Over the last few years, organizations operating within multiple industries have been utilizing GPS monitoring systems, for a variety of purposes, that ultimately have helped their business function.
It is important to note, GPS monitoring systems, in all intensive purposes, are not just installed and utilized to act as a "big brother" eye in the sky for those operating the commercial vehicles they're connected to. While there may be specific circumstances where this is appropriate, most organizations implement GPS monitoring systems for operational improvement.
In today's article, we will take a look at how an organization can utilize GPS monitoring systems for effective compliance management.
Compliance management can typically be described as the ongoing process of monitoring and assessing systems to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements, and company policies. When you consider what components of your organization's policies can be monitored with the use of GPS monitoring systems, there are a couple that will be reviewed in today's article, as we write from the perspective of a carrier, and professional driver.
First, when an organization installs GPS monitoring systems into their commercial vehicles, the devices will be tracked, which can then be viewed on a computer or tablet accordingly. Prior to a fleet integrating GPS tracking, and electronic logging devices, there was always the opportunity of a commercial vehicle being relocated by a professional driver, without anyone really knowing anything about it.
Why this caused issues, is when we think about the hours of service requirements drivers and carriers are required to comply with. Depending on the operating status your organization registered for (Alberta Carriers specifically), a carrier and their professional drivers are required to comply with some, or all, of the provincial or federal hours of service regulations.
In accordance with section 87(1) SOR/2005-313 Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, federal carriers are required to monitor the compliance of each driver with the regulations.
If one of their drivers is moving their commercial vehicle when their legal hours ran out for that specific day or work shift and is completing an on-duty task such as relocating equipment for a customer, then the driver would be in violation.
With the use of GPS tracking, a carrier can identify that the commercial vehicle was moving, and determine that their driver was working, on the customer's location when they were required to in fact be in an off-duty sleeper berth resting.
Professional drivers can appreciate the benefit of GPS monitoring, as most GPS tracking systems have the capability of tracking the speed of a commercial vehicle, when they are stopped, or moving down the roadways.
A common complaint that can occur in our industry, is when a third party individual calls the carrier, or sometimes law enforcement, and makes a complaint that a professional driver was exceeding the posted speed limit and that disciplinary action must be taken, immediately.
Well, prior to GPS tracking being integrated into a fleet of commercial vehicles, a common response from the carrier would be "thank you person making the complaint, I have no choice but to consider what you are saying as the truth, and I will make sure to deal with my driver accordingly." Or, if a law enforcement officer received this complaint and issued a ticket to the driver, a driver could be totally innocent but have no way of defending themselves in the court's dispute process.
Now, with GPS tracking installed in all of a carrier's fleet, when a complaint from a third party individual comes in, the carrier has the capability of asking the question "can you please let me know exactly where this speed event occurred?" After receiving some specifics, the carrier can simply log into their GPS monitoring system on their computer, and check the speed of their professional driver on that route.
With the third party on the phone, the carrier asks for confirmation "the speed event where our professional driver was driving 150 KM on Highway 2 between Calgary, Alberta, and Airdrie, Alberta occurred at 11:00 AM earlier today, correct?" the carrier asks. "Yes, that is right" the third party confirms. Well, as the carrier looks at the GPS route tracking, they identify that their professional driver was traveling at 108 KM in a 110 KM zone, which is actually 2 KM under the speed limit.
As the carrier smiles, they can then advise the third party caller that they must have called the wrong carrier, because their professional driver was in fact driving as a professional, and maintaining a safe speed under the posted speed limit. "Have a nice day, and stay safe out there."
The same events could occur if a ticket was in fact issued, as a carrier can now help defend their professional driver by providing the GPS route tracking records as an exhibit in their court defense, which will likely have the ticket tossed out in court.
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Thank you again Dan for joining me on the Truck Focus Podcast today, I really appreciate your time!
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