One of the most crucial elements of managing a HGV transport fleet is route planning. How do you ensure that the roads your drivers are taking are optimal for reaching the destination safely and on time? As this quick article explains, there are plenty of factors to take into account regarding HGV route planning. And fleet management software can help you stay on top of them.
While this might seem obvious, it’s surprising how often drivers get it wrong. In the UK alone, five HGV vehicles strike low bridges every single day. Alongside the safety risk, this massively impacts fleet owners in vehicle repair costs, damaged goods and potential penalties. So, ensuring that your vehicles stay on roads where they meet the maximum height and weight restrictions is essential.
Working hours legislation
EU guidelines on driver working hours are there to protect your employees, your company, your vehicles and other drivers on the road. And, when you consider that 40% of all sleep-related road accidents involve a commercial driver, it’s easy to see the danger when the rules are not followed. Staying complaint with tachograph regulation must be factored in when planning your routes and schedules.
To maintain consistently accurate estimated times of arrival (ETAs), it’s crucial to use up-to-date traffic information as the foundation of your HGV route planning. While it’s possible to do this manually by checking your local regional authorities for planned road projects on your route, live traffic information offers a more reliable method. As well as keeping you up-to-date during the planning process, live traffic notifies you of changes in real time, allowing you to alter routes to adapt to the unexpected mid-journey.
See our solution in action in our INTERACTIVE VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Transport Fleet
When hazardous weather hits, it has to be factored in to your schedule. Drivers may need to slow down significantly to stay safe in severe conditions, which will impact your ETAs and the speed of your workflow.
Is your route taking you across a border? If so, it’s worth doing some study on the local regulations that will come into play. For example, in Portugal equipping your vehicle with a dashcam is strictly prohibited, as it’s considered an invasion of privacy to other drivers on the road. Unless you want to be hit with penalties and delays, be sure you know the rules before you enter new territory.
How fleet management software can help
More and more fleet managers are now turning to technology to optimize HGV route planning. Fleet management solutions like WEBFLEET from TomTom Telematics take all the crucial elements into account as you plan your route, then give you the flexibility to change plans on the fly once the journey begins.
Powered by the award-winning TomTom Traffic, WEBFLEET offers accurate, regularly updated information on what’s happening on the roads at all times, such as roadworks, weather conditions, closures and jams. You can then communicate changes easily and quickly to drivers in the field through a device like the TomTom PRO 8275 TRUCK driver terminal.
WEBFLEET Tachograph Manager remotely downloads all required tachograph data, while offering driver and vehicle download statuses and daily driver activity reports on a simple dashboard. With remaining driving times and rest periods clearly displayed, it’s easy to know which drivers have enough time left to handle each job, taking some of the stress out of the planning process.
Want to know more about how WEBFLEET optimises route planning for transport companies? Then find out more about what our fleet management software can do for you. Check out our latest interactive video and play through a day in the life of a transport fleet in just 2 minutes and 55 seconds, seeing where telematics makes a difference at each key stage.