truck in field

Managing a large truck and machinery fleet is part of the job for a growing number of large farming operations and commercial agribusinesses. Whether you’re hauling grain, moving machinery or transporting milk or other agricultural goods, optimizing your fleet operations is no small task.

More and more large farmers and commercial agribusinesses are implementing telematic systems to better safeguard drivers and protect fleets. Other value propositions that make fleet telematics a good addition to any large farm or agribusiness include:

  • Knowing where everything is
  • Staying on top of maintenance and repairs
  • Preventing and resolving accidents

What is fleet telematics?

Fleet telematics is a system of sensors that monitor vehicle operation and performance and shares that data via a digital platform. That data is usually relayed to a mobile app or desktop web browser. Then, you can access it — usually on a mobile app or desktop web browser — to make informed decisions, minimize risk and cut costs.

Get real-time data with telematics

Telematics provides real-time location data and facilitates informed decisions for trucks and machinery on what’s next in the field or on the road. You can track when trucks move, helping confirm drivers are only on the road when they’re supposed to be.

“Route optimization and fuel savings are just a couple benefits,” said Nationwide Agribusiness Senior Risk Management Consultant Brian Hammer. “You can keep track of all your vehicle locations instantly, helping you plan your work more efficiently.”

Stay on top of maintenance and repairs

Maintenance is always a priority. A telematics dongle plugs into your OBDII (on-board diagnostics) port and shows real-time vehicle engine data. This data can help you plan for routine maintenance and minimize downtime.

“You can keep track of any engine fault codes. Then, relay that information to your mechanic who can work with you to better plan the repair,” Hammer said. “This will save you time and money.”

Prevent and resolve accidents

Operator behavior can create safety and maintenance issues. Sophisticated telematic systems have a combination of cameras, location tracking and sensors. Such systems can track driver behaviors like:

  • Hard braking
  • Excessive speed
  • Sharp turns
  • Fast acceleration

Cameras monitor drivers’ behavior to ensure they aren’t operating carelessly or inattentively, helping you manage your workforce and provide incentives for safe operation. Fuel sensors on many telematics systems shed light on driver behavior; rapid acceleration, for example, often causes fuel economy to decline.

In addition to potentially adding to operating costs, these behaviors also affect the safety of fleet operation. And in the event of an accident, telematics can aid in resolution, including finding who’s at fault. This can help resolve accidents and claims quicker, ultimately reducing costs.

Whether you have a few or a few hundred business vehicles, it’s also important to have the right commercial auto and fleet insurance for your agribusiness.

Other ways to improve the agriculture telematics value chain

The more telematics you use in your farm or agribusiness operation, the more data you collect. Hammer said anyone who’s got multiple trucks on the road should consider how telematics can help them operate more safely and efficiently.

“With the ability to monitor driver behavior and truck diagnostics, you can make decisions to improve fuel economy, for example,” he said. “Telematics is a tool to help farmers and commercial agribusiness managers make informed decisions to improve their efficiency and productivity. Match the tools you employ to your specific goals.”

Get started with fleet telematics today

Nationwide has partnered with Razor Tracking, a leader in real-time telematics and dashboard camera solutions. Nationwide farm and commercial agribusiness policyholders receive discounted pricing on Razor devices and subscription fees. To get started with the Premium Partner Program, you can either call 1-833-467-2967 (1-833-GORAZOR), email or fill out this form to speak with a fleet tracking representative.

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