Coach drivers on route efficiency with Route Playback

Athens-Clarke County

Problem to solve:

Athens-Clarke County’s Solid Waste Department uses 37-foot long automated trucks for solid waste collection. These trucks can only run on one side of the road at a time. Because of this, drivers had to make complex turnarounds to reach all the houses on their routes. Not only did these turnarounds pose a safety challenge, but they also caused delays. “We don’t want drivers unnecessarily turning around or having to back up,” said Collections Administrator Korey Jones. “It’s a safety hazard.” 

How they solved it:

To minimize turnarounds and keep his trucks running on time, Jones leveraged the Samsara dashboard to get a bird’s eye view of the routes that pose the biggest challenge for his drivers. “I sat down to look at our longest route and noticed the driver was turning around too much. It was too dangerous,” said Jones. 

By using Samsara’s route playback feature, Jones was able to show drivers where they turned around unnecessarily and how they could avoid it moving forward. Not only does this help minimize hazards, but it also helps his team execute their routes in less time. 

Here’s how Jones did it: 

01. Locate a specific route in the Routes tab.

02. Use route playback to identify unsafe or inefficient parts of the route. In this case, Jones was searching for areas where drivers had to turn around unnecessarily. You can replay the entire route by pressing the “play” button, or use the scrubber (the circle icon) to fast-forward to the exact time that you want to review. 

03. Coach drivers on how to avoid unsafe driving behaviors. After identifying the unsafe or inefficient parts of your route, Jones held coaching conversations with drivers to show them where they were turning around unnecessarily.  


By leveraging Samsara route playback for one of his biggest routes, Jones was able to go from 15 turnarounds to 6. Not only did this make his routes safer, but it also had an unexpected benefit: saving thousands of dollars on fuel. The collections division has seen a 58% increase in fuel efficiency and a 19% decrease in fuel usage since optimizing their routes. This amounts to about $6,000 saved over six months.

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