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Tracking Trucks Not Just Load Of Rubbish

Tracking Trucks Not Just Load Of Rubbish

Joyriders and rubbish trucks are an unlikely combination, but smart, sky high technology recently helped MetroWaste recover a $60,000 vehicle within hours of being stolen.

Although the GPS unit had been damaged in an attempt to stop it relaying the truck’s position, MetroWaste used the truck’s GPS data to track it to the end of the motorway and direct police to its location.

Andrew Kennedy, MetroWaste commercial manager, says the company has had vehicles stolen in the past, but protecting its investment in its fleet was just one of the reasons the company installed Navman’s Fleet Manager Solution, which uses GPS tracking to provide information on each vehicle’s movements in real time.

“Mainly we were looking at performance management and route optimisation, and we found that GPS-generated data acts as a driver to make change in the organisation,” he says.

Kennedy says using Fleet Manager has provided benefits for the privately-owned company, but “like a good work tool, unless you use it properly you don’t see the benefit”.

MetroWaste is a family owned and operated waste removal business based in Auckland and managing major contracts nationally from Rodney in the North to Balclutha in the South and including Auckland Central.

The company is the market leader in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, and domestic waste, street cleaning, event cleaning, 24-hour emergency response clean-up, and the operation of Waste Transfer Stations.

According to Kennedy, the company’s operations, particularly in the inner city, have more than the usual performance management implications. Data generated by Fleet Manager helps prove compliance with local requirements as well as contractual details.

“Health and safety are clearly crucial to our business and that’s also an issue for us in ensuring our staff are protected at all times. We’ve found that having tracking data that is absolutely accurate also helps us when our staff’s integrity is questioned (in having visited a certain place at a certain time).”

Mr. Kennedy says around half of the company’s fleet is using the Navman solution, with the majority in commercial and street cleaning vehicles, followed by the inner city wheelie bin waste removal trucks.

Driver acceptance of the Fleet Manager tracking system mirrors that of many other organizations; initial hesitation followed by a realization that there are some positive benefits. Andrew Kennedy says some people ‘got a bit hot under the collar initially, “but that when the truck went missing recently, the driver was one of the first to point out that the GPS data would show its whereabouts.

Jamie Macdonald, vice president of Navman’s Wireless Data Group, says the response is a fairly typical one from both sides of the employment fence.

“We understand there is often resistance from drivers, but in general the philosophy is that if you’ve got nothing to hide, then there will be no problems. What Fleet Manager does show, in real time, is every activity by each vehicle, from engine start up to route and stopping points. Drivers generally accept that this helps, rather than monitors them, by showing that they have actually completed a run, or made a stop at a certain place as scheduled.”

Mr. Macdonald says the safety implications are becoming more valuable to drivers (particularly those in remote or at risk locations with expensive vehicles) as well as to companies who can manage their assets more thoroughly – all for around $4 a day per vehicle.

Customers also benefit, according to MetroWaste, who are using Fleet Manager to provide better value and service to long term customers

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