Vehicle Service Pros.com - A Solution to Meet Environmental and Fleet Management Needs
04/12/2013 - By David A. Kolman
McCall Service is a family owned and operated pest control, lawn care and petroleum distribution company that has been serving Florida and Southern Georgia since 1928. It operates a fleet of 100 service vehicles.
With the rising fuel and maintenance costs, the company was determined to find a solution that met both its environmental and fleet management needs. The answer was found with inthinc Technology Solutions, a global provider of telematics, fleet management and driver safety solutions (www.inthinc.com).
"We saw a way to kill two birds with one stone," says Al Formella, vice president of operations for McCall Services. "The inthinc solution provided us with a way to monitor idling and emissions, as well as manage operational efficiency across our fleet."
A feature of the inthinc solution is its in-cab, real-time verbal coaching technology. If a driver exceeds the set idling time, for example, there is a verbal alert. At the same time, the fleet manager receives a text or an e-mail and can see where the violation occurred via the GPS-based live fleet view on the inthinc.com Management Portal.
The same alert system applies to seatbelt use, aggressive driving and speeding.
The inthincPortal - a web-based reporting tool for managers - outlines vehicle utilization and calculates driver scores (1.0 to 5.0) based on individual habits.
McCall Service's management looks at the driver scorecard for individual drivers and for company overall, says Dee Hayes, operations coordinator. "This allows us to track each driver's performance and note improvement, which we compares on a quarterly basis."
The company also uses inthinc's curfew settings. Setting the restriction for 7 p.m., a time when most vehicles should not be in use for work purposes, any vehicle active after that time is flagged for review.
"Unauthorized vehicle use has dropped considerably," Formella points out. "This simple change in behavior has significantly reduced our costs in fuel and wear on our vehicles."
Last year, McCall Service saw "dramatic results" with the inthinc solution, reducing idling by 75 percent and improving mpg by 24 percent, according to Formella. In addition to improvements in the company's overall scores, several drivers had driver scores that showed a marked improvement, jumping from the 2.0 range to the high 4.0 range within a month.
The company is setting up a program based on inthinc reporting and driver scores to eliminate aggressive driving habits which will help reduce wasted fuel, explains Hayes. "An additional benefit is reducing the impact on the environment, which is a large part of our company's culture."
When fuel prices spiked in Florida, the company hardly noticed a change, she notes. By using inthinc to eliminate inefficient driving habits and consequently increasing fuel efficiency, the average fuel consumption bill remained unchanged.