There has been a lot of talk about tracking HGVs and lorries in recent months. As the Brexit debate continues the possibility of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains a key issue. The Freight Trade Association take the view that installing tracking devices on lorries is pointless. Whilst it may not solve the Brexit challenges, in some areas lorry and HGV tracking provides an easy solution to winter woes.
Discussions between the former Brexit Secretary David Davis and the Freight Trade Association suggest that HGV tracking is unlikely to solve the problem. The nature of freight transport is such that whilst it allows you to track a vehicle from its point of origin, it doesn’t tell you if it’s still carrying the same load when it reaches its final destination.
Combine the logistical challenges with requirements for proper checks on food and agricultural products and the scale of the challenge is clear.
Whilst lorry tracking might not represent a solution to the Brexit problem in Northern Ireland, it can be a real advantage in adverse weather conditions. There are already lots of benefits to fleet operators who install lorry and HGV tracking devices. However, Essex County Council have taken things a step further.
Their fleet of gritting lorries were fitted with GPS tracking devices back in 2012. It allows them to keep track of where their gritting lorries are so they can deal with any issues that arise. They’ve also made the information available to the public via their website. Commuters can check which roads have been gritted and plan their journeys accordingly.
Using a publicly available tracking systems for gritting lorries has become more popular since Essex County Council’s innovation. Transport Scotland found themselves with a social media sensation on their hands during February 2018 after they ran a competition asking primary school children to come up with names for the lorries.
The fleet now includes HGVs called Luke Snowalker, Sir Salter Scott and Gritty Gritty Bang Bang. Sir Andy Flurry looks after the roads around Dunblane, its’ namesake’s home town.
All joking aside, when severe weather strikes safety is a key concern. When the ‘Beast from the East’ struck earlier this year drivers on the M8 were left stranded for hours at a time. Looking after your drivers and helping them to get home safely should be a key priority. Ensuring that drivers and vehicles are properly equipped for adverse weather should be your first line of defence.
It can also help to know exactly where your drivers and vehicles are at any one time. Lorry and HGV tracking allows you to pinpoint their location and potentially guide them towards a safer area. At the very least you can assess their progress and offer assistance where possible.
If you’d like to know more about how HGV and lorry tracking can help your business in adverse weather conditions, get in touch.