Haulage Industry

Research by Fleetmatics has revealed that reducing fuel bills and traffic incidents as well as cutting idling times are the top concerns for the British haulage industry. Feedback from companies uncovered that GPS vehicle tracking systems are increasingly being used to provide businesses with the support and tools to address these concerns.

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Commercial Fleet TruckWithin the haulage industry, one of the main concerns expressed by those operators surveyed was the cost of fuel. Naturally due to the nature of their business, the rise in fuel prices is consistently on the minds of fleet owners, and has lately become a main focus with the average cost of diesel in the UK now standing at 137.05 pence per litre.

The use of the Fleetmatics GPS tracking system has helped many companies see significant savings in fuel costs through eliminating unnecessary idling taking place. This may be achieved by monitoring idling time and setting up automatic alerts on the system whenever set time limits are exceeded. Further fuel savings can be achieved by utilising the Fleetmatics system to monitor such factors as vehicle speed, driving style and fuel card usage.

Confirming the extent to which GPS tracking help one company cut the cost of fuel is Gordon Duncan, Managing Director of Gordon Duncan Limited, who said: “My biggest advantage since installing the GPS vehicle tracking system has been my fuel savings which was immediately noticeable. Thanks to the Fleetmatics function I was able to monitor all employees’ driving behaviour and in the first month alone I noticed I saved £100 on fuel. Therefore just by putting simple measures in place I have already reduced my yearly fuel bill by £1,200!

Which for a small business like ours is just remarkable!” Fuel costs were also a main concern for the Managing Director of MP Burke Transport, Martin Burke who added: “With the Fleetmatics GPS vehicle tracking system, I have online access from any computer at any time of the day or night and, because it’s easy to use and each of our vehicles is easily identifiable, it has helped us to reduce fuel usage and saved us a lot of time and money – Daily Reports and detailed reportsare the features I use on a daily basis to help us tackle excessive fuel use.”

Another concern for the haulage industry is the ability to defend their drivers should they be wrongly accused of a traffic offence, such as a speeding ticket or parking violation. The Fleetmatics GPS vehicle tracking system offers businesses peace of mind because it allows them to know the whereabouts of their entire fleet 24/7. In addition, businesses use GPS tracking systems to help them avoid such incidents from happening again.

A testament to this is Keith Murray, Managing Director of Keith Murray Transport, who recalls an incident with VOSA over illegal parking: “VOSA contacted us with regards to one of our trucks allegedly parking in a residential area. As far as I was concerned, the driver had parked the vehicle legitimately in the bay but it turned out he had indeed parked illegally. When VOSA challenged us to implement suitable measures to prevent illegal parking incidents from happening again, I informed them that I was in the process of installing a GPS vehicle tracking system. To my surprise, VOSA dropped their investigation.”

Excessive idling times were another worry within the haulage industry. The ‘Idling Report’ on the Fleetmatics GPS vehicle tracking system collates data, such as idle start and stop times, location of idling, and total idle time, which can be used for analysis – for example, companies can use the standard idling report to help them minimise idle times, reduce fuel waste and also decrease engine wear and tear. In addition, alerts can be set up whenever idle time exceeds a pre-defined threshold.

A testament to how GPS tracking can be used to help decrease idling times comes from Dan Smith, Director at A & D Haulage (Telford) Ltd who commented “We noticed there was a huge amount of idling, where drivers would start up the vehicles then go and get a coffee in the morning. We sent out the message of our expectations to the drivers and as a result I’d say that idling times have decreased by at least 50%. The GPS tracking system is a great way to evaluate and improve efficiency.”

The current business concerns, as expressed by the companies that took part in the survey, may reflect those of the vast majority involved in the haulage industry. The features and potential benefits available to firms that use a GPS vehicle tracking system, as we’ve seen from the customer comments, are already helping them reduce fuel bills and idling times as well as help reduce driving offences.