Alfredo Luna Leon, Linde: "It's key to maintain fleet safety in Latin America"
The main fleet management objective for the North Latin America region of multinational chemicals company Linde in 2019 is to have no driver injuries, something that the firm has achieved so far this year, according to Fleet LatAm's latest case study on the company.
“Our personnel is our most valuable asset we have so we invest heavily in safety and protecting our employees,” SHEQ manager Alfredo Luna Leon told Fleet LatAm.
Name: Alfredo Luna Leon
The company's success in accident reduction is highly due to the onboard technologies of international telematics company Mix Telematics and Mobileye Vision Technologies, an Intel company focused on vision-based advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that provide warnings for collision prevention and mitigation.
Mix Telematics helps by identifying bad driving behavior and taking appropriate actions before an accident occurs. Previously, the most common type of accidents the company faced were rear end collisions. However, it is now the third most common.
According to Mr. Leon, the company’s most important KPI is driver behavior. Drivers receive real time alerts for harsh braking, harsh acceleration, and speeding and with this, the company is informed with RAG (Red, Amber, Green) reports and other parameters.
Drivers receive rankings and those with low rankings are set up with an improvement program.
In terms of the Mobileye technology, drivers receive real time pre-collision and lane departure alerts, and this allows them to take corrective actions and change their behavior as they drive.
“Our vehicles have two onboard cameras, one facing the cabin and the other facing the road. These are great tools for managing unwanted driver behavior. Once identified, it is corrected through coaching sessions aimed at improving driver performance,” says Mr. Leon.
Linde’s fleet is also equipped with rear cameras and sensors to help reduce the incidents of accidents during maneuvers in reverse, he added.
Linde refrigerated vehicle (source: Linde)
Harmonizing Linde’s car policy and continuously reviewing all safety KPIs are crucial to maintaining safety standards across all the countries it operates in.
This sometimes requires working hand-in-hand with local suppliers (e.g. selecting the best truck for rural areas) and setting minimum safety requirements by country, but it also involves sharing best practices and then implementing common technologies, training sessions, procedures, and policies across the region, said Mr. Leon.
Compared to a larger country like Mexico, fleet management in Central American countries such as Panama and Costa Rica do have some differences, according to the executive.
First of all, fleets are small, usually less then 30 units. Secondly, there are less vehicle options and this results in higher prices. Therefore, companies need to create tailor made policies to achieve optimal performance.
Finally, professional drivers are hard to come by in Central America. As such, companies need to develop stronger training programs which are aimed at molding drivers appropriately, Mr. Leon said.