Benefits To Transport Industry In Tanzania (Telematics)

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Benefits To Transport Industry In Tanzania (Telematics)

What is Telematics

Telematics is one of the most important investments a company can make. A fully implemented system can help businesses better understand their operations and satisfy customer needs.

Even with the most loyal and hard working workforce its difficult to know exactly how productive your staff is. With fleet management systems in place comes data and with data comes reports. Businesses can analyze and gain insight of how their fleet is working and help improve productivity.

Benefits of Telematics to transport industry in Tanzania

  1. Engine idle time

In our 2018 research we found an average driver spends 4 to 6 hours of engine time on idle motion. Trucks have 4 ways of braking system and uses Air suspension in both the front unit and the trailer. A driver switches on a truck and keeps it on start before commencing every trip in order to fill air pressure in the wheel brakes, hand brake, cabin boosters and air suspensions. On average it take 10 to 20 minutes depending on truck model and year to complete the process for the truck.

During our research we found out:

  • Drivers leave vehicle engines on idle for up to 1 hour before commencing their trips instead of a maximum of 10 to 20 minutes.
  • It was also discovered most drivers conduct their daily pre trip check up routine such as check radiator water, remove water from the air cylinders and valves, light system, wipers and other processes while the vehicle engine is ON.
  • Drivers also leave trucks on idle during lunch breaks, road blocks, weigh bridges, police/ traffic check points,

For a heavy vehicle 1 hour of idle engine time consumes 1 liter of fuel.  An average Driver spend 3 hours on excess idling per day. Therefore, a truck consumes 84 liters per month and  1000 liter per year on idle engine time, that is more than 2 million shillings per truck per year.

Our fleet management system does not only track your vehicle but provide vital data reports such as Excess engine idling report for vehicles which stay on for more than designated period of time without moving.

  1. Phone calls cost

Traditionally Truck owners and Fleet Managers use phone calls to verify a driver’s location, when did the driver start his trip and where did he park the vehicle.

We conducted a research with transport companies ranging with fleet sizes between 5 to 100 of heavy trucks, buses and mini vans, it was found on average the operations department spent Shillings 200,000 minimum up to shillings 3,000,000 per month on making local and international phone calls, while the vehicle is on road.

I was also found out most drivers purposely did not activate or get SIM cards once they crossed borders, causing:

  • Delays on offloading as most owners did not know whether the vehicle has reached the final destination or not.
  • Drivers returned directly after offloading without loading return cargo causing huge losses to the business. Especially trucks going to DR Congo and Zambia.
  • It was also discovered drivers tend to switch off their phones and load unauthorized goods while returning on their trips without the owners knowledge.

Through our system fleet owners did not only save call cost but also got to know the accurate and true information on the truck movement and drivers behavior.

A fleet manager can schedule daily automatic report, which will enable them have correct information on:

  • When the vehicle was switched on and trip started
  • Where the vehicle is in real time
  • How much time did the driver spend on lunch brakes
  • Speed alerts
  • Engine excess idle time
  • Driving behavior such as harsh braking and hard acceleration.
  1.  Fleet maintenance and vehicle life cycle

It is important to have a properly maintained and serviced fleet of vehicles in a transport business. It is a well-known factor that vehicles with regular service have longer work life compared to vehicles not maintained properly. Our Fleet management software allows a transport business:

  • Set various maintenance reports as per vehicle kilometers or engine hours.
  • Create regular service alerts such for changing engine oil and filters, Air filter and diff oil, water separator and many more.
  • Manage Pre trip checklist for driver.

Most transport businesses in Tanzania conduct fleet services depending only on kilometers covered by a vehicle. It is very important to consider the engine working hours as well, especially for trucks/ buses working in areas with high road traffic or on stationary mode.

It is important to have records and reports of engine hours for other logistics related assets, which do not necessarily cover long distances such generators, fork Lifts, reach stalkers, side loaders, concrete mixtures, construction equipment and mining machineries.

Having a good in built fleet management software can enable a transport business:

  • Optimize vehicle trip rotation and life span
  • Reduce cost on replacing spare part
  • Avoid unnecessary break downs
  • Increase customer satisfaction with on time deliveries
  1. Reduce accidents and fines

Most accidents in Tanzanian roads occur due to driver fatigue, negligence and poor vehicle conditions. During our research with transport companies we noticed most accidents occurred either very early in the mornings or late in evenings. We looked into this matter and discovered most drivers intentionally drive off working hours:

  • To avoid Speeding fines.
  • Load/ offload unauthorized goods during day and cover for more kilometers at night.
  • Drivers stopped and stayed longer at certain cities where they had friends and family. In order to cover the lost time drivers drove for longer hours and higher speed.

Apart from driver negligence other factors, which contributed to accidents, were:

  • Vehicles were not properly serviced.
  • Companies did not conduct eyesight tests while hiring drivers.
  • Drivers were asked to cover more kilometers per day without considering the road and weather conditions.

After a successful implementation of the vehicle tracking system, our clients reduced their accident ratio by 67 % in the very first year. How did the client manage to do this?

  • Implemented a strict policy on drivers not to drive off working hours (7 am to 5 am)
  • Monitored driving behavior through automatic over-speeding alerts, harsh braking and acceleration, geo-fencing, stoppage time and idle engine hours.
  • Maintained regular services tire change alerts and scheduled reports.
  • Transport companies ensure vehicles cover certain kilometers per day. Example: Drivers were instructed to cover more kilometers on flat road surfaces such as the corridor route (70km/h) while covering fewer kilometers in countries like Rwanda where roads are not flat (45km/h)
  1. Save on insurance premiums

Most insurers now offer discounts to businesses with fleets utilizing a GPS fleet tracking system. It’s no doubt a costly yet necessary expense, but businesses can avoid high rates and be rewarded by insurance companies with a lower premium. Equipped with telematics, insurers know a vehicle is more likely to be recovered if stolen, generally driven more optimally and staff more accountable and responsible. The tracking device removes the added risk and helps reduce a fleet business’s rate. Money saved through reduced insurance premiums can actually help pay for the tracking technology itself.

If a vehicle is stolen, the local authorities can work with you to be alerted of its location and retrieve it before serious damage is caused.

A fleet owner for heavy vehicles pays an average comprehensive insurance cover in the range of  TZS 5,750,000 to TZS 17250,000 yearly per vehicle. We have considered the rate of 5 percent calculated on the total value of a truck and trailer.

For example, the most common fleet of vehicles running in Tanzania is the semi-trailer unit. A chinese manufactured vehicle is currently valued at TZS 115 M on average while brand-new European trucks are valued at TZS 250M.

Meet Labour Act rules and regulation

It has always been an increasing concern when it comes to recruiting drivers in a transport company.  During our research, we found out 90 percent of the transport companies were facing with large turnover ratio of drivers entering and leaving their jobs. This was mainly due to a lack of skills as mentioned in the driver’s license, vehicle accidents, fuel thefts and not obeying road safety rules.

Transport companies can use Telematics solution to end contracts and terminate drivers while complaining to the Labor Act and law, avoiding businesses to pay a large amount of sums on contract termination fees.

Using our Telematics solution helps transport businesses issue warning letters on issues such as speeding, driving outside work hours, driving more than required hours, driving a vehicle away from the designated route and resting during working hours.

Second-by-second data lets you replay vehicle movements on the map to better understand the circumstances leading to an event. This helps with training and provides context into the elements contributing to an incident.

Control vehicle abuse

In our survey, we found out almost 74 percent of transporters complained on their misusing the vehicles for their own personal benefit.

After a driver offloads the company goods at the final destination. Drivers would look for quick transport jobs around the local area and carry goods without the owner’s permission making extra money using the company’s vehicle and fuel.

Knowing where your vehicle is at all times is very important to a fleet owner, using our Telematics solution a fleet operator can assign designated routes, geo-fence operating areas and client sites and monitor entry and exit alerts when vehicles are offloading at the customer’s warehouse.

Telematics also ensures fleet owners monitor their trucks and ensure the vehicle covers a minimum mileage per day in order to avoid any unpermitted loadings or offloading while the vehicle is on the road moving.

Parking fees and fines

Truck drivers tend to park on roadsides and then claim security and parking fees from owners. This money is then used for their personal use instead of parking the vehicle in a safe secured area as instructed.

This also causes unnecessary fines going forward to the truck owner. Example: One of the transporters continuously suffered from Parking fines because their drivers parked trucks on the side of the road either waiting for fuel or taking lunch breaks. When trucks got caught by TANROADS or SUMATRA, the drivers blamed the vehicle for having had a breakdown. The transport company only realized this after implementing a Telematics solution.


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