General Interest

GPS to Go is pleased to share with our clients the exciting news that we are now able to better serve clients with electric vehicles (EV) in their fleets following Geotab’s acquisition of FleetCarma – a forerunner in the electric vehicle industry, providing technology that has been crucial to the adoption and operation of electric vehicles for over 10 years. What does this mean for fleets with electric vehicles? GPS to Go is now better equipped to provide your electric fleets with reliable telematics solutions to help meet your changing business and fleet needs – while also helping the environment!

If you have electric vehicles as part of your fleet, contact us today to learn about how you can unlock advanced electric vehicle stats from your vehicle(s), curtail EV charging, reduce peak-load based on real-time vehicle state-of-charge, and more!

Texting and driving is dangerous, there is no doubt about that. But while so much focus has gone into encouraging drivers to put their phones down, the other causes of distracted driving have been pushed aside despite also being very dangerous. It’s important for fleet managers to understand the different types of distracted driving so they can incorporate them all into training and reminders to their drivers to limit or remove all distractions to prevent costly or deadly accidents that are often very much avoidable.

What is considered distracted driving?

Simply put, distracted driving occurs whenever something takes a drivers’ attention away from driving, even for a second. In recent years the prominence of texting and driving and the consequences of partaking in that specific form of distracted driving have been at the forefront of road safety campaigns as it is illegal in Ontario but the truth is there are many ways a driver can be distracted which can result in similar consequences as texting, which unfortunately can include serious injury and death to truck drivers and others on the roads.

Did you know there are four different types of distracted driving?

It’s true, distracted driving doesn’t only require your eyes or hands to be off the road, and there are in fact four different types of distracted driving. So what are the four types of distractions?

  1. Manual: this type of distraction includes any reason which causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel while driving. This type of driving distraction is extremely dangerous as every driver should be ready to steer and change gears at all times, which becomes even more important if you are in harm’s way and don’t have the ability to maneuver your vehicle to avoid a collision.
  2. Visual: this type of driving distraction includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Though some may think glancing out the window for a few seconds at something that’s caught your eye isn’t dangerous, those people should think of the size of a football field. They should think of a football because at an average speed of 88.5 km/h (or 55 mph), taking your eyes off the road for only five seconds is the equivalent to driving with your eyes closed for the entire length of a football field. Now think of the damage that could be done driving that far on a road with other cars and pedestrians with your eyes closed.
  3. Cognitive/Mental: this type of distraction includes thinking about something other than driving when behind the wheel. This is a common occurrence and often a difficult distraction to avoid since people often have a lot on the go but it’s important to try and keep your mind as focused on the road as possible. While you may feel you are driving just fine while thinking of other things, in the event another vehicle has an emergency and/or comes into your path, not having your thinking set on defensive driving to avoid being in a collision could make the difference between a few seconds of reaction time and whether an accident occurs or not.
  4. Auditory: this type of driving distraction consists of having your attention preoccupied by noise including a ringing phone or a conversation both on a mobile or Bluetooth device or in-person with a passenger. This is an important one for both drivers and passengers to keep in mind as you can picture yourself talking to someone, a conversation includes the auditory distraction as well as visual if the driver takes their eyes off the road to look at their passenger, as well as manual if the driver uses their hands to emphasize their conversation.

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]

Significant technological advancements have been made in many industries over the last few years, and the construction industry is no exception. Between the modernized processes and equipment becoming more and more technologically advanced, it is no wonder construction companies big and small are looking for the best ways to protect their equipment and keep their projects moving forward and on schedule. For many, the answer can be found in GPS tracking for their vehicles and equipment, allowing for near real-time insight into equipment location, state of operation, and engine diagnostics.

The four main reasons the construction industry should consider GPS tracking for their vehicles and equipment:

– Productivity

– Efficient Use of Equipment

– Proper Maintenance

– Theft

Any setback in a construction project can add up in lost profit very quickly, which is why company owners and project managers do all they can to keep the job site running as efficiently as possible to keep the project on schedule. GPS tracking can help with efficiency and productivity by providing important data showing when vehicles or equipment are being used, how they’re being operated, if there are any mechanical issues which suggest maintenance is required to prevent a breakdown which is a hugely costly setback for any project. Data availability depends on the type of equipment, however, some data which has been collected from some heavy construction equipment previously includes: total amount of fuel used, total amount of fuel used while idling, trip fuel used, engine coolant temperature, engine hours and fault codes. The benefit of having these pieces of data at your fingertips is obvious and a large reason why GPS tracking in the construction industry is on the rise.

Arguably the most important reason for choosing to implement GPS tracking in a construction vehicle and equipment fleet is theft. Security on construction sites is a major concern as equipment is left on the job site day after day, often not guarded overnight, usually in fairly or extremely remote locations, making the various machinery and equipment easy targets for thieves. The problem of theft from construction sites has gotten so bad that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say in the province of Ontario alone $15 million to $20 million of construction equipment is lost each year. The problem gets worse in the United States with the Insurance Crime Bureau and National Equipment Register reporting $300 million to $1 billion in construction and heavy equipment being stolen each year.

The safety and security of workers and equipment on construction sites is no laughing matter, and with the cost of setbacks very clear, any in the industry who have not yet implemented GPS tracking into their vehicles and equipment are risking a lot. If you’re interested in learning more about how GPS to GO can help your construction company with GPS tracking, contact us today!