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Drivers give the thumbs up to transport firm’s new technology monitoring their performance on the road

A TRANSPORT company in Milton Keynes is investing in its drivers’ safety and reducing its carbon footprint by installing an integrated telematics and video camera system.

The system will enable management at Keith Elkington Transport to monitor drivers on the road in order to improve efficiency. The company has considered switching to an all-electric fleet but has decided the move is not currently viable because of the heavy payloads its vehicles carry.

“Far from feeling watched over, our drivers have welcomed the move and it has encouraged some healthy competition on who is improving fastest,” said managing director Oli Elkington .

Green speed recommendations, advice on appropriate gear changing and reminders on when to ease off the accelerator when approaching a coasting zone have produced dramatic improvements in driving behaviour and fuel usage, he added.

Keith Elkington Transport, based at Wymbush, specialises in transporting food service equipment and has invested in the OptiDrive 360 developed by vehicle management specialist Webfleet.

The technology enables the company to give real-time feedback to drivers while on the road. Webfleet’s Tachograph Manager means that drivers can now run automatic downloads of tachograph data without having to return to the depot, while the electronic fob-based Driver ID kits keep tabs on which driver is in which vehicle.

Keith Elkington Transport has also installed front- and rear-facing Mantis cameras to all its HGVs, helping to seal Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme silver accreditation and the minimum three-star Direct Vision Standard rating that will be required in central London from October 28.

The company operates a fleet of eight HGVs and 28 3.5-tonne Luton Box vans, tall enough to carry large, heavy payloads such as refrigeration units, cooking suites and pizza ovens.

“Operating an environmentally friendly fleet is a top priority for us,” said Mr Elkington. The business has already invested in new vehicles weighing 60kg less than previous models, which are more aerodynamic and have the latest engine technology. “But we knew we could do even better.

“We can now monitor the quality of driving out on the road, with real-time feedback in the cab helping our drivers operate much more efficiently.”

Jonny Wiggins, business development manager at system installer Fleet Trak, added: “This is an excellent example of how conventional van fleets can still achieve significant carbon reductions without having to go electric. With Webfleet now sitting at the heart of their drive to cut carbon emissions, Keith Elkington Transport is anticipating a significant dip in future fuel costs.”

Integrated in-cab cameras also offer full visibility into critical events to improve driver safety. “Videos picking up old bad habits, such as texting or eating at the wheel, were automatically triggered by AI in the early days and delivered to our transport manager but now such incidences are very rare,” said Mr Elkington.

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