Fleet Safety & Efficiency Improvements

Fleet Safety & Efficiency Improvements

December 18, 2019

Greenville Utilities’ fleet management system will soon have new tools and software to enhance our driver safety and make fleet maintenance more efficient. As part of the first phase of the fleet management system implementation plan, Fleet staff, along with vendors and employees from other departments, worked hard over the past few weeks to successfully install the new devices on vehicles with as little interruption to operation schedules as possible.

NEW - FleetFocus & FuelFocus
FleetFocus and FuelFocus are smart fleet management systems designed by AssetWorks that will provide technology and tools to help our Fleet team manage almost 700 vehicles, equipment, and trailers that make up GUC’s fleet. Implementation of each system is currently underway and scheduled to be operational by March 2020. Some of the main benefits of the new systems will include:

  • Tracking fuel usage and maintenance
  • Electronic notifications and reminders to drivers/supervisors regarding scheduled maintenance
  • Faster and more convenient refueling
  • More efficient maintenance schedule to minimize return visits
  • More efficient inventory management

How it Works
One of the devices recently installed on vehicles is a black ring at the opening of each vehicle’s fuel tank. These rings will also be installed on the nozzle of all GUC fuel pumps. Once the new system is live in March, employees will simply swipe their key fob to activate the pumps. Once the ring on the pump nozzle touches the ring on the vehicle tank, this will trigger the device to upload vehicle information (like mileage and fuel amount) to the new fleet management systems. The information will be used to automatically track (and ultimately schedule) maintenance visits and assist with inventory management.

“This new system will change how we do preventative maintenance, streamlining a lot of what we do,” said Fleet Manager Billy Moseley. “I think employees and supervisors will be happy with some of the direct benefits to them, like fewer return visits and automatic scheduling reminders.”

NEW - Global Positioning / Automatic Vehicle Locator (GPS/AVL)

Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) is a GPS-based software tool from Verizon designed to improve the safety of employees in GUC vehicles and the efficiency of workload management. Our Gas Department has successfully used an AVL system for the past 10 years, and soon all departments will be using a similar, more enhanced system from Verizon. Some of the main benefits to AVL include:

  • Fewer calls to drivers out in the field
  • Improved workflow and customer service with real-time GPS vehicle tracking and maps
  • Added security for drivers, alone or with a crew, when standard communication is lost
  • Enhanced driver accountability
  • Enhanced preventative maintenance schedules
  • Faster theft recovery
  • Enhanced safety feedback to drivers

“AVL has been a valuable tool utilized by the Gas Department for many years now,” said Anthony Miller, Director of Gas Systems. “It enables our administrators to identify where crews are without having to call supervisors or crew leaders. Also, our Locators typically work alone, so it’s been nice to have that security feature. We’re looking forward to the added features of the new AVL system.”

Safety First
The 2017 Utilities Industry Serious Injuries and Fatalities Study showed driving as the industry’s greatest exposure to life-changing injuries or fatalities, so the most important benefit of having a GPS/AVL system is reducing driver exposure and risk.

“With AVL, we can identify and communicate exposures in advance of an incident,” said Anthony. “Lighthouse allows us to observe behaviors. AVL allows us to not only observe driver behavior, but influence change by providing feedback. We’re not aiming to look over employee shoulders, but simply add another tool to encourage safe behaviors.”

How it Works
The GPS/AVL device that was installed on GUC vehicles will not only share location information, but also record driver safety information such as speed and fast starts and stops. This information can be used to give drivers feedback on where safety improvements can be made, and to highlight safe driving behaviors. The GPS/AVL device will also work with the FleetFocus and FuelFocus systems to better assist Fleet staff with maintenance schedules.

Be on the lookout soon for details on training for AVL and FuelFocus.