When you think of challenging driving conditions, you might well jump to the idea of concrete jungles – towns and cities with pedestrians and other road users everywhere. These are indeed a challenge for drivers, but less so for vehicles. However, out on the open road, particularly in the north of the UK, there are far harsher environments for commercial fleets to operate in.
While the United Kingdom is, by comparison with many other countries, a safe natural environment, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t throw its fair share of challenges at all those of us who live and work here. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of that is weather related, and as Brits, we do love to talk about the weather, so let’s get started.
There’s no escaping the fact that it rains a lot in the UK. That rain is the reason we have rolling green hills and something to talk about, but it can also be very damaging for fleets and their safety equipment. Water ingress is the obvious first issue because even a small amount of water getting into a piece of equipment can fry it in an instant. With things fused correctly, this usually only means losing one part of a larger system, but think about if that’s a camera system you rely on.
If you had a camera that wasn’t IP rated to the right level to deal with water, dust, and dirt ingress, and it goes down because of heavy or persistent rain, then it’s not going to offer you the protection you’ve invested in installing it. Even worse, if particular cameras are a requirement of your own internal policies or that of an accreditation like FORS or a site requirement, you can’t send that vehicle out at all. At this point you’re not only missing out on a return from your investment you’re missing out entirely on the value that vehicle can deliver.
Our climate is largely the reason for the state of our roads. Rain, followed by freezing and unfreezing of surface water leads to cracks and giant potholes. Even large commercial vehicles with huge contact patches suffer from being knocked around by these conditions and this too can affect how well your camera systems operate.
For example, if your DVR isn’t correctly mounted and it's thrown around the part of the cab it’s stored in, there’s a good chance it isn’t going to work for very long.
These seem like small things but they can quickly become big issues when you go to retrieve footage to disprove a crash for cash claim and there isn’t any there.
One of our clients in Scotland, John Mitchell Haulage, has a huge fleet of trucks that are sent to every corner of the country; rain or shine. Because of this, they see the full spectrum of weather and road conditions, and everything we fit has to stand up to that task. Thankfully we only stock and fit equipment that is rated for the harshest conditions, and our engineers understand how important the details of fitment are to ensure consistent operation.
We also need to touch on how important the backend aspects of many modern vehicle safety systems are. Without a stable and robust platform to transmit and view live tracking and video information, you won’t have access to vehicle data when you need it.
With more and more cash for crash claims plaguing the roads of Britain, you can’t afford to not have data that protects your driver, vehicles, and entire fleet operation. That doesn’t just mean having reliable DVRs that have a run-on, and a solid hard drive that can withstand bumps and knocks, but also the data transmission method they use to give you live data.
Mobile coverage in the UK can at times be patchy, particularly in the areas where industrial works are located, or on the long stretches of unpopulated roads that weave across the country. Because of this, you need to put the right SIM in the right unit to give you the best chance of constant coverage. Also, when coverage is available you need the speed necessary to actually watch the footage and not have it buffer for ten seconds at a time first. We only fit 4G SIMs in our Live View DVRs and can always talk to you about your specific fleet needs.
Our systems provide exceptional, unrivalled image quality. They are strong, sturdy, and long-lasting, made with only the best materials, need little upkeep, and provide you with the return on investment you deserve. The bottom line is that vehicles off the road cost you money. So get the right kit.
Want vehicle safety equipment that can handle any environment? You need to contact Sentinel Systems today.