Kwik Fit has achieved accreditation to the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence scheme after introducing a series of safe driving initiatives capped by the installation of telematics devices in its entire 200-strong fleet of mobile vans.
More than 100 fleets are now “accredited operators” to Van Excellence, which promotes high standards of van operation and driving by accrediting operators against an industry code of good practice. Operators register their interest and receive details of the Van Excellence Code, then present themselves for audit when they are ready.
Kwik Fit fleet operations director Simon Lucas said: “It demonstrates clearly Kwik Fit’s commitment to duty of care and corporate responsibility and highlights that our fleet of mobile vans is professionally managed.”
Telematics reduces fuel bill by 8%
Following telematics implementation in the fleet six months ago, Kwik Fit has recorded an 8% saving on fuel bills as a result of technicians adopting a smoother and safer style of driving when at the wheel of the mobile units.
Additionally, average fuel economy across the mobile fleet has increased from 22mpg to 25mpg - a 13% improvement partly as a result of safer driving, but also due a reduction in vehicle idling, which is also monitored.
The saving builds on improvements made in the preceding two years when economy increased from 17mpg to 22mpg after Kwik Fit started to publish fuel consumption data on a van-by-van basis following introduction of ‘track and trace’ vehicle technology.
Introduction of the Telogis telematics technology has initially focused on using data recorded by the in-vehicle systems to influence driver behaviour and reduce fleet operating costs.
Lucas said: “We have witnessed a dramatic reduction in speeding, harsh braking and acceleration by technicians who have improved their driving style as a consequence of being monitored.
“The data that we are able to download enables any issues to be discussed with individual drivers and we can show the evidence to them because management reports are available.”
The importance of on-road driver behaviour is installed within staff key performance indicators (KPIs) and that, said Lucas, had encouraged adoption of a more considerate driving style in respect of other road users. When the technology identifies an ‘unsafe manoeuvre’, for example harsh braking or acceleration, drivers receive an in-cab warning.
Kwik Fit anticipates a range of other fleet operating benefits to accrue including reduced service, maintenance and repair costs notably on a range of friction items. It is also witnessing a reduction in the number of low-speed ‘dings and dents’ to vehicles.
Customer service improvements from telematics
Kwik Fit is planning to introduce another telematics-based development in the spring that will enable it to improve customer service.
Using real-time vehicle tracking will enable driver/vehicle location and technician workload to be monitored with dispatchers automatically allocating new jobs to a mobile unit as they are received from customers on the basis of most appropriate.
Additionally, next year Kwik Fit expects to launch its mobile control centre application which, when integrated with the Telogis telematics technology, will further aid mobile van route optimisation and identify increased opportunities to accommodate tyre repair and replacement work at short notice thus further boosting customer service.