Transport Resource Management
TRM is a full-service transport management solution with a collection of Riders fleet management solutions, in which the partner retains ownership of the vehicle (the asset) but gives full management responsibility to Riders. It includes advice on an appropriate vehicle and motorcycle mix, a systematic training schedule for vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders, and high-quality vehicle maintenance based on a preventive maintenance culture as opposed to the repair-oriented management of fleets. All this are underpinned by costing using a cost per kilometre (cpk) model. There is flexibility around what is included in the running costs for some none vehicle mechanical needs, such as vehicle user insurance, fuel and driver employment.
The project can start with new vehicles, which is preferable or start with used vehicles. When the project has only used vehicles, set up processes is longer for it involves vehicle assessments and vehicle refurbishments before implementation of TRM.
- The use of a cpk model provides a precise costing for each kilometre travelled by health workers allowing for accurate budgeting and planning;
- Extends a vehicle’s life to coincide with its expected life, as suggested by the manufacturer, which saves on capital costs;
- Keep vehicles in a safe and efficient running condition, which can minimise accidents, reduce carbon emissions and saves costs;
- Prevent breakdowns, which are not only costly, but disruptive;
- Replaces parts and vehicles at the most appropriate time in terms of operating cost and safe use.
Step 1- Vehicle assessment
To ensure that the service offered is of the best possible quality, it is important to assess the vehicles that are in the fleet and decide against a set standard through an assessment scoring system to determine which vehicles are suitable to be included into the fleet management system.
1a) Desk-based assessment
Desk based assessment done before a physical assessment,uses three parameters to consider a vehicle fit for TRM.
age of the vehicle (time)
- vehicle type and model.
1b) On site assessment
The assessors assess only vehicles identified by the desk-based assessment as suitable basically satisfying the two parameters. The assessor follows through a list of checks from a checklist where he/she grades them on a scale of 1-5 according to his professional judgement. Every component of the vehicle is inspected and tested for its performance, suitability and expected lifespan.
Step 2- Refurbishments
After the physical assessment, some vehicles are found to be suitable but will need some components to be replaced to bring it up to the standard allowed for vehicles under TRM. All highlighted components must be replaced with brand new ones.
Refurbishment is advised within two months of the on-site assessment as wear and tear continues on the vehicles whilst being used.
Step 3- Rider/Driver Training
After the assessments and refurbishments which are largely setup costs, the first step to run the system is training. For motorcycle users, this means training both for those who have ridden a motorcycle before and those who have never ridden. The training enables them to become competent motorcycle riders capable of riding in a challenging rural environment. It also teaches them to avoid accidents caused by less-competent drivers and riders, found in abundance on African roads.
Riders are also taught daily preventive maintenance techniques, making them more knowledgeable about the machine they are riding. This creates a sense of responsibility within the riders towards their motorcycles. In areas where Riders for Health works, motorcycles are now viewed as effective tools of the health delivery system, they have lost the death-trap tag that other motorcycles throughout Africa have.
Equipping drivers with advanced driving techniques, together with daily maintenance checks enables them to save lives whilst themselves remaining safe. It makes them vehicle-sympathetic thereby prolonging vehicle life span and saving scarce resources. Some drivers destroy vehicles, not because they are careless, but just because they do not have the appropriate knowledge
Riders’ training combined with the modular maintenance schedule produces an efficient preventive maintenance regime, resulting in the elimination of negligent breakdowns and accidents. This reduces expensive vehicle downtime ensures vehicles and motorcycles are available reliably over an extended lifetime, thereby increasing their capacity to reach remote communities.