January 11, 2018


Written by Devon Tamagi


A Few Bad Apples - Outliers of Fleet Performance
When analyzing your fleet activities, how many issues arise from a systemic problem in operations and how many are a result of a few bad apples. Plug N Track GPS is a robust fleet tracking solution that can assess your drivers, and improve performance. 



In the fleet tracking industry, we talk a lot about averages, whether it’s tracking idling or metrics like average max speed or excessive acceleration/deceleration. Averages (specifically the mean) typically provide an accurate representation of a fleet's performance in a multitude of categories. And often, any improvement even if it’s incremental, represents significant savings in operating costs. For example in our Slow and Steady Wins The Race article, we describe how much fuel fleet managers could save with just a slight reduction in average speed.



Sometimes averages are heavily influenced by outliers and won't accurately represent the performance of the entire fleet, especially true if your fleet operation is relatively small. After diving into the intelligence reports and data provided by Plug N Track GPS, many of our customers have noticed an interesting trend regarding the behavior of their drivers around the aggressive driving behaviors of excessive acceleration and deceleration. 65% of these excessive driving events are committed by the top 25% worst offenders. This is important because excessive acceleration/deceleration events significantly increase maintenance costs through premature wear-and-tear, reduce the lifespan of the vehicle and increase fuel costs by as much as 40% for the same distances traveled by more level footed drivers.


Before we dive into this revelation and what it means, we should define these excessive driving events. An excessive acceleration or deceleration driving event is triggered when a vehicle alters its travel speed by 14.5 km/h per second or more. Disregarding emergency situations where this type of action is necessary, this practice is not only wasteful but detrimental to your bottom-line.



We know the feeling all too well, you look at your fleet analytics reports, and the data looks good! Average idle times, aggressive driving or speeding events are all within acceptable ranges. Then you drill down for a closer look and see that several of your drivers are performing much more poorly than the rest. Although this revelation may garner a (justified) unenthusiastic reaction, it's actually a positive. A fleet where performance is uniform, yet not optimized, is indicative of a systemic problem which is more difficult to correct. In comparison, however, issues with outliers are easier to manage. Remedial training and incentivizing can be implemented more easily to improve the wasteful habits of a few individuals than addressing the entire fleet.


For example. Taking into account average fuel prices and average fuel efficiency, if you run a fleet of 170 pick-up trucks that each travel 45,000 kilometers a year. A reduction of 10% in excessive driving events would lead to savings of ~$110,000. And if that 10% reduction is earned by addressing the bad apples, rather than the entire operation, the process of optimizing fleet performance around this metric is simplified considerably.


Plug N Track GPS welcomes the opportunity to help you optimize your processes so you can begin saving and improving your bottom line!