More fleets are using smartphones and tablets out in the field to help manage compliance, fulfil legislative obligations and to proactively monitor maintenance needs, according to Chevin Fleet Solutions.
Sales director David Gladding (pictured) said: “Especially among commercial vehicles fleets, we are seeing smartphones being used for a range of tasks – for example to enable the carrying out of basic daily maintenance checks that are part of O-licence requirements.
“We are working with an 800 vehicle fleet where this fundamental job generated a paper check for each van every day but a mobile device means that the whole process can become easily automated.
“This kind of gain has obvious appeal for fleet operators in terms of much reduced cost, time saved, auditing and general efficiency. As awareness grows in the market, it is increasingly becoming a factor that swings deals in our favour.”
Gladding said that fleets were also beginning to realise that using mobile devices for proactive maintenance inspections could have a real impact on running costs.
“As most fleet operators know, many drivers of company vehicles will continue to use their vehicle with a known problem until it becomes acute and this in itself can prompt further issues. For example, a gearbox fault that could be easily rectified when it first occurred could eventually lead to outright failure.
“However, if drivers are required to carry out a formal inspection of their vehicle, almost all of them will report that problem rather than continue using their car or van. Over time, savings will be made for this reason.”
Chevin introduced its own mobile product, FleetWave Mobile, early in 2014.
Gladding said: “It has taken a little time for the market to fully understand the potential that a product like this offers but we are seeing more and more interest in using it to carry out all kinds of fleet processes – from the vehicle inspections that we describe to areas like delivery verifications, fleet tracking and much more.
FleetWave Mobile can be used offline and data uploaded when a connection becomes available.
“A mobile app that will only work when a mobile signal is available is useless to the vast majority of fleets yet many suffer from this shortcoming," Gladding said. "You need to have something that will remain useable even if you are regularly in a dead spot.”