Although they have been a hot topic in the technology field for the last couple years, some people are still wondering what exactly an eletronic logging device is. An electronic logging device is an in-cab device that records critical data on vehicle movement, vehicle status and driver status. Data is collected on hours of service (HOS), engine runtime and idle time and vehicle reports are shared to a web-based counterpart in the home office.
How can you use logging devices?
By now you have probably heard all about the new HOS regulations that went into effect this past summer, so staying compliant is more important than ever. The most common use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) is to track HOS. In the past, many companies have completed this process by only using paper logs. This was not only time consuming for the drivers, but also for the office staff that had to review them and enter the hours into a data base. The ELDs automatically send all driver information to the database where it can easily be reviewed and processed on the computer.
Integrated with GPS capabilities, turn-by-turn directions are available to get drivers to and from a job in less time and less miles, maximizing route efficiency. The ELD can also be used to quickly and easily complete Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR), roadside inspections, fuel purchase forms and capture signatures. The tablet can be removed from the cab to breeze through inspections, and the device can be expanded for work order and dispatching capabilities.
Why drivers love ELDs
Switching from paper logs to electronic logs can seem very intimidating to drivers and they will have reservations. Many drivers feel like ELDs are just another way for big brother to look over their shoulder. However, we found that once drivers started using ELDs, they feel very differently. After the initial resistance, drivers start to realize that using an ELD actually saves them time and makes their job easier. Here are just a few reasons why drivers like using ELDs:
Reduce paperwork and reporting time – With ELDs and a fleet tracking system, diagnostic information pulled from the engine help drivers automatically record their HOS. ELDs ensure all hours are accurate and error free so they can be used as a solid defense when asked to drive more hours than available
Stay FMCSA compliant – When compliance is not met, penalties and fines arise and question the integrity of the entire business. When nearing the on-duty limit, automated alarms are triggered on the device, ensuring drivers can find a place to pull over in time.
Add driving time to your day – With paper logs, drivers had to round up in 15-minute increments, which can lead to lost driving time. With ELDs, drivers are able to record HOS down to the minute, adding more driving time to the day. With the elimination of paper logs, this accuracy can lead to an additional five to 10 hours of driving each week.
Breeze through inspections – The hassle of completing manual paperwork when conducting a DVIR before each trip is tedious and time consuming. With an ELD, drivers can easily and quickly complete inspections electronically. By completing these tasks on a tablet or Smartphone, paperwork will never be misplaced and the home office won’t have to wait days to receive it. Also, the in-cab device can be used in the event of traffic stops to help officers quickly see any log violations and be on their way.
Stay in touch with the home office – Relying on cell phones to communicate with drivers is unsafe and in some cases illegal. Some ELD systems provide two-way messaging between the driver and home office to be used only when the vehicle is not operating, to meet FMCSA compliance. Utilizing dispatching with the ELDs allows you to make real-time updates to stops and communicate with customers more accurately.
Recreational use of mobile devices – When drivers are out on a long trip, there is often a lot of downtime. During these times, drivers can stay entertained by watching a movie or playing a game, as well as keep in touch with family, when utilizing a non-proprietary device.
Choosing a system that’s right for you
First and foremost, you want to make sure the ELD meets all FMCSA requirements and is future-ready. Second, bear in mind that implementing an ELD is more than just putting an electronic device in your trucks and vehicles. Everyone that plans on using an ELD needs to embrace the change and be ready to learn the new system. Next, find a company that will partner with you in the process of installation and system use, not one that sets you up with an easy fix then turns the other way. Lastly, carefully look into the hardware and avoid proprietary devices. Purchasing a device that only runs ELD software from a provider will paint you into a corner, when a non-proprietary device gives greatly functionality.
Myths and Hesitations
Many companies feel that ELDs are an invasion of privacy to drivers. However, we found that after the initial resistance, many drivers realized that EOBRs actually take less effort on their part and can be used as a solid defense when asked to drive more hours than is legal. There is also the misconception that ELDs will cost more time and money to implement than they will save. But the opposite is true. Paper logbooks are recorded in 15-minute increments, and ELDs record down to the minute, saving a driver time, and that’s not even considering the time saved from not filling out the paper logs each day. The cost of implementing ELDs is much less than most realize, and the ROI is so rapid that most businesses wish they had put a system in place long ago.
Benefits of ELDs
There are many benefits your company and drivers get from using ELDs. They include:
Increased Safety Scores - With ELDs, you can boost your company’s safety score, as well as provide a safer driving environment for employees. Systems provide real-time reports on speed, mileage, stops and engine diagnostics, as well as alert drivers when it’s nearing the end of their driving time. This can make a significant impact on your company’s overall safety score, leading to lower insurance premiums and increased profits.
Reduce Errors and Improve Accuracy – Electronic driver logs save drivers time and prevent errors in their paperwork. The real-time, up-to-date information provided from an ELD is always correct and electronically stored data is never lost. Spending less time on paper work and more time on the road puts more money in your bottom line.
Reduce HOS Violations and Improve Driver Behavior – These violations are typically not dealt with until it’s too late, which in turn leads to company penalties and fines. ELDs automatically notify both the driver and office staff when nearing the end of the 11-hour driving limit, as well as the 14-hour on-duty limit. The GPS tracking capabilities allow drivers to map out safe stops in advance, so violations do not occur.
Improve Driver Behavior - If you couple ELDs with fleet tracking solutions, data on reckless driving behaviors, like fatigued driving, speeding and incorrect logs, can be pulled. With this information, address problems and coach bad habits to prevent penalties.
Are you using an electronic device in your business? Download our ELD buyers guide for more information on how your business can start saving today.
With cooler weather settling in, many construction companies, farmers and equipment rental businesses face the grueling task of preparing their equipment for harsh winter conditions. If you don’t properly winterize equipment, you could be hit with several serious problems come spring time. Your company spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on those pieces of equipment, and replacing expensive machines due to lack of popper care is a luxury few can afford.
The first step in preparing your equipment for winter should always be to checking the owner’s manual for suggested winterizing tips. Second, no matter what pre-winter steps you take, throughout the season you should start the machine every so often and let it briefly run to warm up the engine and affirm the gears are running smoothly in the cold temperatures. Lastly, if your equipment has any attachments you should detach them from the machine and keep them store separately. The strain of holding on attachments in freezing weather can cause great damage to joints and hinges.
Before you put your equipment away for the season, go through our pre-winter checklist:
___ Check all lights
___ Check windshield wipers
___ Make sure batteries are fully charged and are dirt and corrosion free
___ Check all fluid levels
___ Change engine oil and filters
___ Make sure belts are in good condition
___ Ensure the heater is operational
___ ‘Grease’ the entire machine
___ Check for general machine damage; fix it
___ Lube all doors and joints
___ Add mechanical fuel/water separators and fuel warmers to diesel machines
___ Clean all mirrors and windows
___ Make sure brakes and the parking brake are operational
___ Change the oil on 4-cycle engines
___ Add fuel stabilizers
___ Check fan belts for condition, tension and alignment
___ Ensure they are no fuel leaks, and make sure the proper fuel blend is being used
___ If you plan to use the equipment on snow and ice, be sure to winterize tires
These are just a few of the recommended steps in preparing equipment for winter. Do you have any tips we missed? Comment below or tweet @pedtech using #WinterPrep.
If you manage a fleet of vehicles, running efficient operations is a must. Fleet tracking systems have burst onto the market, making it hard for companies to know what provider to go with. If you are still under the misconception that fleet tracking cost you more time and money to implement, then you are missing out on a huge competitive advantage.
Here are the top 8 myths related to fleet tracking systems:
1. There is no real value you receive
If you believe that you can buy a software system, turn it on and expect results, then you probably will never get any value from that system. Sure, hardware can tell you how fast your truck is going or what stops your drivers made, but if you aren’t trained on how to use this data, then you probably won’t see any value. When you a fleet tracking system to its full capacity, you can see an ROI within just a few months. We see the largest ROIs in these areas:
Reduced fuel consumption
Increase operational efficiencies and productivity
Dispatch and route drivers more effectively
Improve customer service
Reduce out-of-route miles and unnecessary stops
Streamline FMCSA and IFTA Reporting
2. All systems are the same
It may be true that many providers out there offer similar features, but what’s really important is the vision of a company. Yes, you probably will be able to see where you trucks are on a map, but what types of products will the company offer five years from now? Look for businesses that will grow with you, allowing you to add on other asset categories or EOBRs when you are ready. While many companies have great products, their service and technical support after the sale does not back up the product. Carefully consider the training and support plans they have in place so you aren’t left with a system who don’t know how to use.
3. Employees feel it’s an invasion of their privacy
One of the first concerns many companies have is “our drivers will think we don’t trust them.” Although, many aspects of driver performance can be tracked with this system, keeping tabs on drivers isn’t the overall goal, its maximizing efficiency. With fleet tracking, you can,
Address aggressive driving and coach bad habits such as taking unnecessary stops, speeding or hard breaking.
Track delivery routes to see if miles can be shed or a more efficient route taken
Eliminate prolonged idling to cut fuel consumption
Make sure your drivers fill out their logbooks correctly by knowing how they have been driving
4. It will take too much time to learn and manage
Initially, installing and learning the system WILL take some time. However, once the training process is complete, the time savings that result will trump the time it took to learn. First off, you will need to choose one person to act as the system administrator and that person needs to know the system inside out to ensure your company is utilizing its full potential. If you don’t have the time or resources to have an office staff oversee the system, then you will need to find a provider who offers premiere support services. The most important thing to remember is that implementing a system will require a process change that both you and your employees will have to willing to embrace for it to work properly.
5. Too Expensive
Have you ever heard the phrase you have to spend money to make money? The same methodology applies when purchasing a fleet tracking system. Although there is an upfront cost for purchasing and installing the hardware and software, within just a few months your ROI will start to turn over. Despite popular belief, you can actually increase profits with tracking systems and maintain a safer, more efficient fleet.
6. It is unnecessary, we can use cell phones
Many companies think that they can easily stay updated on driver location and job status by simply using a cell phone to communicate back and forth. However, this is an inefficient method and in some cases illegal. With a fleet tracking system, instantly locate all your drivers on a single screen, without ever having to pick up a phone. With this data, you can respond to customer calls instantaneously by knowing accurate delivery and arrival times. If the driver is using an in-cab device you can also safely communicate with them to update job status or stops.
7. Not necessary for a small fleet
You may think because you manage a smaller fleet a system isn’t necessary in your business, but there is always room for improvement. Even if it means eliminating just two trips a week, shaving 10 extra miles off a delivery or providing better customer service with accurate delivery times. The little things add up and will boost your bottom line.
If you are interested in learning how a fleet tracking system could boost your bottom line? Schedule a fleet tracking demo today!
Drilling an oil well is a very complicated process that typically includes 10 to 30 different service companies. With all of the crews and equipment it takes to drill a well, it can be difficult to know where they are located and what they are doing. To gain real-time visibility into their remote operations, oil and gas companies are turning to equipment tracking software. Utilization of these technologies allows businesses to increase the productivity and efficiency of the equipment, while boosting their customer service. Most of our oil and gas customers purchase our software for 5 main reasons:
1. Locate all assets and equipment
Often times, equipment can sit at a job site for days or weeks at a time. Next thing you know its location is forgotten, or worse, it’s been stolen. Taking the time manually search for missing machines in these instances costs your company in more ways than one. Workers drive from site to site, burning up fuel, clocking more hours and putting priority jobs on hold. With an equipment tracking system, you can instantly locate all equipment and get back to business faster. Using any device that has Internet connection, all equipment location data can be accessed on a single screen.
2. Boost customer service
Keeping the customer happy is the most important facet of any business. In the oil and gas industry, there are hundreds of pieces of equipment and trucks that come and go each day. In the midst of all these transactions, it’s inevitable that delays will arise. Traffic congestion, a long line at the last job site or a breakdown on the side of the road, are all too common in the service industry and can lead to angry customers stuck waiting for your worker to arrive. Although an equipment tracking system cannot prevent these inconveniences, it keeps you notified on the status of all your workers, allowing you to update the customer with the most accurate arrival time.
3. Properly schedule maintenance
When breakdowns occur it can immobilize your entire operations. Often times, costly machine malfunctions could be avoided and take place after basic checkups like oil changes and tire rotations slip through the cracks. Equipment tracking systems coupled with a maintenance solution allows users to properly schedule maintenance on a usage or time-based variable. Configured notifications and alerts can be set up to remind managers of upcoming maintenance appointments weeks or days in advance, ensuring routine appointments are never missed.
4. Improve billing
“How long was my equipment actually in use?” This is one of the most common questions when processing billing for rental companies. When a piece of equipment is rented out, or on a job site for a long period of time, hard copies of runtime reports get lost, hours of use go unrecorded or they are forgot all together. When actual engine runtime blurs together, billable hours are skewed, upsetting both the customer and the business. Equipment tracking systems provide instant reports on idle time, usage time and overall engine runtime. With all this data at your fingertips, billing discrepancies are easily resolved and all billable hours are accounted for.
5. Enhance communication with remote workers
Relying on drivers to pick up the phone and keep you updated is an unreliable method in the oil and gas industry. Not only does it often slip the remote workers mind, but it is also unsafe and in some cases illegal. With equipment tracking, not only can you instantly pull asset location with GPS tracking, but you can also safely communicate with workers by utilizing dispatching software. An in-cab device provides safe instant messaging between home office staff and the remote worker, but only when the truck or vehicle is stopped and not in use. Update job lists and instantly share them safely to the device, enhancing communication with all employees.
Interested in learning how equipment tracking systems could boost your business? Download our equipment tracking brochure today!
Many companies are implementing electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) to streamline safety and compliance for their entire fleet. Switching from paper logs to electronic logs can seem very intimidating to drivers and many will have their reservations when utilizing this technology. Many drivers feel like EOBRs are just another way for big brother to look over their shoulder. However, we have found that once drivers start using EOBRs they feel very differently. After the initial resistance, drivers start to realize that using an EOBR actually saves them time and makes their jobs easier. Here’s six reasons why drivers like using EOBRs:
1. Reduce Paperwork and Reporting Time
With EOBRs, driver’s no longer have waste valuable time completing paper forms and calculating driver hours. The Fleet tracking system pulls diagnostic information from the engine to help drivers automatically record their hours-of-service (HOS) data. EOBRs also ensure that all hours are accurate and error free so they can be used as a solid defense in case you are asked to drives more hours than you have available.
2. Stay FMCSA Compliant
Staying compliant is one of the main concerns for most drivers and business operators. When compliance is not met, many penalties and fines arise and question the integrity of the entire business. When drivers are nearing their on-duty limit, automated alarms are trigged on the device, ensuring can find a place to pull over in time. Dispatchers or fleet managers can also utilize the system to effectively dispatch drivers to jobs, knowing exactly how many driving hours they have remaining for the trip.
3. Add Driving Time To Your Day
If you’re still using paper logs, then you know the FMCSA requires drivers to round up driving time in 15 minute increments, which can lead to lost driving time. With EOBRs, drivers are able to record their HOS to the nearest minute, adding more driving time to their day. This coupled with the time savings drivers see by not having to fill out manual logs, can add an additional 5-10 hours of driving time each week.
4. Breeze Through Inspections
Before each trip, drivers are required to fill out a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR). Many of you know the hassle of having to check each box as you walk around your truck. With a system like ours, you can breeze through this process with an electronic form that allows you to select only areas of concern. Electronic inspections ensure that you never misplace paperwork and home office staff will never have to wait for weeks to receive it. The in-cab device can also be used in the event of traffic stop, to help officers quickly see any log violations and be on their way.
5. Stay in Touch with the Home Office
Relying on cell phones to communicate with drivers is a very unsafe, and in some cases illegal, method. Some EOBR systems provide other functionality via the tablet or Smarthphone, such as two-way messaging. On the same device that a driver uses as an EOBR, they can receive safe and simple messages from the home office. Drivers are unable to read messages until they are completely stopped, ensuring FMCSA compliance. With the other features and functionality you can make real-time updates to stops and communicate with customers more accurately.
6. Recreational Use of Mobile Devices
When you’re on a long road trip, there is often a lot of downtime while waiting in line for a delivery or when you’re off-duty. During these times, staying entertained and keeping in touch with family can sometimes be difficult. If you select a provider that does NOT have proprietary devices, then you are able to use the same tablet or Smartphone you use as an EOBR to stay in touch with family, play a game or watch a movie.
Want to learn more about using EOBRs in your business? Download the EOBR Buyers Guide today!
Managing a fleet is becoming a costly business due to rising costs and a declining economy. If you’re among the thousands of businesses who have been struggling to increase efficiencies and decrease costs, then look no further than fleet tracking software. Many fleets are starting to utilize new technologies to cut costs in areas that were never possible before. However, if you haven’t made the switch then you are probably under the misconception that fleet tracking systems are too costly and not worth the time or money to implement. We have found the opposite is true. Once fleets make the switch they see such a rapid ROI that they wish they’d implemented a system long ago.
Think about it…
Could you cut back on unnecessary stops or out-of-route miles?
Could your dispatch drivers more effectively by knowing where they are located?
Are you wasting time manually compiling and filling out IFTA reports?
If you answered yes to any of these questions and are still having hesitations, just ask yourself, what would your ROI be?
Reduce Fuel Consumption
One of the most costly aspects of managing a fleet is the amount of money spent on fuel. In the last decade the cost of a gallon of gas has more than doubled, and in the midst of the first government shut down in 17 years, there is little hope if it dropping lower any time soon. A single truck in your fleet travels nearly 100,000 miles per year, averaging only 8 to 10 MPG, and with the cost of diesel fuel at $3.92 per gallon, that’s around $40,000 per truck on fuel alone.
The biggest waste of fuel is the amount burned on out-of-route miles and inefficient routes due to poor dispatching methods and unnecessary stops. Fleet tracking systems provide insights into individual vehicle location, allowing you to see who’s closest to a customer and dispatch drivers accordingly. From there, you can provide driver’s with an in-cab solutionthat allows them to follow turn-by-turn directions and even fill out electronic forms when they arrive. Most customers are able to save $250/week on each truck just by reducing unnecessary fuel costs alone.
With some fleet tracking systems, you can automate reports for IFTA and DOT compliance. Manually filling out these forms in the past was tedious and time consuming, and the forms sometimes contained errors. Now, complete the forms on an in-cab device and breeze through daily inspections and reporting.
Use Case Example -Two of our customers saw dramatic results by making the switch to electronic reporting tools. General Equipment and Supplies, Inc. consistently saved 50 hours per week through the addition of automated IFTA reports with fleet tracking, totaling savings of $48,000/year, to which Steve Stafki, vice president of service said, “Pedigree saves us so much money; it’s stupid.”
Another customer, Richards Transportation Service cut reporting time from 80 hours a month to just 2 hours per month. With this drastic decrease in reporting time, Richards Transportation eliminated the need for two additional administrative hires, saving them $70,000 in salary expenses.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Fleet tracking systems that utilize dispatching take your company one step further and help you keep the most important people in the business happy, your customers. There are many reasons delays happen when a truck is on delivery, traffic jams, a flat tire or the previous job ran longer than expected. Without a fleet tracking system, sometimes the home office doesn’t find out about these delays until they receive a call from an angry customer. The GPS fleet tracking software gives you real time updates of location and statuses, and you can see if a truck is delayed at a job or stuck in traffic. With this data, customers can be consistently updated with accurate arrival times. You will also be able to respond to customer calls faster. Take one look at the screen to find the nearest worker and instantly dispatch them to the latest job.
Use Case Example - Since Richards Transportation Service installed a fleet tracking system, they have increased customer service and been able to grow the current customer base by 30 percent.
Improve Driver Behavior
One of the easiest ways that your company could save money is by coaching driver behavior. Some of the most common behaviors that cost your company money are lengthy idles, rapid breaking and acceleration, speeding and unnecessary stops. Drivers may not be aware of how these habits are affecting business, and the home office doesn’t know how long vehicles are idling or when they take quick stops at unscheduled locations.
The average truck sits in idle for six to eight hours per day. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, trucks waste more than 685 million gallons of gas per year sitting in idle alone. Fleet tracking systems let you see how long those vehicles have been idling and let you address times that the truck could possibly be turned off.
2. Aggressive Driving
Simple driving habits that continue to cost drivers across the spectrum are speeding and rapid breaking and acceleration, which is also known as aggressive driving. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by up to 33% at highway speeds and by 5% in town or residential areas. With a fleet tracking system, your company can compare drivers speed against the posted speed limit and see how rapidly they are breaking and accelerating. You can then coach these detrimental behaviors in a way that shows how they are negatively impacting the company’s bottom line.
3. Unnecessary stops
Anytime a driver makes a stop that is not scheduled, on their job list or verbally planned with the employer, it is an unnecessary stop. This can be stopping for a coffee break after their shift has already started, going five miles out of the way to hit their favorite diner or stopping at home to kill a little time. These trips not only result in out-of-route miles, but also waste company time that could be spent completing more jobs and increasing productivity. Fleet tracking lets you see all driver activity so you can ensure the most efficient measures are taken.
Use Case Example – Richards Transportation said they are saving $250/mo. per truck by reducing idle time, lowering the average speed and eliminating unnecessary stops. Richard’s has also saved five hours of company time per trip with visibility into fleet location and stops.
4. Reduce HOS Violations
Lastly, if you couple your fleet tracking system with EOBRs, your company will reduce hours of service violation fees as well as keep track of driver’s hours down to the minute, avoiding falsified paper logs. EOBRs automatically record driving hours, DVIRs and fuel receipts and share them with the home office. Automated alerts notify both the driver and office staff when nearing the 30-minute rest period or the end of driving and on-duty hours.
Customers typically see an ROI within three to six months of installation, making them wish they would have made the switch long ago. To learn what your ROI would be, get a customized web demo today!
If your businesses depends on equipment to stay up and running smoothly, then you know staying on top of maintenance is a must. But what happens when that piece of equipment is out at a job site for a month and you have no idea how long it ran or when the last maintenance was performed? Most of the time proper routine maintenance is overlooked, leading to setbacks caused by major mechanical failures. If your company still waits until equipment fails to repair it, then you are wasting thousands of dollars that could be easily spared by preventive maintenance.
What is Corrective Maintenance?
Corrective maintenance is a maintenance task performed to resolve equipment failure and restore it to operational condition. This type of maintenance is the most commonly used approach and it occurs when routine check-ups fall through the cracks, leading to major mechanical problems. Corrective maintenance could cost thousands of dollars, not to mention if you end up have to replace the equipment what that cost would be.
What is Preventative Maintenance?
Preventative maintenance is any maintenance that is designed to retain the healthy condition of equipment and prevent failure, which could mean an oil change, cleaning or inspection. This type of maintenance has been determined by researchers as the best and most efficient way to maintain equipment. By performing routine maintenance, equipment life can be extended dramatically and reduce the number of major mechanical failures that occur.
Switching to preventative maintenance can not only save you time and money, but increase the value of your equipment drastically. This process change can seem difficult and time-consuming, but there are many tools and solutions that can help. For instance, utilizing equipment maintenance software can streamline this process entirely by allowing you to schedule maintenance based on timing or usage, and receive automatic alarms when maintenance due. From there, you can dispatch the closest technician and record any repairs that were preformed in one, centralized system. Tools like these allow you to see how much money you are spending on equipment and make better decisions.
Here are some other important benefits of implementing a preventative maintenance program:
- Increase equipment uptime and avoid serious breakdowns
- Extended equipment life with routine maintenance
- Improve tech or worker utilization
- Reduce paperwork and administrative tasks with electronic reporting tools
- Improve safety and quality conditions for everyone
Interested in implementing a preventive maintenance program? Read more about our award-winning maintenance software or sign up for live web demo today!
Some experts say the 2013 harvest will produce a record yield of corn and soybeans, with a projected income of $120.6 billion for the industry. This means more trucks on the road, more equipment in the field, more employees scattered all over, more loads to deliver and more paperwork to fill out and keep track of. This is the busiest time of the year for the farm industry, and staying on top of all aspects of the business becomes a grueling task. But there are ways to ensure that all operations continue to run smoothly.
Manage Equipment Status
During harvest you have numerous trucks and machines completing multiple tasks every day. Combines and are working hastily to get turn the latest crop, grain trucks are hauling load after load and tractors are tilling harvested land to prepare for next season. How are you supposed to keep track of it all? Many of those in the agriculture industry are starting to utilize an equipment tracking system in their business to decrease the hassles that come with the chaos. Businesses that run an equipment tracking system can instantly locate all equipment, whether it’s on a delivery, been misplace or stolen. On a computer or tablet device, you can pull data on GPS locations, engine runtime and machine health. By leveraging all this information, you will make better business decisions and complete harvest faster and more profitable.
Keep Equipment Healthy
Nothing is more stressful then being on a time crunch. With a small window of opportunity to get the crops off the field, costly breakdowns can be a major detriment to production and morale. Integrating a maintenance solution into your business is one of the best ways to stay on top of equipment health and recover quickly from breakdowns or problems. The system allows you to schedule maintenance based on usage or time, set alarms to alert you when maintenance is due and track maintenance trends with history reports. Other little things such as encouraging employees to watch how hard they break and shift, and reducing idle times, can also go a long way in keeping equipment healthy. When you stay on top of equipment health, you not only extend the machines life, but you stay on top of your business.
Know Asset Location
Knowing machine location and health status is vital to run a successful harvest operation, however, maintaining your non-powered assets is just as important. Tanks and storage bins, along with trailers and grain carts, are often left sitting in remote areas for a long period of time. This can lead to assets being forgotten then lost, or even stolen. Asset tracking systems designed specifically for non-powered assets keep you updated on locations at all times. Geo-fenced areas and landmarks can be created with configured alarms to notify you via text or email if an asset moves from a specific location to prevent theft or unauthorized use. With asset tracking, you can keep your eyes on the field at all times.
Have any tips we didn’t mention? Comment below or tweet @pedtech using #Harvest.
If you own or operate a fleet of vehicles, then you know what you are up against. Rising fuel costs, strict compliance regulations, and driver retention can keep your costs rising and profits low. Reducing your fleet costs is not any easy task, but there are new tools and systems that can help. Many fleets are leveraging fleet tracking systems to save money and boost productivity. Their savings are anywhere from $10,000 to upwards of $100,000 each year and here’s how they are doing it:
1. Cut Fuel Consumption
Fleet Tracking helps reduce fuel consumption in many ways. First, with insight into how long your fleet vehicle has been running and when and where stops are taking place, you can reduce out-of-route miles that are increasing fuel consumption. Secondly, you can dispatch the closest workers in response to customer calls and provide drivers with the best possible route. Lastly, with accurate engine runtime and idle-time data, you can address prolonged idling and reduce the amount of fuel wasted on trucks that are left running.
2. Improve Driver Performance
By utilizing fleet tracking software, your company can immediately start improving driver performance, which in turn will save you money. With insight into driver behavior such as stops, speeds, rapid acceleration or hard breaking, companies can acknowledge issues and coach driver behavior. Through driver coaching and addressing small problems before they become major, drivers stay FMCSA compliant and eliminate the costly fines that come with violations.
3. Faster and Accurate Dispatching
Stop wasting the time it takes to call each individual driver for location information and job status. Fleet tracking provides real-time location data for all trucks and vehicles on a single screen. With this information you can determine who is closest to the next job site. Then, through safe two-way messaging, communicate job updates with remote workers and provide them with the most fuel-efficient route. You will also improve customer satisfaction by giving accurate updates of when workers will arrive at a job site.
4. Schedule Proper Maintenance
When small maintenance problems go unnoticed, they can quickly become a big problem and cost your company a great deal of money. With a maintenance solution, engine diagnostic data is relayed to the home office providing insights into machine health. After conducting machine assessments, you can schedule maintenance with configured alarms to alert you the next time routine oil changes and tire rotations are needed. Keep track of breakdown trends and machine records to better monitor and predict when maintenance will be needed next. With fleet tracking, all machine information is at your finger tips.
5. Avoid Compliance Violations
The FMCSA is constantly updating rules and regulations, the most recent being the updated HOS and the implementation of the 30-minute rest period. With EOBRs, you can ensure compliance and avoid hefty fines. Electronic Onboard Recorders automatically record all on-duty driving hours and send this data back to the home office instantly. They even alert both drivers and office staff when they are nearing the driving limit, ensuring that drivers have time to pull over and stop. By having an EOBR system, your company will avoid costly fines and properly record all hours, ensuring FMCSA compliance is being met at all times.
6. Reduce Paperwork and Reporting Time
Fleet Tracking systems eliminate the hassle of manual paperwork, saving your time and money on labor costs. Drivers can complete fuel purchase forms, road-side inspections, IFTA reports and DVIRs on an in-cab device. With a system like Pedigree Technologies OneView®, state miles are already calculated for automated IFTA reports. This allowed one of our customers, General Equipment, to save $48,000 a year by not having to manually fill out paperwork and calculate miles by state.
No matter what size fleet you operate, there are multiple ways your company can cut costs and increase efficiencies. How are you saving on fleet management? Tweet @pedtech with #FleetCosts and tell us your fleet-savings story.
What are ELDS?
Since Congress adopted the EOBR mandate, the emerging technology has become a common acronym in the transportation industry. Electronic Onboard Recorders, now known as Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), will soon be required in all businesses that submit record of service hours (RODS) to make sure all FMCSA regulations are being met. But what are ELDs? ELDs are an in-cab device that records critical data on vehicle movement, vehicle status and driver status. Data collected on hours of service, idle time and completed reports, are shared from the ELD to the web-based counterpart at the home office.
How can you use ELDs?
The most common use of ELDs is to track hours-of-service (HOS). With the new HOS regulations that went into effect on July 1, there are even more regulations drivers need to follow to ensure they are staying compliant. In years past, many businesses would keep track of their hours via paper logs. This was not only time consuming for the drivers, but also for the office staff that had to review it and enter the hours into the database. The ELDs automatically send all driver information to the database where it can easily be reviewed and processed on the computer. The ELD, integrated with GPS capabilities, provides turn by turn directions, getting drivers to and from a job in less time and less miles, maximizing route efficiency.
Drivers can also use the in-cab device to quickly and easily complete Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR), roadside inspections and fuel purchase forms, and capture signatures on the table to speed up the invoice process. Devices can be removed from the vehicles for roadside inspections, review of logbooks and vehicle inspections. ELDs are expandable for electronic work orders and dispatching capabilities.
Results to Expect from ELDs
After installing an ELD system into your business, the results you see will streamline your company’s operations and increase productivity. Your company will:
1. Reduce Out-of-Route Miles and Cut Fuel Costs
By utilizing GPS turn-by-turn directions, drivers will take the most efficient route, which will eliminate unnecessary miles, save time, allow the drivers to complete more jobs and overall cut fuel consumption and spending.
2. Breeze through Inspections and Vehicle Reports
Gone are the days where a driver spends an hour or more completing DVIR and roadside inspections on paper. With ELDs drivers can easily complete the electronic reports in the form of a check list on the in-cab device. When completing roadside inspections, the driver can hand the ELD to law enforcement for a smooth and timely review.
3. Communicate Safely with Remote Workers
With ELDs, the home office is able to communicate with drivers and remote workers by using a two-way messaging system. The messaging system ensures the highest safety for your drivers, operating only when the vehicle is stopped.
4. Reduce Paperwork
ELDs basically eliminate the need for paper logs and streamlines reporting processes for FMCSA and IFTA reports. All data is instantaneously sent to the database, which can be accessed by a user on any device with internet access.
5. Stay FMCSA Compliant
With the updated HOS regulations, and the looming fines that come with violations, stay on top of FMCSA compliance with ELDs. Notifications will automatically alert drivers and home office staff when nearing the required 30-minute rest period, or the 14-hour on-duty limit.
Whether you are making the switch to ELDs to increase your businesses productivity and efficiency, or getting a jump start on the new mandate, the ROI you will receive from ELDs will make you wish you had been using them all along. Have you made the switch to ELDs yet? Comment below or Tweet @pedtech with #ELD and tell us why you made the switch.