Posted: April 2018
North Kent Distribution specialises in pallet deliveries in North Kent and South East London offering a local and national distribution service. The company boasts a diverse, modern fleet of vehicles to handle all types of delivery and is FORS accredited but the business was experiencing frequent vehicle damage and high levels of small bogus insurance claims.
Gary Knight, Director of NKD said: “Despite driver training, our vehicles were still being damaged where drivers had caught things. We also had a few big insurance claims but it was the little ones that were the problem. We were seen as an easy target and couldn’t dispute claims. We also had incidents where multiple third parties were claiming to be in a vehicle that clearly hadn’t.”
NKD fitted Brigade’s Backeye®360, an intelligent camera system designed to assist low-speed manoeuvring by providing the driver with a complete surround view of the vehicle in real time. Four ultra-wide cameras capture footage of surroundings and are simultaneously processed and stitched together. The result is a single 360o image of the vehicle on the driver’s monitor, eliminating blind spots and the need to check and process several mirrors or monitors in quick succession.
Gary said: “Backeye®360 has helped our drivers enormously. It gives you good all round vision and is much better than normal cameras because it gives you a birds-eye view. It’s like having a third eye. Drivers still need to use their mirrors and only need to glance at the screen.”
Brigade’s latest generation of Backeye®360, the BN360-200 model provides users with up to nineteen viewing options including cross traffic which extends the angle of view at the front of the vehicle which is often obscured by other traffic or the driver’s inability to position himself at an appropriate angle to see all directions at a junction.
Upon indicating right or left, lane assist effectively shifts the 360° view to one side to provide the driver with a greater view of the area he needs to see. So the on screen display of the vehicle would move to the right when indicating left to enable the driver to see more of the nearside on the monitor.
Gary said: “The lane assist view gives you greater visibility of the nearside. Although you have the class four mirrors, the cameras give you a wider angle from right to left.”
The layout on the monitor has also been improved to increase the image size by 22 per cent, regardless of monitor size, making blind spots even more visible to the driver. Drivers also like the system. Terry Grieveson, Driver at NKD said: “The view that Backeye®360 gives makes such a difference, especially when reversing in congested town centres. It’s surprising how quickly the technology becomes second nature. Now I can’t imagine driving without it and the peace of mind that it offers.”
In addition, NKD fitted Brigade’s MDR digital recording four channel 500Gb system (MDR-50X). MDR captures footage from vehicle mounted cameras including Backeye®360 and the 4G and Wi-fi versions can be accessed without physically having to go to the vehicle, providing an accurate witness and irrefutable evidence in the case of false claims, crash for cash incidents and vandalism. The MDR-50X supports analogue high definition cameras (AHD) and has built in GPS for recording speed and location. Gary said: “Brigade’s MDR system provides our drivers with protection as well as protecting the vehicle.”
Lastly NKD fitted a self-adjusting bbs-tek® White Sound alarm to the vehicle to improve reversing safety without causing a noise nuisance. Gary said: “White sound alarms are very welcome on sites up town and it is part of the new FORS requirements.” The SA-BBS-97 adjusts to 5dB above the ambient noise level so that it can be heard but does not create noise pollution for local residents.