Truck makers’ telematics – m.logistics November/December

Last months m.logistics gave us an insight into truck makers’ telematics systems and the benefits. Sharon Clancy takes us through how truck makers’ analyse and improve driving techniques using their own telematics systems and whether these systems square up to operators’ requirements.

The article takes a look at DAF, Daimler, Iveco, Renault, Scania, Volvo and MAN to evaluate the overall benefits of getting a telematics system straight from the manufacturer.

MAN has been a partner with Microlise since 2006 and has installed Trucknology (MAN branded Microlise Tracking / Telematics systems) on over 6,000 vehicles in the UK including over 1,000 non-MAN vehicles.

The article discusses Driver and Vehicle Monitoring using telematics to improve driving behaviour and save on fuel costs which is important especially while the fuel prices remain high and typically account for 45% of any transport/logistics operator’s biggest costs. Reducing fuel consumption therefore translates quickly into bottom-line savings. Manufacturers are now offering fuel consumption reduction programmes and services based on vehicle and driver telemetry.

Small improvements count where fuel is concerned. “Idling using 2.4 liters of fuel an hour, so a reduction in engine idling time is a big win for any fleet,” says David Lester, department manager for MAN Fleet Management. “Our standard performance parameter is that any idling period should not exceed two minutes. Above that is gets flagged up.”

MAN, which has Microlise as is telematics partner in the UK, uses an overall ranking system, with individual behaviour graded A to G. “It’s essential that drivers know the telematics system is there to help them do a good job, and not as a spy in the cab,” says Lester. “Personal KPIs and small improvement targets encourage them to drive economically.”

He believes that with coaching every driver can achieve a B-grade. “That’s usually equivalent to a 10% saving in fuel, plus less wear and tear on components, not forgetting fewer accidents.”

The manufacturers agree that sharing any cost savings with drivers can help drive long-term improvements. As Lester puts it: “Our detailed reports show in pounds and pence exactly how much the driver is saving when he achieves a target, compared with the benchmark for the fleet. Drivers are professional and competitive. League tables and driver-of-the-year schemes help retain focus, as do incentive schemes.”

MAN’s Fleet Management System (Trucknology) is an online application that includes modules for driver and vehicle performance reporting, track and trace, and driver communications. EcoStyle Safe and Economical driving reports allocate each driver an overall personal performance indicator score ranging from A to C, and more detailed scoring is also available.

The driver communications module is a useful option that piggybacks driver voice and data communication on the same SIM card used for sending telematics data. The SIM stores any vehicle data in its flash memory until the vehicle call has ended.

The track and trace application includes proof-of-delivery, schedule adherence and trailer tracking.

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