If you have been in trucking for a while, you have seen many changes to safety technology through the years. These safety products promise to make your operation safer, with fewer accidents and downtime. So, why aren't all carriers investing in the latest in fleet safety technology? As you might expect, the answer to this question differs by motor carrier.
If it were an easy decision, every carrier would be purchasing all the advanced fleet safety products on the market today. But every operation is unique, with its own combination of safety problems, driver concerns, maintenance challenges, equipment upgrades, and CSA scores to address, while also keeping the bottom line in mind. With the trucking industry operating on historically thin margins, any expenditure on upgraded or new technology will likely have to consider its return on investment (ROI)—whether it will make the company safer and more competitive or just add cost. Other issues include the time to install new systems, employee training, and the expected shelf life due to advancing technology.
These technologies are expected to have longer staying power in the industry than others:
This article will review Collision Mitigation Systems (CMS), which have come a long way since their early introduction.
“It’s getting to be more and more the norm that fleets are adopting collision mitigation systems, said Art Trahan, Ryder’s Senior Manager assigned to national accounts. “I don’t think we’ve pushed over the 50% mark because, like everything else, there’s a cost involved.”
While collision mitigation systems often share common features such as an integrated camera, radar, and braking systems, they may utilize different operation methods, including:
Regardless of the system you choose, safety technology can help your company’s bottom line. It can help drivers avoid crashes or reduce severity. It can also provide driver coaching and instill good habits among drivers. With fewer accidents, a fleet will achieve lower accident-related costs and less downtime of equipment and drivers, helping to improve driver morale and often increasing fuel savings.