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We found a digital solution to reduce our drivers’ fuel wastage

Lukasz Czech, First Mile’s director of operations.
Lukasz Czech used vehicle tracking software to incentivise behaviour

The problem

For sustainable recycling business First Mile, it was crucial to be as fuel efficient as possible. The company’s vehicles weigh up to 40 tonnes, so idling wastes a lot of fuel. Their 120 drivers would often arrive at a destination and leave the vehicle’s engine running while they loaded it with waste, reducing fuel efficiency and increasing costs for the business.

The solution

First Mile experimented with software that would identify when a vehicle was idling. However, after a short test run, they realised it couldn’t differentiate between idling and work that required the vehicle to be stationary – things like using a hydraulic lift.

Rather than giving up on a digital solution, First Mile tried another software option, Verizon Connect. It catered specifically for fleet management and was able to accurately monitor near-real-time vehicle use, highlighting issues like speeding or excessive braking. 

The software created idling scores and sent them to managers and drivers as phone alerts; training would follow to support those wasting the most fuel. First Mile introduced gamified elements too, rewarding drivers whose individual results came out on top, to incentivise safe and fuel-saving behaviour. 

The results

Since implementing the software, First Mile’s vehicle idling rates have dropped by 70 per cent and drivers’ average speed has dropped by 7-8 mph. The software also gave the firm the ability to automate reporting of driver journeys, reducing administration time from 2.5 hours to 2 minutes.

“When you have a lot of employees out in the field, it’s important to have visibility on what’s really going on,” explained Lukasz Czech, First Mile’s director of operations. “With digital tools, you can keep things running smoothly, save on costs and make the business more agile – something that’s crucial to staying competitive.”

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