Real-time diagnostic data from the telematics system allowed the City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to see engine fault codes and to quickly diagnose maintenance issues.
 - Photo courtesy of Samsara

Real-time diagnostic data from the telematics system allowed the City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to see engine fault codes and to quickly diagnose maintenance issues.

Photo courtesy of Samsara

The City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has used telematics to reduce vehicle downtime by 28%, reduce idle time by 20%, and decrease fuel consumption by 5%, according to a case study published by Samsara, its telematics provider.

Previously, the city fleet relied on drivers to report potential vehicle problems, and they often didn’t do so until it was too late. Real-time diagnostic data from the telematics system allowed the city to see engine fault codes and to quickly diagnose maintenance issues. This visibility allowed the city to reduce average fleet downtime by 28% and reduced the average number of vehicles in the shop by 24%.

In addition, the city was able to reduce idling by 20% by pairing driver behavior data with fuel use and coaching drivers on best practices for fuel-efficient driving. Even as the fleet grew, overall fuel consumption decreased by 5% — the equivalent of 28,000 gallons in fuel savings.

The technology also allowed the city to keep a historic bridge open more often. The city had to close one of its commonly trafficked bridges often due to vehicles over the weight limit crossing the bridge. The bridge was closed for two to three months at a time for maintenance, forcing residents to take a three-mile detour. By tagging all city vehicles exceeding the bridge’s weight limit of 5 tons, geofencing them, and adding real-time alerts, city staffers could monitor and decrease the number of its own overweight vehicles crossing the bridge by 90% in five months. This allowed the city to save on unnecessary bridge closures and save money on maintenance.

Fleet management’s visibility into its vehicles also means improving its ability to respond to resident inquiries and improve service.

“Before, if we got a call that a city vehicle was speeding or driving recklessly, all we could say was ‘we’re sorry.’ Now I can look to see which vehicle was there, who was driving the vehicle, and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Drew Newstrom, automotive and equipment specialist, said in the report.

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