Lightfoot helps cut LCV fleet costs
The Lightfoot in-cab system, developed by Ashwoods Automotive advises drivers on how to accelerate and when to change gear, with audio and visual aids. It also monitors performance and sends a simple email report to the fleet manager on a weekly or monthly basis. This clearly identifies the best and worst-performing drivers in the fleet. The technology is proven to save up to 18% on fuel consumption, making it highly attractive to fleet operators.
One of the first customers was Ring and Ride, the West Midlands Special Needs Transport service. Ring and Ride is using 17 fully accessible 15-seat minibuses fitted with Lightfoot.
Des Rogers, Operations Manager at Ring and Ride, said: ‘We trialled Lightfoot on two vehicles and it had such an impact that we rolled it out to 17 vehicles in our Walsall depot.
‘We compared the fuel efficiency of the Lightfoot vehicles to similar high-mileage vehicles within the fleet and it is delivering substantial savings. This not only helps us reduce costs but also by using less fuel we are reducing our impact on the environment,’ he added.
Ring and Ride is a charity that provides a door-to-door bus service for people of any age across the West Midlands, whose circumstances limit their personal mobility. The charity operates a fleet of more than 400 vehicles, including more than 100 4.6t Ford Transits, converted to fully-accessible minibuses. Along with utilising Lightfoot, the company also invests significantly in driver training.
Lightfoot offers several benefits over driver training as a method of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Lightfoot is embedded in the vehicle, so it lasts the life of the LCV – driver training lies with the driver and leaves with the driver if they choose to move on or slip back into bad habits. Lightfoot is simple and intuitive to use for both the fleet operator and the drivers. Furthermore, there is no “down time” while employees are engaged in driver training.
Mark Roberts, managing director of Ashwoods Automotive, said: ‘Lightfoot combines the best features of driver training and telematics at a fraction of the price, with clearly quantifiable savings and ROI. Every single Lightfoot customer has seen an immediate improvement in fuel consumption and is making real savings, net of the cost of our system.’
Lightfoot uses a simple traffic light system and audible warnings to advise the driver if they are being too heavy on the pedal; ignore two red warnings and the system logs a penalty which is reported to the Fleet Manager. Lightfoot sends simple email reports to the fleet manager on a weekly or monthly basis to provide an over view of time spent in the Green, Amber and Red, number of penalties received and mileage covered. There is no internet login or password and no in depth analysis required.
To ensure a level playing field for all drivers, Lightfoot also factors in payload and drive cycle. Along with saving fuel and lowering fleet CO2 emissions, other benefits include less engine, brake, tyre and clutch wear, which could lead to higher residual values; and less road traffic accidents, leading to lower insurance premiums and vehicle downtime