Driver Targets: Why and how should you set them?

Ultimately, fleet companies buy driver behaviour and CANbus data to make savings throughout their business. As there’s a cost to CANbus data in the first place, they’re trying to get the best out of their drivers and get a return on their investment. Lets find out more about driver targets and why and how should you set them in the article below.

Run an initial benchmarking exercise

We recommend doing a benchmarking operation to start with, so you’ve got a solid foundation you can build on to set achievable driver targets.

  1. Record the data across the fleet for about 6 to 8 weeks at the most.
  2. Review the data.
  3. Set a baseline which shows how drivers are behaving.
  4. Set some realistic targets from that data.

The idea, initially, is to set that baseline where almost everybody’s already achieving it, so people can see how realistic it is.

Set driver targets based on benchmarking

Once the benchmark is set, it’s all about getting engagement with the drivers and make sure everybody is on board.
The driver targets we recommend to report and score drivers against are:

  • Over-Revving: where the engine rev counter exceeds the top of the Green Band, in excess of 150 RPM and there is unnecessary fuel being pushed through the engine
  • Harsh Braking: where the vehicle has exceeded a rate of deceleration based on time and distance
  • Coasting: the measurement of time spent in gear without any pressure being applied to either the throttle or brake pedals
  • Over-Idling: an indication of the time that a vehicle has been stationary with the engine running for a period longer than 3 minutes

We would then introduce something called a Toolbox Talk, where there would be a presentation to all drivers around the settings, the parameters, and what the telematics system can do. We would show them:

  • Exactly what the office staff can see, so there are no secrets
  • What they’re being measured against and how it’s being measured
  • What the targets are
  • How the debrief is going to take place and how frequently

By the end of it, everybody should have a better understanding of how these systems work and won’t feel as if they’re just kept in the dark. Still, it’s worth noting when you roll out driver targets, you’re going to get some backlash. You know, “Spy in the cab” and everything else that goes along with that. However, what you will be able to go back with is actually an honest and open conversation around what will be done to get everybody the desired level, which is going to take some time. You can also give an indication of how you’ll look at moving the goalpost in the future, so people have an idea of what’s likely going to happen and what to work towards.

Consider introducing rewards & incentives

Some companies have decided to introduce rewards for achieving the desired targets, such as financial bonuses, gifts, vouchers or new licensing opportunities, by introducing a ‘gamification’ element in the form of driver league tables. Even if you decide not to, doing things in achievable steps will make sure people stay motivated instead of giving up and getting fed up with the whole thing.

Get office staff buy-in

As we’ve said many times before, though, it’s not just about the drivers. You need the buy-in from the office staff as well, so that the drivers get spoken to in a positive manner. Even if they are not quite achieving the targets you’ve requested from them, you still need to lead with positivity and show them how to improve and get the best out of the system.

It’s all about gradual steps to get to a bigger target further down the road. It’s about what you can do in 12 months’ time, not about what you can do in just a few weeks.

To find out how you can set driver targets and improve driver performance get in touch today!