Stuart’s AMG Driving Experience at the Mercedes-Benz World brand centre in Brooklands, Surrey was his prize for success in the 2015 FleetBoard Drivers League competition.
“That,” he declared afterwards, “was mind-blowing… quite simply the drive of a lifetime.”
Now the manufacturer’s commercial vehicle telematics and fleet management arm is offering others the chance to win a Driving Experience – or a Mercedes-Benz ‘goody bag’ – after launching the 2016 FleetBoard Drivers League.
The competition is designed to celebrate the safest and most economical commercial vehicle professionals on Britain’s roads. Entry is open to any operator or driver registering before July 31, whose vehicle is fitted with an operational FleetBoard system.
Installed in more than 100,000 vehicles worldwide, FleetBoard is standard equipment on new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units and optionally available for Actros rigids together with Atego, Antos, Arocs and Econic models. It can also be fitted to trucks by other manufacturers.
The competitive phase of the 2016 Drivers League is already underway and runs until August 31. The winners in both the individual and team categories will be determined on the basis of their FleetBoard Performance Analysis driving style scores.
As well as incorporating services such as vehicle tracking and mapping, logistics and time management, FleetBoard monitors and reports on driver performance against a range of criteria such as speed, braking, engine operation including stops and idle times while running, and use – where fitted – of the vehicle’s Eco-Roll function.
Drivers are graded from one to 10, with variables such as terrain, traffic conditions and vehicle loadings factored in so that scores are weighted to reflect the ‘degree of difficulty’ of assignments.
Merc said operators can then use this data to raise standards by motivating and incentivising drivers to improve, and providing training to address shortcomings in driving style.
Parcel delivery company DPD, winner of the 2015 FleetBoard Drivers League team award, runs more than 800 4×2 tractor units which pull mainly double- as well as single-deck trailers. Every one of these vehicles is a Mercedes-Benz and the majority are fitted with FleetBoard.
“The system promotes a smooth, fuel-efficient and stress-free driving style,” said DPD’s linehaul development & resourcing analyst, Tim Cadwell. “It allows us to monitor driver behaviour and foster a healthy spirit of competition between colleagues. We ask them to achieve a benchmark score of nine out of 10, which we believe is achievable given the level of training and support on offer. Below this, we intervene and target those areas in which they need to improve.”
DPD driving instructor Satnam ‘Sid’ Banga added: “We use FleetBoard during our induction work. It encourages the individual at the wheel to plan ahead and anticipate changes in traffic conditions. Not only does this approach help to maximise mpg returns and prevent accidents, it also means the driver is more relaxed and therefore healthier.”
Stuart Watson won his high-performance AMG Driving Experience on the handling circuits and wet-skid circle at Mercedes-Benz World, after posting an outstanding FleetBoard grading of 9.73 in last year’s competition.
Eligible operators wishing to take part in the 2016 FleetBoard Drivers League can do so by registering at www.driversleague.com/gb