Chances are you’ve probably heard (quite a bit) about blockchain by now. There’s been a lot of talk about how it’s going to radically improve how we look at the trucking industry and the supply chain. There’s also a lot of talk about all the ways that it’s going to make everything we do way more transparent. While that may be true, you don’t have to wait for blockchain to start being more transparent and engaging with the truck drivers in your fleet, especially when it comes to fuel economy.

Blockchain promises to bring a new level of financial transparency to the trucking world, but that’s not the only wall that we need to start tearing down. In practically every fleet, there’s just as much of a need to break down the barrier between truck driver and fleet leadership so that both feel like they fully understand what the other expects and desires.

In this ongoing driver shortage, it is critically important for every fleet to make sure that their current drivers are happy and new drivers are interested in joining. There have been countless ideas floated about how we can solve this problem — from base pay increases to signing bonuses. But what if we just started by listening more to each other? What if we opened up the channel of communications between driver and fleet leadership in a way that left both groups happy and satisfied with the information they had and clear and aligned on the job they need to do?

There’s a certain “us against them” mentality that can develop in fleets where transparency isn’t encouraged and celebrated. Drivers may feel like they are being treated subjectively and unfairly by their management, so they naturally stop being so open. On the opposite side of the coin, fleet managers may think their drivers aren’t giving their best effort but lack the data to prove it.  Worse, they may be relying on data that suggests a lack of effort when in fact that is not the case at all!

Drivers often get frustrated because they feel like their performance is being judged on factors they simply have no control over — things like the truck, the load, the route, and the external environmental conditions that simply can’t be accounted for by telematics and other systems. Those systems can’t do it, but True Fuel® can.

The perfect “invisible coach in the cab”, True Fuel® automatically quantifies driver fuel efficiency apart from the other factors impacting MPG. With real-time, in-cab coaching that focuses only on the fuel efficiency factors that the drivers can actively control, like engine speed, idling time, and highway speed, drivers are empowered and enabled to improve their fuel efficiency.

All of that data is fed back to the people managing the fleet, and they can see immediately what their drivers are doing well and where they can start charting a path for improvement. As important, once the driver impact is fairly assessed and quantified, fleets get a much better picture of how their equipment is performing for the tasks the fleet needs, free from the potentially distorting impact of the driver on fuel economy. Finally, a transparent window between fleet manager and driver is in place.  You don’t need blockchain for that!.

Once you have that level of transparency, you can start doing all the other little things to retain your best performing drivers. You can see clearly when they are actively improving, and you can reward them with incentives for all of the fuel they’ve saved. The best part is that you know for certain they’ve earned it, and they know that too. When fleet leaders and drivers are on the same page, and are both equally invested in improved fuel efficiency, suddenly you’re running a smarter, more engaged, and more cost effective fleet than ever before.

None of this is to say that we don’t believe in blockchain. We’re even using it with True Fuel® to help fleets easily pay the drivers who are exceptionally fuel efficient. But blockchain isn’t the only way to start being transparent with the people that keep fleets running effectively. All you need is a system that fairly gauges your truck drivers, lets fleet managers clearly see how everyone is doing, and provides appropriate rewards for a job done well when it comes to fuel efficiency. With True Fuel®, you’ve got what you need to do it all.