“Almost 50 trucks with tampered speed limiters have been netted in three separate operations and NSW police say it's a 'systemic issue' for the industry.” That was the opening paragraph of an article from the Herald Sun on the recent tampered limiters truck fiasco. While it’s uncommon for fleet cars to have speed inhibitors, the story still makes uncomfortable reading for all fleet managers. This week we take a look at the lesser known issues and potential solutions to the speeding problem.
Whilst the problems caused by speeding are easily understood, it would seem that only the safety message is discussed on a regular basis. Other serious problems are caused by and can be increased by speeding and excessive acceleration.
Engine wear – Engines can suffer if drivers continually operate in high rev ranges. The engine can overheat and without adequate care this can cause problems for key engine functions.
Fuel use – The real waste for fuel is actually on excessive acceleration. Accelerating hard from the lights and other areas wastes fuel and in almost all cases it’s completely unnecessary.
Infringements – These can really cost big. Think of what would happen if your highest performing sales person was banned from driving due to picking up too many fines.
Vehicle damage – Even ignoring the big crashes, speeding still causes a higher rate of minor vehicle damage. Ramps and car park pillars can cause serious but not life endangering damage when the driver is not observing the speed limits.
Monitor – Systems like GPS tracking services are available to monitor driver speed. This equipment coupled with an awareness programme showing drivers why monitoring is needed, could make a huge impact.
Educate – Sending staff on courses and training days may seem expensive however it must be noted that not doing so may work out more expensive especially when you consider the potential cost of repairs and injured staff. These courses can help drivers learn more about their vehicles and their own styles.
Speed limiting equipment – This is a more drastic and potentially more expensive option. Inhibitors limit speed and can be as sophisticated you require. They represent the least trusting solution to the speeding problem and as such should demand more careful consideration.
Nobody enjoys telling their co-workers what to do. Telling someone to control their speeding and reckless driving can be awkward especially if that person is a senior member of staff. In some cases the speeding problem itself may be encouraged by senior management (like the story above). In these cases the problem is more difficult and gaining buy-in is near impossible. In the end the only solution is to build a strongly supported culture and awareness campaign around driving quality. Through continuously reinforcing the message and offering new advice and guidance, your chances of delivering an effective message is substantially increased.