Improving driver behaviour should be a primary focus for any transport industry company. Not only is it integral to you adequately delivering your duty of care, but it also directly translates to safer road use, fewer accidents or injuries, and reduced costs associated with improper vehicle use.
However, what some organizations may not fully appreciate is that the benefits of effective driver coaching actually span farther. As suggested in , coaching can help ‘learners to develop enhanced self-awareness and greater personal responsibility’.
In essence, it can transform drivers into advocates of good driving, who do it out of intrinsic desire rather than fear of getting caught—giving you the peace of mind that your drivers will be exceptional representatives of your company, wherever they go.
Rather than solely focusing on generic skills acquisition, training that is going to improve the business long-term should instead focus on individuals’ current practices. This is where fleet management software can add immense value.
Your fleet management system can be configured according to a number of rules that you identify as important to track. These may be areas of concern that have arisen from past issues, or simply behaviours that you believe could be improved, including speeding, harsh cornering, braking, and accelerating. By being able to set your own thresholds for each of these measures—for example, allowing some degree of ‘speeding’ on longer country routes to allow for overtaking—you’ll be able to confidently and accurately assess driver performance, regardless of contextual factors.
With customization available to break down tracking either across the fleet or by an individual driver, managers will be able to see fleet performance over all as well as which drivers need improvement and in which areas. This will help lay the foundations for more impactful and individualized coaching.
Further, Fleet Complete’s ‘Event report’ feature tells you the number of times that particular rule thresholds have been breached, including details of where, when, and for how long. This feature is highly useful in determining a number of things, such as particular unsafe routes and ongoing unsafe driving patterns. ‘Fleet performance report’ feature summarizes events of this nature and provides a safety score.
Improved insight into current inefficiencies
Fleet Complete’s fleet management system goes one step further than simply tracking driver performance across the stipulated behaviours. It also gives managers visibility into issues that weren’t necessarily on their radar, like excessive idling, inefficient route selection, and excessive times spent per job. Most importantly, fleet management software can be the entry point for a conversation between the company and a driver—with the data to inform the next steps—or even for a broader conversation organization-wide, if significant patterns emerge.
Driver accountability and self-awareness
As mentioned earlier, performance tracking is not solely a company tool, but also one that can be used by drivers themselves to improve their own output. Certain drivers may not be aware that they are cornering too harshly, for example, and would self-report that they drive safely. Only by having the reliable data on hand can they understand the problem and improve.