Drowning in data? Overwhelmed by choice? Unsure what’s best for your fleet? You’re not alone. With so much fleet management and telematics technology on offer, it can be almost impossible to know what’s a good investment for your fleet, especially when there are so many factors to consider – from each solution’s functionality, cost, and contract length to your business’s budget, vehicle setup, and unique requirements.
At Lightfoot, we discuss these talking points with fleet managers every day. Our expert team are on hand to help fleet professionals find the solution to their fleet challenges, address any concerns, and answer the queries that inevitably come up during the search for new technology. To save you having to ask the same questions, we’ve compiled our responses to the 5 most common enquiries below:
“We’re not due to renew for a while – when’s the ideal time to start looking for an alternative telematics provider?”
You might be surprised to learn that the best time to start the process of finding new technology for your fleet is actually a year before your contract with your current provider ends.
The reason for this is that it can take a lot of time to find the right solution for your fleet, as you’ll probably want to trial several options to find the ideal fit for your business. A free trial* of Lightfoot’s in-cab driver coaching technology, for example, can take between 4-8 weeks, depending on the size of your fleet. After this, you’ll likely need to get sign off from stakeholders, arrange the installation and deployment of any new hardware, and deliver driver training, if necessary, so there could be more steps involved in the process than you might think, and it’s always best to plan ahead to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
The other factor to consider is that many telematics providers will automatically renew your contract up to 3 months before it’s due to end, so you’ll want to give them plenty of warning if you are planning to go with another supplier to ensure you don’t end up locked into a new contract.
“We already have an existing telematics solution – why would we need Lightfoot for our fleet?”
This is something we hear often from fleets when they learn about Lightfoot for the first time. We understand that if you already have fleet telematics set up, it may seem as though you’ve got all bases covered.
The great news is that if you’re tied into a contract with an existing provider, Lightfoot can be deployed alongside your current system to help amplify your savings and boost driving performance across the fleet. Your active technology may be bringing you a certain level of success, but our trials have shown that even when used to complement an existing setup, Lightfoot is able to deliver a significant return on investment that more than covers the costs of both technologies.
The difference with Lightfoot is that, unlike traditional telematics solutions, it works to improve driving habits in the moment, with real-time in-cab coaching that empowers your drivers to travel more safely and efficiently. Through a powerful gamification solution in the form of the Lightfoot app, drivers are then rewarded for their efforts with weekly prize draw entries and cash giveaways, ensuring that results are experienced long-term.
By aiding drivers to travel more economically in real time, Lightfoot leads to savings in fuel, carbon emissions, accident rates, and vehicle wear and tear, benefitting both the business and the driver. Some providers can offer a form of driver coaching, but as their telematics devices are not connected to the vehicle’s engine as Lightfoot is, these typically rely solely on accelerometer and GPS data, rather than building up an accurate picture of the driver’s individual driving style by reading live engine data.
Those that don’t offer in-cab coaching will simply provide reams and reams of data which fleet managers must then process themselves in order to deliver further training or disciplinary action to drivers based on their performance, often creating a punitive working culture and providing only short-term changes in behaviour.
With free trials available for all fleets of 50 vehicles or more, it’s well worth investigating whether adding Lightfoot to your telematics mix could be a win-win for your fleet.
“There have never been any incidents in our fleet – how would fleet risk management technology benefit our business?”
Even if your fleet has a perfect safety record, this is unlikely to protect you from the expected rise in insurance premiums. With industry challenges such as a shortage of qualified technicians, a lack of vehicle parts, and the current inflationary pressures driving up premiums, fleets are expected to see a rise in yearly costs of as much as 30%.
The best way to counter this is to put measures in place that prove to your insurer that your fleet is actively managing risk, whether this is through training courses, dashcams – or a solution such as Lightfoot’s in-cab driver coaching device.
Our risk management technology is endorsed by all leading UK insurers and brokers, as our in-cab telematics devices are proven to reduce dangerous driving by 84% and cut at-fault accidents by 40%. Even if your fleet is yet to have an incident, your business will still benefit from safer driving in terms of both protecting your drivers and other road users, and in helping to keep your insurance premiums low.
“We’ve already finalised our budget for the year – why should we consider a solution like Lightfoot in addition?”
We understand that fleet budgets are always a challenge, especially with businesses feeling the pinch more and more in all areas. This is why we offer a free trial to fleets of 50 vehicles or more, as our technology is all about delivering a return on investment, but we appreciate you need to see it to believe it.
Through the trial, we’ll set a selection of your fleet vehicles up with Lightfoot devices and run these in ‘blind’ mode for the first half of the test period. This allows us to collect important data about how your vehicles are driven without Lightfoot’s driver coaching technology, so we can show you accurate, real-world information when it’s time to compare results. The second half of the trial is when we switch the Lightfoot in-cab devices live, so your drivers will begin to receive real-time guidance on how to drive more safely and efficiently.
At the end of the trial, you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision on whether our solution is the right choice for your fleet, as you’ll receive a detailed report outlining the savings made in terms of fuel costs, accident rates, and carbon emissions. The savings in fuel alone are usually enough to cancel out the price of a Lightfoot subscription, making us a cost-neutral investment for your fleet.
“Our focus is on fleet electrification – how will driver coaching technology help our EV fleet?”
With an electric fleet, your focus might no longer be on improving MPG, but the way your vehicles are driven is still incredibly important.
In EVs, driving style can actually play an even more significant role than in petrol or diesel vehicles as the way that each electric vehicle is handled will have a huge impact on how efficient it is, how much range it gets out of every charge, how many charges your drivers need to allow for within the working day, how much servicing the vehicle requires, etc.
We know that there are still several challenges facing businesses who deploy electric vehicles within their fleets, with productivity often taking a serious hit due to issues with vehicle range and charging requirements, so driver coaching has a big part to play in overcoming these potential problems. This will also have cost implications for your business, as with an efficient driving style, your employees will be able to complete more jobs whilst requiring fewer charges for their electric vans or company cars, and vehicle parts – which are significantly more expensive for EVs – will stay in better working order for longer.
These aren’t the only benefits to rolling out technology like Lightfoot’s in-cab telematics devices in your electric fleet – when you onboard EVs, there is still work to be done in reducing your fleet’s carbon footprint. An electric van may be the more sustainable choice, but you can ensure it reaches its most environmentally-friendly potential by reducing the number of charges it requires through more economic driving, as less electricity usage will result in fewer carbon emissions throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.
We hope this insight into the typical questions we’re asked by fleet professionals has answered some of your own queries regarding Lightfoot’s fleet telematics technology and what’s involved with sourcing a new software or hardware solution for your fleet.
If you think your fleet could benefit from trialling Lightfoot’s driver behaviour telematics, you can book your free trial now and experience the results for yourself, and don’t forget that our friendly team are on hand to answer any of your questions about Lightfoot that we’ve not covered here – simply get in touch to learn more.
*For fleets of under 50 vehicles, a small charge may apply.