Fleet management systems can reduce expenses
THE SOUTH AFRICAN market is under enormous pressure as world economies continue to show signs of weakness and disposable incomes are being stretched to the limit. High interest rates and fuel prices add to financial pressures facing the commercial world as well the consumer.
One of the most common complaints is excessive fuel cost – a growing burden on eet owners and those using their services. Yet few companies know and understand the signi cant impact driver behaviour can have on fuel consumption and how getting drivers to modify and improve their driving style can result in signi cant savings and other far-reaching bene ts.
Charles Tasker, MD of MiX Telematics (International), says fuel is widely regarded as the second highest expense in any eet management operation. “Increasingly, companies that operate large numbers of vehicles are turning to eet management technology to reduce the wasteful consumption of fuel,” Tasker says. “Various vehicle monitor systems have proved it’s usually the driver’s behaviour (not the vehicle itself ) that results in excessive and needless fuel consumption. Bad driving techniques include speeding, harsh braking and acceleration, prolonged idling and driving out of general rate per minute (RPM) thresholds.”
Tasker says eet management solutions such as those provided by MiX Telematics provide tools for companies to monitor and report on each individual driver’s behaviour and highlight violations. “For example, our MiX’s FM Communicator on-board computer records data – such as driver violations – in each vehicle throughout a eet, feeding it back to the driver and the eet manager in real-time where necessary. Fuel consumption data is recorded alongside trip data, thus providing an objective and accurate correlation between driving behaviour and fuel e4ciency.”
After an extensive eld trial, MiX Telematics recently secured a large contract to provide their services to a large British-based bus company, after saving it in excess of 10% of its fuel bill. Other clients have experienced the same success, with some achieving savings of up to 15% of their fuel bill. Savings in maintenance and repairs were also noted.
“Better driving results in reduced fuel consumption as well as lower maintenance costs (through reduced vehicle abuse), thus eet management technology – applied and managed correctly – can bring about tangible nancial bene ts to businesses, “ says Tasker.
“Furthermore, the bene ts of better driving are far broader than the savings in operational costs. It dramatically increases the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users.”
The demand and need for eet management solutions are likely to grow in tandem with fuel increases. Such technology forms an integral part of sensible and cost-e4cient business practice throughout SA.