The Power of Big Data for Fleet Managers
The Power of Big Data for Fleet Managers

Big data has paved its way into all fields of technology and is increasingly becoming the go-to tech for basing business decisions. According to Harvard Business Review:

“Because of big data, managers can measure, and hence know, radically more about their businesses, and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance.”

The trucking industry has been evolving over the past few years. With the introduction of technologies such as ELDs, we expect that big data is going to be a major component for fleets going forward.

How can fleet managers tap into the power of big data and make better, data-driven business decisions? In this blog post, we explore the power of big data for fleet managers and provide certain examples how fleet managers can leverage all this information to identify better growth opportunities for their companies.

Why is Big Data Important for Fleet Managers?

Fleet managers use big data to analyze huge chunks of data and reveal information which helps them make informed business decisions. Utilizing big data analytics helps fleet managers in a number of ways, such as:

  • Predicting future trends
  • Monitoring driver behavior
  • Providing incentive-based rewards
  • Reducing cost and maximizing profits
  • Anticipating accidents and improving safety
  • Developing performance improvement strategies

3 Ways Fleet Managers Can Use the Power of Big Data

According to an article published in Forbes magazine on big data, “Predicting outcomes is helpful, but explaining them — understanding their causes — is far more valuable, both from a theoretical and practical perspective.”

The prerequisite for applying big data analytics is to gather enough data. This is where electronic logging devices come in. ELDs help keep track of fleet and provide the necessary data for analysis. Here are the top three ways in which managers can use the power of big data and ELDs to make data-driven business decisions, minimize the cost of operations, and maximize profits.

Minimizing Fuel Wastage

With the help of ELD data and features like idle-time tracking, fleet managers can save thousands of dollars worth of fuel every year.

Here are some interesting facts about vehicle idling and fuel wastage.

  • A reduction of 30% in idle time can save up to $78,000 fuel.
  • For a truck that consumes $70,000 of fuel annually, approximately $5,600 is spent on idling.
  • Assuming that a gallon of fuel costs $3, idle times can cost up to $262,000 a year — depending on the size of your specific fleet.

ELDs help fleet managers identify specific drivers and vehicles that are involved in idling. Fleet managers can then alert drivers to stop idling. Proper training sessions can also be arranged to make sure recurring bad habits are rectified.

Improving Driver Behavior and Fleet Safety

Similar to monitoring idling, fleet managers can also monitor driver behaviors with the help of ELD data.

Many ELDs provide detailed information on drivers who are involved in bad driving behaviors, such as hard braking, hard acceleration, hard cornering, and speeding. Fleet managers can get instant notifications whenever any of these events happen. Additionally, they can also monitor exactly how each driver is performing and compare their scores with the average score of the overall fleet.

Monitoring and rectifying bad driving behaviors can have multiple positive effects:

  • First and foremost, stopping bad driving behaviors can instantly improve the safety of your fleets and minimize the probability of road accidents.
  • You can also save a lot of money for your trucking company by promoting best driving practices. For example, you can educate drivers on how fuel economy is reduced by 0.1 mpg for every speed increase of 1 mph.
  • Driving at a speed of 65 mph, instead of 55 mph, not only increases safety risk but also consumes approximately 20% more fuel — which you can make sure never happens with proper coaching and education.

Efficient Route Management with GPS Tracking

GPS tracking not only allows fleet managers to manage routes in a better, more efficient way, it can also improve management in the long run.

By analyzing big data over a period of time, fleet managers can identify routes that are almost always better — which improves delivery time, promotes good driving behavior, and takes the least amount of fuel, etc.

With the help of ELD data and GPS tracking, fleet managers can:

  • Optimize delivery routes by comparing distance and time taken from multiple paths.
  • Ensure safe driving from drivers
  • Monitor driver location
  • Track and identify if any driver is in need of any help
  • Minimize the probability of road accidents and liabilities.

Improving Driver Retention

Driver retention is a major issue for most fleet managers. The trucking industry is also suffering from a national shortage of truck drivers.

Fleet managers, however, can use ELD data to improve driver retention.

With each piece of information readily available for fleet managers, they can see exactly how long each driver has been driving for. Secondly, fleet managers can also refer to the driver behavior data and see if there has been a spike in bad driving behaviors — which can point out to diminishing motivation or an increase in driver fatigue.

Furthermore, a sudden spike of HOS violations can also point out to driver fatigue and mental exhaustion.

Big data surely has become a powerful tool for managers across all fields, especially fleet managers. It is a technology that is constantly improving and evolving. We expect ELD analytics and big data to be an even bigger part in the following years.

Make sure that you are fully leveraging the data with the perfect ELD solution. Use our free ELD price comparison chart and ELD features comparison chart to find the ELD solution that is right for you.

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