Recycling and waste management fleets operate in a unique environment due to the nature of the trips that drivers need to make on bin collection days. The vehicles need to stop regularly during one trip as well as pick up and put down bins and, let’s face it, no driver enjoys being stuck driving behind a slow and smelly waste truck. They also routinely place other road users at risk for accidents, which telematics can help prevent.
This has resulted in waste management companies needing to put effective safety measures in place. One such example is telematics, which is now becoming more of a standard addition to many fleets today and is used to not only improve operational efficiencies but also to mitigate risk.
International telematics firm MiX Telematics has shared from its experience the top four ways that telematics can help to make waste management fleets not only safer but also smarter.
1) Get better visibility
The number one way that telematics can improve how waste management fleets operate is route optimisation. Using the technology in this capacity allows fleet managers and drivers to maximise the number of pickups and jobs conducted per route.
By simplifying the task of planning out routes, waste collecting trucks can be guided to where they need to go, providing better visibility and allowing for routes to be carried out more fuel-efficiently. Ultimately, the aim should be that every single waste collection route is planned in an effort to maximise the utilisation of resources and minimise the costs needed to perform each job.
The secondary benefits of optimising routes for waste management fleets include the fact that more efficient routes help to minimise the negative impacts of waste collection and results in reduced noise and air pollution. All businesses need to ensure that they are doing their part to operate cleaner fleets and, as such, fuel efficiency will continue to be a big concern within the industry. With telematics, fuel consumption can be monitored reliably per vehicle, per driver and across the entire fleet.
2) Mitigate risk
Telematics can also monitor all elements of risky driver behaviour such as harsh acceleration, harsh braking, harsh cornering and over speeding. When used in conjunction with in-cab cameras, it can take driver behaviour monitoring to the next level.
The hazards that drivers face when driving waste collection trucks include:
- causing damage to parked cars;
- operating in blind spots and often on narrow streets; and
- posing potential risk of collision to other road users.
With the help of video telematics, the risks waste management fleets create can be mitigated and in cases where incidents have occurred, the video footage captured can be replayed after the fact to objectively determine where blame lies. Video is also essential for exonerating drivers in the event of a crash and is becoming an instrumental tool in providing evidence of a driver’s actions, which can then be used in court.
3) Extend asset life with telematics
The key to longevity for waste management vehicles is preventative maintenance. With the right maintenance programme in place a waste truck could potentially last between 10 to 15 years. But there will come a point when it doesn’t make sense to have older trucks in your fleet, particularly if they are becoming maintenance nightmares.
With telematics, fleet maintenance scheduling according to odometer reading, calendar, or engine hours can be automated. Notifications or alerts can be set up to allow fleet managers to know when scheduled services are due and remove the hassle of manually managing services and maintenance schedules. Using telematics for this purpose means you can stay a step ahead of vehicle maintenance and prevent costly repairs due to not noticing broken or worn-down engine parts. At the same time, you ensure your vehicles remain roadworthy and safe to drive.
4) Boost your bottom line
Operating a waste management fleet means that you need to have reliable and dependable vehicles. Simplifying utilisation and the timely service of high-value waste collection trucks can be the difference between profit and loss. Telematics provides the actionable information needed to make informed decisions relating to your fleet to help cut costs as well as improve productivity and profitability.
It’s important to note that, in order to derive maximum benefit from deploying telematics across your fleet, the technology must be used as intended. Many companies are guilty of installing telematics and then rarely looking at their data. Then even if they do look at it, many do not know how to correctly interpret or analyse it. By working with your telematics provider and turning the relationship into more of a partnership, you can better determine the metrics that matter most to your business and analyse relevant reports to bring in robust initiatives and mechanisms to address any underlying problems.
For more information on how you can improve your fleet management via telematics, download the free white paper below.
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