In Business Update6 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 19, 2020

Over the past two years, South Island civil construction and maintenance contractor SouthRoads has used the tools provided by fleet-management solutions provider Teletrac Navman to boost internal operations and customer relations.

Innovation and functionality – these are two aspects that SouthRoads parent company HW Richardson Group (HWR) looks for when partnering with a solutions provider. These are two characteristics that stand Teletrac Navman apart, says Dean Elder, general manager contracting, SouthRoads. When HWR selected Teletrac Navman as preferred partner for group telematics in September 2018, SouthRoads was one of the companies that benefited from the parent company‘s rollout of Teletrac Navman technology. Teletrac Navman‘s fleet tracking system is fitted into SouthRoads‘ 200-strong fleet of vehicles including heavy trucks, civil construction support equipment, machinery, and light vehicles. Elder explains that there are five individual aspects that make up the complete solution. Director software – the innovation of the central software has given SouthRoads the ability to do everything it wanted with tracking, as well as enabling other functions outside of transport such as compliance support and fleet utilisation benchmarking.

Geofencing – this has allowed SouthRoads to improve site safety and road safety. An alert to drivers entering the worksite makes them aware of the speed, and infrastructure that could cause transport delays or safety issues, such as lowlying or low-weight bridges, low power lines and driving exclusion zones, has also been geofenced. Electronic RUC – this has been a major benefit for SouthRoads, according to Elder. “The electronic RUC system has completely streamlined the whole process and prevented a lot of downtime.” Cameras – forward-facing and in-cab cameras have been a new dynamic for drivers to become accustomed to, however Elder says they have proven their value in supporting drivers and highlighting risks they are exposed to daily. Electronic logbooks – these have been able to provide better accuracy and ensure compliance for drivers, who work across a range of different vehicles in a normal work week. However, it‘s not only its technological solutions that mark out a good solutions provider, creating and maintaining support services ensures ongoing success also. Mike Cook, Teletrac Navman business development manager, in conjunction with SouthRoads innovation manager Danny Shayler, managed the rollout and still maintains regular contact. Mike provided initial training and has continued with oneto- one and online training on how to maximise the system. The benefits have been proved in daily operations. “We‘ve used the integration of this system into our business as the catalyst to begin transition to a paperless operation where possible,” Elder explains. “We have reduced time spent on compliance for things like road user charges and logbook administration. We are also more confident about the information we can provide. We can keep track of a lot of documents and get them out to the drivers all on one device.”

Full visibility across the fleet means clients are provided useful updates and information on the progress of jobs and whereabouts of vehicles. “Safety and transparency are important factors for our clients,” Elder says. “We can offer them a higher level of transparency because we know exactly where our vehicles and machines are, at what time, and even how they are operating. We can also back up our safety culture with accurate data.” SouthRoads has also provided a client portal for the Teletrac Navman software to its clients. With this, clients can log in to check on machine utilisation and maintenance contract work. “The SouthRoads team has been proactive in its approach to utilising telematics to help manage its operations, and has realised that Teletrac Navman‘s platform is based on maintaining compliance, improving health and safety and quality. These same things are important for their clients in developing collaborative transparent contracts,” Cook says. “I strongly believe that good safety is good business, so we want a safe fleet both in terms of the drivers behind the wheel and the quality and maintenance of the vehicles we operate. We can use the driver behaviour tools to help provide feedback to operators and help ensure the overall safety of our fleet. We can check in with staff who may have violations and use the data to help educate good performance,” Elder says. “We try to be innovative and use technology to work smarter and we are using Teletrac Navman‘s system as a catalyst to go fully paperless. The move means that we‘re investing in our staff to become more skilled in the use of electronic devices and we have also provided literacy training as part of the rollout to help staff with reading difficulties,” Elder says.