Caerphilly-based DS Smith Recycling, the paper and cardboard recycler and provider of a full range of waste management and recycling services, has turned to MiX Telematics in order to further improve the efficiency of its fleet.
While DS Smith was already operating to a high standard due to its existing driver and vehicle monitoring programme, its relationship with MiX Telematics has resulted in significant additional benefits achieved. These have been gained partly through the introduction of MiX Telematics' RIBAS system (see Editor's note) and partly as a result of the dedicated MiX Telematics consultancy service being supplied to DS Smith.
The collaboration between the two organisations has so far resulted in a 39 percent reduction in harsh acceleration events, a 57 percent reduction in harsh braking events and a further overall fuel performance improvement of 1.6 percent, building on the excellent fuel returns already enjoyed by DS Smith as a result of its own in-house monitoring.
A total of 109 heavy trucks equipped with MiX Telematics' Fleet Manager solution are now operating out of DS Smith's nine depots. A driver scoring system based on RIBAS parameters has been developed by MiX Telematics. Each week, drivers begin with a score of 100% which reduces if RIBAS parameters are exceeded. The amount by which the score reduces is weighted according to the severity of the event, and the system has been calibrated so that a benchmark score of 95% or above represents 'green band' driving. Depot league tables have been introduced to encourage healthy in-house competition between drivers, and to date five depots have moved into the green zone.
"Since the project began we have achieved a significant increase in the amount of our depots reaching our 95% target score," says Paul Wilson, Fleet and Service Provider Manager for DS Smith Recycling. "The uplift in performance since then has contributed to our 1.6 percent fuel saving, while the reductions in harsh acceleration and harsh braking event we have witnessed are undoubtedly contributing to better road safety and reduced road risk."
As part of its consultancy service, MiX Telematics created a bespoke workshop programme to engage DS Smith's drivers. In addition to RIBAS training, this included safe and fuel efficient driving techniques, how to interpret the driver scoring reports and use of the My MiX, which enables drivers to log into their scores at any time.
"The driver workshops conducted by our MiX Telematics consultant have been instrumental in bringing our drivers aboard the programme," adds Paul Wilson. "The feedback has been positive all round and we see this, together with other elements of the consultancy, such as working with our team to identify and capitalise upon opportunities for improvement, as instrumental in helping us achieve the additional benefits we are seeing today."
RIBAS is a dashboard-mounted display unit featuring an array of Green/Amber/Red status lights. The coloured lights reflect the current driving-style by telling the driver when he or she is driving correctly, when a pre-programmed operational parameter (see below) is in danger of being exceeded and when a parameter has been exceeded. In this way, RIBAS works pro-actively to help drivers stay within their vehicle's pre-programmed safety and efficiency parameters at all times.
The green status light, which takes the form of a MiX Telematics logo at the foot of the display unit, indicates that a vehicle is being driven correctly. In such circumstances, this is the only light illuminated on the display.
The amber and red status lights are incorporated into the icons appearing alongside the RIBAS letters, each of which stands for a pre-programmed operational parameter where:
R = over Revving
I = excessive Idling
B = harsh Braking
A = harsh Acceleration
S = over Speeding
Whenever a parameter comes close to being exceeded, the amber light illuminates, alerting the driver to a potential problem and thereby allowing corrective action to be taken. The amber light is intended purely as a warning sign; no record of an infringement is made against the driver by MiX Fleet Manager at this time. However, should the amber warning be ignored and the parameter exceeded, the infringement is recorded by MiX Fleet Manager and the red light illuminates.