As the transport industry continues its efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of skilled workers, operators can ill-afford to ignore the role of technology in making drivers’ lives simpler, safer and less stressful. Drivers’ working environments – both HGV and LCV – can include long-working hours, tight schedules, traffic congestion, burdensome administration and deadline pressures.
An antidote to recruitment can be found in the shape of telematics technology. Efficient job scheduling, for example, can be conducive to less stressful working processes, with accurate management information promoting sensible workloads and realistic deadlines. Telematics solutions can enable smart job allocation, reducing mileage and time spent behind the wheel.
Dynamic planning means drivers need no longer be contacted to be informed of schedule changes. Instead, they can be automatically notified via their in-vehicle devices, with navigation instructions revised accordingly. Smarter routing systems incorporating live traffic information also means less frustration, helping both companies and drivers plan around delays.
There’s an app for that
Elsewhere, the administrative burden can be alleviated by connected end-to-end systems. Applications are now available, for example, that digitise a range of tasks from mileage capture to vehicle safety checks.
Mobile apps on tablet-style driver terminals can automate a range of business tasks – from VOSA-compliant vehicle checks, recording photos of defects and scanning trailers to reporting accidents, better rest period protocols using rest break alerts and the ability to pinpoint truck stop locations.
The new WEBFLEET Work App can even empower drivers with nothing more than their Android mobile devices. They, along with their managers, can access a wide range of work management features without the need for any additional hardware. This includes logging working times, setting trip modes, managing orders and schedules and two-way communication with the back office.
Navigation is seamlessly integrated, giving drivers the most up-to-date maps with traffic information, in a single location, including dedicated points of interest (POIs) for truck drivers.
Such solutions mean companies can work smarter, while retaining vital skills and helping attract the next generation of drivers to our industry.
Beverley Wise, Regional Director UK & Ireland for Webfleet Solutions