How Rugged Devices Can Help Improve Fleet Safety and Employee Retention


Mature adult male truck driver standing in front of his truck

Employees have a few ‘must haves’ that need to be met for them to be fulfilled in their role. The most basic is safety; everyone expects to return home to their family at the end of their shift or swing. Other expectations are more specific to the individual. What’s important to one employee may be of little interest to the next. If you surveyed fleet drivers on what’s important to them, some would say an organisation that embraces technology.

Rugged Devices Attract and Keep Good Employees

Rugged devices have transformed the way field workers do their job in recent years. Fleet employees don’t want to deal with outdated systems that are difficult to learn and frustrating to use. They want the latest in rugged devices when they’re in the driver’s seat. Outdated technology can impact on recruitment and retention.

Recruiting Quality Employees Using Technology as a Sweetener

It’s hard to attract high-performing employees if you can’t offer up to date technology. And an old system is enough to make existing employees jump ship to a competitor who is embracing technology. Some fleet drivers will ask about the organisation’s fleet systems during the interview and turn down a job offer if they don’t meet their expectations.

For many candidates, it’s not just a matter of using the latest technology to make their job easy. Some employees see it as part of their career development. Keeping up to date with new systems ensures they don’t get left behind in the job market and can apply for higher level jobs in the future.

Rugged devices allow for better communication between head office and drivers. In the past, drivers might have felt cut off from head office because they were on the road and missed out on communications. Now tablets allow information to be distributed to staff instantly and gives them the opportunity to provide their opinion.  

Poor Staff Retention Rates

With the high cost of recruitment and training, it makes sense for an organisation to keep the staff turnover rate to a minimum. In some industries, investing in good quality rugged devices can improve employee retention. The new technology allows staff to do their job efficiently and with greater satisfaction.

Companies like Paper Transport (US Freight Company) reduced staff turnover from 72% to 63% by installing the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 Fully Rugged tablets in their 850-strong fleet of trucks. A workflow management and trucker software was installed on the tablets. The devices promote career advancement opportunities to drivers who can immediately express their interest through the tablet.

Rugged Devices for Improved Fleet Safety

Companies are moving to rugged devices to improve the safety of their fleet employees.

Online Training

Ongoing training can be undertaken on rugged tablets using a Learning Management System (LMS). Most rugged tablets are powered by Android operating systems, so anyone who is familiar with an Android consumer phone can use an Android rugged tablet with little to no training.

eLearning retention rates can have 25-60% higher retention rates than face to face training. Online training can be delivered faster than classroom training and drivers can complete the modules at a time that suits. If required, drivers can participate in live training classes with the ability to ask questions and receive an immediate answer from the instructor.

Tracking Driver Performance

By upgrading the old system to the Galaxy Active2 tablets, Paper Transport was able to develop an in-house app to track driver performance. The app provides information to management and the drivers on exceeding speed limits, hard braking, aggressive turns and lane changes, vehicles left idling too long and high fuel consumption. The app ensures drivers take their required breaks and don’t exceed their hours.

Better driving compliance increases safety for fleet drivers and other road users. The information from all vehicles can be used to identify trends, fleet performance and training opportunities. With a strong focus on safety, some insurance companies are willing to offer lower premiums.

Vehicle Maintenance

Rugged devices can be used to record engine hours and odometer readings to ensure vehicles are serviced and maintained on time. Instant alerts can be sent to the driver and maintenance crew when there is an engine problem and high chance of a problem in the near future.  

Ease of Use

Rugged tablets are designed to be used in the harshest conditions including hot, sunny vehicles. The screens can be read in the bright sunlight with minimal glare and reflection on the screen reducing the time a driver takes their eyes off the road. The devices are dust and water resistant so there’s no need to worry about spills, dust and condensation causing problems for the device.

Better Security with Rugged Tablets

Companies don’t need to be concerned about the security of their data if devices are left unattended in vehicles. They’re protected by fingerprint scanning or facial recognition. Most rugged units have the option of downloading defence-grade mobile technology to ensure sensitive company data is safe from intrusion.

It’s important for companies to know where their assets are at all times. Tracking apps make vehicle locations available to everyone in the organisation and can provide alerts on breakdowns. Rugged tablets can be used as barcode readers so delivery information is recorded instantly and available throughout the organisation reducing the need to contact drivers.


Games can be preloaded on tablets so drivers have something to do while taking a break. Organisations can lock devices so only approved games and apps are downloaded on the workplace devices.

If your organisation is looking to introduce rugged tablets to improve driver safety and retention of staff, contact the hardware experts at Roaming Technologies by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.
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