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Fleet vehicle management: what is behind the scenes of Rio 2016?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 25, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Fleet vehicle management is not just the preserve of logistics companies but often makes an appearance in other sectors and fields that you might not necessarily be aware of, such as a major event requiring planning and organisation… and one of the major events, if not the biggest highlight of this summer, is the Olympic Games.

Despite Rio 2016 concluding last weekend, we still remember the achievements of our sports heroes along with all the emotions and memories—presenting the perfect opportunity to discuss the Olympic fleet!

The event is in fact not just about marshalling all the different sporting events, but a huge number of staff operate the Olympic vehicles and are also in charge of transit control, emergency and contingencies.

Earlier, during July, the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan supplied 4200 vehicles to the Olympics Committee—the delivery was made official by a ceremony held in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. The Olympic fleet featured cars from various categories and sizes to ensure comfort and best use across many different activities. According to official sources, the vehicles were used for transporting thousands of athletes, delegation members, guests, and also for supporting operational activities relating to some of the competitions. They were driven by volunteers selected by the Organizing Committee.

Here is one image of some of the vehicles from the Rio 2016 fleet:

Some of the cars of Rio 2016 Olympics fleetPhoto Credit: © Rio 2016 - https://www.rio2016.com/en/news/rio-2016-takes-delivery-of-4-200-nissan-vehicles-for-olympic-and-paralympic-games

Well before the start of the Olympic games, the Organising Committee produced some official documents on the sustainability and carbon footprint management of the event, which detailed the main measures used to reduce the environmental impact of the games:

 

  • Provide public transport for spectators and the labour force
  • Implement actions to reduce pollution, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in public transport systems
  • Operate the Olympic and Paralympic fleet using cleaner fuels
  • Rationalise and optimise logistics operations in the transportation of materials and equipment

 

 

With no surprise from us, this was one of the core principles proposed by the committee to reduce their carbon emissions (taken from Rio 2016 sustainability management plan):

“Decrease emissions at the source, lowering total fuel consumption through measures such as giving priority to fuel efficient vehicles, using tires with proper rolling resistance and providing driver training in techniques of economic vehicle operation.”

 

In order to live up to this proposal, the committee adopted a Fleet Software Platform integrated into their Control Centre, which was also able to provide a unified view of traffic information throughout Rio (traffic is a considerable issue in Brazil).

Do you want to reduce fuel consumption, train your drivers to be more efficient and become the next Olympic champion of fleet management?

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts

Why a vehicle video system perfectly complements your telematics solution

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 23, 2016 9:00:00 AM

vehicle-video-system.jpg

Fleet telematics solutions have been helping big and small fleets to cut their global costs while increasing safety and security for some time now. Today, vehicle video systems and dashboard cameras offer an additional way to improve global fleet safety and increase employee welfare through increased security.

But in what ways are dashboard cameras the perfect addition to vehicle tracking or fleet management technology?

 

1. Dashboard cameras offer an extra way of monitoring driver behaviour

Fleet management systems help identify dangerous driving, but dashboard cameras provide extra context to the speeding, harsh braking, cornering or rapid acceleration events your overall system is capable of detecting. From the camera footage you will be able to see events in full and the routes taken by your drivers; noticing areas of difficulty as they arise and where drivers might need more training.

 

2. In-vehicle cameras increase driver security

With some features of fleet management systems or by following an unusual driving pattern you can of course assess whether your drivers could be in danger. Thanks to GPS technology you may well be able to spot if vehicles have been stolen if they are not in their usual site. Once again, dash cams provide that extra context—you can quickly ascertain whether your drivers need help or if your vehicles have been taken by unauthorised people.

 

3. Dash cams systems make insurance costs decrease

Insurance costs are sometimes a variable you can control if you have adequate proof of just what happed in the event of an accident. With both telematics and video recording technology you will be able to detect what actually happened in the case of an incident, protecting your company from false claims or scams and helping to quickly reconstruct the incident accurately.

 

4. Video cameras in fleet vehicles help reduce collisions and incidents

Monitoring driver behaviour and having footage in case of incidents or near-misses can be cross-checked with fleet metrics. The analytics obtained can be used for training drivers on safe driving styles and best practices as well as offering useful pointers that help to modify your fleet management strategy.

 

Photo Credit: By Fernost - Own work, Public Domain,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29835936

 

Vehicle video system: request a call

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Topics: Fleet Management, Safety

How fuel management concerns help you to better manage your fleet

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 18, 2016 9:00:00 AM

fuel-management-concerns.jpg

Fuel management concerns appear to be widespread nowadays: fleet costs are indeed a source of worry for transportation industry professionals but also for those who have to drive for work (not necessarily those belonging to the sector or are professional drivers).

 

According to a survey published by Software Advice, fuel costs frequently exceed the projections made. Companies appear to be worried about fuel theft and are willing to collect data and fleet analytics in order to clamp down on this, while also improving processes and budgeting.

 

But despite worry usually having negative connotations, it can also be seen as a positive emotion when it urges us to find solutions to problems. And in the case of fuel management, it can actually be the driving force behind improving the efficiency of the fleet activity within a business, and the company as a whole.

 

But where do fuel costs originate and how could they be better managed? What is the solution to fuel management concerns?

 

1. Accounting or recordkeeping mistakes can make fuel costs fluctuate

If you do not automate the recording of fuel purchases, or use spreadsheets, or provide cash for your drivers to buy fuel, chances are that your accounting department might make some mistakes and pay more than is necessary for fuel. They may also simply lose track of how much you really are spending per month, year in, year out. It is much preferable to have a system in place that is able to keep track of every purchase and replaces all the time-consuming administrative work carried out by your accounting department.

 

2.  Fuel theft could be a source of extra costs, and it is not always easy to control

You may not think often about fuel theft and might not actually realise theft is happening until it is too late (by then, the loss can be very high). If you are not using a fuel management system, chances are you can only cross check bank account statements and a fuel card extranet (if you use fuel cards), but that might not be enough if somebody is using fuel cards for private use. If you have a complete fuel management system you can cross check purchases against times and locations, for example.

 

3. Aggressive driving can be a source of higher fuel costs

If drivers speed or practice harsh braking or rapid acceleration they not only put themselves at risk, but this driving behaviour also has an impact on fuel economy. The same goes for idling. If you accustom your drivers to safe driving practices through training, your fleet and global costs will drop—there is a direct relationship between safety and fuel consumption.

 

No more fuel management concerns. Watch our fuel management video!

 

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Topics: Fuel

3 things you don't want to hear about online fleet management solutions

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 16, 2016 9:00:00 AM

3_things_you_dont_want_to_hear_about_online_fleet_management_solutions.jpg

An online fleet management system is the ideal solution when it comes to saving money on your global fleet costs, locating and protecting vehicles and ensuring the highest safety standards are upheld by your team... not to mention all the other advantages. The benefits are undoubtedly significant and often persuade fleet managers, logistics directors and owners of modest to large businesses to take the first step towards investing in this technology.

 

But before the actual decision to purchase and implement the online fleet management solution is made, there is usually a research phase customers undergo which can be positive on one hand, but may also lead to misconceptions regarding costs and just exactly what the technology can or cannot do—ultimately, this might result in fleet managers getting cold feet!

 

What are the things directors or fleet managers really don’t want to hear about online fleet management solutions; that prevent them from appreciating the full potential of this tool?

 

Let’s have a look at them.

 

1. “This is the price of the GPS tracking system”.

 

OK, you might not be happy to invest this kind of money, especially if you are responsible for cutting fleet costs and under constant pressure to use your limited budget wisely. But this is possibly due to not fully grasping the fact that the price you are going to pay out initially is actually less than the amount you will save if you start to use a tech solution for the management of your fleet.

 

2. “You have to tell your staff”.

 

Telling your staff you need to install technology is necessary and will only help to correctly implement the system more successfully. Ultimately, you won’t be able to conceal the fact, and really need to communicate transparently with your staff. It might be a change for your team but in the long run, it will positively impact on their welfare as drivers and employees. If you need some advice on how to introduce GPS technology, or online fleet management solutions, you can have a look at our implementation kit or at our post on how to tell your staff. And, of course, let us know how you get on!

 

3. “You have to sign a 2-year contract”.

 

This is not necessary with all technology providers. We understand getting an online fleet management system could already seem like a challenge for you, even if great results and savings can be ensured. We understand some of those concerns, which is why Transpoco offers you the chance to enjoy the benefits of SynX without tying you to a long contract. Get in touch with us and we promise you never have to hear that particular sentence.  :-)

 

 

Get a demo of our vehicle tracking software SynX!

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, GPS & Tracking

Tyre pressure check guide: does everyone in your fleet check tyres?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 11, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Tyre_pressure_check_guide.jpg

Operating a safe and healthy fleet begins with regular maintenance and daily checks that include the mandatory tyre inspection. But how many fleets do actually carry out tyre pressure checks, follow a tyre pressure guide or think about tyre replacement advice when inspecting tyres? How many really do carry out what is known as 'best practice'?

We would like to share an interesting infographic on tyre checks, including important aspects that have to be considered when taking care of tyres and explaining why tyre maintenance cannot be overlooked. Here it is:

Tyre_pressure_check_guide2.jpg

Although this infographic was created by Titan, a tyres manufacturer, following the recommendations made for car tyres by the Australian Government, it is still perfectly applicable for fleets at a global level.

The infographic examines the reasons why properly maintained tyres are fundamental for vehicle safety and efficiency. So let’s remind ourselves of the fleet checks— and here are the 4 reasons why you should have regular tyre checks:

 

1.  Safety—under-inflated or badly maintained tyres can lead to breakdowns or can even make drivers lose control of their vehicle.

 

2. Handling—improper tyre inflation or maintenance can lead to issues with handling, affecting acceleration, cornering or braking, and, again, causing potential safety issues.

 

3. Wear and tear—if tyres are not regularly maintained they can deteriorate more quickly… If you’re looking to save money on maintenance, think again: you will only incur more expense down the line because of premature wear and tear on the wheels.

 

4. Fuel economy—if tyres do not have the correct pressure and tread you will consume more fuel.

 

The infographic examines two parameters that actively have to be considered if you are going to check your tyres properly: tyre pressure and tread. But we should also add wheel alignment to the list.

If you need further assistance regarding the checking of tyres, you can find useful information in these blog posts dealing with how fuel savings begin with tyre checks and also how to organise a tyre management program. For more practical assistance on fuel savings and on how to set up vehicle and tyre checks, contact SynX to learn about all the technical solutions we offer!

 

Fleet Maintenance Guide - download it now

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Topics: Fuel Economy, fleet safety, fleet maintenance

3 ways poor fleet maintenance keeps you from growing

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 9, 2016 9:00:00 AM

3_ways_poor_fleet_maintenance_keeps_you_from_growing.jpg

 

Fleet maintenance is something that needs to receive the utmost attention, as it could well decide upon the outcome of your business and dictate the amount of funds you need to spend in order to operate your fleet.

We often deal with best practices in fleet maintenance and approaches such as preventive, predictive or reactive maintenance, but this time we are examining the ‘must nots’—the things you shouldn’t do if you don’t want to be the black sheep when it comes to fleet maintenance!

So here are the three ways poor fleet maintenance attitudes not only prevent growth but actually waste money like water...

 

1. Procrastination

Continuously postponing issues is never a good idea if you really want to solve a problem, and the same holds true for fleet maintenance. If you are trying to save money by skipping maintenance, or are continuously procrastinating, you will never see the back of issues as they will crop up again and again, and, unfortunately, when you least expect it…

 

2. Managing maintenance with pen and paper

Not only is it a waste of time and a threat to the efficiency of your fleet and your company,  it is actually like operating with blurred vision. If you do not track everything you won’t be able to see how everything functions fully within your fleet and, consequently, your business. Let’s consider maintenance more fully: what do you think will happen if you do not have a system in place to create reports on costs or one that is able to inform you of wear and tear and the condition of your assets? Pen and paper should no longer be an option.

 

3. Working based on reactivity

If you basically work with reactive maintenance and do not implement a regular schedule, you will suffer the impact of unexpected downtime. It can be challenging to plan maintenance for a fleet that relies on assets that are diverse in make and model, but it’s no excuse not to plan for regular fleet maintenance. If you think reactive maintenance is a viable option, you should definitely think again!

 

Watch our fleet maintenance video!

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Topics: fleet maintenance

Building the business case for fleet safety: how to convince the board

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 4, 2016 9:00:00 AM

the-business-case-for-fleet-safety.png

It is no mystery these days that fleets are urged to reduce their expenses through rightsizing or increasing fuel efficiency. Some of them are given to underestimating safety, and it can be quite difficult to convince them not to think like this; to encourage them to accept that fleet safety makes sound business sense and get them to realise how safety, apart from being necessary, can impact on their business in a number of areas.

But what are the main areas of a commercial practice that you should focus on in order to build the business case for fleet safety and persuade management to integrate a fleet safety policy into your business?

1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A lot of public and private organisations have fleets and it forms a large part of their corporate image. So it is not only important for them to boost fleet safety because it is necessary, but also because it is vital to deliver a proactive attitude towards staff, society and the environment due to their public exposure. This is why it is becoming increasingly necessary for companies nowadays to adopt an appropriate policy or a declaration of intent.

2. Safety and efficiency

How a business operates with regards to health and safety basically impacts on a lot of other aspects of the company, especially for fleets: safety is inseparable from fuel consumption and wear and tear—it cannot be treated as independent from the other two.

3. Legal compliance

Organisations must have a system in place to assess whether staff are operating under safety conditions that comply with the Corporate Manslaughter and Road Safety Acts, and the Working Time Regulations. It’s got to the point that the safety responsibilities of companies are becoming more important and driving for work is increasingly included in the processes, even in companies that do not strictly belong to transport or logistics but still have to rely on driving in order to operate.

4. Company costs

Maintaining high safety standards and raising awareness of the issue is particularly important in order to decrease costs, despite what many might think. Fleet safety has financial implications: think about the cost of damaging your own vehicles, third party ones, and all the hidden expenses. Covering the cost of a collision requires a healthy cash flow, and sometimes the budget just won't stretch. On the other hand, being proactive on safety is a much easier and beneficial approach for all the reasons we have explained up until now.

 

 

Building the case for fleet safety: the video

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Topics: fleet safety, fleet risk assessment

Real world fuel economy data by PSA: is NEDC still good to rate MPG?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Real_world_fuel_economy_data_by_PSA_is_NECD_still_good_to_rate_MPG.jpg

The PSA Group—the French multinational manufacturer of vehicle brands such as Peugeot and Citroen—has recently revealed what they claim to be real-world fuel economy data on a number of their vehicles.

After a commitment was set up in 2015, in which PSA promised to publish fuel consumption data and provide increasing transparency for their customers, they have now made public the data on some of their vehicles, allegedly obtained on public roads open to traffic (25 km urban, 39 km rural and 31 km motorway) and under real-life driving conditions, with passenger and luggage loads, road gradients, and the use of air-conditioning systems.

The results from the PSA test show up quite differently to the MPG data obtained on the same vehicles under the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test—the current standard used for assessing the emission and fuel economy levels in fuel economy and passengers cars (not for commercial vehicles). The NEDC has in fact come under some criticisms in light of the emissions scandals, i.e. delivering fuel consumption data that was unachievable. The tests carried out by PSA reveal discrepancies between the data or even poorer fuel economy than the one obtained through the NEDC.

In a sample from 14 Peugeots tested, the 3008 with a 1.2 litre PureTech 130 S&S petrol engine, averaged 7.6 l/100 km (37.2 mpg) in comparison with the 4.9 l/100km (57.6 mpg) figure from the NEDC test. In another case from a selection of 11 Citroens, one sample, the C4 Picasso BlueHDi 120 S&S diesel with EAT6 transmission, was tested and proved 2.6l/100km less than the official result for fuel consumption published by the NEDC: the NEDC produced a figure of 3.9 l/100 km (43.4 mpg) compared to the PSA’s “real world” result of 6.5 l/100 km (72.4 mpg).

Even the 208 1.6l BlueHDi 120 S&S with manual gearbox (the most economic model tested) only emphasised the disparity between the two tests: the “real life” figure of 4.7 l/100 km (60.1 mpg) was far less than the NEDC fuel consumption figure of 3.0 l/100km (94.2 mpg)  

The manufacturer has also promised to feature in each of their respective websites (for Peugeot, Citroen and DS automobile) a simulator authentic enough to allow owners and potential customers to reasonably predict each model's fuel consumption. They have also included an app dedicated to the same idea.

We do not know, and probably cannot know, which test method is the best and the most accurate, but we are aware that you can count on your driving style and on SynX if you want to cut your fuel bills, reduce emissions and decrease your overall fleet costs.

Want to know how? Contact one of our experts today for a demo!

 

 

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Topics: Fuel

Buying a dash-cam? Here you have 4 must-have features

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

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Technology for fleets and safety does not begin and end with GPS tracking and telematics software: buying a dash-cam is no longer an optional extra, but a complementary tool for your fleet management system—offering protection of drivers and assets, and reinforcing the safety of your fleet.

If you feel you aren’t particularly “techie”, or do not know what to choose in the many offers of dash-cams that have lately become available for fleets, have a look at this small list which include the must-have characteristics your dash-cam should have in order to be a really powerful tool!

 

#1 - High quality video

If you have to choose a dashboard camera for your fleet, make sure you test the video and that it provides top quality footage at night or in cloudy/foggy weather conditions. The visibility needs to be good enough so that you are able to read vehicle registrations, for example. Dash-cams need to show the scene of an incident and, where possible, the number of vehicles involved. So, never scrimp when it comes to quality of video!

 

#2 - Resistant in adverse weather

The cam should be guaranteed to work even when the weather is very cold or rainy—it has to be of such quality that it can work in any conditions and not leave you unprotected. The footage stored on the internal memory card has to be protected, so it is important to consider how firmly the cam is mounted, including the adhesive used for some installations.

 

#3 - GPS

Installing a dash-cam with the GPS system integrated means a location of the vehicle at any time is available, which saves a great deal of time in case you need to reconstruct an incident. Furthermore, if you have a fleet management system you can even cross-check the data obtained from it with the footage.

 

#4 - Memory option

Make sure the card and the internal memory of the dash-cam you choose for your fleet has a large capacity. A lot of cams have continuous loop recording which means that existing footage is overwritten if the card or the memory is full. The greater the capacity the easier it is to manage.

 

Photo Credit: By Fernost - Own work, Public Domain,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29835936

 

If you are not sure what exact type of camera it is that you need for your fleet, our experts can help you—visit our website dash-cam section in order to know more!

 

buying a dash camera?

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet safety

Pokémon GO: 3 similarities it shares with fleet management software

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 26, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Pokemon-go-3-similarities-it.shares-with-fleet-management-software.jpg

Even if we are totally into fleet management software, it is surely impossible not to have noticed that the launch of Pokémon GO has kicked off the biggest craze since the Rubik’s cube!

The location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic has just become the hottest potato and the latest viral phenomenon—making the value of Nintendo (which has a financial stake in the business known as “The Pokémon Company”) double its share vale.

We know fleet management can be challenging and—no joke—it can really make all the difference to how quickly your business grows. But if you play around with a fleet management software like SynX it becomes so easy that having control of your assets and fleet costs will seem like a breeze!

But what do fleet management systems such as SynX and games like Pokémon GO have in common?

 

1. GPS technology

Pokémon GO uses GPS data to generate a video or live direct view of the physical environment that is an essential element of augmented reality, SynX and fleet management systems are also based on GPS tracking technology which helps in getting vehicle location data and planning routes.

 

2. App

SynX is also an app like Pokémon GO, but with Synx you can either manage your fleet or have your staff doing walkaround checks. Or even—and here we find another similarity with the gaming concept—allowing you to set up ecodriving challenges which will help your staff to drive more safely while saving fuel. Drivers are ranked in the system: nobody wants to be at the bottom of the rankings and hopefully the concept will go viral among your team members (where it may even be more popular than Pokémon GO!).

 

3. Available 24/7

Yes, the addiction never stops and people can become game-dependent, which is apparently not great, but according to some this is not proven to be completely true. The Pokémon craze has caused clinical psychologists to state that there could even be potential improvements to mental health and depression. But what about SynX?

Well, there’s no doubt that SynX is available 24/7 from any device and browser—not just a smartphone. And this has a great impact on your business and a positive effect on the stressful life of fleet managers, who can secure a vehicle position at any given time: keeping fleets running smoothly, staff working safely and efficiently whilst also lowering bills… and the list just goes on! That’s quite an improvement!

 

Want to have that peace of mind? Contact us to schedule a demo.

 

Photo Credit: By Gieson Cacho - https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcacho/27593601665/ (Cropped from the original), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50195748

 

 

Get a demo of our vehicle tracking software SynX!

 

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Topics: GPS & Tracking

About this blog

Welcome to the SynX blog!

Here is where we post all our latest and greatest tips and info on best practices for fleet management. Everything you need to know on fuel, safety, maintenance plus news and reviews. Subscribe to get the latest news and feel free to comment on any of our posts or give your feedback!

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