Dynamic-duo: telematics and training


Fuel savings, extending the life of your fleet and intensifying your advanced road craft training, are all techniques MasterDrive has suggested to reduce your fleet costs. Another technique that businesses should be using is fleet telematics to further reduce costs.


The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says telematics is not just there to keep an eye on your drivers. "Telematics can be used to indicate when drivers are practicing bad behaviours such as harsh braking, sudden acceleration, sharp cornering and speeding, to name just a few costly and dangerous behaviours. Data from telematics can provide an accurate picture of the calibre of your drivers.”


The question many may now have is what to do with the data that telematics provides. “Telematics gives you the information, not the solution. Bad driving behaviours that only show up on an irregular basis in some drivers could indicate that they only need basic training to rectify their issues.


“Alternatively, if the data indicates that the driver is behaving dangerously often, it is a clear, and often urgent instruction, to send your drivers for more advanced training. Much of these behaviours can be rectified by showing drivers just how dangerous they are not only to the well-being of the fleet but to their personal safety. Additionally, when budgets are strained, companies simply cannot afford the unnecessary costs that come with bad drivers.”


Studies have shown that driver training can reduce vehicle related expenses in your fleet by between nine and 11%. To put this in perspective:

  • A 3% saving in a 10-vehicle fleet that costs over R850 000 in a year, can result in more than R25 000 in savings from defensive driver training.
  • For larger vehicles, with a 10-vehicle fleet, costing more than two million Rand in a year, a 3% saving is more than R64 000 in savings.
  • In each instance, the money spent on training is far lower than the potential savings.


Telematics can also provide you with information on approximately 44% of your fleet’s running costs. “Identifying problematic driving behaviour can reduce maintenance costs, tyre use and fuel consumption in each vehicle. Indirect costs, which may not necessarily be indicated by telematics, but which the data can be used to rectify costly driving habits, can also result.


“These include saving on the finance and insurance costs of your fleet. Often, you will be able to resell vehicles in a better condition and certain insurance providers will provide discounts if your drivers are trained.”


Telematics and improved driving go hand-in-hand. “Telematics can alert you of vehicle theft but it is useless without a recovery option. In the same way, if telematics alerts you to bad driving behaviour, there is nothing you can do to fix that without proper training. Ultimately, telematics is another tool that you can use throughout the coming months to save on fleet costs by using it to direct your decisions," says Herbert. 

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