The team at Enigma would like to thank all of our customers for their support over the last year and look forward to seeing you all in 2018.
Merry Christmas From All At Enigma
One of the largest threats to plant and agricultural businesses is the theft of machinery meaning that farmers and plant hirers need to consistently implement new security measures. This is especially true as the last PANIU report showing that Plant and Agricultural crime has increased in the last quarter (July – September 2017) by 16.5% and with mini excavators still the most targeted machine with a dramatic 63% rise in reported thefts, making protecting plant machinery increasing more important. The Enigma team has picked their top 5 tips to help prevent plant theft over the festive season.
- Immobilise Machinery
One of the best ways to protect your plant or agricultural equipment is to disable it, ensure that you have engaged the immobilisation system on each asset before closing up. Not only does this mean that thieves can’t just drive it away, but should they manage to load it up and get away with it there is nothing that can be done with it without the correct codes or ID card to active it again.
- Ensure it is Secure
If the machine is likely to be left for a long period of time then moving it into a secure location either a warehouse or shed will offer additional protection from would-be thieves, as it will be out of sight and hopefully out of mind. Another step that could be taken in conjunction with relocating the equipment is to anchor it to either a loop embedded in the floor or another object that is either impossible or extremely hard to move.
- Enable Alerts
This is particularly important for customers who will be away from their equipment for an extended period of time or expect that some work will continue over the Christmas period, enabling alerts either by email or text (additional costs may be incurred) will keep you informed if the asset moves for any reason. Furthermore, if zones are set up for covering the site. depot or yard should the machine travel outside of that area either under its own power or transported by another vehicle you will be alerted. For information on how to set up zones see our tutorials page.
It seems like a simple step, but ensure that all communication lines are clear and simple. If you are setting up alerts (and we do recommend doing so) make sure that alerts are only sent to a small selection of people so that alerts aren’t “just left to someone else”. Perhaps set up a schedule for over Christmas for who will be responsible on each day. Additionally, make sure that if work that is due to continue over the Christmas period that all responsible parties are aware of it and if night work is to take place disable alerts so that you aren’t alerted of erroneously.
- Make Sure it is Tracked
Ensure that an accessible agriculture equipment has GPS tracking installed ensuring that should the worst happen and the machine is stolen it can be found. Not only does this mean that police can be informed of the current location of the asset but have the ability to track the position of the machine in real-time dramatically increases the chances of recovery.
Photo by: Peter Burka is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Closing up for Christmas can be a worrying time for fleet, site and depot management, not only leaving machines unattended for up to two weeks also potentially unprotected. However, a quick solution that many companies overlook is installing temporary tracking systems on assets specifically for the Christmas period, which can go a long way to help to alleviate this concern. At Enigma, we understand that the Christmas period can be a busy one especially leading up to the shutdown, therefore, all our temporary solutions are designed to deployable direct from the box without the need for setting up.
We offer two types of temporary tracking depending on requirements, either as a magnetic device attaching to the outside of the vehicle, trailer or machinery or plugging directly into the OBDII port within the vehicle. We have found that normally over the Christmas period companies are looking for standard location features to track the current location of their equipment and alert them if it moves; if additional requirements are needed, please notify us at time of ordering and our specialists can tailor the equipment for your particular purpose before shipping to guarantee that devices are always quick to deploy.
Moreover, as each of the devices is connected to our powerful management platform, Skyline, we are able to further enhance basic tracking via the platform. This means that customers can set of zones around a particular area and implement alerts to specific contacts removing any chance of missing potential issues. When designating a zone around an area, be that a yard, depot or construction site means that should the vehicle or piece of machinery start to move out of that zone an alert will be triggered and flagged on Skyline. As an additional precaution Skyline is able to alert chosen staff members of this movement. At this point, if you are aware of the activity beforehand it can be dismissed (however, at least you know that your guys are getting the job done), but if this is not an authorised action then you have been alerted quickly allowing for appropriate action to be taken before it is too late.
Alert contacts can be added via the Skyline interface and we have a tutorial on how to do this on our Video Tutorials page. Furthermore, alerts can be sent via two methods either via email to selected email addresses or to a group of mobile numbers via a text message. It should be noted that if you would prefer to be contacted by text message, then these are charged at an additional rate. Additional information on how to set up alert contacts in an upcoming blog post.
With our temporary tracking solutions, we remove the worry of the Christmas shutdown and help to ensure that you can rest easy this Christmas. To discuss your requirements contact us today.
As the year comes to a close, many fleet managers will be looking to review how their fleet has faired and how drivers have performed over the year. This can mean a lot of back and forth collecting information, reviewing data, and [of course] a lot of paperwork, fortunately, Skyline’s reporting systems mean that a lot of the legwork is done for you. Below we take you through some key performance indicators (KPIs) across both vehicle and plant fleets and how Skyline can help you analyse your data quickly and efficiently, additional information can be found on our video tutorials page.
A recent development within Skyline is a new at-a-glance system called the Machine Overview / Asset Dashboard. This view gives fleet managers a quick overview of the current status of particular assets in their fleet allowing for a review of recent activity including weekly fuel consumption, hours worked or driving hours, CO2 output, as well as current GPS position and movement map for either the last day, week or month. If you do not have this option enabled within your account and would like it please contact us.
Understanding the current condition of your fleet means that you keep on top of general vehicle or asset maintenance ensuring that you can take preventative action preventing damaging wear on vehicles or assets. Reviewing reports such as Distance Summary and fleet Summary allows you to review the total distance travelled by a vehicle as well as the number of days that it has been used within a given period and the average amount of journey per day (additionally, for some installations will give current odometer readings). This overview gives you insight into how often vehicles are used and enables you to track under- or over-used vehicles in your fleet either marked them for rotation or de-fleeting. Furthermore, Skyline’s inbuilt function for maintenance tracking means that you can log MOT dates or servicing points within the system against each vehicle or asset.
Achieving a high utilisation rate for all asset types is a key factor in ensuring effective and efficient use across a fleet. However, it should be noted that, while a great goal to aim for, achieving 100% utilisation isn’t actually realistic; this is due to assets needing occasional maintenance introducing downtime. Making is assessment somewhat of an arduous job, fortunately, Skyline has a specific reporting system to design to measure plant utilisation including analysis of total operational time and measurement of utilisation since a specific date.
Using Skyline’s driver reporting to assess how your drivers behave when driving enables in-depth risk assessments. Giving you the ability to highlight drivers that require additional driving and vehicle safety training preventing potential loses for the company. Furthermore, assessing how drivers utilise their vehicles helps to assess cost requirements for each vehicle from fuel consumption (available via the fuel level change report and weekly usage Fuel Cost panel in the vehicle KPI dashboard, so long as your vehicle has fuel data collected) to excessive idling events and their wear on the vehicle.
While this list is not finite, we hope that the reports and KPIs that we have highlighted have been of use and help you to efficiently review your fleet performance over the last year. If you would like to discuss any further reporting or receive training on the reports available on Skyline contact us to arrange a session.
Photo from Wiki Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Vehicle thefts continue to be a major issue for commercial vehicle businesses. This comes despite statistics from The Office of National Statistics showing a continuous decline in the last three decades, a RAC survey from this year of 40 police forces in England and Wales shows that over 85,000 vehicles were stolen in 2016. This is up almost 30% from numbers recorded in 2013.
As colder weather closes, unfortunately, it signals the increase in vehicle thefts. Not only does the longer nights offer more cover of darkness for thieves but also the cold weather often means that cars are being left unattended to warm up. Businesses vehicles are of particular focus as the Christmas break approaches with unused vehicles left in depots or yards. Fortunately for vehicle owners, there are a number of options that will help to deter thieves.
- Check It Is Locked
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. As modern vehicles feature centralised locking systems normally by a remote control on keys, check if the vehicle is indeed locked. Although you are pressing the button it doesn’t always mean that your vehicle is locking correctly, standing by your car to check that the locks have activated correctly is a quick and simple way to protect yourself.
As security technology has progressed so has the equipment that thieves are using to overcome it, while you may have pressed your key fob to lock the vehicle, did it actually lock? With remote locking, if a thief is nearby as you lock the vehicle it is possible to block the signal from reaching your car or van. Using jammers, thieves can fool owners into thinking that they have locked their car or van but instead the signal has been blocked, leaving the vehicle still open. In some cases, the jammer allows the vehicle to act like it has locked showing some of the signs of locking such as flashing lights or indicators in an attempt to fool drivers into walking away. Therefore, it is worth taking a moment to check that the locking mechanism has engaged. Most locks will make an audible clunk as they fall into place and some vehicles beep as the door bolts lock to show success. However, there are other visual cues as well, some vehicles will have their locking bolts visible on the door which can be checked to ensure that they have dropped into place. Furthermore, most alarm and locking systems have a small LED bulb on the dashboard to show that it is in operation, taking a quick look at this to ensure that it is flashing or a solid colour shows that the vehicle is locked.
- Take Out or Hide Your Property
While applying to personal cars this is especially important for commercial vehicles which many have tools or additional equipment stored in a van overnight, however as best as possible removing any valuable items from a vehicle reduces the temptation for opportunistic thieves. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is very much applicable here, as if valuable items are easily seen they are equally stolen. This is especially important for commercial vehicles as tool thefts rose 30.5% between 2012 and 2016 with the majority of tools stolen from vehicles, according to insurer Simply Business.
- Add Additional Security
Adding additional security equipment to your vehicle not only helps to protect it from theft but also potentially offers a route for recovery if the vehicle is stolen. Installing devices such as telematics systems which use GPS location data to track the location of your vehicle in real-time allowing you to trace the vehicle in the event of a theft. While costing an additional monthly fee these systems dramatically increase recovery rates, with our internal data showing that odds are raised from under 50% to 90% with a tracking device installed.
Not all additional security is high-tech, following the increase in car thefts the RAC has reported an increase in low-tech deterrents, such as the steering wheel lock.
- Secure Your Keys
The technology that thieves employ is continuously improving notwithstanding the constant march of protection equipment. With the advent of keyless entry on cars there has been a trend of thieves using this technology against owners to quickly and easily unlock and start-up a car without damaging it.
In the video below, a group of thieves use a device called a relay to make the vehicle think that the keys are next to the door and unlock as well as start-up the Mercedes in under 5 minutes.
Moving your keys away from the front of the house or building can help to ensure that the relay cannot reach both the keys and the car at the same time. Additionally, placing your keys inside a metal box such as a cash tin can further help to block the signal and reduce the relay’s effectiveness.
- Don’t Leave Your Vehicle Unattended
As mentioned above, as the cold weather closes in many people will leave their cars or vans unlocked and idling for a time before driving to de-ice and warm the engine up, with many leaving the vehicle alone completely for “just a minute”. Unfortunately, this accounts for a large number of car thefts as leaving the engine running and key in the ignition makes it very easy to steal.
Additionally, you may find that if your vehicle is stolen while you have left it running with the keys in to go back for something your insurance will be invalidated.
If you are interested in discussing how our security solutions can help to protect your vehicles, please contact us.
Over the festive holidays Enigma Telematics opening times are as follows:
Monday 18th to Friday 22nd December: Normal opening hours
Saturday 23rd December: Closed
Sunday 24th December: Closed
Monday 25th December (Christmas Day): Closed
Tuesday 26th December (Boxing Day): Closed
Wednesday 27th December: 0830-1730
Thursday 28th December: 0830-1730
Friday 29th December: 0830-1730
Saturday 30th December: Closed
Sunday 31st December: Closed
Monday 1st January 2018: Closed (New Year’s Day)
Tuesday 2nd January 2018: 0830-1730 (Return to normal hours)
A duty engineer will be available over the Christmas break, please called 0844 800 9926 and listen to the automated message for further details.
Happy holidays from the Enigma Telematics Team!
Tiredness impacts awareness and reaction times and are a major contributing factor in car accidents in the UK. This becomes especially important as the holiday period closes in some companies will find their staff levels are reduced with many employees taking holiday, which can introduce increase stresses on other employees to cover work requirements. The change in work hours can have a detrimental effect on employees that drive for work, impacting their performance and driving ability through increased fatigue.
This is especially important when you consider statistics from road safety charity, Brake, that shows that while government figures indicate that fatigue only contributes to just 4% of road fatalities and 2% of all road casualties; it is believed that the figures are drastically an under-estimation. This is due it being difficult to spot tiredness compared to police being able to test for alcohol and drugs. Furthermore, a simulated study by the National Central University in Jhongli, analysed 90-minutes of motorway driving, measuring their alertness and vigilance and how the length of time impairs them. The study concluded that the long journey time slowed the driver’s reactions when compared to drivers who broke up journeys, stating “driving for just 80 minutes without a break can make motorists a danger on the roads”.
Furthermore, it should be noted that companies have a legal requirement as part of their duty of care to their employees to ensure that they are offering practical precautions, as far as reasonably feasible for companies to do so, to ensure that workers who drive are not a risk when driving company vehicles.
Therefore, it is important for managers to control work-related road safety to help reduce risk to their employees as well as other road users by taking practical steps to ensure that employees are not overworked or fatigued when they drive. Fortunately, fleet managers can use Skyline to monitor the potential impact of tiredness and take positive action before any issues arise.
Utilising duty reporting from the Skyline suite of reports means that managers can see overall working hours of each of their drivers, ensuring that not only that they are not working too long hours but also check if they are taking the correct amount of time away from the wheel throughout the day to relieve tiredness. Additionally, managers can review historical journeys across the month, week or days to highlight drivers that have a history of driving for too long and act to educate them of the risks involved before the Christmas period. Additionally, for further education utilising Skyline’s driver behaviour monitoring enables management to show drivers who drive for too long or don’t take enough breaks over the day impacts how they drive.
It is especially important to management to continuously advise and monitor driver’s behaviour in the lead-up and over the Christmas period to ensure that not only is the company fulfilling their legal requirement to protect their employees, but also checking that drivers are resting enough to maintain their expected performance levels.
Photo by: Alexander Svensson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
When standing plant down over the Christmas break it can be a daunting time for many workshop, site, and depot managers as well as overall fleet managers. The fact that a site or depot will sit unused and potentially unprotected for a period of up to two weeks could cause serious problems when starting them back up as the break concludes, not only from a security point of view but also as nature takes its toll.
However, there are steps that can be taken to control and mitigate the potential problems on the horizon. Below are some key steps as well as helpful resources that will help to ensure that your Christmas free of disruption.
Planning for the Christmas Shut Down
This is the first and probably the most important aspect of getting ready for the Christmas break, getting ahead of yourself and making sure that you are prepared for as many eventualities as possible. Preparing a checklist of tasks that need to be undertaken before you close will help to ensure that everything is secured. Fortunately, there is a great checklist from Australian start-up, SafetyCulture, it has been designed for construction sites by also applies to Plant hire yards and depots.
Lock-Up and Batten Down
Make sure that the site or yard is correctly locked up and any potential security concerns that could be exploited by thieves to enter are blocked. Additionally, any fencing that is easily accessed should be reinforced to protect from being blown or knocked over.
Valuables Under Lock and Key
While it seems like an obvious point to make many sites can overlook simple valuable items which are left in areas that could be easily accessed. Make sure that all vehicle and machine keys and cards are placed in locked or secured areas that are away from windows or doors if possible place them in a secure lockbox inside a safe to improve security.
Protect Against the Elements
While thieves are a threat over the Christmas break, so can be Mother Nature. Strong winds or cold temperatures can damage equipment or vulnerable stock, placing these inside or undercover will help to protect them and ensure that you don’t come back to a repair bill in January.
Secure All Machinery
Securing large valuable objects like plant or vehicles (company cars or vans) can be difficult and locking them away in a shed or warehouse isn’t always practical or viable. Therefore, having vehicle tracking or security systems installed on equipment dramatically increases the probability of recovering a vehicle or machine should thieves strike. With tracking systems installed should the machine or vehicle be stolen it can be tracked and its current location pinpointed quickly and efficiently, furthermore if security products are also installed alongside the tracking system the vehicle can be remotely locked down and immobilised.
Enigma’s Skyline range of tracking and security products can help to protect assets from thieves, giving you complete peace of mind at this festive time of year. Contact us today to discuss how our range can help you have a stress-free Christmas.
Photo by: Jenn Durfey is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Keeping your fleet on the road can be an issue for some fleet operators in the winter. Changes in conditions and surfaces can cause additional wear and tear on vehicle increasing their vulnerability to breaking down. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a good maintenance schedule with regular checks across the vehicle or asset. However, encouraging staff that drive to complete simple checks and to take appropriate actions to not only safeguard the vehicles but also to protect themselves from potential harm.
Below are some straightforward tips and checks that employees can undertake to inspect their fleet vehicle.
Keeping on top of vehicle maintenance has a major impact on the overall of operation of the business. Not only can tear and wear damage remove a vehicle or asset from active service potentially costing you not only business but a costly repair bill depending the on the damage sustained. Large repair bills aren’t the only issues, small defects on low-impact components such as badly-inflated or tread-worn tyres will increase fuel costs.
Small repairs can mount which could mean that a vehicle which is in otherwise good condition can develop a major fault and could place your employees or members of the public at risk. This is highlighted by a report from Department for Transport regarding road casualties which showed that, in 2015, 35 people were killed in crashes and just under 2,000 people injured (either sustaining serious or minor injuries) in accidents that involved vehicles with repairable defects.
The below infographic from the Institute of the Motor Industry shows the potential defects and accident statistics based on 2014 data.
However, urging employees to conduct regular walk-around inspections can help to reduce the impact of defects. Common flaws that should be examined are:
- Tyre Tread Wear:
Indicator bars on tyres (small bumps in the tyre grooves) show the minimum tread for the tyre, however the legal minimum for the UK is 1.6 mm. While this is the legal minimum road safety experts and charities believe that this is too low to ensure road safety and advocate changing your tyres when they reach 3mm. We recommend that all staff that drive carry a tyre depth gauge either inside the vehicle or on their person to ensure confirmation of the current tread depth quickly and simply
- Tyre Pressure:
Using a pressure gauge to ensuring that tyre pressure is correct, as this not only helps to improve fuel efficiency (uninflated tyres can increase fuels costs by 5%) but is the most common reason why tyres fail and blow-out which can result in loss of control and potentially a crash. Furthermore, correct pressure improves vehicle handling, improving grip and stopping distance
- Examine General Wheel Condition:
Running a hand over the side of the tyre to see if there are any cracks, bulges or bubbles. Using sight and ensures that all-wheel fixings are intact and giving wheel studs or blots a quick twist to check tightness
- All Lights are Working:
131 accidents in 2015 were caused by broken or defective indicators or lights. Simply turning on each set of lights (headlights, indicators and brake) on a weekly basis helps to prevent overlooked problems with lights and can reduce the risk of accidents
Needless to say, staff should be encouraged that if an issue is discovered with a vehicle to take appropriate action depending on your company’s policy, as putting it off can not only cost the company in the long run but also place either themselves or other staff at risk.
This list is not exhaustive and is supplied as a guide only. Depending on the type of vehicle that you are using and the distance that you are travelling additional checks may be required, please review your manual or with your employer’s policy for the correct checks for your vehicle types.
Photo by: James Palinsad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
This time of year means: Christmas parties are booked and cold and flu season beginning employees can forget or be unsure of internal policy. These become particular issues for businesses who run fleets of vehicles or machinery, specifically when it comes to drink and drug driving. According to statistics published by the Department of Transport, showed that in 2015 the total number of drink-drive accidents rose 2% to 5,740 and 180 of those accidents where fatal. It is an unfortunate statistic that some of those were involving company cars with the 2014 RAC Report on Motoring survey showing that 1-in-5 company car drivers admitted to driving with alcohol still in their system.
While the legal limit sets a base tolerance for alcohol in the blood, no matter how little is drunk your ability to drive safely is impeded. It normally takes just over an hour for the body to break down a unit of alcohol, but this can be longer depending on the strength and type of drink consumed. A recent YouGov survey showed that half of the people surveyed believed that it takes less than 6 hours to process 6 units of alcohol, where depending on the type and how fast the body is able to break it down that some people could still be “under-the-influence” the following day.
Keeping these statistics in mind, it is important that companies ensure that employees who both drive for the company and drive as part of their commute to are aware of the effects of drinking. It is especially important for management to take a proactive stance when educating employees as if a member of staff is under-the-influence and causes an accident then the company could be held liable. A positive step is to have a strong company-wide policy and procedures to support and educate all employees ensuring their health, safety and welfare and to ensure that all staff aware.
Additionally, as it is cold and flu season it is vitally important that staff be aware of the effects that some prescription medication can have on their driving and performance at work. The drug driving legislation which was introduced in 2015 places restrictions on the use of 16 drugs while driving (the drugs that come under this legislation can be found here) and carries a one-year driving ban, a heavy fine, and a criminal record.
A key element for managers to remember is that procedures may need to adapt to changes in company resources, culture, and attitudes; as such monitoring of the performance of company drivers through specific Key Performance Indicators throughout the year is paramount to ensure the policies meet the requirements of the company.
While many company drivers know the risks of drink and drug driving and would never do it, however as incidents are still very high alongside recent changes in laws it is important that both management and staff are aware of the risks involved as we head into the festive season.