“You can have all the telematics in the world, but if you don’t engage the drivers, help them understand the information and help them drive more safely and efficiently, it’s pointless.”
That’s the message from David Morley, Driver Training and Telematics Manager at Bibby Distribution – the man who has helped oversee a dramatic cultural shift among the company’s 800 drivers.
The extent of this transformation was brought to the fore earlier this year when the company triumphed at Microlise’s Driver of the Year Awards.
Mark Field was named overall Driver of the Year as well as receiving the award in the ‘Short Distance’ category, while John Males was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award. Dale Coppin and Philip Starkie were also shortlisted in the HGV Hero Award category, with Dale being named runner-up.
But the story goes much deeper than improvements in the performance of a select handful of drivers.
When Bibby Distribution began working with Microlise in 2016, vehicle operator performance had clear scope for improvement, with around 38 per cent of drivers achieving a grade A or B standard according to the telematics provider’s grading system.
Over the next two years, the driver training team, led by Morley, coached drivers to increase the percentage achieving grade B and above. Telematics enabled the team to tailor training based on individual performance,
To augment the programme, in 2018 Bibby Distribution installed forward-facing and inward-facing cameras from Microlise across the fleet. The footage has been used to bring driver coaching to life by demonstrating specific scenarios, as well as supporting accident investigations and claim mitigations.
As a result, Bibby Distribution has seen an incredible transformation in driving behaviours with more than 86 per cent of drivers scoring grade B and above by the end of 2018 – 45 per cent of those at grade A.
Information obtained from the Microlise system has also shown that compared to 2015, road traffic collisions are down 28 per cent, work-related road injuries have reduced by 75 per cent and Bibby Distribution’s total CO2 per vehicle kilometre has been lowered by 10 per cent.
Morley said, “Drivers make up the largest proportion of our workforce and it can be a difficult and stressful job. With cameras and telematics, we can identify drivers who need our support and give them the help they need. They feel valued and cared for, and we also reduce the risk of accidents, protecting our people and the public.”
The changes have prompted tangible changes to driver morale and safety figures, it’s also allowed the business to make sizable savings across its 550-strong tractor unit and rigid truck fleet.
By working with drivers to analyse and improve their driving style, with gentler acceleration and braking and improved anticipation of the road ahead, the 3PL has substantially reduced spend on wear and tear parts like brake discs and tyres. More significantly, the use of dashcams has been beneficial for the company’s insurance premiums.
Morley adds, “With the help of telematics technology, we’ve developed a tailored training programme that works. It has been a complete success – as shown by our driver award wins – and we’ll continue to invest in our team to make sure we’re even better in the future.”