The health of the fleets is in the hands of the driver, both literally and metaphorically. They are the sole reason the industry exists.
Be it a good-carrier or a passenger fleet, the driver’s safety must always be the uppermost priority for any company.
What Causes Driver Fatigue?
Tiredness on the job can occur in many situations. It does not matter what kind of fleet you are; the driver faces the same challenges in each establishment.
Here are some of the most common reasons for driver fatigue:
More fleet drivers, especially truckers, have to endure long hours of work. This timing pushes their body and minds to the greatest levels of fatigue. Even city-drivers have long, six-hour shifts.
This regular driving, with few breaks in between, could often cause tiredness and lead to distracted driving. This reaction can further lead to lower response rates and accidents.
Poor Route Planning
Especially in smaller fleets, drivers face longer work time because of the work’s nature. Bad route planning could keep the driver on the road for prolonged periods, leading to exhaustion.
Improper Work Conditions
Outside of these physically taxing factors, there is also the mental strain of juggling several tasks at once.
Apart from driving, the fleet operator must also ensure the safety of the goods, log records, communicate with the station, and much more.
Without technological assistance, a drive will unquestionably face a very challenging work atmosphere. An uncomfortable workplace could also lead to further disinterest in work.
These undesirable reactions again open the floor to new problems.
What Are The Effects Of Driver Fatigue?
Now that we know what pushes your drivers to this state let’s understand why these conditions could dent your fleet organization. We can break down the effects of fatigue into the following categories.
On The Driver
The effects of fatigue are very prominent on the driver’s physical and mental well-being. Negligence to work conditions can lead to long-term health problems for the driver.
Unacceptable working conditions can cause drivers to risk the safety of other vehicles and passengers on the road, apart from their own.
This effect will result in lower work satisfaction and the inability to perform simple tasks. Such conditions could also demotivate other drivers to join the establishment.
On The Fleet
The fleet defines the management business, and any fatigue to the driver will directly affect the vehicles.
A distracted mind will cause more errors, leading to increased chances of damaged goods and vehicles. The company will further have to bear these costs of repair and maintenance.
Additionally, if a driver is not comfortable at the job, they tend to pay less attention to the fleet’s property. If you keep your drivers happy, they will treat the vehicles as their own.
On The Business
It is evident that the driver is the organization’s spine, and a weak nervous system will decline the business. A tired driver will not meet deadlines, cost repair-revenue, and slow down the supply chain.
All of these problems will inevitably generate losses for the organization. An organization with high-crash rates and a history of delays will rank lower to new clients.
A slight negligence in driver safety will create a chain reaction of problems, no matter how you perceive it.
What Is Driver Fatigue Management?
A safety program for fleets or steps taken to ensure better work-conditions are called ‘Driver Fatigue Management.’
These steps will ensure the driver is not tired or distracted, delivering better results for the company.
Simple ways to manage driver fatigue are as follows:
ELDs or Electronic Logging Devices are sophisticated tools added to the electronics of the vehicle. They keep a tab on the operation hours of drivers and ensure they are within legal and physically able limits.
They do not just log the vehicle details but send this information to the fleet manager’s desk. It allows the manager to allocate work better and have a watchful eye on the driver’s deadlines.
In the USA, the use of ELD to calculate the HOS or Hours Of Service compliance is a government mandate.
Better Route Mapping
Using computer-generated route planning will ensure better benefits for the driver and the business. The driver will ensure they are not running around in circles and getting the job done via the shortest route.
In the case of your business, better route optimization means lower fuel costs, faster delivery, and avoiding zero-load commutes.
Additionally, better planning will also give the driver an incentive to return to work each day.
A healthy fleet means a healthy business network. The lesser the driver worries about the fleet, the more they will focus on the tasks at hand. A truck that frequently breaks down will only lead to frustration and fatigue.
Benefits Of Driver Fatigue Management
Now that we understand the need for fatigue management, here are a few reasons why they are so important.
The most obvious reason is the safety of the driver. The safer the driver, the better they can perform for the company. Their security will also ensure a better working atmosphere and fewer accidents.
Driver safety will also lead to lower questionable incidents and lesser delay, thus earning your fleet a better name.
Apart from the driver’s safety, it will also make the roads a much safer place for those around your vehicles.
Whether you are a goods transporter or a passenger carrier, onboard safety is also dependent on the driver. A distracted driver might damage vehicles, but improper onboard safety will discourage consumers.
Lastly, paying close attention to safety will earn you more eyeballs. Low-crash ratings, better job satisfaction, and fast delivery are all brag-worthy titles that encourage more users and better business.
Drive fatigue management is not just a one-time activity. It is an ongoing process that requires regular checks, surveys, and proactive operations changes.
The first step to better driver management is starting a dialogue with the drivers themselves. Get your data firsthand before you dive into management policy changes.
A fleet that treats its drivers like the kings will definitely survive in the long-haul.
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