Fleet News

Telematics - cost or benefit?

Views are mixed over the benefits of telematics, when discussed at a recent Fleet News roundtable, but all fleets agree that you have to modulate the amount of data that is available.

Phil Clifford, fleet and technical manager at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “We use it to monitor driving styles and for real time tracking. We investigate damage and take drivers to task. On a refuse vehicle, the difference in maintenance costs between a good a d bad driver can be £5,000-10,000 a year.”

However, Graham Hine added: “We tested telematics but we didn’t find any benefit.”

Damian James, head of transport provision at Bracknell Forest Borough Council, raised concerns over a lack of industry standards or legislation. He anticipates more companies going out of business in the short-term and also questions their long-term viability.

“Telematics will have to change as an industry due to European initiatives such as eCall, where vehicles will be fitted with black boxes as standard,” James said.

According to Jug Johal, something as simple as vehicle livery can also change driver behaviour. “Since we put our logo on the side of our vehicles, the number of speeding fines have reduced from 8-9 a year to just two in the past 12 months,” he said.

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