The Foodbuy Fleet services a number of industries – from agriculture and mining to entertainment and hospitality. As National Fleet Manager, what innovations have helped you keep things running smoothly?
One of the best things we’ve done in the last two years is introduce In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS). It’s been a huge improvement to our fleet from a safety perspective. Our drivers now have a duress alarm. They just have to press that and they know we’re coming to get them.
We’ve also found out a lot of things about driver behaviour. It’s not about getting them into trouble or anything like that. It’s about understanding how our vehicles are being driven. For example, we found that some people were leaving cars running for three hours at a time because they were doing the cleaning and they didn’t want the air con to go off. The insurance department has told me the IVMSs will help with their costs too. We just need to collect about six months’ worth of data for them. We’re planning to upgrade the IVMSs to Toyota Connected Services when we can, and we’re looking forward to that.
Foodbuy puts a large emphasis on sustainability. What practices have you been able to initiate to ensure this responsibility is carried through to your fleets?
Cost-wise and waste-wise, we make improvements wherever we can. With our club cars, for instance, we use them around our camps. Because they’re electric they’re quiet so they’re not disturbing the shift workers or anyone else. We’ve got about four hundred of them. I sat with the owners of ADH Club Car – the company that makes our golf carts – and we developed solar power for them as well to convert them into hybrid solar power, battery-electric. Now the batteries are lasting twice as long, with reduced charge time.
Mining is a hard one when it comes to sustainability. And it’s easy to say we’re held back by mining but it’s not an excuse. It’s no reason to stop looking at what we can do more efficiently. With the release of more and more hybrid options, I’ll be looking down that path. Electric to us, is just that little bit further away, in the mining sector. I believe Toyota joined with BHP and Olympic Dam to trial an electric LandCruiser. I’m keeping an eye on that.