TELEMATICS GIVES AUSSIE TRUCK INDUSTRY THE POWER OF PREDICTION
Dust, heat and distance make the Australian environment an unforgiving place to break down. So it’s not surprising that telematics technology has been widely adopted by the trucking industry, improving driver safety, protecting vehicles and enhancing busi
Fleet management has come a long way in Australia. 20 years ago, owners and drivers had to piece together information from spreadsheets, log books and white boards to gain any insight into a vehicle’s performance. What’s more, the industry had to rely solely on mechanics to understand the cause of breakdowns and engine wear-and-tear. Today the picture is very different thanks to the widespread use of telematics. But solutions vary greatly, and so does the return on investment, which is why it’s important to choose the solution that’s right for your business.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TELEMATICS SOLUTION
Telematics solutions have evolved over time. The variety of different generation systems currently on the market each offer different levels of insight into your fleet.
Early GPS-based systems allow for basic ‘track and trace’ of your fleet. Where is my vehicle? How did it get there? When did it start and stop? How long has it been there? They also indicate vehicle location in near real-time, as well as providing some geo-fencing and basic reporting. These solutions have helped companies to increase productivity and achieve cost reductions, mainly through minimising excessive idling and unauthorised journeys.
Operating like a black box, secondgeneration systems provide all the location-based information of their predecessors, as well as safety event feedback such as speeding, cornering and aggressive braking by the driver. Second-generation systems generally offer more detailed reporting and alerting capabilities. Both first and second generation systems help to improve overall productivity, ensuring companies meet some of the regulatory requirements, reducing fuel consumption and monitoring driver safety behaviours.
‘Third generation’ – Caltex Telematics
As a proudly Australian-owned company, Caltex has worked hard to create a telematics solution to suit the Australian trucking industry, choosing to partner with Traffilog, the most advanced system currently available. Thanks to Traffilog, Caltex Telematics is the first system in Australia to move beyond traditional GPS-based features to provide real-time alerts on engine diagnostics and driver behaviour. It provides instant in-cab feedback to drivers so they can adjust their behaviour accordingly, increasing safety and efficiency. It also uses on-board data to generate weekly driver skills reports, creating another opportunity to educate drivers and reinforce optimum driving habits in your company. But most importantly, given the demands of the Australian environment, Caltex Telematics gives you the power to predict future mechanical faults before major damage can occur. Maintenance and diagnostic alerts give you time to take action, reducing both the chance of mechanical failure and breakdowns, and the associated costs.
PREDICTION IN ACTION
Caltex Telematics is the solution trusted by Caltex for its entire fleet, because the company has seen the predictive benefits first-hand. Traffilog Vice President Erez Jacobson explains: “As early as the pilot stage for Caltex, we discovered that certain vehicles weren’t being used for the projects they were designed for, which was placing undue stress on components such as turbo chargers – these cost around $5,000 each.” Jacobson says that this information allowed Caltex staff to make better decisions about which vehicles were used for specific tasks, bringing considerable cost and performance benefits to the Caltex fleet. “That’s the power of prediction,” he says. Head of Caltex Telematics Jacques Lepron agrees. “As the nation’s leading fuel supplier, with a sophisticated supply chain, Caltex understand the needs of Australian transport and logistics companies,” he says. “The two biggest costs for a business are fuel and physical assets, and Caltex is excited to offer a tried and tested telematics system to help our customers achieve significant performance and safety enhancements.”
THE TELEMATICS VERDICT
Lepron says there’s no question that telematics systems are beneficial, but for some businesses, the return on investment has not always been apparent. “That’s why the choice of supplier is so important,” he says. “To maximise return on your telematics investment, you need proper training and ongoing support from your telematics supplier. Don’t settle for a standard set of reports. At Caltex, we work with you to get the data to work for you and drive real business improvements.” Caltex Telematics is a world-class solution brought to you by a proudly Australian-owned company. Find out what Caltex Telematics could do for your business today.
“As early as the pilot stage for Caltex, we discovered that certain vehicles weren’t being used for the projects they were designed for, which was placing undue stress on components such as turbo chargers – these cost around $ 5,000 each.”
As the FM idles quietly back into the depot that afternoon, there’s a look of apprehension on the faces of both men. At this stage I’m not sure who has the most professional pride on the line, Cameron or Per. The laptop tells the story.
“A 6 per cent improvement in fuel consumption!” Per exclaims. “And the Dynafleet score is up to 94.”
Cameron doesn’t seem the kind of guy to gloat but he’s clearly pleased. It does, however, give him an opportunity to engage in some good-natured ribbing of little brother Hayden, who has just arrived back in the yard behind the wheel of the company’s brand new FM prime mover. A quick glance at the latter’s Dynafleet score for the day reveals that he is no slouch behind the wheel, either.
“We just knocked the highway speed back a little in places, sitting on 95km/h on the freeway for example,” Per says. “We cut back on idle time, used cruise control a little more as well.
“But importantly we also got his coasting time up, which makes a huge difference.”
According to Per, it can be hard to make these sorts of gains with an already very good driver: “It’s a really good result.”
Following his Victorian selection, Cameron was planning a trip to the Gold Coast to compete in the national final of the Driver’s Fuel Challenge. There he’ll be up against state finalists from around the country, as well as a few wildcard entries. If he’s successful, he’ll be heading to Sweden to represent Australia at the international final.
At this stage, though, Cameron isn’t talking big; he’s clearly just chuffed to be a part of it. Though the longer you talk to him, the more you see the pride he has in what he does and the family company.
That is really what the DFC is about after all. It’s not just scores and numbers, it’s about recognising the daily contribution made by truck drivers around Australia. And these days, that kind of recognition is way too thin on the ground.
“We just knocked the highway speed back a little”
Per will have his job cut out for him today!
A foggy winter’s morning in Alexandra and the start of another shift