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How Telematics Can Improve Fleet Management During a Pandemic

The transportation of essentials across the country is an important task during this global crisis. The world is dependent on the trucking industry for maintenance of the supply chain for medical items, for restocking the grocery at local stores, etc. In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement of essential items should not be affected at any cost. Hence, the Transportation department of various countries has extended the service hours so that the essential goods can be transported indisputably. The drivers of commercial vehicles are working for 11 to 14 hours to make way for the timely movement of goods.

There’s so much going around us and during these tough times, the trucking industry and transportation organizations have a lot of people and sectors dependent on them. At the time of this global crisis, there’s a need for fleet managers or owners to be more organized to manage the current situation and requirements of the industry and that’s where Telematics fits in! Here are some of the ways to keep track of your vehicle fleet in a crisis associated with such heightened demand and risk:

Constant Communication

Telematics offers great visibility which can be extremely helpful. When fleet managers are able to communicate with the drivers constantly and can keep track of the location all the time, then better and informed decisions can be made in such tough times. With so much chaos all around the world, knowing where your fleets are, which vehicle is free for the next load, the vehicle that’s closest to the depots or who has faced the longest detention time can reduce the confusion to effectively manage the fleet on roads.

At present, most of the states experiencing the highest level of Covid-19 spread have been observing a decrease in the travel times and the overall traffic. The fleets are therefore clocking faster in these areas comparatively. However, there can be sudden route changes due to border regulations or detention delays and hence vehicles can take a longer duration of time as well for transporting goods. Thus, to keep a tab on such circumstances, telematics can assist you in planning as well as tracking routes.

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Safety of Drivers

Driver’s safety should be the priority for the fleet managers no matter what situation it is! Your drivers must be working for longer hours and hence you need to make sure that they get ample time to rest before taking the next load.  Drivers should be given at least 10 consecutive hours off for complete rest. This will reduce the possibility of accidents that may occur due to fatigue or tiredness.

Both fleet managers and drivers are feeling a sense of responsibility during this global crisis and there’s an additional strain. A fleet tracking system or telematics can help the fleet managers keep check of the driver’s time. If they have completed their shift, schedule their rest time accordingly to avoid any exhaustion.

Maintenance Check

Considering the situation, drivers are putting in extra efforts and driving extra miles. Thus, regular oil changes, tire rotation and other maintenance parameters need to be checked frequently so that both fleet and drivers are safe on the roads. A lot of fleet owners are overlooking the importance of regular maintenance during the global pandemic. It is worthy to note that these maintenance items are very cost-effective and can help avoid larger complications in the longer run.

For instance, the engines would run smoothly after an oil change and can decrease the fleet’s cost per mile. Similarly, examining the tires can help you identify if there’s a small leak or puncture in the tire that can eventually lead to a popped tire and would leave your drivers stuck for hours on the road. In the worst-case scenario, the drivers can lose control of the fleet due to blowout. Hence, regular maintenance can help address these issues to increase efficiency and save time in the long run.

Better customer service

At this time of global crisis, the supply chain can alter without any prior notice. Hence, with telematics and additional add-ons, the lines of communication stay open so that the customer can check the location of the loads and keep track of the delivery. It is obvious that the demands are quite high especially for medical supplies and providing your customers with proper support is very important.

Nobody can deny the fact that the trucking industry is striving hard to combat the global crisis. From maintaining the medical supplies to delivering food and other essentials, everyone is expecting a lot from the fleets. Hence, by employing telematics tools, you can stay more organized and overcome the current challenges by making smart decisions.

Quick Read: How COVID-19 Will Shape Urban Mobility

Quick Read: Telematics and Real-Time Digital Twins: To Manage the Demands of Logistics Networks

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