Eco training to extend the technological advantage

21st Century’s EcoManager driver monitoring system is a sophisticated mix of technology and training.  While the in-cab display encourages drivers to moderate their driving style so that they save fuel, have fewer accidents and improve passenger comfort, the savings are sustainable because of on-going feedback and training.

Jon Jackson is 21st Century’s ‘EcoTrainer’. Jon holds a PSV licence himself and has trained professional drivers for many years. He works closely with each driver who has EcoManager fitted in their cab but his involvement begins well before the system is installed. Jon explains: “We start by working with the customer to establish what their goals are and how we can achieve them. At this stage we will often establish an incentive scheme to encourage drivers to embrace the new system and appeal to their competitive nature. We then train the managers on how to use the extensive reports that EcoManager generates which measure the results and identify areas that need attention.”

The drivers themselves are also consulted and given demonstrations before the system is launched to show them how it works and how it will benefit them in their jobs. Classroom training is backed up by mentoring schemes. One-to-one training in vehicles is also provided for drivers who are identified via the reports as needing guidance in a specific area.

Often drivers’ perceptions of how EcoManager will affect them are changed very quickly, as Jon explains: “Drivers often think that Eco driving will take them longer to complete their routes, but usually it is the opposite. I have also had drivers tell me that as a result of using EcoManager at work they have changed the way they drive their own vehicles and are saving money on fuel themselves.”

The interactive driver performance web reports can be used to generate league tables. Typically, Jon focuses on the 25% of drivers in the lowest performance quartile. Jon’s experience shows that this is highly effective: “We usually find that once they are given constructive feedback and guidance on how to improve their driving style, drivers quickly move up the league table and we then focus on the new lowest quartile. We then repeat this process so that fuel savings and safety improvements are seen across the fleet. Through this on-going monitoring and feedback fuel efficiency, safety and passenger comfort are maintained at the highest level.”