Climb Every Mountain

It’s not just the big fleets that can make great gains using telematics. Alpine Travel in North Wales has been using GreenRoad since 2011 to cut risk and save fuel. An impressive 15% of its drivers achieved Fleet Elite status earlier this year, well above the average fleet with 5%. Jason Beattie of Alpine Travel explains the secrets of their success.

Here are the results Alpine Travel drove home:

“Although the savings are difficult to quantify precisely, as the number and type of miles we operate varies from year to year, we’ve certainly seen a reduction in accidents, and in own-fault accident damage in particular,” says Beattie. “Our fuel consumption has fallen too along with vehicle wear and tear.”

How did the drivers react to GreenRoad? “Generally they were positive, although some were initially skeptical,” he replies. “However their skepticism was soon overcome. 14 of our drivers have achieved GreenRoad Fleet Elite status for last year,” he continues. “That equates to around 15% of our driving workforce – we employ some 90 drivers, most of whom work part-time – which must put us somewhere near the top of the Fleet Elite tree so far as UK bus and coach operators are concerned.”

When subject to closer analysis, the 2012 performance of some if not all of those 14 drivers was quite astonishing.”

“Two drivers got down to a safety score of just one, one scored two, five scored three, two scored four and four scored five,” Beattie reports.

Such dedication to high driving standards has to be rewarded and Alpine ensures that it is. “We have a bonus scheme that allows drivers to earn up to £110 extra every month, and half of that potential bonus is related to their GreenRoad performance,” he explains.

Alpine runs an in-house training school that, along with GreenRoad, helps ensure that the high standards set by its driving workforce are maintained. It has now virtually completed a program to train all its drivers so that they meet the requirements of the Certificate of Professional Competence: the CPC will become a mandatory qualification for all bus and coach drivers from September 2013 onwards.

“Training is a priority for us and when we’re looking for new drivers what we often do is look for enthusiastic people with a non-driving work history who have the right approach to their job and then train them so that they can get behind the wheel,” Beattie says. It is in many respects easier to train somebody to drive a bus or a coach with skill and care, he contends, than it is to teach them to have a positive attitude to the work they do and to be customer- friendly.