Fleet management systems keep track of costs
Sophisticated software driving fleet management offers improved efficiency across the board in transport and vehicle operations including waste sector where keeping track of fleets, achieving fuel efficiency and proving security pose major challenges. LAWE reports on systems that can provide the solutions
Chevin Computer Systems is one of the UK’s leading providers of dedicated company fleet management solutions. It began developing its web application fleet management system, FleetWave last year (2001) with a number of customer companies, as well as pioneering revolutionary touch screen and bar-coding systems to make fleet and workshop operations simpler and more controllable.
Meanwhile the company continues to market its “desk-top” RoadBASE and Easy-Fleet packages, aimed at larger (50 plus) and small fleets, respectively.
Chevin is one of the UK’s leading providers of fleet management software, with clients relying on its products to run their vehicles more efficiently. Over the last year alone, new customers have included Cadbury-Schweppes, Hays Logistics, Stannah Lifts and East Midlands Ambulance Service.
In the associated field of transport monitoring, TMC Innovations Ltd has developed the Susie-Track system for tracking and status monitoring of trailers. The product enables a working end-to-end solution (to back office or via the internet) for operators to locate and monitor their trailer fleet, and is offered as an open platform, prepared for third party location/communication devices, as a Value Added option for system integrators. It is also successfully in use with satellite communications within the marine industry, the company states.
The Susie-Track system was initially specifically developed for the trailer market, suitable for retrofit as well as for newly built trailers. The system comprises GPS positioning and messaging communications equipment, its own power management system, and automatic detection of trailer coupling/uncoupling and door open/closed status. Susie-Track has been developed following extensive research and development with more than 25 years’ international experience in transport and mobile communications of TMC’s Managing Director, Rudolf Buré.
Significant challenges have been overcome such as battery power supply, elimination of any spurious signals from door vibrations, etc, all with patented solutions. Importantly, the system does not use the ABS socket and air lines due to their safety sensitivities, a method used by parties on occasion as a way to obtain a power source.
A unique facility for after-theft vehicle recovery is an in-built feature of the Susie-Track system. The most recent valuable addition is the Tractor Identification Unit which will automatically detect the identity of the tractor involved when any reporting information is given via the coupling to the trailer, and will guarantee reliable recharging of the system batteries at the same time.
Additional trailer functions can be monitored; for example, a door security tagging system such as Encrypta, using the benefits of a code-based locking system, is linked with GPS position information anywhere that the trailer doors are opened and closed, combined with alarms depending on pre-defined geofences.
The Susie-Track “open architecture” allows customers to select their preferred communications system and street level mapping software. The position and status information for each trailer (and tractor combination option) is then enabled via Susie-Track, giving reliable information for full fleet monitoring.
Susie-Track is already prepared to work with systems provided by, for example, Encrypta/APD, Eagle Eye, Pole Star, Isotrak, Siemens Datatrak, Signature Industries, SpaceChecker, Tracker and SMART Telematics.
Joint venture on fuel
Turning to fuel management, earlier this year Bristol-based DataTrack Fuel Systems announced a joint venture with the fuel pump manufacturer, Tokheim UK Ltd. The aim is to build on the established market position of each company, by producing an advanced commercial fuel pump, integrated with the latest DataTrack Fuel Control Technology.
It is stated that this new pump in the Tokheim Highland Fleet range will enable fleet operators to achieve direct savings, both in fuel costs and administration staff hours. In announcing this new entry to the market, Richard Stubbs, DataTrack’s Managing Director said:“We are delighted that Tokheim, from its strong position in the market, has specified DataTrack electronics for its latest commercial fuel pump. From our very practical knowledge of the fleet fuelling process, we know that serious fuel cost management can only be achieved by advanced systems, which are simple and reliable to use.
“These factors have been the focus of our joint planning with Tokheim.
“Because fuel is the dominant operating cost of vehicles, successful fleet operators are quite rightly, demanding ever-higher standards in fuel management. We are very pleased to meet that need”.