Castell Howell Foods contracts SmartDrive for driver risk management10 October 2017

A Castell Howard driver in a cab. The SmartDrive device is at top left

Independent food wholesaler Castell Howell Foods has signed a three-year contract with SmartDrive Systems for its SmartDrive Assurance video-based driver risk management safety programme.

The company markets and distributes a range of produce to businesses across Wales and the South West and operates a mixed fleet of 140 commercial vehicles, encompassing 20 3.5 tonne vans, 115 rigids and five artics. Following a comprehensive trial on 20 vehicles, the contract sees SmartDrive rolled out across Castell Howell’s entire fleet.

During the trial period, the programme demonstrated a 58% improvement in SmartDrive safety score which, based on data from SmartDrive’s global analysis of over 200 million risky driving events, shows a reduced collision frequency of 47.5%.

When multiplied across the entire fleet, Castell Howell is confident that these gains will have a significant impact on improving on-road safety and lowering costs, as well as helping it to manage its fleet risk profile in a more pro-active manner. Additionally, the SmartDrive programme is enabling Castell Howell to protect and exonerate not-at-fault drivers and to recognise good driving practices.

Martin Jones, director of transport at Castell Howell, said: “The SmartDrive video-based safety programme provides us with a consistent and programmatic way to proactively identify and improve driving skills in a ‘gamified’ way that is clear and easy for our driver trainers to review and coach drivers on.”

“We operate out of five depots, making deliveries six days a week to ensure that our customers are receiving top quality foodstuffs, on time and in the best condition.”

The SmartDrive system installed at Castell Howell encompasses one forward-facing and one interior-facing video camera installed in each vehicle. The cameras are triggered to record 20-second event clips by predetermined variables that are tailored to Castell Howell’s operation. They can also be manually activated by the driver should an incident occur.

Footage is offloaded instantly via the cellular network and is reviewed, categorised and scored by a dedicated team of SmartDrive driving safety specialists and uploaded to a personalised Castell Howell online portal, enabling its transport managers to quickly gain an unbiased view of situations that occur.

In addition, Castell Howell has chosen SmartDrive’s extended recording option that enables it to capture a wider span of timeframes and events, such as low-impact collisions, that it can call off as required.

“We trialled another camera based system at the same time as SmartDrive,” said Martin.“However, we found that SmartDrive delivered the most focused, simple and consistent way to measure and manage risk and help us improve our fleet operation. The speed of access to event videos and the customised on-line reporting enables us to be very proactive in determining where risk lies and coaching it away. In essence, SmartDrive does all the heavy lifting for us; capturing, analysing and reporting on risky driving events, leaving our trainers with clear and easy to manage coaching workflows and providing valuable driving intelligence and reporting to the business.”

Martin continued, “Although it is early days, we are expecting to see a quantifiable return on investment within a reasonably short timeframe. This being driven by the proactive management of on-road risk and the associated direct and indirect cost savings.”

Will Dalrymple

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SmartDrive Systems UK

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