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

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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.


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.

‘First gen­er­a­tion’

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.

‘Sec­ond gen­er­a­tion’

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.


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.”


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

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