Top 3 benefits of using a front and rear Dash Camera

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Considering whether front and rear dash cams are good investment for your fleet? Not only can they save your business thousands of dollars, they are also recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. Read how fleet managers are saving thousands of dollars and improving driver safety

Front and rear dash cams have become a highly adopted technology across the commercial transportation industry due to a wide range of benefits that they offer business owners and fleet managers. Not only can they save your business money and improve driver behavior, they are also highly recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board.

If your business is evaluating whether the installation of front and rear dash cams across your fleet is a good investment, consider some of the specific ways these devices can save your business significant money in the long term.

They Provide Accident Evidence

Accidents can happen fast. Rising insurance premiums and liability claims as a result of a commercial vehicle accident can have a devastating impact to your business’s P&L. With so much at stake, you don’t want hearsay to be the determining factor in deciding accident liability involving one of your commcercial vehicles.

Front and rear dash cams can solve this problem by serving as an eye-witness in the event of an accident. They can capture entire accidents and be used as evidence to protect your drivers and your business from liability. Even when another party is liable for an accident involving one or your commercial vehicles, visual evidence from dash cameras can help speed up the insurance claim process.

Being able to capture the events that led to an accident can also help prevent insurance fraud. Scammers who purposely cause accidents often target commercial vehicles with the intention of settling for a large sum of cash. Video evidence can help protect against these fraudsters when liability questions arise.

Some insurance companies may be willing to offer discounts for fleet-wide installation of front and rear dash cams.

They Improve Fleet Efficiency

Most front and rear dash cams are equipped with GPS technology, which has significantly changed the way companies manage the efficiency of their fleets. Fleet managers are able to monitor driver speed, ensure vehicles are on-schedule, and pinpoint vehicle locations in the event of an accident.

These capabilities allow fleet managers to optimize routes and prevent idling which can result in decreased fuel costs. They also allow delivery times to become more predictable, which can optimize the scheduling process and lead to less downtime and happier customers.

Fleet managers can use footage and driver data captured in dash cameras to improve the efficiency of their entire fleets. Some cameras are equipped with an SD card that can be inserted into a computer for analysis. Others are able to transmit data to fleet management software that managers can leverage in real time.

They Improve Driver Accountability

Even though employee trust is an important part of any business, having a little extra protection can go a long way especially when it comes to expensive vehicles. Front and rear dash cams can help ensure all drivers are following company policy. When drivers are aware of dash cameras, they are more likely to drive defensively, pay attention, and stick to protocol.

Fleet managers can’t enforce company driving policies when they’re not present in the vehicle. Dash cameras can be relied on to monitor employee behavior and enforce speed restrictions or no-phone policies. Better driver behavior means fewer costly accidents and better safety records. Fleet managers can also use driving footage to reward employees for safe driving, which can help instill good habits and driving practices across the fleet.

Improved driver safety, fleet efficiency, and accident evidence are three ways your business can save thousands of dollars each year through the use of front and rear dash cameras. While there may initially be driver resistance, this technology will soon become standard for the commercial vehicle industry.

Why Fleet Managers Should Continue Evolving

Reduced Fleet Cost with Video

Experts trace the beginning of the digital revolution all the way back to the 1950s, but it wasn’t until recently that technology became so disruptive. In the years following the financial crisis of 2008, industries across the world saw exponential growth — so much so that the ability to adapt to innovations in tech became one of the key factors for success. Some companies famously took advantage of technology to become giants in their industries, while some famously flopped, and even more have been steadfast in attempting to stay afloat without adapting, confident that their brands can survive on old business models.

Regardless of how disruptive technology may be, there is no denying that it plays a vital role in keeping a company or an industry afloat and thriving. A post on Medium reiterates how technology helps companies gain a competitive edge and provide better products and services through reduced costs, reduced time, and efficient processes. More often than not, distinctions are even given to institutions or companies that have been able to exemplify great adaptability to and utility of technological innovations. For instance, in the field of education, Maryville University notes that Apple has distinguished schools for their technological leadership, branding them as among the most innovative schools in the world. Across industries in the US, any manufacturer, designer, engineer, or promoter who has shown exemplary innovation in delivering products is given recognition through the Consumer Technology Association CES Innovation Awards. Brands who are recognized by the CES Innovation Awards often report a considerable increase in profits, as the award often increases visibility and is seen as a symbol of trustworthiness.

Despite the established benefits of keeping up with—or maybe even innovating—technology, the very act of doing so can still be a challenge to many, especially smaller brands. Green Fleet reported that 38 percent of managers still find it hard to stay updated with the latest developments in the fleet sector. Even though the industry is being changed by technology, as seen in the emergence of driverless vehicles as well as data and smart infrastructure, fleet managers are still having a hard time leveraging technology to stay competitive and promote efficiency. Nonetheless, as technology shows no sign of stopping anytime soon, fleet managers need to evolve and adapt. Here are some more reasons why:

Encourage road safety

Accidents are inevitable, especially when one’s safety on the road doesn’t solely rely on the way an individual drives, but also on the other drivers around them. Fleet managers can encourage safety through the use of GPS tracking that locates road hazards and car crashes, and applications that update drivers through text-to-speech features. Through innovations such as our Live Streaming Fleet Camera System, fleet managers will also be able to see their drivers in real-time. Among the many ‘Benefits of Fleet Cameras’, the most important is that camera systems can help manage risks by allowing fleet managers to monitor driver behaviors that could lead to accidents, as well as tailor training programs that will address these. Improved safety can help prevent accidents, which, in turn, can help reduce insurance claim costs and expenses.

Greater coordination and communication

It’s a well-known fact that technology has completely changed the way people communicate. However, it is even more crucial for fleet managers to have access to technologies that allow for easier communication, given that the people they handle are all in different locations at the same time. Through technology, fleet managers can keep in touch with drivers and better coordinate them, no matter how big the fleet may be. Ease in communication, for those in the fleet industry, also translates to better services as it enables them to answer to schedule changes immediately and adopt last-minute changes.

To save money and time

Operation costs take up most of a company’s income, especially for small businesses. Entrepreneur noted that for small fleet management businesses, when expenses increase, investments towards new technologies and systems that are instrumental for the business’ survival decrease. Luckily digitalization can help in achieving objectives despite limited resources. By embracing and understanding technology, fleet managers can employ and make use of applications that will cut costs and save time. For instance, fleet managers can use applications that locate traffic and suggest faster routes, as well as those that track working hours and delivery accomplishments.

By: Aria Victoria

How live fleet camera solutions bring positive change to fleet teams

Live Fleet Cameras in use

Keeping track of everything we do as business owners and managers can be difficult and especially stressful. It’s important to make sure you are keeping track of your drivers and your drivers’ safety. 

Why should I use live fleet cameras?

Do you worry about your drivers driving with the safest habits? Is the communication between driver and client effective? Is my driver safe? What happens if we have an accident? These are just a few worries that keep fleet owners up at night. Having that link between business owner and driver can be the key to successful deliveries, responsible driving, and efficient communication.

Using live fleet cameras gives business owners their own sense of safety. Having access to things such as travel logs, maintenance, driving habits, and speeding incidents can ensure your business is running efficiently and safely. When your drivers are out on the road, they are representing your company and your brand. Making sure that your company and brand are being reflected in the best way possible is key to a successful business – and live fleet cameras help you achieve that success. 

What should I look for in a fleet camera solution?

There are several different models of fleet camera solutions available that can fit your individual needs. If your main concern is safety, it’s best to find a live fleet camera that monitors driving habits such as speeding or whether or not your driver is alert. If you’re looking more towards monitoring timing, find a camera that has a GPS fleet tracking system so you can make sure your drivers are where they say they are and on schedule. Ideally, the fleet camera you choose should be able to show you real-time information about how effectively your fleet is operating. 

Safety Track has an extensive line of live fleet cameras that can help keep you in the loop of your drivers’ activities, your fleet’s maintenance needs, and also provide you with a sense of security. Live streaming cameras can help you cut unnecessary costs, correct issues with your fleet, and protect your company. 

Below we have outlined a few of the cameras we offer and how they can reduce owner liability and help your fleet become effective. 

UCIT Fleet Camera 

This camera features a low startup cost with HD quality video that gives you the ability to see how efficiently your fleet is performing. It also includes Integrated GPS Fleet Tracking so you’re able to make sure all drivers in your fleet are performing based on their assigned schedules. With the UCIT Fleet Camera, you’re able to monitor when they leave to hit the road, what stops they make and at what time, and when they arrive at their assigned destination. Our real-time camera can also be used to track driving behavior and reduce the drivers’ speed. If you’re able to track your drivers’ behavior, you’re able to monitor the safety of your fleet and the safety of your drivers as well. This effectively reduces the chance of accidents or other mishaps almost in half, saving you money and worries.

UCIT Dash Camera Solution

This solution allows you to keep track of the individual driver’s behavior behind the wheel. With this solution, business owners can make sure their drivers aren’t taking part in any reckless driving habits that could endanger your fleet. When drivers become distracted or start to fade in alertness, this can cause accidents, delayed deliveries, or even decreased communication. Using a dash camera gives you the reliability of your drivers being alert and distraction free. This camera solution keeps track of all driving conditions and simultaneously records interior and exterior views so you’re able to monitor their personal behavior and how it impacts your fleet as a whole. 

UCIT WIFI Camera Solution 

Our 2 Channel WI-FI Live Streaming Fleet Camera System is perfect for any size fleet. The WIFI Camera Solution records a long and continuous track to make sure you’re getting constant streaming of your fleet’s progress. Having access with this type of solution can help you figure out what kinks need to be worked on the most. Is your fleet hitting traffic at the wrong time? Is there a problem with the fleet’s time management? These are just two of the questions this camera solution can help answer. 

When you’re able to look at your fleet as a whole, you can see what your strongest and weakest points are and that can help you improve your safety records and ultimately reduce your liability.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us at 1-888-286-9829 for more information.

Tracking Your Fleet Using GPS

A row of white fleet vans in a parking lot.

GPS fleet tracking can cut costs and headaches while improving customer service and productivity, regardless of the size of your company.

The technology, which continues to evolve, gives businesses the ability to monitor drivers’ speeds, optimize routes, monitor temperatures of refrigerated units, create elogs, and integrate with Google maps. 

Safety Track has GPS solutions to fit any business, regardless of the fleet size or tracking needs. Here is a list of the ways GPS tracking can make fleet management more manageable and more profitable for your company

GPS tracking can save money

Whether your company has 10 or 10,000 trucks, unauthorized vehicle usage, and excess fuel usage can add up.

Bad driver habits such as extra-long lunches or detours off the route also can lead to unhappy customers and more safety incidents. That’s why a smart GPS tracking system makes sense.

Also, GPS tracking can save money on insurance, fuel costs, and lawsuits.

Safety Track offers several Asset Tracking System solutions to match your business needs. Below, we have outlined a few.

The Simple Tracking System

Safety Track’s Simple Tracking System is perfect for smaller businesses that want an easy-to-install system that can deliver real-time data like more expensive systems.

Reports include custom maintenance schedules; engine hours; start/stop times; speed; and vehicle location in real time with multiple mapping view options.

The Complete GPS Tracking System

The Complete GPS Tracking System was designed as a universal solution for visibility 24 hours a day, seven days a week,  and continuous tracking. This system includes internal antennas, full reporting capabilities, and integrated Google maps. It also provides maintenance, speeding, and idling alerts that are sent directly to a phone as well as a full year’s history on each vehicle.

The Advance GPS Fleet Tracking System

This system is 100 percent Web-based and the most popular fleet management tool among Safety Track clients. It includes the same reports as the Complete Tracking System; alert notifications via phone or email; dispatch capabilities including itineraries, rerouting; and job and status filtering. In addition, the mapping capabilities include real-time updates with live traffic feeds and Google street view.

The Enterprise Tracking System

This system allows larger fleet or logistics companies to users to track, communicate, and monitor vital critical information such as real-time engine diagnostics and electronic driver logs. 

The Connected Car Enterprise Solution, meanwhile, can transform any passenger car into a fully connected car. That means it has a full GPS tracking suite that monitors driver position, speed, heading, and driving behavior.

Other valuable GPS tracking features

Live trailer tracking is a crucial feature for logistics companies in the competitive commercial trucking business. For instance, tracking can provide refrigerator trailer temperature monitoring for cold hauling. 

Safety Track’s electronic driver log system, meanwhile, ensures drivers comply with federal and state regulations regarding rest breaks, restarts, and sleeper berth provisions. An advanced alerting system also notifies users before issues occur.

An effective GPS system can ultimately help you prevent labor fraud, reduce speeding, lower excessive idling, and unauthorized vehicle usage. 

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Fleet Tracking: Getting Buy-In from Drivers

Fleet Tracking: Getting Buy-In from Drivers

As a business owner, it’s easy to see the advantages of launching a fleet camera system. The benefits might not be as readily apparent to your drivers, however.

Getting driver buy-in is a crucial part of launching dash cams, fleet cameras, and GPS tracking. Drivers are naturally concerned about cameras capturing everything they do on the job. They may think you don’t trust them or you are looking for reasons to let them go.

That’s why it’s important to communicate the reasons behind your newest safety solution and how it can help your drivers. Here are some tips on talking to your drivers about dash cams and GPS monitoring systems for your fleet.

Don’t surprise your drivers

Tell your drivers before the installation of the cameras. Don’t let them discover your tracking system after the fact. Be transparent about the fleet GPS cameras’ capabilities and how you intend to use the data.

Educating and training employees will help garner support and prevent potential issues down the road.

Explain why the company needs cameras & tracking

If you are concerned about lawsuits because of the increase in staged accidents, tell your drivers. Be honest about your concern about distracted driving. To pinpoint bad habits that need to be corrected to improve efficiency and productivity, spell out what you see as problem areas.

Tie the systems to specific company goals, like decreasing accidents, improving delivery times, or increasing efficiency.

You want your drivers to understand you are investing in this system for the company’s well being — not to violate their personal space.

Outline the benefits for drivers

Make sure your employees understand how the camera and tracking systems work and how they can protect drivers as well.

When a fleet truck is involved in an accident, other involved parties may try to blame your driver. Cameras can provide real-time proof to exonerate a driver who is not at fault.

The company may also use data from the systems to improve driver training. Educating your drivers so they understand expectations and can respond appropriately in certain situations helps reduce risks. For instance, some Safety Track customers create an incentive system using the driver scorecard, which scores a driver’s performance based on alerts.

Provide written guidelines for drivers

When you launch a tracking system, make sure you provide your drivers with guidelines on how the equipment works, what will be recorded, and who can access that data.

It’s one thing to talk with your employees and drivers about these tools and how they fit into company culture. It’s another to provide them with written guidelines that they can refer to in the future.

The guidelines should spell out your expectations of your drivers and any activities that are prohibited. Make sure you also specify disciplinary actions drivers could face if they fail to abide by the guidelines. Also, be sure to provide company contact names and numbers in case drivers have questions about the equipment, driver behaviors, or driving incidents.

If you have questions about rolling out your fleet tracking solution, please contact us. We can help you successfully integrate the technology without any missteps, employee pushback, or loss of service.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Tips For Commercial Drivers When Being Pulled Over

Tips For Commercial Drivers When Being Pulled Over

Life-Saving Tips Commercial Drivers Need To Know When Pulled Over For Speeding

There are 9,717 people killed due to speeding on the road in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding accounted for 26 percent of all recorded traffic fatalities last year. Aside from possible lost lives and severe accidents, speeding and other traffic violations like distracted driving can have an adverse effect for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) owners. These violations can have your CDL revoked if you are a repeat offender. Here are several pointers that you need to know in case you get pulled up for speeding or other traffic violations.   

What You Need To Know About The CDL Speeding Ticket Rules

There are different speeding laws across all the states in the US. That is why it is highly recommended for truck or other professional car drivers to seek legal help if they happen to face speeding violations. In fact, there are several states where you can get more points for speeding violations like Delaware, Colorado and New Mexico. Reaching out to a legal counsel would be a good idea to help you with your case. They are the ones who know how to immediately handle the speeding ticket and any possible traffic violation without having the CDL removed. This will allow CDL holders to continue driving their trucks and other vehicles without the risk of confiscation.

What To Do If You Get Pulled Over?

If you are already caught speeding by a police officer, you must always remember to watch your tone to avoid sounding arrogant. It may be tempting to argue with the officer, but it will only make matters worse. You must also avoid telling lies and remain calm while talking with the officer. You must always keep your hands where the police officer can clearly see them. This will prevent any situation where the officer will get suspicious if you make a sudden movement. More importantly, you must always show your respect to the officer who pulled you over.  

What Will Happen To Your CDL If You Have A Speeding Violation? 

In most states like Florida, you will not be allowed to lessen your penalty points or reduce speeding fines by using the driving school option. So if you already incurred a ticket and it turned into points, you have no other choice but to accept the penalties. If you already received multiple speeding tickets, your CDL will possibly get suspended. And aside from going through all the hassles of going to the traffic courts to deal with your speeding penalties, it will also leave a negative mark on your employment record. If your CDL will get suspended, most trucking companies and other employers with commercial vehicle businesses will most likely disprove your application for their job posting.  Getting caught with speeding violations can be detrimental to your work as a commercial driver. That is why you must always make sure that you are complying with the laws of each state that are included in your route. This will help you avoid any possible complications and allow you to keep your CDL to continue with your work. 

Credits: Jennifer Dawson

Top 3 Pain Points for Fleet Owners

Top 3 Pain Points for Fleet Owners, safety track -truck driver

When customers call Safety Track about fleet cameras and GPS, it’s usually after an event, like an auto accident or a lawsuit. Safety Track’s fleet cameras and GPS tracking could’ve helped prevent both of those unfortunate events.

“A lot of our customers come to us after the fact, but we would like to get more proactive,” said Tyler Schneider, director of IT operations for Safety Track. 

Companies with fleets deal with safety concerns every day. Sometimes they are industry-specific. But others are universal to all fleet operators. Here are the top three safety pain points that drive customers to Safety Track.

Pain Point 1: Staged Accidents

Schneider says a lot of customers deal with staged accidents, where another driver targets a truck with a company name or logo on it and tries to cause an accident. Then the fraudster files a false insurance claim or a lawsuit against the fleet truck owner.

“Maybe a car cuts off a truck or a car stops suddenly, causing a truck to rear-end it. If they did it intentionally, we capture that with a camera system,” he said.

It’s such a dangerous problem that some companies have removed branding from their trucks to reduce the risk.

Safety Track can send the video of the event from a dashboard camera, side cameras, and a rear camera, so you will have proof to protect yourself. 

Some customers also use videos for training. One of the best ways to reduce risk is to train your drivers so they understand expectations and can respond appropriately in certain situations.

Pain Point 2: Distracted Drivers

Fleet owners rely on drivers to take care of their vehicle while they do their job. At a time when cell phones are ubiquitous, it’s no wonder that driver distraction is one of the top safety concerns for companies with fleets.

Another concern: falling asleep behind the wheel. It’s a legitimate concern, especially for people who make a living driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowsy driving may be responsible for up to 6,000 fatal crashes a year.

Safety Track’s newest camera system can sense whether the driver closes his eyes for too long, takes a drink of water, or looks at his phone. The system then issues a driver alert to the dispatcher and gives a verbal warning to the driver.

Some customers have used this feature to create an incentive system using the driver scorecard, which scores a driver’s performance based on alerts, Schneider said.

Pain Point 3: Tracking Fleet

Companies expect drivers to take lunch breaks and other breaks as needed. But in some cases, the breaks become daily pit stops off of the assigned route which can throw off a service or delivery schedule, increase gas costs, and reduce overall efficiency.

That’s why Safety Track offers GPS tracking services for fleets that can notify the company if a driver has veered off route, where they are, and for how long. Some companies even use the GPS tracking system as a timecard for employees.

Adding fleet cameras and GPS tracking system can result in lower insurance rates, because it helps improve driver performance and lower liability risks, Schneider said. The systems can also reduce insurance claim costs, said Schneider.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Benefits of Fleet Cameras

Safety Track GPS Fleet Tracking Michigan

When overseeing fleet trucks, three issues influence every decision you make: cost controls, safety, and customer service. That’s why investing in fleet cameras to help manage your fleet makes sense.

Fleet cameras enable better control and monitoring assets even when they are out of sight. Fleet tracking allows the owner of the vehicles to virtually ride along and monitor driver behaviors, vehicle performance, shipment, progress and other factors which impact your company’s bottom line.

Fleet Cameras Help Manage Risk

Solutions like those provided by Safety Track enable you to use fleet cameras to monitor driver behaviors, identify poor habits and use video to retrain workers.

These cameras act as a witness in the event a vehicle in your fleet is involved in an accident. The video can provide valuable evidence to protect your company and your drivers in lawsuits.

That’s a significant concern for most businesses with fleets since work-related collisions accounted for 40% of all motor vehicle accidents in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about 65% of on-the-job deaths of truck drivers are due to motor vehicle crashes. More than 1 in 3 long-haul truck drivers have experienced a serious truck crash during their career, according to the CDC.

Controlling Costs with Fleet Cameras

Cameras can capture repetitive driver habits like hard braking or hard acceleration. These habits can result in increased fuel costs and unnecessary wear and tear on your fleet. 

Fleet cameras also encourage driver productivity because their hours are verifiable and capture real-time footage versus event footage. These cameras don’t rely on a driver pushing an event button. They capture the full event, including actions both before and after an accident. 

Improving Fleet Safety

By monitoring how drivers operate vehicles in your fleet, identifying behaviors that need to change and then implementing training programs using video captured by fleet cameras, a company can eliminate bad driver habits and improve overall safety. Improved driver safety can help prevent accidents, reduce insurance claims costs and lower insurance premiums.

Fleet camera footage can also be used to capture commendable driver behaviors so you can recognize top performers and work to retain your best employees.

Industries that can benefit from installing fleet cameras include:

  • Taxi industry
  • Ambulance services
  • Railroad companies
  • Delivery services
  • Driving schools
  • Bus lines
  • Sweeper trucks

Types of Fleet Camera Solutions

Not all fleets are the same and so they need varied fleet camera solutions. Safety Track offers several types of fleet camera solutions to fit your needs. They are:

UCIT ( pronounced you see it) fleet cameras
This real-time camera solution tracks driving behavior and captures video that can be used for driver training or as evidence in defense against lawsuits. It supports up to four cameras and includes built in GPS and G-force sensors.

UCIT dash cameras
With Safety Track’s award-winning 2 channel dash camera, you can review video, audio,and GPS data using dual camera technology. It’s tamper-resistant and suitable for taxis, buses or any other fleet vehicle.

In-vehicle HD dashcams
These dashcams provide a cost-effective option for small businesses looking for a fast return on investment. These cameras require no exterior security bracket and include built-in Wifi modules. 

Cost control is a major factor for small and large companies alike, and fleet cameras can help these companies remain competitive and save money. 

If you are looking for ways to cut costs and improve performance, check out Safety Track’s solutions.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Top Challenges Facing Today’s Fleet Managers

2018: A Year of Increasing Profits & Costs

According to a recent survey from Bibby Financial Services, 2018 was one of the best years in history for medium to large-sized fleets. 52% of respondents claimed to have experienced growth in the past year and one-third expected to increase revenue by 11-25% over the next two years. However, running a fleet doesn’t come without its challenges. 68% of respondents confirmed that one of their greatest struggles is keeping up with increasing costs, such as fuel, maintenance, and vehicle insurance.

Fleet ManagersIncreasing costs pose an even more significant challenge for small fleets that don’t have the same budget or resources. The majority of small fleets don’t even make it to their fifth vehicle and end up losing contracts to competitors due to prices. Larger fleets with economies of scale have a competitive advantage over smaller fleets because they’re able to deliver the same services much cheaper. This comes as bad news to both new businesses and the consumer, as the elimination of the competition results in fewer options, and eventually monopolies.

Due to the recent shortage of drivers plaguing the fleet industry, companies have had to raise rates and also make conditions more favorable to entice new drivers. This has benefited significant carriers, as they have been able to negotiate new contracts with clients and pass the cost on to the consumer. For smaller fleets, on the other hand, increasing rates can often be a death sentence. When just getting started, younger fleets generally depend on lower pricing to secure new contracts and grow their customer base. With larger fleets offering more money for the same job, worker wages and the overall cost of operation have gone up, cutting into their profits.

Small Fleets At Risk – Top Challenges

So what are the main challenges facing these smaller fleets? When asked about their top challenges as a business, fleets with less than five vehicles cited increasing costs of doing business (71%), competitors offering unsustainable prices (52%), government regulations (52%), and finding qualified drivers (51%).

One of the most significant hidden costs is the cost of replacing a driver when they leave the job. 32% of fleets had no idea how much it cost them to lose a driver, and 16% didn’t answer the question. For those that did know the cost, 14% said it cost them over $100,000, and 11% said it cost them between $20,000 and $50,000. For all respondents, regardless of fleet size, the biggest challenges were insurance (79%), fuel (78%), maintenance (67%), and vehicle purchasing/leasing (58%).

An interesting fact to note is that midsize and large fleets see small fleets as one of the top threats to their profit margins. 52% of fleet transportation companies saw new and emerging companies as a source of competition and loss of contracts. 66% felt that unsustainable prices from smaller businesses were causing them to lose contracts. Due to lower rates from these new entrants into the market, over half of customers (55%) requested a price reduction in the last year.

ConclusionTop Challenges

Both large and small fleets see each other as the greatest threat to their profitability and ability to maintain contracts with their clients. High competition between all sizes of fleets is lowering prices across the board into ranges that are unsustainable. Customers are benefiting the most from this competition between fleets, but unsustainable prices could lead to many fleets going out of business. Rising fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs plus greater wage demands from drivers could cause small businesses to go broke in an attempt to compete with larger fleets.

Regardless of the size of your fleet, if you’re looking to reduce operational costs and keep your drivers safer on the road, check out our page for more information.

Do Dash Cams Improve Fleet Safety?

ADAS and Dash Cameras Credited with Increasing Fleet Safety

Since the inception of the technology, manufacturers of ADAS systems and dash cameras have claimed that their products can reduce collisions and increase safety on the road. And many commercial fleets have begun to equip their vehicles with such systems. However, are these claims based on facts, or just empty marketing promises.

According to a panel of experts at the annual Technology & Maintenance Council by the American Trucking Association, in-vehicle camera systems and Automated Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can reduce liability and increase safety for commercial fleets. At the event were representatives from industry leaders, such as Covenant Transport and Southeastern Freight Lines.

Rick Reinoehl, senior vice president of safety and risk management at Covenant Transport stated that his company had seen a 40% reduction in rollovers due to Electronic Stability Controls (ESC) and a 14% reduction in trucks drifting off the road after installing Lane Departure Warnings (LDW). They also reported 23% fewer accidents after installing various ADAS technologies in their fleet.

Southeastern Freight Lines reported similar results, with a 2.48 times lower accident rate for vehicles equipped with ADAS systems than those that didn’t.

However, merely installing ADAS into fleet vehicles won’t magically improve fleet safety. Driver training, stronger policies, and safety programs are all necessary to get the most benefit from the technology. At Southeastern Freight Lines, one common problem they experienced was that fleet drivers would often tamper with systems that notified them of maintenance issues. Rather than hear the alerts and audible warnings of the system, many drivers would try to disconnect them.

This led the company to put a zero-tolerance policy in place to ensure that drivers would not damage or tamper with the systems. They even had to be let some drivers go to send the message that they were serious about the new rules. One of the most effective methods of improving driver acceptance of the new systems was by sharing cases in which drivers were proven innocent by video footage.

“They become believers quickly,” said Reynolds as he spoke about fleet camera systems. “Without video, you don’t have the same level of accountability.”

Many drivers behave differently when they know they’re being monitored, but the systems aren’t designed to punish them—they’re designed to keep them safe and assist them with their work.

At the end of the day, the key to operating a safe fleet comes down to both implementing technology and training drivers. “One hundred percent of you do have a collision mitigation system on your trucks. And that collision mitigation system is your driver,” said Brian Daniels, manager of powertrain and component product marketing at Detroit.

In conclusion, technology alone isn’t enough to protect your fleet. It’s necessary to train drivers on how to use it and change their opinions regarding these new systems. Some may feel like ADAS and dash cameras are an extension of “Big Brother.” The truth is that fleet managers want to increase safety and profit margins, while reducing costs.