Guildford Borough Council’s fleet of 44 waste collection vehicles is on the road from 5am every morning, picking up commercial and domestic refuse, items for recycling and green waste. Managing the movements of the fleet is a difficult task and maximising vehicle utilisation is the key to its efficiency. The recent adoption of Traka’s key management system has made this efficiency a reality.
To comply with the requirements of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency VOSA, Guildford Council must maintain strict records on vehicle maintenance; driver licensing and competence; and vehicle use and mileage. With about 25 percent of its driver workforce employed by agencies, responsibility and accountability for vehicle use has, in the past, been a particular challenge.
It s about risk management. We accept that accidents do happen, says Mick Tuffs, the Council’s Fleet Administrator. Even the best driver will occasionally clip a wall or a gatepost. But it makes life so much easier when accidents are reported and now all our drivers know they can be identified with Traka, they are much more likely to report any misadventure.
It’s also important to ensure that drivers are only accessing keys to vehicles which they are qualified and licensed to drive. Traka locks every key in place and only grants access to authorised users, giving the Fleet Administrator control over who has access to keys and how many they can take. There is also an advanced key booking option to stop anyone taking a vehicle which has been reserved for service or repair.
To comply with ISO9002 requirements, the Council must demonstrate that it has procedures in place to manage and account for driver activity. Prior to the installation of the Traka system, driver records were patchy, log sheets from agency drivers were not always submitted and, if there was an accident, a speeding fine, or a report of inappropriate driving, it wasn’t easy to identify the individual driver. Thankfully, explains Mick Tuffs, Traka has changed all that: "We can now trace the driver immediately, even if the incident happened weeks ago. The Traka software holds all the records, giving full and accurate accountability."
One of Traka’s major strengths is its versatility: its ability to tailor system requirements around each client’s needs. Regardless of the individual configurations, the system is universally efficient and user-friendly and can produce reports and management information at the touch of a button. The benefits of Traka are widely recognised within Guildford Council and the system has been extended to manage road sweepers, litter vehicles and pest control operations, as well as car park management.
Mick Tuffs sums up the benefits he has seen since installing Traka: "The great thing about Traka is that it does exactly what we want – it was easy to adapt and we didn’t have to change our processes in order to fit the software – a huge bonus. It saves a significant amount of administration time and it’s very reliable. We haven’t looked back."
Traka has a range of extended features, including curfew warnings, SMS or email alerts for critical key transactions and LED illuminated key strips, showing clearly which key to take and where to return it.
Traka systems are used extensively in the UK and in more than 30 countries around the world and new systems continue to be developed as new technologies arise. Traka is used in many different market sectors, among them Distribution and MHE Management; Fleet Management; Property Access Control for Hospitals, Libraries and Museums; Casinos; Petrochemical and Mining; Airports, Docks and Railways; Military and Emergency Services and even Royal Households.