In this chapter:
Today information is a means of competitiveness in the transportation and construction business. Keeping track of a fleet is necessary to maintain a clear overview of the operations, and exact information makes it easier for everybody involved in the transport chain to make the right decisions. Software and telematics are also used to monitor fuel consumption and find ways to reduce it.
Dynafleet and Trip Manager
Transport information systems, like Dynafleet, Volvo Link and Volvo Trip manager, give the customer better control of the fleet in order to improve utilization, and consequently lower operating expenses, through fuel control and optimized administration. The systems help the fleet manager to connect to the fleet and keep track of deliveries, vehicles and drivers.
Dynafleet was introduced in 1994 and is an umbrella of a number of services that enable reduced fuel consumption, by means of truck optimization, fuel saving maintenance, upgrades, transport information systems and driver training.
Trip Manager is a fleet management software for downloading, tracking and reporting of vehicle performance. Trip Manager allows fleets or other trucking companies to monitor and manage key vehicle data such as fuel consumption, idle time, top gear usage, cruise control usage, vehicle overspeed and engine overspeed.
Optifuel Infomax and Nav’Truck
In 1997 Renault Trucks was the first truck manufacturer to offer software for measuring and analyzing fuel consumption. In 2012 Optifuel Infomax, Renault truck’s software for measuring and analyzing fuel consumption, added new functionalities to help its users even further. It offers the option of defining individual targets, comparing results and carrying out analyses over a specific period of time. The software helps all users improve - whether they are instructors, fleet managers or drivers.
Thanks to the accuracy of the data it provides, Optifuel Infomax can explain differences in fuel consumption between two identical trucks driven by two different drivers. It can also reveal key elements which increase consumption. Once these have been identified, drivers can change their driving style to consume less fuel. If the drivers are working for a fleet, they can also talk about the data with their managers, who will be able to take into account the route followed and the difficulties it entailed.
Nav’Truck, the first GPS application for smartphones dedicated to heavy-duty vehicles, was launched in 2011 by Renault Trucks. Its 2.0 version keeps drivers constantly updated with advice on economic driving and information on the road profile ahead as well as offering the option of adjusting the truck’s maximum speed. All of this is designed to guide the driver and reduce journey times, while at the same time providing real-time assistance in reducing fuel consumption.
CareTrack is a telematics system used to manage the productivity and work availability of heavy machines. The operation and utilization of the machine can be optimized by monitoring fuel consumption, location, hours, speed and upcoming service intervals by using GPRS (cellular) or satellite technology to transmit information that is secure and instantly available wherever there is an online connection.
Vehicle Management and Fleet Management
In 2011 Volvo Buses launched new solutions for reducing fuel consumption based on telematics. The new technology makes it easier to monitor fuel consumption and track when the vehicle needs service. The Volvo Bus Telematics together with a course in efficient driving can deliver fuel savings of about 10 percent.