Managing any type of commercial or municipal fleet of vehicles can be challenging. This is especially true for waste disposal vehicles, as well as the equipment and personnel who support them. The costs associated with new bids, and maintaining current contracts or services typically involves several key factors. This includes things like:
- Operational safety
- Limiting liability
- Driver accountability
- Operator accountability
- Maintaining insurance compliance
- Maintaining regulatory compliance
- Fuel costs
- Labor costs
- Insurance costs
- Maintaining quality customer service
- Maintaining quality public relations
These are just a few of the costs which can affect the operational costs, budget, and insurance costs of waste disposal or another type of commercial/municipal fleet.
A Dash Cam System Can Help With Safety And Improved Driver Accountability
In recent years an increasing number of fleet managers for commercial and municipal operations have turned to dash cameras, and other video monitoring system to help monitor driver/operator accountability as well as limiting liability. These systems are widely on waste disposal and other municipal fleet vehicles in Europe and parts of Asia. Recently they have started gaining increased traction with fleet managers in the United States and Canada.
Where applicable a dash camera system might also be integrated with an onboard GPS tracking system or used as a standalone monitoring system. Of course, dash cameras and other video monitoring systems are just a means of surveillance, they can also help with retraining drivers and operators who have demonstrated some bad habits. In some situations, a dash camera can even be used to defend a fraudulent safety claim.
Human Resources staff might also use past dash camera footage to help train new employees in company practices. With the help of some additional software, they can even be edited to create a do’s and don’ts training video.
Dash Camera Systems Can Help With Accident Recording And Insurance Claims
An accident or a safety violation can be a major issue for any type of commercial or municipal vehicle. It can be especially troublesome for waste disposal vehicle and equipment that may be handling the potentially dangerous waste.
Video collection and dash cam systems can capture ongoing footage in an incident such as:
- A vehicle to vehicle collision
- A vehicle to pedestrian collision
- Equipment failure
- Failure to maintain safety measures
- Accidental spills, or lost materials
- Driver or operator habits and behavior
- Inefficient operations
In the case of an accident or collision, the recorded footage can then be used to help defend a potentially fraudulent claim or determine when a settlement might be a more cost-effective option. In the case of driver or operator misbehavior, it could be used for retraining purposes or to issue a reprimand. In the case of a spill or lost materials, the footage might also help determine what measures are needed to clean up the problem and remain compliant with all pertinent regulations.
Of all these possible options, accident evidence collection is the most likely place where a video or dash camera system realizes its return on investment. Being able to quickly and efficiently defend just one faulty claim can save a fleet an enormous amount of money in insurance premiums, preventing fines, and eliminating settlement and other legal costs.
In many of these situations, the collected camera footage acts essentially as an eye-witness. Except in the case of a human eye witness, where memory clarity can be an issue, video footage can be replaced over and over again to assess all factors, and ensure that no detail is overlooked.
If an insurance claim needs to be filed, the dash cam footage can also be included in the information you submit to the insurance provider. This might help reduce the increase to premiums, by demonstrating other factors that might have been involved such as:
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Pedestrian behavior
- Traffic conditions
- An improperly marked construction zone
There is a fair amount of speculation pointing to the possibility of US-based insurance companies offering discounts to commercial and municipal fleets and drivers who have dash cam systems in the future. This seems to be a reasonable leap of logic when you consider that many of these US-based insurance companies already provide some level of discount for drivers with their approved GPS system. At the same time, there are insurance companies in the United Kingdom as well as Canada who currently offer discounts to commercial fleets that are outfitted with dash cam integrated with GPS tracking systems.
Dash Cam Systems With GPS Technology Can Improve Security
Most dash cam providers also have access to GPS tracking systems. Some are even sold as a suite of products designed to work together seamlessly as well as integrated with state-of-the-art software. These systems can help waste disposal fleet managers in a variety of ways. Not only can help with route efficiency this type of system can also monitor driver/operator habits, improve routes, ensure safety measures are being followed, and even monitor conditions.
A hardwired GPS tracking system with a dash cam or other video monitoring equipment can also help vehicle security. Many of these systems can be set up to record images and send alerts any time the vehicle is used or moved during off hours. They can be especially handy if your equipment yard is unsecured, or you have had fleet security issues in the past.
Key Features To Look For When Considering A Dash Cam Monitoring System
There are many options to consider in the dash camera marketplace. Some segments are even flooded with manufacturers, to the point where it can be hard to filter out the features that are just right for your fleet of waste disposal vehicles and other types of equipment.
A few of the more beneficial features to look for might include:
- A primary camera with a wide-angle lens
- The ability to capture footage in high definition
- Adjustable resolution, frame rate, and playback
- An optional secondary camera to record operations outside the cab
- An exterior camera that is rated to be weatherproof
- Dual recording features in the case of an event, as well as a continuous recording mode
- Optional recording of audio
- A tamper-proof case for the SD card
- An adjustable G-shock sensor
- LTE transmission that can be connected through an existing cellular service
- WiFi, Bluetooth, and LTE connectivity