13 November 2020

How fuel logistics systems streamline the challenge of compliance

For fleet managers of fuel logistics operations, compliance is always front of mind. There is a huge amount of legislation regulating the logistics industry, designed to keep it as safe, efficient and sustainable as possible. Keeping track of this ever-changing array of rules and regulations isn’t easy.

Ensuring a fuel logistics  operation is working within the boundaries of compliance, and storing the data to prove it, can take up an inordinate portion of a fleet manager’s time. Relying on a logistics optimisation solution to simplify things not only enables a streamlining of these various forms of compliance, but provides robust digital back up of compliance in action, readily exportable for auditing purposes.

Instant access to tachograph data

When the logistics world was first introduced to now-invaluable tachograph technology, it was only possible for fleet managers to download vehicle and driver data manually and at certain intervals. If time-consuming tachograph smart card downloads are only carried out weekly, for example, that’s seven days in which fleet managers may be unaware of their drivers’ conduct on the roads. This is no small concern, especially when research from RAC Insurance has shown that more than one in ten workers wouldn’t tell their employees about receiving new penalty points.

Thankfully, today’s digital logistics management systems and associated vehicle integrations enable instant tachograph data transfer via the Cloud. Managers back at base receive essential data on driving time, speed and distance live as it happens, while their drivers are in the field. This not only helps fleet managers ensure their drivers are operating within legal driving hours but, alongside telematics data, also provides an up-to-the-minute picture of real time driving behaviour. Any poor driving habits can be highlighted and addressed immediately, rather than days later when the problem could have worsened.

Driver behaviour data and vehicle checks in one place  

One of the most significant benefits of a digital logistics optimisation solution that consolidates multiple streams of data is just that – everything is in one place and easily comparable. When it comes to compliance, different types of data can be combined to give managers a broader view of where obstacles may be likely to occur. For example, a single solution can record driver behaviour through tachograph and telematics data, and enable drivers to carry out and digitally record mandatory daily vehicle maintenance checks via an app on connected mobile devices.

With data on both operational activities in one system, fleet managers can easily cross-reference and spot any correlating issues with particular drivers who may be under-performing on both counts and causing potential compliance issues.

Digital support for roadside vehicle checks

By law, commercial drivers may be asked to stop by the police or a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officer at any time. Both may carry out on the spot vehicle checks and have the power to dispense a prohibition if a problem is found, or even a fixed penalty if a driver is found to have committed an offence.

As part of the roadside inspection, an officer may check a vehicle’s roadworthiness and mechanical functionality. With a logistics management system in place and an associated vehicle inspection app on a driver’s mobile device, they can instantly produce an on-screen vehicle inspection report, detailing the times, dates and GPS locations of checks carried out, as well as any maintenance issues flagged.

Load type and weight is another area an officer may inspect. This is where another useful management system integration is there to support a driver; with on-board sensors that monitor load status, tank level and remaining stock. The driver can quickly and easily access the live on-board stock level to share with the officer, and even relay details of drops already made, for complete transparency and compliance. Simplify compliance for your fuel logistics operation  

Compliance may never be a simple task for a fuel logistics fleet manager, but it needn’t feel like a never-ending struggle either. Get in touch with us today to find out more about the ways in which Touchstar’s logistics digitisation and management solutions can benefit your business.      

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