Whether it’s toll violations, speeding tickets or parking fines, companies must deal with a variety of costs as part of doing business in the transportation industry.
Unfortunately for fleet companies, these costs are escalating at a rapid pace. In a five-year period—from 2007 to 2012—there was approximately a 50 percent increase in the number of fleet violations, according to figures compiled by American Traffic Solutions.
While these numbers continue to escalate, there are ways that fleet companies can reduce violations on the road, especially when it comes to maintaining a proper account of driver work hours and safety. Investing in a GPS fleet tracking platform that provides such tools, including electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR), electronic logbooks (E-Logs) and driver safety analysis software, can significantly reduce liability and compliance concerns from the equation.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has two important compliance mandates in place. Its Hours of Service (HOS) mandate notes that all driver work hours should be recorded and maintained via logbooks. The other notes that fleet drivers are required to document and submit driver vehicle inspection reports before they start their day and at the end of each shift. In fact, according to the FMCSA, the top fleet safety violation is the failure to maintain DVIRs.
Electronic driver vehicle inspection reports enable drivers to record all vehicle-related issues—whether it’s tire damage, engine trouble or an oil leak—and report them to fleet managers, helping keep unsafe vehicles off the road until they are repaired.
With HOS E-Logs, drivers can eliminate the task of filling out paper logs. Drivers can enter their work hours and monitor their statuses—driving, sleeper berth, on duty and off duty—directly on an easy-to-use interface. Digital recording of driver log data gives fleet companies an accurate summary of their drivers’ hours, enabling them to monitor worker hours and possible violations.
In addition to providing federally-compliant solutions, GPS tracking software offers a way to track unsafe driving behavior through scorecarding metrics, such as harsh braking and speeding. Each time a driver speeds or turns a corner too fast, safety software helps measure unsafe driving using recorded GPS data and showcases the results on color-coded dashboards. This empowers fleet managers to improve driver coaching, as well as prevent the possibility of violations.
Although some driver-created issues may be unavoidable, managers can increase their fleet’s safety and stay compliant. GPS fleet tracking ensures compliance, reduces the possibility of federal and state violations, and keeps the road a much safer place for everyone to enjoy.
Leslie Garcia is an editor at Teletrac Inc. and provides a technical prowess to the editorial team. Her product-focused insight and critical thinking has proven to be an invaluable resource for both the editorial and product development teams. Ms.Garcia is able to transform highly technical language and craft it into engaging articles that move the needle. Find more articles by Leslie Garcia on Teletrac's blog.