Vehicles don’t speed downhill. Not without action, or lack of it, from a driver.

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? Or watched someone take the credit for something that you know they haven’t achieved?

It is time to have a serious look at adding Driver ID to your GPS system. Our collective challenge is not to improve the performance of your fleet, but to improve the performance of individual vehicles. The only way to do that is to work with your drivers.

Driver ID is not a new concept from the GPS suppliers. It is quite simple – a driver logs into the truck when he starts work and all of the data collected by the truck GPS is assigned to that driver until he logs out. Talk to your GPS supplier about the options available for your system.

There are a number of ways to motivate people to change their behaviour. The first thought always seems to be “money” but money is not the most effective motivator. Recognition of a driver for a job well done goes a very long way. But targeting the wrong driver for the behaviour you hoped NEVER to see in your fleet and you have an uphill struggle to undo the lack of faith created.

Anyone who has taken a driver to task about a series of speeding events recorded by their truck, only to find out that it was a relief driver who caused those events, knows that feeling of impending doom when months of progress with the drivers starts sliding down the tubes because you, or your drivers, no longer trust the data.

Driver ID allows you to know that you are talking to the right driver about the right performance and that you can congratulate, or train, the right people.

How do I encourage the drivers to login?

It is normal for drivers to be suspicious about logging in. Why do you need to know what they are doing in the truck after all? As always, honesty is the best policy. Your best drivers cost you less to employ. They use less fuel, make their tyres and brakes last longer and have lower general repairs and maintenance bills. It makes sense that you want to know who these drivers are so that you can use them as an example to other drivers. For those that haven’t yet made the grade, it is a lot easier for them and for you if you know what sort of behaviour is letting them down so you can provide training and support to help them to improve.

Drivers are a competitive breed and are often keen to prove that they are better than the rest. Driver ID gives them the opportunity to prove that this is the case. Feedback from our customers tells us that you can reasonably assume that those drivers who are not so keen on using the driver ID require additional training – they are so concerned about their driving that they don’t want to own up to it.

In the mean time, encourage those who are using their Driver ID by public recognition of those drivers who are consistently returning the best results.

When things go wrong – like the GPS unit in the truck, sometimes a Driver ID unit can go bad. Normally a Driver ID unit comes with a buzzer to remind the driver to log in. If the login method isn’t working for some reason, the driver can be subjected to an ongoing alarm all day. Well, normally for about 10 minutes, before he finds the wire that, with a good yank, shuts the buzzer up. Hopefully your drivers will tell you when they have resorted to this so that you can fix it. But keeping an eye on the kms reported against each driver will give you a good indication of who is logging in and who isn’t. As above, encouraging your drivers to strive to be the best is the most successful route to a top performing fleet, and most likely to ensure that your drivers will demand a working Driver ID system. If one unit is broken, don’t let that derail your whole programme, the rest of your drivers deserve the ongoing feedback whilst you resolve individual issues.

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