Telematics Within Community Transport

Woman on Bus

Whatever the size of your community transport operation, telematics can potentially help in reducing your ongoing costs and monitoring real-time and historical vehicle activity.

Community transport providers could be a one-man band with a minibus, or they could be a big operation serving a whole area with a fleet of vehicles.  Either way, there is benefit to be had from considering the installation of the latest telematics hardware and software.

What is Telematics?  What are the benefits for Community Transport Operators?

Telematics systems have become increasingly common in modern vehicles.  Simply put, these devices are fitted to each vehicle to allow them to be tracked via satellite (GPS).  This means a lot more than simply monitoring where the vehicle is on the road – it also allows you to monitor driver behaviour to improve safety, send a driver to the nearest location where a pick up is needed, and much more besides.

The latest units link this activity to live video footage, which helps to not only prove who is at fault for accidents, but also helps in protecting passengers in transit and drivers if claims are made against them from members of the public.

Can’t I just use a mobile phone?

While modern phones can be converted to dashcam devices – to record accidents and incidents as they happen, simply by installation of an appropriate app – the very latest telematics boxes and associated software offer a range of additional benefits for community transport operators.  For example:

  • You can track the position of any vehicle that you own, in real-time, and report on live or historic activity
  • See each vehicle’s status and speed in real-time, or run historical reporting
  • Send reports of incidents and accidents directly to you (if you are a fleet owner) and to claims managers/insurers, in real-time – with an incident report attached – potentially reducing the time taken for any claims to be processed, and reducing costs involved
  • Track each driver’s activity on the road – by providing a driver key fob, their ID is recorded before a vehicle can be moved, and their activity recorded across multiple vehicles
  • Record footage through up to 8 cameras in a single vehicle – covering all angles and ensuring that there is no room for dispute about who is responsible for an accident
  • Split ‘business’ mileage from ‘personal’ mileage – easily recording business journeys
  • Produce a range of insightful reports, including:
    • Drop-off and pick up reports
    • Passenger summary reports
    • Driver timesheets – start time, finish time, flagged late starts etc.
    • Time at site reports
    • Unauthorised use reports
    • Fleet list reports
    • Vehicle utilisation reports

If you run a fleet of vehicles, information can be pooled from all the vehicles and all the drivers, highlighting any issues there may be with driver behaviour, from harsh braking or cornering through to insurance claims due to accidents.  This highlights anomalies in driving; through appropriate driver training, evidence shows there is likely to be a reduction in accidents and speed-related offences.

Crucially, the installation of approved telematics hardware and software can make a substantial difference to your insurance premium.

I only have a single minibus. Can Telematics help me?

Yes! The cost of installation could be less than you think, but you gain all the benefits shown above in relation to your vehicle, including camera footage of incidents and reporting.  Further, telematics can be used for lone workers out in the field, so your position can be established as a security precaution.  Such devices also have a ‘panic button’ and allow for emergency texts and voice calls.

In addition, dependent on the telematics services you select, you can even monitor the health of your vehicle, giving you advance warning of when parts need to be replaced, for example.

Having telematics in place could save you money on your insurance, even if you only run a single vehicle.  By demonstrating careful driving, you will potentially reduce the chances of accidents happening, leading to fewer claims and insurers regarding you more favourably.

The cost of installation could pay for itself in time, not only through reducing accident and claims risks, but even through greater fuel efficiency when reducing speeds and driving smoothly.

Is the software easy to use?

The software is highly intuitive, making it easy for you to track a single vehicle or a whole fleet of vehicles.  Real-time activity is displayed, and historical reporting is available at the click of a button.

If you would like a demonstration of how easy to use the software is, Bollington Insurance will gladly show you how simple it is to get the information you are looking for – and how powerful the reporting tools are in the software.

Where should I turn for Telematics advice?

The solution provided by Bollington Insurance has already been installed in a wide range of vehicle fleets (including community transport vehicles), and in larger cases has saved fleet operators thousands of pounds on their insurance premium (though each case is individually assessed, so savings are not guaranteed).  It is proven to be a highly reliable and cost-effective system.

Further, some insurers will insist on telematics software on certain vehicle fleets to offer a quotation.  In these cases, Bollington can often offer better value telematics hardware and software than you may already have in place, saving you money on ongoing costs as well as potentially saving money on your insurance.

There is no obligation to buy your telematics equipment through Bollington, but few telematics providers can provide a combination of such detailed analysis, simple-to-use software and genuine affordability.  The solution provided is genuinely class-leading.

For further information or advice on telematics, contact Bollington on 01625 348 789 to speak to one of our advisers.