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Most fleet managers in the trucking and supply chain arena are aware of the power of video to improve fleet safety. Yet, the benefits of video-based safety have not been fully realized by many construction and ready-mix fleets. While each fleet may have somewhat unique operating parameters, there are several ways video can be used by virtually any company with vehicle assets to improve driver safety, reduce collision frequency and ensure policy compliance.

Unique Fleets Equal Unique Safety Challenges

Construction workers often begin their work day in the early hours of the morning—driving before the sun comes up and potentially when they’re still groggy. They spend the majority of their day working outside the vehicle. Often, this results in exhausted employees getting behind the wheel after eight hours of physical labor. Video can help identify drowsy and distracted drivers, as well as those not following standard safe operating procedures.

Construction and ready-mix fleets typically operate on uneven surfaces and in crowded environments, leading to a higher chance of collision, property damage and injury. Unique vehicle attributes and operational profiles, including a rotating drum with a high center of gravity, coupled with tight maneuvering and backing, often benefit from distinct video-based safety system configurations.

These unique characteristics require fleets to emphasize risk management and operational safety—not only to ensure the safety of their employees and the general public but also for the secure transportation and delivery of the materials they’re hauling. A safer fleet also reduces costs associated with fleet claims and litigations, improves compliance with standard operating procedures and takes customer service to the next level. The result is a better bottom line.
Coaching Risk Out of the Fleet

Video alone does not make a fleet safer; identifying risks and taking action to reduce those risks are the keys to enhancing safety. A fleet’s collision frequency largely depends on the skills and abilities of its drivers. To prevent collisions caused by drivers, risk factors must be identified before a collision occurs and addressed in a timely manner.

It’s important to deliver actionable data that can be used to coach drivers on specific skills, eliminate high-risk habits and prioritize events for coaching based on company policies and the severity of the risk. An intuitive coaching workflow—a critical component of a managed service solution—combined with easy-to-use tools, are essential to improving driver performance and reducing risk.

Video Exonerates Drivers

Driver exoneration is a key reason many fleets cite when adopting video-based solutions. After an accident, drivers of commercial vehicles are often assigned blame, even when not at fault. How does management determine—and prove—what really happened? With video, fleet managers know in minutes what actually transpired leading to a collision. When not at fault, the driver can be exonerated quickly, preventing a costly claim against the company and enabling the fleet to file its own claim for damages.

More than Just Cameras

Due to their unique vehicle attributes and operational profiles, ready-mix and other construction fleets often require distinct camera arrangements. Many fleets use at least four cameras, providing 360-degree visibility in the cab and around the vehicle. The most advanced solutions allow for up to 12 cameras, which can provide added visibility that is critical to the safety of construction employees who operate near or around the vehicle throughout the day. For these fleets, deploying multiple cameras can also help ensure compliance with standard operating procedures.

It takes more than just cameras and video to deliver the insights fleets need to create a lasting impact on safety. Based on the size of the fleet, a massive amount of video can be collected in a short amount of time. For this reason, the best configuration for most construction and ready-mix fleets is an exception-based video recording system. These systems feature a finely tuned triggering mechanism that can detect whether the vehicle is driving on the street or on a jobsite. This is particularly important due to the conditions of a construction site in comparison to most roadways. Difficult surfaces at a job site might mean that a G-force movement is completely normal and expected, whereas a similar movement on the roadway could indicate an unsafe maneuver.

Vehicles equipped with video-based technology have sensors that deliver large quantities of data, which can cause a major headache for fleets trying to digest and analyze it on their own. It’s important to remember that impactful video-based safety programs deliver insight—not just data. The insight provided will help bring drivers home safely each evening.

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