With the beginning of a new financial year and restrictions easing, it is likely that your crew could be back on the road visiting more customers around the country. While it’s great to be back in action, there are some things for you and your team to consider when taking on long haul road trips, so we thought to share a few tips that we use as a team at Fleetpin. Staying hydrated Bring a nice big water bottle on your trip – staying hydrated is important for your energy and relieves fatigue. Drinking lots of water will also, of course, result in more bathroom stops – giving you the opportunity to rest and stretch your legs. Something else to consider bringing along is a thermos for your coffee. This means buying less coffee on your trip, and your coffee will stay at the perfect temperature all day long. Bring along snacks We recommend packing some good snacks to take with you on the road. This means you’ll be making less stops when you’re feeling munchy, and can avoid sweet temptations! We recommend nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and popcorn. Not only are these healthier than other high sugar or saturated fat alternatives, they also won’t give you a sugar high and the sugar low thereafter. Foods like fruits, nuts and dark chocolate will give you lasting energy and sustain you for longer. Be well-rested This one seems obvious, but it is one of the most important. The recommended hours of sleep for an adult is around eight hours a night, any less could result in tiredness on your drive. Being well-rested can decrease your reaction time and overall safety. Signs you might be starting to get too tired to drive include struggling to keep your ey es open, daydreaming, missing your exit or traffic signs, and poor gear changes – experiencing any of these might mean that it’s time to pull over, set your timer for 20 min utes, and have a good power nap. Another way to check in on your fatigue is to use a ‘Fatigue Calculator’. Being rested is vital for long driving and the safety of all passengers in the vehicle and on the road. Vehicle Safety It’s important to check that your vehicle is at a safe standard before hitting the road, minimising the risk of having any issues that could set your work plans back for the day! We always recommend that our Sales Reps do the following as part of their pre-start checklist: Check fuel level – is there enough to get to your first destination? Check fluid levels; water, coolant, oil and washer fluid Check the tyre pressure – do you need to pump up any of your tyres? Check the WOF, Rego and RUC Licence – are they up to date? Tip! Remember Fleetpin has a compliance report and automatic reminders so you never have to worry about leaving things like the WoF, Rego, RUC etc overdue. Peace of Mind Something you may not have considered is the various Alerts that you can easily set up in Fleetpin for peace of mind. SOS Alert – Drivers can press a distress button when they’re in trouble, sending out a notification to a nominated person(s) that they require emergency assistance. Impact, Crash and/or Overspeed Alert – a notification can be sent if a high impact event is detected, so drivers can be checked in on or sent help if needed. This is fantastic if you’re planning to be in remote areas or alone for long periods of time. Harsh Driving Buzzer – This kit is installed into the vehicle and acts a reminder to the driver if they are driving harshly including overspeeding (by way of a small and short sounding ‘beep’). Think of how easy it can be to lose focus on speed. With alerts set-up, you can be assured that if you’re faced with any mishaps, you (and the manager) or your team can be made aware straight away. Preparing navigation Even if you’re well familiar with the roads, it is still good to have some form of navigation running that can keep you updated on any traffic delays, incidents and alternative routes. Google Maps is excellent for this and is easily accessible on your smartphone. Other useful tools for your phone in the car include a phone charger and a phone mount – to avoid having to look down at your phone while trying to keep your eyes on the road. Did you know that on Google Maps you can also download a map so you can continue to get navigation assistance even when you’re out of cellphone range. Learn how to use this function here. Sun-safety This is a self-explanatory one, but one that is often forgotten! Save yourself from the classic ‘truckers’ arm and the danger of Melanoma Skin Cancer and remember to apply sunblock even when you’re driving. Sunstrike is also a common cause for stress and accidents on the road, but can be avoided by keeping a good pair of sunnies in your glovebox. Invest in a quality pair of sunglasses with polarisation that can prevent glare while you’re driving and provide UV protection. Podcasts Podcasts are a great alternative to listening to the radio, because you can choose a topic and the app will continue to play even if you’re in the middle of nowhere! Listening to talking or music while driving can actually be beneficial to a drivers’ efficiency, especially on those long, dull drives. It can reduce passive fatigue and allow you to better cognitively drive without overthinking. Here are some great podcasts that you can download on Spotify: New Zealand Today ZM’s Bree & Clint Jono & Ben The Pineapple Project Trip Logging Often it is advised or required that the trip is logged in its entirety, but for our team and Fleetpin customers, this becomes one less worry! Fleetpin automatically logs all trips and vehicle activity, allowing you to easily review your trip via Fleetpin Activity Report. From this, you can view useful information such as distance travelled, start times, stop times, idle times, engine hours and duty time. This allows drivers to simply focus on their trip ahead. Lastly, if you have more than one vehicle and drivers chopping and changing between vehicles they take out on the road, consider our Driver Management Suite, which allows drivers to log in and out when using different vehicles and reports on individual driver behaviour and activity. The list of tips and tricks for long haul road trips is extensive, but hopefully in sharing a few that we practise at Fleetpin, you may have learned something new – whether it being what you pack for the day, or how Fleetpin can support long-distance driving. As always, reach out to us if you’re interested to know more about long haul safety on the road or how Fleetpin can support this.