Driving long distance is a tough job. HGV drivers spend extended periods of time away from friends and family, dealing with the stress of deadlines and the dangers of the road. If you’re a transport fleet manager, anything you can do to make your drivers’ life easier is well worth considering.
And, as more and more fleet managers are finding out, increased digitisation and automation brings many benefits for long haulage drivers.
While every truck driver is almost certainly using some sort of navigation device, the quality of the navigation varies. For example, the right route for an HGV may not be the right route for a car or LCV.
That’s why truck-specific navigation is so crucial. A device like the PRO 8375 TRUCK Driver Terminal not only guides the driver to their destination with the latest TomTom Traffic information, it also takes into account factors that make a route suitable for larges vehicles.
So, it will favour main roads over narrow ones, avoid sharp turns and U-turns when possible, consider height, width, length, weight and hazardous material restrictions and identify the nearby points of interest for truck drivers.
As well as keeping your trucks on the right routes, this gives your driver peace of mind. They know that they don’t need to second guess the information and that they’re less likely to run into traffic, diversions, restrictions or other issues that will slow progress.
More realistic planning and smoother communication
Nothing is more likely to add stress to a driver’s day than being asked to do more than they can realistically handle. A fleet management solution like WEBFLEET helps you avoid this problem by automating the recording of your drivers’ working times.
This way, you get a clear idea of exactly how long each of your drivers can keep driving for, which you can then use to ensure your schedule is manageable.
Another potential stress factor is changes to the schedule or new orders coming in while the HGV driver is on the road. Again, this is an area where digitisation can be a big help. An in-cab device like the PRO 8375 comes with text-to-speech functionality that reads your message from the office aloud to the driver. This means you can send a change of plan or important update and the driver doesn’t need to stop everything to receive it.
Driving style improvement
Helping your team to improve their driving style is not just good news for your company. It’s also great for your HGV drivers, as it makes them safer, calmer and more in-control behind the wheel. In order to train your drivers, however, you need to look at them individually. After all, not every one of your drivers may need to improve in the same area and so simply encouraging them all to work on the same things may not deliver results.
A fleet management solution like WEBFLEET gives you visibility over how each driver is performing in key areas. For example, you can see which of your team could be engaging cruise control more regularly and then take steps to encourage them to do so on future trips. As well as making them more fuel-efficient, this will also make them safer and more relaxed. A win-win for your company and your team on the road!
Want to find out more about how digitisation and fleet management solutions can improve things for your HGV drivers? Then speak to one of our experts today.