Trimble Driver Safety improves driver habits, impacts bottom line at Eaton

February 3, 2015

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Utilizing Trimble Fleet Management and its integrated Driver Safety tool, Eaton not only ensures that drivers get to the right place at the right time, but also that they do it safely and efficiently. The result has been an end to unauthorized vehicle usage which reduced fuel costs by 10 percent, a 30 percent reduction in driver speeding, reduced vehicle wear and tear and improved driver safety overall.

The Company

Eaton Sales & Service is an industry leader in servicing state-of-the-art petroleum equipment. From its nine Rocky Mountain locations, Eaton maintains an extensive client roster of major oil companies, big box retailers, grocery store chains and independent retail fueling facilities in five states – Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

Originally a petroleum equipment provider, Eaton switched in the 1950s to steel manufacturing to pursue better economic opportunities. As the steel industry slowed in the 1980s, Eaton returned to petroleum equipment and expanded the business through acquisitions and organic growth. The company focused on delivering turnkey petroleum equipment to customers, but in the mid-1990s, the emphasis shifted to service. Fueling facilities started using products from multiple vendors, requiring a common interface so that they could work together. Eaton delivers and maintains the interface, which is essential to keeping its customers’ operations running properly.

The Challenge: Improve driver behaviors that lead to accidents, higher insurance and increased fuel costs

With a fleet traveling hundreds of miles daily across five states, Eaton relies on Fleet Management for routing, tracking and ensuring drivers get to the right place at the right time.  AFleet Management user for more than a decade, Eaton originally installed Trimble Fleet Management to track vehicles.  More recently, however, the company decided to address driver behaviors that, left unchecked, might lead to accidents, higher insurance and fuel costs, and premature vehicle wear and tear by expanding its use of Fleet Management to include their integrated Trimble Driver Safety tool to monitor hazardous driving.

 “What was important…was that we knew where the vehicles were at all times,” Bruno Busnardo, Eaton’s general manager, said. “Our drivers are allowed to take their vans home at night. We gained efficiency by not having them come into the office and go directly to the job site, but we found by using Fleet Management that there was unauthorized use by the drivers.”Eaton stopped unauthorized vehicle use, which lead to an immediate 10 percent reduction in fuel costs.

 “The drivers’ reaction was mixed, which is what we expected, but those drivers abiding by company rules had no objection,” Busnardo said.

Fleet Management’s ability to provide timecard verification has also improved operations.

 “I look at the reports every day and know what the drivers are doing,” Busnardo said, noting that this helps to keep drivers honest while also protecting the company in customer disputes. “We’ve had customers say our technicians weren’t on site as long as they reported and we’ve run a report to show that they were there for the hours billed.”

Driver safety is a priority for any field service operation and Eaton is no different in this regard. The company had taken advantage of accelerometers built into Fleet Management to monitor harsh braking, hard turns and sudden acceleration.

“We set alerts at 75MPH and we got exception reports when drivers exceeded this speed. We reduced fuel usage even more because there was no more hard acceleration,” Busnardo said. But Eaton wanted more granular data on exactly who was speeding and when – the type of information available from Driver Safety.

“We get a case-by-case report every week that we post in each office so all the drivers can view it. If drivers are having issues, the manager talks to them,” he said. If problems persist after that, Eaton installs a device in their vehicles that beeps every time the driver exceeds a certain speed or accelerates too quickly.

 “It’s like live training,” Busnardo said. “Drivers learn the parameters of safe driving and can make immediate adjustments to their driving behavior.”

The Results: Reduced fuel costs, less vehicle wear and tear and improved driver safety

Thanks to Driver Safety, Eaton has reduced speeding by at least 30 percent while raising awareness of the importance of safe driving habits with its drivers. Beyond safety, improved driver habits have reduced fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear caused by overly aggressive driving, according to Busnardo.

“Our vehicles are a huge asset and, with Fleet Management, we have peace of mind knowing where they are at all times,” he said. “On top of that, because we are now using Driver Safety, our drivers are adhering to the safest practices possible. When you take all this into consideration, Trimble Fleet Management and Driver Safety has brought us tremendous value.”


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