Big rewards from driver training
EVERY DOLLAR TRANSPORT COMPANIES INVEST IN driver training has the potential to be multiplied several times over to improve their bottom line, says a senior insurance company executive.
Ian Taylor who heads NZI’S commercial motor vehicle division says driver performance has never been more important to profitability.
“Smart operators have realised that driver performance is the biggest single factor they can control and can directly affect the profitability of their company.”
There are obvious financial benefits from fewer crashes, and there’s money saved on repairs and avoiding the crippling cost of time off the road while the vehicle is being repaired.
There are fuel savings to be made too. When drivers learn to regulate their speed by reducing severe acceleration and deceleration and keeping below the speed limit, fuel savings can be considerable.
Taylor says the greatest benefit can be in longevity of machinery from more sympathetic operation.
“If a driver is being more sympathetic to machinery then damage to engines, running gear, brakes and gearboxes can be greatly reduced.”
Taylor says NZI offers two driver training courses through the NZI Fleet Fit programme, and both can transform a fleet’s profitability: a 12-month Drivesmart programme from CCS Logistics, and sessions in a vehicle simulator operated by Autosense.
The first step in the Drivesmart programme is the review, analysis and benchmarking of data sourced from the vehicle’s GPS system.
That’s followed by discussion and action planning with the fleet manager to use those insights to make improvements.
During the 12-month Drivesmart programme, ongoing monitoring and reviews allow the manager to ensure the new levels of awareness are being used on the road.
CCS Logistics’ Corinne Watson says engaging with the GPS data generally has a very positive impact on drivers.
She says that using the GPS records has already seen the Drivesmart programme lead to a 30 to 80 percent reduction in the time drivers spend driving above the speed limit.
NZI’S Fleet Fit programme also offers qualifying drivers from NZI- and Lumley-insured companies access to the Autosense vehicle simulator.
Taylor says sessions in the simulator can be a unique opportunity for even the most experienced drivers to prepare for the worst driving conditions.
“The simulator can recreate really adverse conditions with incredible accuracy. So drivers can experience driving in heavy snow, through black ice and in heavy rain conditions – the kind of conditions that drivers face very rarely and almost always on their own, often late at night.
“To encounter these conditions with an instructor reminding them of how to deal with them can be massively beneficial for drivers of every experience level.”
NZI Fleet Fit is available to qualifying NZI and Lumley customers and can be either subsidised or complimentary.