Fleetmatics Fleet Management System Helps Coach Hire Firm Realise a 10% Fuel Saving
Reducing fuel costs was the main attraction for coach hire firm Robinson Kimbolton choosing to install the Fleetmatics fleet management system into its fleet of 11 coaches. Since installing Fleetmatics the operator estimates that its fuel bill has been reduced by around 10 percent.
Established in 1927, Robinson’s is a family business based in Kimbolton, Cambs that prides itself on delivering customer satisfaction and value for money. Company owner Charles Robinson saw that rising fuel costs and price pressure from competition were beginning to push profit margins down. He knew that, in order to grow the business further, he needed to run it as efficiently as possible.
“We conducted a thorough costs based check on our business,” explains Mr Robinson, “and from the results concluded that a vehicle tracking system would bring us a return on investment.” After examining several fleet management systems and being aware that another operator was already using Fleetmatics successfully, Mr Robinson also opted for Fleetmatics.
Initially the coach hire firm trialled the system on its fleet in order to benchmark and identify areas for improvement. Reducing idling time in the fleet was identified as a target for improvement, so an automated email alert was set up for whenever a coach idled for more than 5 minutes.
“Since installing the Fleetmatics system idling time has dropped by 10’s of hours per week,” says Mr Robinson. “We estimate that it costs as least a gallon in fuel for every hour of idling. Our fuel bill had risen from 11 percent to 21 percent of our company’s cost over 6 years; I would estimate that we have reduced our fuel bill by anything up to 10 percent since installing the Fleetmatics system.”
A particular feature of the Fleetmatics fleet management system that Mr Robinson uses extensively is the iPhone App: “First thing in the morning I check where everyone is – coaches must be on time and I can check this from home when I get up in the morning. A huge advantage of the Fleetmatics system is that, if a customer phones, we can accurately advise them when our coach will arrive. As we can see the locations of all our vehicles, if a last minute job comes in, we can send the most appropriate one. We also use the traffic feature a lot to warn our drivers if a route is congested, so we can re-route them and avoid delays.”
Mr Robinson has also had instances when one of his coaches has been cited as being in an accident or caused damage; by retrieving time and location data from the system he can easily has prove that it was not his company’s vehicles that were involved. Also, when people have phoned the office to say that they missed the coach because it left the pick-up point early, he can prove that his driver left at the agreed time.
“The Fleetmatics fleet management system paid for itself straightway,” says Mr Robinson. “With Fleetmatics I feel a lot more in control and in touch with my fleet - I find the iPhone App particularly useful so I can access the system whenever or wherever I am.”