Author : Molokini
Laura Nelson, Managing Director, RTITB, explains why in-cab technology is no replacement for LGV Driver Training and how the two should be used to complement each other.
However advanced or powerful technology is, it can only ever be as effective as its user. Imagine, for example, your building has just been fitted with the latest state-of-the-art security system, guaranteed to keep all intruders out. Peace of mind guaranteed. But if one person repeatedly fails to set the system properly at the end of each day, the building is just as vulnerable as before it was installed. However, if all key holders are properly briefed and trained on how to use the new system, peace of mind is restored.
The same can be said of commercial vehicle fleet management tools such as telematics. The mere mention of the word is likely to make drivers run for the hills, managers rub their hands together with glee at the possibilities, and cynical-faced finance directors reach for their calculators. And why? Probably because of myths and misunderstandings that are sustained by a lack of training and understanding.
Telematics can be hugely beneficial to a business in the battle against fuel costs and emissions outputs, as well as bringing a wealth of other advantages. However, many organisations make the assumption that telematics can become a replacement for training.
The reporting capabilities offered by most systems might help management to weed out ‘problem drivers’ or vehicles that are not performing efficiently, but a more cost effective approach would be to curb poor driving behaviour through valuable training, or to implement an effective service and inspection programme. It is better to prevent the problem, rather than letting it happen and having to deal with the consequence, which is a great way to proliferate the “spy in the cab” view commonly held by many mobile workers, not to mention limit the return on what is an expensive technology.
The driver morale argument is also a compelling one. Many drivers feel they are already being watched by one device in the vehicle in the shape of the tachograph, so why would they want another? If training is not used to make drivers aware of the safety or security benefits of a telematics system, and if nobody explains to them, in a positive way, how their own performance could be improved through the use of telematics, why would their opinion change?
Using training to get drivers on-board with telematics and then showing them the resulting impact on their driving style and behaviour is a smart approach to integrating this technology into fleet operations. It’s not an ‘either-or’ situation; training complements telematics and vice-versa. By helping drivers understand the role played by telematics and how they can benefit, the system becomes instantly more useful and a return is more likely to be seen.
Conversely, there’s always the chance that human nature will find a way to ‘make the most’ of the system and drivers may come to depend on the technology above their own training and experience.
Working in a fast-paced, deadline-driven industry, the temptation to cut corners is always present. If it’s not used wisely, the safety provided by technology can quickly become a trapdoor that leads to unintentional consequences.
Consider the fault reporting offered by some telematics systems. In some cases a problem might be reported back to base before the driver even notices it. This could tempt some drivers to skip the formality of the daily vehicle inspection every now and again because, after all, the vehicle will take care of reporting defects. Regardless of the enforcement consequences of not carrying out a daily inspection, what happens when a defect occurs in an area of the vehicle not monitored by the system?
Then there’s the location reporting ability offered by many telematics systems. A driver who is aware of this feature might be tempted to push their luck and take their vehicle off the approved route for a ‘short cut’, which could put them at risk of being stranded or involved in a bridge strike situation.
In both examples the advantages of technology are quickly mitigated by poorly informed drivers and human behaviour. As powerful as technology can be, it will always be trumped by the human factor. Chips and circuit boards can’t predict every choice a human might make, but humans understand humans. That is why training is one of the most effective ways of not only countering the human factor but also leveraging maximum advantage from the technology.
Training delivered hand-in-hand with technology is a winning combination, but one without the other is a considerably less effective proposition.
NOTES TO EDITORS
RTITB (formerly the Road Transport Industry Training Board) has been synonymous with high quality training in the transport, warehousing and logistics industries for over 50 years.
RTITB provides businesses with effective tools to train people and supports them to ensure the training is delivered correctly.
We believe passionately in the role that training plays in improving safety and increasing efficiency in the workplace. Some 175,000 professionals from these industries attended RTITB courses last year. The company accredits 600 sites across the UK and Ireland for the delivery of materials handling equipment training and manages the largest Driver CPC Periodic Training consortium in the UK. RTITB also operates dedicated services for transport, warehousing and logistics instructors including an instructor training academy, online shop and professional register.
Visit www.rtitb.co.uk for further information.
Issued on behalf of RTITB by:
MOLOKINI MARKETING LTD
Latest Client News
Manufacturer Witton Chemicals has selected Pyroban to provide explosion protection on its latest forklift trucks operating in Zone 2 hazardous areas.
For many network and data cable installers, tracing UTP cables often relies upon trial and error and can be disruptive, as well as costly in terms of labour and customer downtime.
Safety company Pyroban is advising companies that their forklift engineers may need new training ahead of the introduction of the updated EN1755:2015 standard for explosion protected forklifts in November 2017.
Hyster® has launched a new 2 tonne capacity pedestrian stacker for stacking and retrieving loads from racking up to 4m high.
A new and unique annual awards event “Talent in Logistics” dedicated solely to recognising and celebrating professionals in training, learning and development in transport, warehousing and logistics officially launches today.
Hyster Company has introduced two weighing systems that can be fitted to Hyster® ReachStackers and Laden Container Handlers to obtain a Verified Gross Mass (VGM), as required by the recently introduced SOLAS Legislation.
Latest Molokini News
Harnessing the power of a website for any organisation is crucial, even for businesses that may consider themselves as primarily offline. Manufacturers, construction firms, engineers, transporters or other industrial businesses often measure success by their ability to build offline relationships – but the web plays a huge part in developing those face-to-face relations.
Never underestimate the value of email subscribers. These valuable soft leads often end up as your most loyal clients or customers… with the right amount of gentle persuasion.
The web design team at Molokini Marketing was thrilled to have been chosen to re-design the new website for the nation’s leading materials handling accrediting body and training provider, RTITB.
The goal of the competition was to showcase the abilities of electrical professionals, students and apprentices across the United States.
They said that video killed the radio star, but is the new, visual online media age pushing out PR as well?
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the old adage that “all PR is good PR” no longer rings true.