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Driving-style monitoring beneficial for grounds maintenance company

Hertfordshire-based John O’Conner Ground Maintenance has been a customer with Quartix Vehicle Tracking since 2004. It’s a privately owned company with people at its heart. It is not hidebound in hierarchy; if anyone needs to speak to one of the company’s Directors, the MD, or even the Chairman, it’s a matter of picking up the phone – or walking into the company offices.

Founder John O’Conner’s down-to-earth, entrepreneurial spirit forms the core of the company’s culture. Matt O’Conner (pictured) is the company’s managing director, and he holds a BSc in horticulture. He writes a regular blog, on his company’s website, which can be found here. This is his testimonial of using the Quartix Vehicle Tracking System:

“As a company we have been extremely pleased with the features available on our Quartix vehicle tracking system. The most recent addition is driving style information and we are now starting to make real use of it. I am convinced it will improve our driver’s safety and make our fleet management more efficient.

The Quartix driving tracking technology that we use in our vehicles is delivering so many benefits to our company, to our customers and to the environment as a whole. The new management tool to improve drivers’ style is now giving us a great deal of control over efficiency, cost management and waste reduction.

For a while now we have been making use of the ability to produce daily reports and weekly reports, looking at where vehicles are crossing routes or where vehicles are taking the same route. This kind of visibility therefore helps us make a difference to our efficiency and our carbon emissions too.

The tracking equipment in each vehicle now captures highly detailed information about acceleration and braking, monitoring the vehicle’s speed every second to give us a calculated index which is used to score an individual’s driving style. Individual drivers are then given a score which they can work to improve.

Here’s how it works: The tracker monitors the speed of the vehicle every second, calculating the number of times per hour that the speed changes by more than a given amount. These are then weighted according to how severe they are and are averaged over a driving hour to produce an acceleration and braking index, based on severity. For example, when a driver reaches 6mph in one second, this is calculated as a level 3 acceleration. Then, if speed goes down by 9mph, it is equated to level 3 braking. A driver’s style is calculated by weighting acceleration and braking.

We have developed an incentive scheme whereby the entire company is divided into two groups. Individual vehicles’ driving style scores are entered into a league table. People who achieve a driver style score of 85 or over in one calendar month or who make a marked improvement over their previous month’s score, are entered into a prize draw. One driver is selected at random from each group, and the winner receives a £50 prize. Click here to see the company’s internal promotion of this scheme.

The improvements in scores, from one month to the next, have been spectacular to say the least, with many drivers achieving scores of 90 and over. In achieving and promoting advanced driving skills, the business vehicle tracking system has already helped us achieve excellent results. It has given us greater visibility and overview of how our vehicles are being used, it helps prevent accidents and insurance claims and it also makes us safer and more aware on the roads. So, another win-win-win, you might say.”

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