SKYHAWK Increases Driver Accountability
George, VP of Operations for NTI, has over 75 trucks on the road anywhere across the mid-Atlantic on any given day. “The trucks used to go out in the morning, come back at the end of the day, and we’d have a time card to pay. Some vehicles went home with the drivers and others came back to the yard. We really had no grasp on what our drivers were really doing.” All that changed when he implemented a fleet wide installation of the Skyhawk Vehicle Tracking System.
The units, antenna and wiring were all installed inside the dashboard to keep from being found and tampered with. Before he informed the drivers of the system, George first wanted to see what was really going on in the field. “I was shocked’, he recalls. “We had guys going to the gym in the middle of the day, taking two hour lunches, going home multiple times and even frequenting bars – all on the clock. Speeds were outrageous, into the high 80s and low 90s, with our company logo prominently displayed right on the side of the truck. We even found excessive idling where supervisors were sitting or napping in their truck with the air conditioning on while the crews worked outside”.
Trust, But Verify
To curb the speeding excesses, George had the Skyhawk set to call his cell phone anytime a driver went over 73 MPH. As soon as he got a speeding notification, he called the driver and told them to slow down “since somebody just called the 800 number on the truck and reported the speeding”. When verifying timecards, George made a startling discovery. “We had a group of drivers who would routinely start their trucks in the yard every morning, clock in and drink coffee inside for a half hour while the vehicles idled outside”, he said. “We were paying them to drink coffee and burn fuel on those trucks”.
The last change NTI instituted with their Skyhawks was the establishment of a curfew on all their trucks. Since the vehicles were not to be used for personal errands, all trucks had to be back in the yard or at the drivers house by 8 PM. At that time, the Skyhawks locked the trucks out from starting and called George if somebody tried to start or move it until 4 AM when the curfew lifted. “We actually had a driver go to a bar on Friday night until about 2 AM and try to get back in his truck and drive home. It wouldn’t start so he took a cab. If he had tried to drive and got in a wreck, then the victims could have come after us with a lawsuit. It is a huge liability reduction measure”, confirms George.