NAFA’s website offers interactive “communities” of fellow professionals for inquiries, answers, insights and best practices
By Mark Boada, Executive Editor
Every fleet manager needs to take a look at one of the latest NAFA Fleet Management Association online communications initiatives: pages devoted to members sharing challenges, solutions and insights with each other, along with libraries of presentations, segment-specific training, and other documents about cutting-edge best practices.
NAFA rolled out its Communities website initiative at its 2019 Institute & Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, and they appear to be off to a good start. There are 14 different communities, six of which are devoted to different kinds of government fleets, six devoted to a variety of corporate fleets, and one for industry suppliers, called “Associate Members.”
For example, the array of communitiesfor publicc fleets is impressive. There’s one for professionals in each of the following industry segments:
- Educational institutions;
- Municipal and local fleets;
- US federal fleets;
- US state and Canadian provincial fleets;
- Law enforcement;
- Fire safety, and
- Ambulance fleets.
As of this writing, a grand total of 904 fleet professionals have signed up for these six communities, where there are 42 on-going discussions and 23 documents posted in the libraries.
To access these pages, you have to be a member of NAFA and login at NAFA.org. On the site’s home page, click on the green “COMMUNITIES” box right under the images on the home page. Once you’re in, the “Communities” drop-down menu will guide you to your areas of interest. Once you’re in, click on the toolbar near the top of the page, “Communities.” A two-line drop-down menu appears offering you the choice of a page showing you just the communities you’ve joined or all of them. From there, you’ll have your choice of joining a discussion or selecting something from the library.
Here’s a sample of the kind of discussion you can find in the public fleet communities. This exchange about telematics is from a discussion between two participants in the Educational and University community:
I am curious to know how many universities are using telematics in your fleets and what information are you primarily trying to obtain (i.e. vehicle locations, maintenance, driver behavior, etc.)?
That is a good question. We have been “testing” GPS systems for about 10 years. I have about 40 vehicles in my fleet with GPS. There are several reasons we use GPS. One is to monitor idling. Another is to monitor driver location. We have several groups on campus that deliver things like our mail service and our warehouse people. The managers use the GPS to see where the drivers are on their routes. We also have a couple of groups that provide some type of shuttle service. Some of that is on demand, so the customer calls for a ride and some is route based.
For the cost, I have not been convinced that this is something that I should roll out to the entire fleet.
One thing I am looking at is a GPS system that has front and rear facing camera. The rear facing camera would have A I [artificial intelligence] in order to identify the driver. We would use that info to build a score card for the driver. Our issue is that we have multiple drivers per vehicle so we need a way to identify the driver without having to use a fob or punch in a code. We’d also have real time notification of hard braking and other safety events with camera footage to use in teaching.
Those are my thoughts, reach out if you have any questions.
And this is a discussion titled “Fleet Safety Point System” between two professionals in the Government: Municipal/Local community:
I am creating a Fleet Safety Point Program for a Fleet of 500 light duty trucks and am searching for feedback from FMs that have had experience creating or managing a point safety program. A few of the questions I have are below:
1. Do points accumulate in rolling calendar period? (i.e. 12 month rolling period starts at first incident)
2. If so, what period are you using?
3. What point system are you using? (i.e. 2 points-verbal warning, 4 points-written warning, 6 points-final warning, 8 points-termination)
4. Are moving violations included? If so, what point value is assigned.
5. Are at fault accidents involved? If so, what point value is assigned.
6. Do you utilize a telematics solution for your Fleet?
I appreciate any feedback provided on this as I know the amount of experience on from NAFA members can help create an efficient program to increase safety awareness.
We have an accident policy which is in review so will likely be different in a few months. In answer to the specific questions:
1. Our point system is indefinite. All accidents assessed are cumulative but they are offset by safe driving points earned for each calendar year without a preventable accident.
2. See above.
3. See below [The writer posted an 11-line table of point values and corresponding disciplinary actions too large to insert here – Editor.] Preventable fatalities are grounds for termination.
4. No, only preventable accidents
5. Yes, points are assessed for defensive driving failures, degree of injuries and property damage. I can send the whole policy to anyone interested (having trouble attaching it here).
6. Our buses have CAD/AVL and a surveillance system which provides most of the same information as telematics. It is used post-accident to help determine preventability and for retraining. We do not use it to monitor driver behaviors at this time. We do not have telematics in our support vehicles at this time.
NAFA’s online communities are only a little more than a month old, but from the looks of the content posted so far, they’re sure to grow and become a valued way for fleet managers to network and get smarter. If you’re not a NAFA member, considering joining the organization and then signing up for the community of your choice. You’ll be happy you did.