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Traditionally truck drivers in the waste & environmental management sector have exerted a lot of control over what they do, and how they do it. A driver may or may not notice how long it takes them to complete a route currently, let alone how long it took them to do so last time round; where they stop for breaks and the impact this has on the route and/or customer is not a consideration for many.
Implementing a waste management software solution, such as route optimisation with telematics, can result in a lot of change for drivers, which may well place them in unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. Being aware of some of these changes and then communicating them to drivers can go a long way to the seamless implementation of software.
How they Drive
Route optimisation software plans efficient routes whilst telematics monitors how efficiently the driver executes the route. Telematics can also be used to monitor driver behaviour. This is directly related to many of the expenses of a waste collection or disposal operation, such as fuel and maintenance costs. Habits like hard braking and cornering, quick starts and speeding can add to the wear and tear on a vehicle, as well as place drivers and others at risk.
If route a optimisation project results in more balanced driving hours across the fleet, line managers need to explain why balanced driving hours is important for safety, as well as a fairer system all round and which is better for morale. When route optimisation software reduces the milege incurred to collect waste, line managers need to highlight the importance of company profitablity, and its impact on their jobs.
Teleamtics software is increasingly used to measure driving behaviour for managers to analyse. More important perhaps is how the line manager informs the drivers of poor driving, and the development of strategies that improves their driving behaviour.
Scoring and Ranking
Telematics software is often used to provide drivers with a score that reflects their overall driving ability. Any number of factors can be used for scoring, and can include things like remaining within posted speed limits, reducing idling times to below target, and driving efficiently. Scoring and ranking drivers can provide an incentive to drive more safely, as well as provide drivers with a way to earn rewards based on their sound driving habits.
Your drivers will also have more responsibility when driving as the result of software implementation. As software is reliant on up-to-date data, drivers are best placed to become data gatherers. They can be asked to enter notes about their route onto smartphone and tablet apps or on-board computers as they go along the route, logging any long term issues, new hazards, changes to local traffic conditions or difficult areas to navigate which can later be sent to the software for further analysis.
Communicating the Benefits
Engaging drivers and keeping them interested in the software you’re implementing is key to getting and keeping them on board, and accepting changes to working practices. It may be that additional driver training will be needed to ensure they know which techniques constitute non-aggressive driving. Drivers need to know at every step in the process that any change will benefit them as much as it will be benefit the organisation as a whole.
Don’t forget the Customers
Benefits may also be communicated to customers. Letting them know that you are making changes to the way you do things might make them feel included, and important. Notifying them of possible changes to their collection service as a result of route optimisation is essential, and help to lessen any confusion and frustration.
With increasing pressure being placed on waste operations to not only meet increasingly stringent waste and recycling targets but also improve efficiency, the implementation of route optimisation and telematics software can mean that the steps required to meet targets are more achievable.