EROAD Dashcams Boost Safety For Open Country Dairy’s Growing Fleet
EROAD Dashcams Boost Safety For Open Country Dairy’s Growing Fleet
Open Country Dairy has grown significantly since they first started using EROAD in 2011. As New Zealand’s second largest milk processor, the company has grown its fleet of 6 trucks and 18 drivers in 2011, to 75 trucks and a 270-strong team of professional drivers who deliver and collect billions of litres of milk across New Zealand every year.
Open Country Dairy’s National Fleet Manager, Brett Hamilton, says the one goal that’s never compromised at the company is sending their people home unharmed.
“Transport does have this unique scenario where we send all our people into a workplace with thousands of other road users,” says Brett, “we can’t just leave them on their own.”
After several drivers decided to add their own layer of protection out in the field by purchasing cheap, off-the-shelf dashcams, Brett and his team could see the device’s potential for protecting their drivers – not only as evidence during incidents but also as a learning tool.
That’s where EROAD’s GPS vehicle tracking and integrated dashcam technology could help.
Brett and the team installed EROAD’s latest 4G-enabled vehicle tracking solution (Ehubo 2.2) with driver facing screen, and EROAD Clarity Connected dashcams across the fleet. They’ve also added EROAD Inspect to help keep the fleet in tip-top condition, and empower drivers to report issues.
Powerful evidence to protect not-at-fault drivers
The technology has already proven its worth on more than one occasion. As Brett explains, “Unfortunately, we have had some significant accidents. The drivers themselves could never have reacted quick enough to avoid these head on situations, and the dashcam footage was an integral part of clearing them.”
One incident that Brett recalls, happened on a busy State Highway, and without the evidence from the dashcam, the innocent driver at Open Country Dairy could have easily been blamed for what appears at first glance to have been him crossing into the wrong lane. The dashcam footage told an entirely different story, showing clearly that the other car did a U-turn unexpectedly in front of the truck, and the truck driver swerved to avoid him.
“They were almost ready to lock our driver up right there, based on first impressions, until they looked at that footage.”
Brett has no doubt that the dashcam saved the driver from wrongful prosecution, “When the police turned up, it looked like our truck was on the wrong side of the road and had collided with an oncoming vehicle. No one would have thought for a second that the truck had tried to go around the outside of a car that had done a U-turn in front of him.”
“The first thing they looked at was our video camera footage, then they told us get your salvage crew, we’ll be done in half an hour,” Brett adds, “they were almost ready to lock our driver up right there, based on first impressions, until they looked at that footage.”
Without dashcam footage, an incident like this one could have taken many hours of investigation, and as Brett says, “you would be relying on that analogue technology to validate your driver’s story,” and there’d be no guarantee, “it would have been our driver’s word against someone else.” Should it have ended in court with a judge or jury, “that could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.”
“The clarity that the dashcam provides, is tenfold what you would ever be able to investigate.”
The evidence is clear for Brett and his team, the dashcam is there to protect. It does more than any accident investigation could because it shows clip-by-clip in high definition how the incident unfolded, “the clarity that the dashcam provides, is tenfold what you would ever be able to investigate”.
The Open Country Dairy team have fully embraced the technology, and most of them wouldn’t want to be on the road now without one as Brett says, “our drivers probably feel a bit naked without dashcams these days,” and for Brett they play an integral role in keeping his team safe, “I would be very reluctant to put a truck out on the road without camera technology that we know could function.”
Dashcam footage can be a fantastic learning tool
Using dashcams as a safety tool goes beyond incident investigations for the team at Open Country Dairy. “The training material that you can generate out of dashcam footage is invaluable”
Brett calls his drivers Commercial Vehicle Pilots because they’re trained, experienced professionals and while they may make mistakes from time to time, Brett insists, “it’s not about sending them down the road. It’s about how we curb that behaviour, and use the technology to help us do that.”
“As humans, we make mistakes. We pull out from intersections. We talk on phones,” says Brett, “the key thing is the proactive learnings that you can take out of dashcam footage in real life scenarios, and hopefully prevent further incidents. The training material that you can generate out of that is invaluable.”
Managing the fleet in one easy-to-use portal
As for how you view dash cam footage, that’s another reason Open Country Dairy think EROAD dash cams stand out from the crowd. Brett says, “EROAD have got a fantastic way of recovering footage,” he adds, “we can just download, and we’ve got what happened. That’s a real win for us.” And he should know, after experiencing the frustration of having to manually pull footage from off-the-shelf cameras the drivers had used beforehand.
When you’re working in a fast-paced environment, or under pressure because something’s happened to one of your drivers, the last thing you need is to be messing around with different systems. That’s the beauty with EROAD according to Brett, “you haven’t got another portal you’re dealing with, and you’re not logging into a different website – it’s all in one place.”
The MyEROAD portal acts as a fleet management hub – bringing together multiple fleet management tools and dashcam footage into one place, as Brett says, “having camera technology that can pull the data back to the EROAD dashboard hub is definitely a big plus.”
“I don’t know how you run a transport company without it”
As well as easy access to their truck dashcam footage, the team use EROAD’s fleet management system day in, day out to know where their vehicles are located, as well as manage compliance, fleet maintenance and much more. “Logistically we’re always using EROAD,” says Brett “I don’t know how you run a transport company without it.”
Interested in learning more about EROAD’s fleet management solution and integrated dash cams? Contact us today to arrange a free demo of our fleet management software.