How telematics solutions improve the safety and security of fleet trucks

by Gurtam

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every activity field on the planet. Transport is not an exception. Some transportation companies are in dire straights these days, while the others are enjoying their finest hour. For example, the taxi business is going through hard times now. On the other hand, demand for delivery services is skyrocketing. Carrier companies grab the opportunity and start expanding their fleets. But there is another side of the coin. The bigger the fleet is, the more difficult it’s to manage it, ensure timely maintenance, control drivers, take care of security, etc.

Recently, on the example of the Ever Given cargo ship, we all witnessed how one ridiculous mishap can lead to chaos and tremendous losses. Lack of control often results in disastrous consequences. Telematics solutions allow fleet owners to be in control of their fleets.

Transport safety

Thanks to telematics, it’s possible to track vehicles, get the data on their technical condition, plan maintenance, and even check how drivers cope with their job.

Telematics systems, allowing to assess driving skills, i.e., eco-driving, has become a trend nowadays. These solutions collect information on speed, gear shifting, and harsh braking. It helps detect drivers with inappropriate driving style and bring out the habit of being careful at work. Transportation companies save a fortune thanks to such safety systems because they help avoid road accidents, prevent equipment damage, and save people’s lives. Moreover, careful driving allows saving fuel.

Telematics solutions also help stop vehicle thefts thanks to geofencing. Geofences are zones preset in the monitoring app. Once the vehicle leaves a predefined area or a so-called geofence, a dispatcher gets an alert message, and the system blocks the engine remotely. A single specialist can easily control a big number of units thanks to real-time data from the system.

Cargo safety

Telematics solutions don’t only secure vehicles but also improve cargo safety. The basic task of any fleet management system is to locate a truck and the goods inside it. As a result, a fleet owner can always check whether the vehicles move along the predefined routes and make sure that they don’t stop where they are not supposed to. Apart from locating vehicles, there are many other specialized cargo safety issues that telematics solutions cope with.

Transportation temperature is vitally important when it comes to perishables. There is no need to explain what happens when, let’s say, the refrigeration unit goes off in a truck with dairy products. It’s even worse if the breakdown isn’t noticed soon. Everything that was inside the truck becomes useless. Telematics exists to prevent such issues.

To take temperature under control, one should equip a refrigerator truck with temperature sensors and a GPS tracker that send data to the monitoring system. When it gets too hot inside the container, both a driver and a dispatcher receive a message and can take measures immediately.

Temperature is also vital for monitoring pharmaceuticals transportation. Driven by the pandemic, the need for medical supplies has dramatically increased. To transport pharmaceuticals carriers have to consider several safety requirements. Maintaining a certain temperature is one of them. This parameter along with the humidity can be monitored via sensors connected to a GPS tracker.

Special hardware detects door opening and alarm signals in case of excessive vibration. If a problem appears, e.g., somebody tries to open the container without permission, or it’s too hot inside, a driver and dispatcher get messages via mobile and web applications. This way telematics equipment and software help ensure the required microclimate in the containers with medical supplies and keep them safe from damage.

Driver health

A tired driver is a dangerous driver. Many road accidents happen when drivers fall asleep or can’t appropriately react to traffic conditions, because they are too exhausted. Telematics covers this issue as well.

Cameras are installed in a  truck cabin to allow fleet owners to control drivers’ physical state. These cameras detect distraction, drowsiness, and yawns indicating fatigue. Phone use and smoking also don’t go unnoticed. Drivers get audio warnings when wrong behavior is detected. If anything suspicious happens, a dispatcher can also contact a person behind the wheel straight away.

There is also a safety system based on the Wialon fleet monitoring platform that allows tracking the duration of truck drivers’ work and rest periods. The solution identifies drivers and records the actual start and the end of their work shifts. A web app provides data on drivers’ violations and creates the drivers’ ranking.

The mentioned telematics solutions help avoid road accidents and, as a result, not only save people’s lives but prevent financial and reputational losses related to undelivered goods and damaged vehicles.

Compliance with laws and regulations

Telematics helps drivers effortlessly follow laws and comply with road regulations. For example, to pay the tolls, a driver doesn’t have to get out of the truck and search for a terminal. Thanks to telematics, the payment takes place automatically when the truck enters a toll highway.

The system for monitoring driver working hours mentioned above, first of all, takes care of security and employee’s health but it also helps abide by the law. The number of hours that truckers are allowed to spend behind the wheel is limited. The system records the time a driver has been on the road and doesn’t allow exceeding the legal limits.

Bottom line

Telematics makes all transport-related processes transparent. It provides fleet owners with control over their trucks and cargo so that they could quickly make decisions, define weaknesses and eliminate them. Telematic solutions don’t only improve security but streamline the work of transport companies putting their business on a whole new level.

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