HGV drivers are among the most safety conscious, advanced and continuously monitored motorists you’ll find on UK roads. The rigorous training candidates undergo before they set foot inside a cab ensures that they can accurately judge and handle their vehicle’s significant size and weight.
Despite this, no driver is immune to human error, therefore it’s important that transport operators cover all bases with a digital safety net to ensure the wellbeing of their employees and other road users. By implementing a cloud-based transport management system (TMS), fleet managers can not only monitor road conditions, weather, traffic and more to enable safer operations, but also maintain a thorough overview of vehicle condition and establish a line of communication with their drivers to prevent mental fatigue.
In recognition of Road Safety Week, we’re exploring the daily dangers faced by truckers and how a best-in-class TMS can help you prevent such critical issues such as vehicle failures, dangerous driving behaviour and impending collisions.
What is Road Safety Week?
Coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity, the theme of Road Safety Week 2021 is Road Safety Heroes. This year, the organisation aims to celebrate the heroic work of road safety professionals and explain how everyone can play a part in making journeys safer for the benefit of all.
With the pandemic, Brexit and the HGV driver shortage consuming the attention of the haulage sector, Road Safety Week couldn’t be a more timely and vital reminder to businesses of just how critical it is to invest in the safety of their most vital resource. As an operator, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your employees, however, a cloud-based TMS puts you in the driving seat and gives you the ability to become a Road Safety Hero from just about any location!
Operators need to be proactive at all times when it comes to their vehicle and driver safety regimes. It is essential that transport managers brief their drivers on the importance of daily walk around checks and facilities, such as torches, should always be made available to the driver.
Using a data-driven TMS, drivers can start their shifts with a VOSA compliant vehicle checklist. The simple-to-use screens gather all the necessary information via a smartphone – the details are then uploaded to the cloud in real-time and can be instantly assessed by back-office staff. Maintenance items can be scheduled and the full history is kept by vehicle/trailer.
The best TMS solutions come with integrated GPS mapping, giving operators and drivers an accurate depiction of the road network’s geometry, topology and traffic information, including regulations as well as live updates on potential risks. This comprehensive range of information allows fleet managers to make informed decisions regarding the safest and most efficient routes for their employees.
Directly linked to in-cab handsets, a TMS also gives fleet managers detailed reports on driver and vehicle behaviour. These reports are used to modify driver performance and can also be used in accident prevention, analysis and reconstruction, thus making digital mapping one of the most important tools used by operators.
Over the past year, we’ve all been guilty of burning the candles at both ends – but for HGV drivers, the risk of nodding off on the job is far more substantial than someone snoozing during a morning Zoom meeting! In response to the driver shortage, the government have extended driving hours, therefore increasing the chances of fatigue. This, alongside the influx of inexperienced young truckers due to accelerated training programmes means it’s critical that managers retain a close correspondence with their drivers.
Driving is the number one occupational risk at work, and businesses therefore have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees. A comprehensive TMS will enable operators to communicate with their employees via a short messaging service (SMS). Being able to frequently touch base with drivers allows businesses to understand their mental wellbeing and gives them important reminders to rest at the appropriate time.
Current challenges such as the HGV driver shortage, the fuel crisis, lack of vehicle spare-parts and the looming winter months that can bring harsher driving conditions, will all be adding to fleet manager woes.
TrackTrans offers businesses real-time data accessibility and visibility through a platform to determine exactly where fleet assets are and how they are performing, crucial for optimising fleet efficiency and safety.
TrackTrans is supporting Road Safety Week by reminding fleet managers of the importance of their role in improving driver behaviour and reducing road traffic accidents. By implementing our solution, transport managers can stay in control, while meeting their duty of care obligations, protecting all road users and ultimately becoming Road Safety Heroes.