Making and tracking tracks
The statistics in South Africa regarding vehicle theft and hijackings has heightened the demand for stolen vehicle recovery services combined with telematics in this country. That’s according to Lorenz Stoger, fleet service manager at Cartrack.
“Truck hijackings and the subsequent loss of valuable cargo costs our economy and insurance industry billions of rand each year,” he emphasises. “Commercial vehicles are being hard hit, with their loads quickly redistributed into suspect retail channels and the trucks then usually sent northwards across our border where they are further used in Africa.”
Because of this, Stoger is of the opinion that our country is more advanced when it comes to stolen vehicle recovery, which is plausible if one looks at what South African service providers have to offer.
Cartrack’s Fleet Management Plus is one such product, with this service being the most popular among its fleet operator clients. As Stoger explains: “It offers them all the necessary fleet management telematics data to effectively manage vehicle performance and driver behaviour, as well as our proven stolen vehicle recovery service which has a 95 percent success rate.” He points out that the latter is an externally audited finding.
It is this product that MAN Truck & Bus SA used in its Consistently Efficient Tour 2012, the second of its kind globally, with the aim of measuring how much fuel the company’s TGS EfficientLine range saves compared to its standard TGS models.
“One specific feature vital to the Tour was the system’s ability to measure the duration the air compressor unit was engaged on the EfficientLine models – one of its key fuel saving features,” says Stoger.
Cartrack also provided measurements of telemetry items such as fuel consumption, determining whether drivers had selected manual or automatic gear modes, monitoring the number of gear changes and displaying the specific gear the driver had engaged at any given time.
“MAN was also able to determine if the driver had activated the vehicle’s automated braking system and identify when cruise control was engaged,” says Stoger. “These are just a few of the vehicle telemetry features we were able to provide MAN to assist them in calculating the Tour’s efficiency after each stage.”