ACS witness the benefits of Brigade MDR system
Latest 3G-capable mobile digital recording (MDR) system with live access proves its worth
ADVANCE Construction Scotland (ACS) are high-profile groundworks and civil engineering specialists who often have hundreds of vehicles on the road at any one time, making them a prime target for false insurance claims.
Without evidence it is often difficult to refute such claims, which can put pressure on insurance premiums, operating costs and, ultimately, bottom-line profit.
ACS in Bellshill were the first company to trial Brigade Electronics’ new 3G-capable mobile digital recording (MDR) system with live access, and it was during these trials that one of the firm’s 32-tonne tipper drivers was involved in a head-on collision with a car.
The Brigade MDR-404G-500 is a four-camera digital recording system that uses 3G connectivity to give operators remote access to footage. Eight configurable trigger inputs can capture speed, g-force, motion detection, voltage, video signal loss etc. There is also an optional remote panel with panic button.
Operators can access live footage and vehicle location via a mobile app, and can create snapshots of the footage and receive alerts.
Following the head-on collision, David Sandilands, a director at Banlaw Systems, who had supplied and installed the equipment for ACS, was able to access the data remotely before the emergency services arrived.
He could clearly see the damage to the vehicle and the effects of the collision on the tipper driver, who was visibly shaken by the incident. He was able to check the speed and positioning of the vehicle and saw a car travelling on the wrong side of the road drive straight into the tipper.
As a result, Mr Sandilands was able to provide ACS with the footage on a USB stick and reassure their general manager, Colin Sinclair, that his driver was not culpable.
Speaking about the incident, Mr Sinclair said: ‘We recently had an accident involving one of our tippers where the system allowed us to instantly refute the third party claims and showed that our driver was not at fault.
‘This saved a lot of wasted time further down the line dealing with claims when accident recollections are not as sharp as at the time of the incident. The driver must have felt immense relief, especially at not having to wait for the outcome of a lengthy investigation.
‘Having this record on film proved to be invaluable and shifted all blame on to the other party. Our insurers were able to pursue a claim against them, rather than the situation being clouded by counter claims and resulting in both insurance parties striking a deal to clear the claim off their books.
‘It was clearly evident who was at fault, yet without the footage it would probably have been settled 50/50 and our insurance premiums would have risen.’
Banlaw, who are one of Brigade’s service partners, trained ACS staff on how to use the dashboard software to download data and also how to set up the software on company laptops and phones, to support a smooth handover.
The 3G MDR technology is said to have immense implications for crash investigations. Had the incident resulted in a fatality, the driver would have been immediately arrested while he awaited the outcome of the investigation, but instant remote access to recorded footage can provide peace of mind as well as vital evidence.
Colin Sinclair explained: ‘The Brigade 3G digital recording system allows our management team to study incidents in real time, eliminating the need to rely on witness statements, which can be clouded. We can evaluate situations and form conclusions based on actual events as seen, rather than as reported, cutting out any false claims by either our drivers or third parties.
‘Often tipper vehicles are seen as easy targets for claims and we are now more confident that any such claims can be refuted, protecting both our drivers and our company’s reputation. The MDR is an invaluable addition to our management systems and we expect to see a decline in spurious third party claims involving our vehicles.’
Brigade’s digital recording system offers further benefits to help to make fleets run more efficiently. Mr Sinclair continued: ‘Using the system’s live GPS and footage functionality can also assist in route management, as we can view live traffic situations and advise other drivers to avoid hot spots, thus allowing our vehicles to steer clear of any time-consuming and fuel-burning traffic jams.
‘We are delighted with the benefits that we are seeing from the Brigade system, the advantages that it offers to our fleet management and the support it lends to our drivers.’
Brigade provide a fully hosted 3G solution including the 3G SIM card, access to Brigade’s Cloud Server, ongoing hosting and maintenance of servers, a mobile app, dedicated telephone support for technical queries, and 3G data usage notifications to let the user know if they are approaching their limit.