According to Bob Costello, the Chief Economist of the American Trucking Association, the shortage of drivers in the shipping industry may reach up to 50,000 by the end of 2017. This trend may require the industry to attract nearly 900,000 new drivers within the next decade. This driver shortage is just one of the challenges faced by snowplow and fleet managers in 2018, including mileage, unpredictable weather, and the overall condition of snowplows and trucks. Fortunately, telematics technology can offer a solution that not only saves time, money, and qualified drivers but also provides significant productivity. In this regard, there are four crucial areas where telematics solutions can assist snowplow companies in 2018.

Telematics Technology Solutions

Driver Shortage:

The American Transportation Research Institute recently updated its driver data and found that over 57% of drivers are aged 45 or older, with only 4.4% being in the 20-24 age range, according to Rebecca Brewster, the President and COO of ATRI. These statistics raise concerns about the shortage of drivers in the industry, leading fleet managers to explore technological solutions to train new drivers quickly. One promising area is steering technology integrated into the telematics unit and managed by a backend gateway. This technology directs new or temporary drivers back to the deviation point if they miss a turn or take a wrong road. Snowplow companies, in particular, face serious consequences from missed roads or business driveways, which not only lead to complaints from residents and business owners but also pose dangerous driving conditions. Therefore, utilizing steering technology can ensure that snowplows never miss a single, snowy road, promoting safety and efficiency in their operations.

Weather Unpredictability :

Severe weather can cause significant disruptions for fleets, affecting everything from plow schedules to driver safety. Telematics devices present an exciting opportunity for plow companies to monitor road conditions, hail, and other weather hazards. With the help of routing technology, drivers can stay on planned routes, ensuring that all major and arterial roads are plowed to prevent the formation of icy and slushy pavement. In addition, fleets can receive real-time alerts about abandoned or stuck vehicles, and other incidents that may occur during severe storms. If a storm is developing faster and stronger than anticipated, fleet managers can use telematics routing devices to remotely push additional or alternate routes, ensuring that all roads and driveways are covered, and drivers are safe. By leveraging telematics technology, fleet managers can proactively plan and adjust their operations to mitigate the impact of severe weather and ensure the safety of their drivers and equipment.

Eco-friendliness

Telematics devices are proving to be a game-changer for fleets, enabling them to reduce fuel costs by up to 25% and idle time by 30%, according to a report by Ice and Sullivan. As a result, many fleet companies are turning to telematics for innovative ways to save on fuel costs. For instance, United Parcel Service (UPS) plans delivery routes without any left turns as they have found that waiting to turn left wastes fuel. While this may not be practical for all fleet companies, there are several ways that snowplow companies can use telematics to cut fuel costs. One easy way is to avoid sending drivers back to missed streets, as many telematics solutions feature a function that can guide drivers back to where they went off course and redirect them back to the missed street. In addition, fleet managers can monitor each vehicle’s route completion status to ensure that routes are completed efficiently and can proactively reroute around known obstacles to optimize fuel use. By leveraging telematics technology, fleet managers can identify and eliminate unnecessary fuel consumption, resulting in significant cost savings.

Salt scarcity:

The scarcity of salt is one of the most critical issues for snowplough firms. In 2014, inefficient salt use resulted in a high number of complaints that spread across the country. Drivers may disperse salt more effectively, decrease waste, and enhance trip time by driving more efficiently using fleet navigation. If your firm currently has a routing system, make sure that it is being used efficiently to handle all of the difficulties that snowplough fleets encounter. If you don’t already have a telematics solution with routing technology, now is the time to think about getting one to make the next seasons more efficient and lucrative.