Arming HGV Drivers With Smarter Tools

The Local Government Association (LGA) has recently called for new powers to be granted to enforce moving traffic violations to tackle ‘rogue drivers’ who flout weight and height restriction limits. It is timely to remember however, that the vast majority of HGV drivers and fleet operators operating throughout the UK, do so at a level that is compliant, responsible and professional.

The transport and logistics sector uses a wide range of technology solutions to ensure that optimum routes are planned, drivers have access to the information they need, and are protected whilst out on the road.

Telematics data has revolutionised the industry, providing fleet operators and drivers with intelligence that has allowed them to cut incident rates and plan more efficient delivery routes. The right system supports real-time fleet visibility while encouraging improved driver performance through driver debriefs, tailored training and in-cab feedback to minimise the incidence of harsh breaking, cornering and other unsafe practices.

From the moment a driver clocks on for a shift, safety and compliance is in focus. Initial vehicle walk around checks ensure that operators and drivers comply with all relevant legislation and can provide early warning if a vehicle is in need of maintenance.

Multi-camera solutions improve in-cab visibility and safety outcomes for everyone on the road. In the event of an incident, cameras use high-speed mobile networks and file compression to send video clips over the airwaves, allowing for the timely resolution of claims. They can also, when used in tandem with an Incident Data Recorder, prove invaluable in providing protection from malicious claims.

Truck-specific Sat Navs such as Copilot Truck provide additional safeguards for drivers, while an open communication platform, complete with an in–cab drive tab, allows for voice and text communication to manage tasks and provide updates on delivery windows and traffic and weather conditions. Satellite navigation can be fully optimised for larger vehicles to guide them along routes that are appropriate for their height, width and load.

New solutions, such as the Driver Hazard Warning (DHW) App is also improving safety outcomes by reducing the likelihood of bridge strikes or other incidents involving height weight or width hazards. DHW allows drivers to enter their vehicle profile, so that appropriate audible and onscreen warnings are provided as height, weight or width hazards are approached. The location and nature of the hazard is provided, and the direction of travel is taken into account. Warnings cease when a driver diverts and is no longer on a direct route to the hazard.

HGV drivers have a difficult and stressful job to do. Most of them are keenly aware that the choices they make on the road from minute to minute, can have a direct impact on their livelihood, their family, other drivers and pedestrians on the road – and on the millions of consumers who rely on the goods they are hauling.

Equipping drivers with the tools they need, ensures they can carry out their job safely and effectively.