatality.
If, at this moment, you feel happy that most of your trucks use rural roads instead of urban, then there is a bigger shock waiting for you. Over 68% of truck accidents take place in rural areas and not urban. The statistics make it imperative for you to make your fleet safer than ever before.
With the emergence of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, it has become easier for fleet managers to get real-time control of their vehicles. Various OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) telematics devices make it possible to access several data points and enable smooth movement of fleet.
However, the challenge still remains. While getting data from various telematics devices can make life simpler, integrating the data and providing optimum support to on-road vehicles and drivers require more than one expert and sophisticated machines.
A Vehicle IoT Gateway can come to your rescue at this moment, making the task of integration smoother. As vehicles send real-time data to the OEM cloud, the IoT Gateway brings in the data to its platform. The Gateway then acts as a one-stop destination for getting minute and live details about your operational or stationary fleet.
2. Carry Out Regular Maintenance of Your Fleet
The biggest challenge that worries fleet managers is the breakdown of critical components while the fleet is on a mission to deliver goods. In the pre-IoT era, it was nearly impossible to predict mechanical failures until it happened. This not only increased the cost of delivery of goods but also caused deep dents in the bottom line.
With the invention of a vehicle tracking device, predicting battery and engine failures and identifying vehicles requiring urgent attention becomes easy. As you take regular care of your vehicles, its lifespan and your peace of mind increases.
By fine-tuning the tracking device, you can also set up a periodic maintenance schedule for your fleet. The things you should keep an eye for includes the battery voltage, engine data, fuel usage, coolant status, and other such things. As the device shows you which equipment requires urgent or priority attention, ensuring optimum operational efficiency of your fleet becomes simple yet effective.
A next-generation telematics-solutions provider like Samsara provides you the option to schedule email and text-based maintenance alerts, which not only alerts you in advance but also helps you to identify vehicles needing instant attention.
Dohrn Transfer Company, for example, saw its maintenance efficiency improve by 40% after installing the fleet management solution. The electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) make it possible to apprehend danger and take preventive measures to carry out the uninterrupted flow of goods.
3. Take Care of Your Drivers and Upskill Them
Drivers take your fleet forward. Their hard day’s labor makes your portfolio shine. Hence, taking care of drivers should be one of the most important priorities for a fleet manager or owner.
A recent report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that truck driving is the deadliest of all occupations in the US. And, as a fleet manager, you would certainly not like to waste the thousands of dollars you have invested in your drivers.
The AI technology makes it possible for your fleet to guarantee nil accidents, provided the rules are followed strictly. A good dash cam, for example, scans complex real-time road data and alerts the driver about upcoming dangers. What’s more, it analyzes the driving behavior of the driver and provides coaching through an in-cab voice device.
An AI dash camera not only alerts and guides drivers but also tracks a driver’s driving pattern, compiles reports, analyzes driving trends, and helps in lowering fuel costs and saving lives. When combined with the Collision Avoidance System, an AI dash cam can ensure 100% safe driving, no strings attached.
4. Stay One Step Ahead With Knowledge of ELD Mandate
With the federal government determined to make transportation safer, it is the best time for a fleet owner to know about regulatory clearances and stay one step ahead by adhering to the standards.
The most important regulation that every trucker needs to adhere to is the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate by FMCSA, which states that every truck needs to have an ELD that logs Hours of Service of drivers. ELD replaces paper logs that kept driver records earlier.
While the ELD mandate has improved the safety of drivers, it has made compliance somewhat strenuous for fleet managers. Imagine your fleet getting caught up with traffic, which inadvertently violates the HOS.
Thankfully, a real-time HOS compliance solution can offer you a cushion against regulatory actions and penalties. The system can make life easy for both fleet or compliance managers and drivers. While the real-time date helps managers to assign drivers according to the requirement and be compliance-ready, the drivers can use it to automatically find out their duty hours, driving pattern, rating, and training requirement.
5. Upgrade Your Fleet With a Comprehensive Fleet Management Solution
Gone are the days when you had to spend days finding out an effective solution for making your business run uninterrupted. By upgrading your fleet with a fleet management solution, you can ensure seamless movement of the fleet and stay ahead of your peers.
A fleet management solution comprises of cellular gateways for real-time fleet data, dash cameras for flawless analytics, wireless sensors for cargo monitoring, and driver app for instant interactions and logs.
Modern technology has made it simpler to expand your trucking business to uncharted lands. Stay close to Samsara’s up to date blogs, and know-how businesses are utilizing modern opportunities to streamline their processes and expand their businesses.