Tips & Success Stories

We’ve all seen it – a car in traffic speeding past, zooming in and out of lanes of traffic passing whoever they can and tailgating drivers who aren’t keeping up to whatever speed limit they seem to be following in their own little world. While some might say this person has road rage, these are in fact behaviours that qualify as aggressive driving. Although not considered road rage, aggressive driving including the behaviours mentioned above can often lead to road rage which is defined as an instance of violence and criminal behavior that stems from a traffic altercation where the sole purpose is to harm other drivers. So what causes people to drive aggressively? And how can we help put an end to the dangerous behaviours that are the cause of countless accidents resulting in injuries and deaths each year?

Research studies have found a number of reasons that could influence a driver to exhibit aggressive behaviours when behind the wheel. One of the most socially intriguing factors they found was the idea of anonymity. In a study completed by the NHSTA and American Psychology Association (APA), found that people were more likely to perform acts of aggression in an environment that masked the identity of the perpetrator, such as driving at night or with tinted windows. Other factors which researchers believe influence aggressive driving behaviours include learning such behaviours from parents, peers, and different forms of media like television and movies. Another study done over the course of 6 years by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered a link between increasing commute times and an increase in incidents of road rage. So how can Geotab telematics help correct aggressive driving in your fleet?

There are a number of telematics-related tools that can support fleet managers in curbing aggressive driving among their staff. These tools include:

– Using Driver Scorecards, which aggregates behavioural data among all your drivers and ranks drivers by how safe they drive by calculating the number of risky maneuvers they make on the roads.

– Gamification, which uses driver scorecards information and incentivizes drivers through safe driver recognition award programs.

– Driver Feedback, which uses driver behaviour data in real-time from devices like Geotab GO TALK to provide in-vehicle audible warnings and feedback to drivers about their behaviour.

– Training and Safety Education, which allows managers to use individual driver behaviour data to personalize driver training and education so each driver can work on specific habits they need to improve on.

It’s also important for fleet managers to recognize and be considerate of employee stress levels, such as time constraints on routes that can cause a driver to speed in fear of being late. A good practice to bring into your fleet’s routine is informing and reminding drivers of relaxation and coping techniques for any drivers who may be more prone to drive aggressively as a result of feeling stressed or angry.

Aggressive driving and road rage are not only negative qualities you don’t want associated with your business, but also are incredibly dangerous to your drivers and others on the roadways. By using the technologies offered by Geotab, and some fairly basic training, you can eliminate aggressive driving from your fleet. To get started using Geotab telematics with your fleet, contact us today.

Full enforcement of the ELD mandate in the U.S. has been in effect since April 1st, 2018, so if you or members of your fleet drive through the United States and haven’t been stopped yet, you should prepare for your first stop with the following information to ensure your drivers are aware of what is expected during the inspection to get them back on the road swiftly.

When a commercial vehicle driver is stopped for a roadside inspection they are required to present their record of duty status for the 7 days prior to the inspection. Geotab Cloud ELD (Geotab Drive) offers three methods to present driving logs to Department of Transportation enforcement officers. These methods are through web services (preferred method of FMCSA), by email, or through the display option presenting the logs off a tablet or phone.

Although your drivers should be trained on how to use the Geotab ELD device prior to hitting the roads, it is also important to know it is mandatory at all times to have instructions on how to use Geotab Drive in the cab for the driver and officer to reference. If in doubt on what the process is, or what is needed during a roadside inspection, drivers can also reference the new workflow called Inspection Mode as part of the Geotab 1802 software/firmware. Inspection Mode will also display a new warning to officers when they attempt to leave Inspection Mode telling them to return the device to the driver. This warning is to help prevent officers from looking at other places within the app that they shouldn’t be on.

Inspection Mode Screenshot

Display Warning when leaving Inspection Mode

Heatmap showing successful Geotab ELD data transfers in the first 90 days of 2018

For additional information on roadside inspections you can watch the video webinars below with Officer Kimberly Hill, Motor Carrier Inspector, Indiana State Police

ELD and Roadside Inspections Part 1 [Video]

ELD and Roadside Inspections Part 2 [Video]

On December 18th, 2017, the day the U.S. mandated for all truckers to track Hours of Service with the use of an Electronic Logging Device (ELD), Canadian Transport Minister, Marc Garneau announced a similar plan for truckers in Canada.

Siting research showing an “ELD mandate would have a direct and immediate impact on curbing behaviours strongly linked with higher crash rates such as driving over limits of service, which leads to fatigue”, Garneau stated the Canadian mandate would be expected to mirror the one now in place in the U.S. and consist of a two-year rollout plan, but added, “if we can do it quicker than that, that would be even better”.

The reasoning given for the two countries’ mandates being mirrored was, “there are almost 30,000 trucks a day that travel between Canada and the United States. It helps if we have the same rules on both sides of the border”.

Although truckers in the U.S. also had what could be seen as sufficient lead time to implement ELDs into their trucks, whether single-truck owner-operators to fleets with hundreds of vehicles, many chose to hold out until the eleventh hour to see if any actions by various advocates would reverse the decision or delay the deadline. The deadline was not delayed and the decision went ahead leaving many panicking to meet the requirements before roadside enforcement of the ruling begins in a few short months.

Our best advice to any Canadian trucker or fleet owner who does not already have a GPS fleet tracking and ELD system implemented into their truck or trucks, is to start now so it not only gives drivers and fleet managers time to learn the new technology, you can also get a head start on experiencing the advantages making the change can offer your business.

What are some advantages of using GPS fleet tracking and ELDs?

  • Improved Productivity
    • Less downtime and overtime
    • Reach more customers in a day
    • More efficient fuel use
    • Prevent unscheduled stops, detours, or off-hours use
  • Vehicle Maintenance
    • Receive reminders for regular maintenance & check-ups
    • Alerts for engine lights & diagnostics
    • Alerts to you and drivers for poor driving (speeding, idling)
    • Be notified of off-hours use, and find stolen vehicles
  • Safer Driving
    • Improved company image on the road
    • Save on fuel costs by eliminating aggressive driving
    • Reduced chance of accidents
  • Better Customer Service
    • Faster routes and response times
    • More accurate ETA’s for customers
    • Proof of service reports
  • Reduce Costs
    • Enjoy less downtime and fuel costs
    • Reduced risk of accidents and vehicle wear & tear
    • Accurate time sheets and less need for overtime hours
    • Potential to lower insurance rates for safer drivers
  • Insightful & Useful Reports
    • Make sound business decisions based on real data
    • Better manage and allocate resources
    • Reduce routing time, costs and fleet miles
    • Learn from over 30 standard reports or customize your own

Get started today with our $50 Trial Offer here!

 

As the December deadline for the ELD mandate approaches in the U.S., we thought it was important to debunk some popular myths about vehicle tracking to help ease the transition and put minds at ease for those who may be confused or worried.

Myth #1 – Telematics Is Too Expensive

One of the largest concerns many have about the new ELD mandate is the cost associated with the implementation. Firstly, a telematics device should be seen as an investment for your business rather than expense as, if used correctly, it can give you a great return on your investment. Secondly, the cost for implementation depends on a wide variety of factors such as fleet size and device and package selected. These factors can result in a larger fleet, or fleet requiring higher packages to pay more while smaller fleets or companies needing the basic functions to be compliant having an extremely affordable telematics solution for their business.

When looking for a telematics solution, be sure to compare vendors, hardware, software, and any installation costs that may apply. GPS to GO is proud to offer simple plug-and-play Geotab devices allowing you to avoid installation costs. With our videos to show how simple installation is for a variety of vehicles, and amazing customer support, you can have your device up and running and tracking your vehicles within minutes of unboxing!

Myth #2 – Telematics Means Big Brother Is Watching

Vehicle telematics often gets mixed up with GPS tracking devices and systems which usually require an app to be downloaded to a driver’s phone. That type of system means a driver’s cell phone is being tracked rather than a vehicle being tracked. With vehicle telematics on the other hand, there are tiers of the technology depending on the need of the business so only what needs to be tracked, is. This can range from a simple GPS tracker that will tell you the location of the vehicle, all the way to a robust system that allows fleet managers and business owners to monitor a vehicle’s health, manage productivity, improve fuel efficiency, ensure compliance with government regulations, and keep drivers safe. For those still worried about being tracked through vehicle telematics, just remember, the vast majority of fleet managers aren’t interested in and don’t have time to watch each driver minute by minute and some companies actually use telematics data to score and reward safe and fuel efficient drivers.

Myth #3 – Drivers Will Lose Driving Time

A report mentioned in the FMCSA’s final rule on ELDs stated that the transition from paper driver logs to ELDs will help reduce the time spent complying with the Hours of Service regulations by 68.33 million hours per year across the nearly 4 million drivers in the U.S. required to comply with HOS and the administrative personnel dealing with these as well. This means the estimated annual recordkeeping cost savings from the proposed rule is about $705 per driver.

Myth #4 – My Company Is Too Small To Use Telematics

There is a common misconception that telematics are only required or beneficial for large companies. This is far from true and even companies with a single vehicle can benefit from a telematics device. As mentioned above under other myths, vehicle telematics systems can be very affordable for small fleets and allow you to monitor vehicle health, improve fuel efficiency, and keep drivers safe, which we’re sure every company can get behind.

Myth #5 – A Telematics Device Will Interfere With Vehicle Performance or Void The Warranty

In the U.S., the Moss Magnuson Warranty Act of 1975 prohibits manufacturers from voiding warranty due to aftermarket additions to a vehicle. As long as you have proof of a defect being attributed to the car manufacturer, then your warranty if valid and enforceable regardless of whether or not you attached an aftermarket part. As the Geotab devices have a plug and play design, there is no need to change the vehicle in any way mechanically. Although it is true that a device will draw energy from a vehicle’s battery, it is so low that it would take a typical car battery over two years to be depleted by the Geotab device. The Geotab device also goes into sleep mode when a vehicle is turned off and will only draw 2.5 mA of current, and is smart enough to turn itself off if a vehicle is left for months at a time without charging the battery.

Myth #6 – My Employees Operate in Remote Locations (Out of Range)

While this myth may have been true at one point in time, it is no longer the case thanks to the evolution of technology which now has solutions for people in remote areas of the world. Although cellular networks are the main form of communication the Geotab device uses, it also has the option of storing months and months’ worth of data on the device itself which will then upload once the vehicle comes back into an area of cellular reception. There is also the option of instead of using cell towers to transmit data, to use satellites which offer more reliable connections and services in remote areas.

If you have any questions about the Geotab device and any myths you may have heard about not mentioned in this list, contact us. To start experiencing the benefits of choosing GPS to GO for your vehicle telematics solution in the Geotab device, Request a Quote.

We love hearing how the Geotab GPS tracking device helps businesses improve their processes and bottom line. Click the link below to find out how it helped J.F. Kitching & Son Ltd., a third-generation family business located in Queensville, Ontario which provides transportation services, and what benefits they are experiencing since choosing this business solution.

Read their success story here.

If you have experienced success since choosing Geotab and would like to have your business featured as a Geotab Success Story, contact us.