The New Year is here, and it’s the perfect time to look for ways to improve your fleet operations to ensure that your business has a successful 2022. This article is packed with tips for boosting fleet safety and efficiency, maintaining compliance, and protecting your organization from false or fraudulent claims.

 Here are five ways you can set your fleet up for success in 2022.

 

Protect Your Business and Your Drivers

Every time a truck leaves the yard and hits the highway, there is a risk that it will be involved in an accident. In addition to putting people’s safety at risk and causing costly damage to trucks and cargo, accidents expose carriers to legal liability. And too often commercial truck drivers are assumed to be at fault in serious truck-car accidents, even though research shows that not to be the case.

There’s a simple, cost-effective solution that can prove that a truck driver was not at fault for an accident: fleet dash cams.

Video from dash cams is the No. 1 way to exonerate a commercial driver – sometimes at the scene of the accident. Dash cam footage also has been instrumental in exposing staged-accident fraud targeting truck companies. And when a commercial driver does bear some responsibility for an accident, video evidence will help the parties involved more quickly reach a settlement, often reducing costs.

“The more quickly we can get a liability determination in the life of that claim, the less likely it will turn into a much larger dollar claim,” one insurance professional told us.

And dash cams bring other benefits, such as providing fleet managers with insights into driver behavior, improving their ability to effectively coach drivers. Video footage also can be used to help reduce insurance claims and repair costs.

 

Click here to learn the most important dash cam features to look for.

 

Increase Trailer Fleet Visibility

While 2021 is in the review mirror, some of the challenges it presented have hitched a ride into the new year. One of those is the trailer shortage. And with trailers hard to come by, carriers need to try to do more with the assets they have on hand.

The first step is knowing where your trailers are. And that’s easier said than done. In fact, some estimate that up to 20% of trailers in North America sit unused at any given moment. That’s where trailer tracking comes into play. GPS trailer trackers let you know exactly where your trailers are, giving you the visibility you need to optimize utilization.

The benefits of trailer tracking are greatly increased when you choose a smart trailer solution that can be expanded with sensors that provide data about trailer health (brakes, lights and tires) and door and cargo status.

 

Click here to learn more about how a smart trailer solution can improve fleet safety and efficiency.

 

Improve Driver Safety

Thousands of people are killed each year in speed-related accidents. And even when speeding doesn’t result in that devastating outcome, it can cause other problems, such as injuries, vehicle damage, tickets, being put out of service and a negative impact on CSA scores.

It makes sense that drivers who stay within the speed limit have fewer accidents. They also use less fuel and cause less vehicle wear and tear. So, it’s in any carrier’s interest to keep encourage their drivers to observe speed limits.

Electronic monitoring of driver behavior coupled with regular coaching fosters better drivers, EROAD data has shown. For instance, organizations that use EROAD’s driver behavior analytics have 38% fewer speeding events than organizations that don’t look at them at all.

The moral of the story: Make sure you’re using a technology system that provides insights into speed events and easy-to-use reports to make driver coaching more effective to increase safety, avoid tickets and fines, and protect your CSA score.

 

Click here for more on how using driver behavior analytics encourages safer driving.

 

Cut Operating Costs

Finding ways to cut costs and streamline operations is key to success in 2022. There are plenty of challenges facing the trucking industry right now thanks to the ongoing pandemic, supply chain issues, the driver shortage and so on. But there is also a lot of opportunity out there for organizations that are able to remain competitive in this market.

Here are two areas that can yield quick wins when it comes to increasing your bottom line.

Improve fuel efficiency: Fuel is one of the largest expenses a trucking operation has. The ability to cut fuel costs across your organization will generate huge savings for your business. Having the right insights into your operation’s fuel use – like the insights provided by EROAD’s Fuel Management and Idle reports – can help you identify fuel-wasting trends and maximize fuel efficiency.

 

Click here to read more about reducing idling time in your fleet.

Decrease repair and maintenance costs: Software that tracks service history and sends automated maintenance alerts can help you stay on top of maintenance and reduce costly breakdowns and unexpected repairs. EROAD’s Service and Vehicle Maintenance Solution allows you to easily track repairs electronically, access records and keep a complete service history for your vehicles and assets. EROAD Inspect simplifies required pre-trip inspections by making the entire process paperless, allowing you to track defects on the EROAD web platform to keep your back office, workshop and drivers on the same page when it comes to maintenance actions needed or taken.

 

Stay on Top of Compliance

One of the quickest ways to stifle success in the trucking industry is to fall out of compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. Operations with compliance issues are at risk for a whole lot of bad things, including poor CSA scores, fines and being put out of service.

That’s why it is critical to stay on top of compliance. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Ensure that your ELD is complaint: As early as next month, cellular providers will begin to shut down legacy 3G networks to make way for newer technology. When that happens, electronic logging devices and other telematics devices that rely on 3G will no longer be in compliance. If you’re unsure whether you have any devices that will be affected by the 3G sunset, you’re quickly running out of time to make that determination – and to make a plan to replace any soon-to-be obsolete equipment and avoid any compliance issues. Click here for more details about the 3G sunset and how it may affect you.

Safety Management Cycle: The FMCSA’s Safety Management Cycle (SMC) provides carriers with a framework to sport and address negative safety trends in their fleets. It was first used by law enforcement to figure out why carriers were getting violations and offer advice on how to correct systemic issues leading to the violations. The SMC includes a six-step process and helps carriers identify issues early and take steps to reduce violations, improving CSA scores and reducing crashes. Click here for a detailed overview of the SMC.

Educational Tool for Hours of Service: The FMCSA created the Educational Tool for Hours of Service (ETHOS) to help carriers identify potential hours-of-service (HOS) violations. The web-based tool lets users input duty status information. Potential violations are then flagged and explanations about the violations are given. ETHOS takes HOS rules out of the abstract and lets carriers and drivers visualize them in the grid format with which they are familiar. Click here to learn more about ETHOS.

Crash Preventability Determination Program: Crashes can have a big impact on your CSA score – even when the crash wasn’t your driver’s fault. That’s why the FMCSA developed the Crash Preventability Determination Program, which lets carriers contest to remove non-preventable crashes from their CSA scores. Eligible crashes can be submitted to the FMCSA for review. If determined to be non-preventable, the crash will not be included when the carriers Crash Indicator BASIC is calculated. Click here to learn more about the Crash Preventability Determination Program.

 

EROAD delivers accurate, consistent data to drive your business. Solution features a reliable tethered in-cab device and top-rated ELD. Functions include DVIR, live tracking, activity reporting, fuel tax management, and tools to streamline maintenance and control fuel costs. Get more capabilities with EROAD’s driver workflow app, dashcam and trailer tracking.

Luke Roney

Content Marketing Specialist
Luke is a writer, editor and journalist with more than 15 years of experience. His constant goal is to provide valuable content that helps people understand complex concepts, solve problems and make informed decisions.

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