Fleet security is affected by many different factors. Chief amongst them is whether a business has eyes on all aspects of fleet operations, including driver behavior, vehicle location, load tracking and whether or not a fleet is operating efficiently.
Fleet efficiency is simply defined as aiming to get maximum output from minimum input. This means increasing overall productivity and keeping operational costs down. The main way that most fleets can immediately improve their efficiency is to implement telematics software. This gives you increased visibility of all your fleet’s activities, so you can see which areas are not performing optimally and where you need to improve.
Once you’ve done this and collected a significant amount of vehicle and driver data, which areas do you need to pay specific attention to if you are looking to improve your fleet’s security? Here’s a quick rundown of the top metrics to monitor:
Dashcam usage and popularity has grown considerably. In 2020, the market size was valued at USD 3.2 billion, and the demand was estimated at 41.4 million units. It’s expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.9% from 2021 to 2028.
The popularity of dashcams is mainly due to two reasons. Firstly, there is a high number of road accidents globally, and dashcams offer visual evidence of what happened during these accidents to protect users against false or incorrect insurance claims. The second reason is due to an increase in vehicle theft. One UK-based study found that stolen vehicles or equipment cost fleet-based businesses an average of £12,250 each year. The cost was even higher for businesses with more than 100 vehicles with data suggesting they lose, on average, £21,000 per year.
Dashcams can be used as a deterrent to would-be thieves as they might not want to risk having their faces recorded when they commit the crime. Not only does it serve as a deterrent, but it can be used to provide leverage in the case of applying for insurance to receive a lower fee. Should a vehicle indeed be stolen, video footage can easily be handed over to the police to determine how and where the vehicle was stolen as well as where it went. You can also use the video footage after-the-fact to see how a future incident can be prevented to protect your vehicles and not put your drivers in danger.
A big benefit of fleet-focused dashcam solutions is having the option to live stream video footage. This gives you real-time insight into what is happening inside and outside of multiple vehicles at once (MiX Telematics, for example, offers live streaming from eight cameras simultaneously with their MiX Vision dashcams). Oftentimes, this live streaming option is utilized by fleets at crucial moments. For example, when cargo gets loaded or unloaded, or when a driver perhaps needs an extra set of eyes to help them feel more secure when they enter a dangerous or remote area.
Live streaming also serves as a benefit as soon as a vehicle is stolen as it can offer a clue as to its current location and the video footage can be handed over to the authorities to identify the criminals, especially since most fleet-based camera solutions have at least one camera facing and recording the driver.
Not only is the theft of vehicles an issue to keep an eye on but cargo theft is also a huge risk. When drivers are transporting cargo there is always the possibility of nefarious individuals tracking their daily routes to see if they can get away with stealing that cargo at any point in a journey – whether that be en route or while unloading or loading goods. With the installation of an external dashcam that is trained on cargo storage areas in trucks or trailers, you can see exactly when and where cargo went missing should something occur. Live streaming, as mentioned above, also ensures that someone else is looking at the cargo should the driver have to leave it unattended for whatever reason, at least preventing one of the common ways cargo theft occurs.
Tracking has a variety of proven benefits for fleets, from improving overall efficiency and detecting misuse to reducing the risk of accidents and lowering insurance costs. Having GPS tracking devices installed in your fleet vehicles and on your equipment, both powered and non-powered, is an essential part of any successful fleet operation. These tracking devices are quite low-cost and there are options that suit all types of needs, including app-based solutions.
When it comes to the security of your vehicles and equipment, tracking allows you to see the real-time location of all your assets. You can see exactly when, for example, a vehicle is no longer following a predetermined route or is exiting a geofenced area. Through other telematics technology, such as an in-cab communication devices, you can contact the driver or operator directly to see whether this is a cause for concern and take immediate action if theft has indeed occurred.
According to a study by Censuswide, around 40% of fleets that have had vehicles stolen could not have those vehicles recovered. The main reason for vehicles not being recovered is the lack of tracking technology in fleets. Should a vehicle or piece of equipment get stolen or go missing, you can track it as it moves from place to place, to make retrieval by authorities easy and helping to reduce the number of vehicles not recovered. And, you don’t have to worry about thieves knowing about a tracking device and trying to get rid of it because many of these devices are now tamperproof.
A fleet is as secure as the preventative measures put in place to keep it operating safely and efficiently. To see how MiX’s telematics technology can boost the security of your fleet, please visit our website.