Still from a video showing Knight Transportation's installation of SmartDrive video systems in its trucks.

Looking to add video to your trucks? 4 tips to help you choose

Sept. 22, 2016
Fleets have lots of choices when it comes to adding a video system, and plenty of reasons to want to spring for the technology. Here's four tips from SmartDrive as you review options and decide on a video product.

Fleets have lots of choices when it comes to adding a video system, and plenty of reasons to want to spring for the technology. Helping defend their companies and drivers in case of collisions is a big one, and so is monitoring drivers to coach them for the best, most efficient operation of their trucks.

It's not as simple as 1-2-3. Depending on fleet size, video can quickly generate footage to review, which can become onerous for the fleet's safety team or management in charge of it. And whether or not you opt for driver-facing video as part of your system, drivers may sometimes feel uneasy or less than enthusiastic with the transition to video.

There are things fleets can do to make for a better transition and to get the most out of a video system. Truck video solutions provider SmartDrive Systems has these tips for fleets as they review their options and decide on a video product:

1. The right video management services

can help get results and driver buy-in.

It takes more than just installing video cameras on trucks to prevent collisions, lower collision costs and improve fleet and driver safety, according to SmartDrive — and sifting through multiple video clips can be time-consuming for fleet managers and the fleet office. Video safety programs with a managed service can save fleets time and help gain drivers' trust.

Consider a system that can incorporate video review service and prioritization of risky drivers for coaching. That can allow the fleet to focus on what's important and ensure it's providing the right coaching for drivers. Also, using a standardized, independent review process takes a step back from fleet management — and that can help gain drivers' confidence by avoiding any perception of being biased.

2. Introduce video to drivers early in the process

and communicate why you're doing it.

Don't surprise drivers with the decision to deploy a video safety program. Avoid pushback or noncompliance by clearly explaining the purpose and benefits of the program, as well as any challenges the fleet has been experiencing that caused management to consider and choose to invest in the program.

The more transparent and up-front management is with drivers, the more accepting drivers will be of a video program and the faster they'll become advocates for it among other drivers. Drivers tend to get on board with video when they experience the protection it gives them and the fair, balanced view it provides of what happens out on the road.

3. Leverage video-based safety programs

to reward drivers as well.

Video-based safety programs don't only show drivers exactly what they're doing wrong — video shows just as well what they're doing right.

Implementing a rewards system, even as simple as recognizing your drivers with top safety scores each month, reinforces to drivers that the technology is there for their benefit. A fleet can also recognize drivers who improve their safety scores. Backed by a fair and consistent process and actionable KPIs, a video system can be the foundation for a rewards program everyone's on board with, according to SmartDrive.

4. Video is good; video plus analytics

can be a game-changer.

Choosing a video program with data analytics at its core of its technology gives a fleet the opportunity to expand on the value of its investment.

Why? Because beyond footage from a video camera, analytics can factor in driver performance, vehicle performance and driving environment, giving fleets deeper insight that can improve safety, fuel efficiency and overall operational performance.

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