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Fleet Management

12 Benefits of Using Telematics for Trucking Fleet Management

Telematics technology can help every fleet take a big bite out of waste with data-enabled trucking fleet management that makes customers and drivers more satisfied and boosts profit margins every day. A typical over-the-road fleet spends from 20 percent to as much as 40 percent of its time idling, according to Trucking Info, with a lead-foot driver using up to 20 percent more fuel than the average trucker. Additionally, each driver spends on average 110 hours a year completing paper logbooks, and the industry spends 51 million hours annually reviewing and storing records. With in-cab smartphones and tablets linking drivers and dispatchers, trucking fleet management can do away with overspending and improve overall safety.

Here’s a look at 12 benefits that telematics technology can deliver for trucking fleet management.

1. Increase Efficiency: Real-time communication coupled with routing apps can divert drivers away from road delays and toward high-priority loads. Adding even a few minutes of driving time to each driver’s daily hours of service can boost overall fleet utilization.

2. Improve Safety: Drivers who know they’re being monitored tend to perform according to company and regulatory standards, which can reduce accidents and damage to vehicles and freight.

3. Increase Job Satisfaction: With electronic logs, drivers have more control over their daily routines, which is one of the top contributors to job satisfaction. The drivers know how much time they have left to work and can better collaborate with dispatchers to meet customer demands. With smartphones and tablets with them at all times, they can engage in training at a time and place that’s convenient for them.

4. Reduce Operating Costs: Saving even a few minutes of idling time across a fleet leads to huge fuel savings. Better fleet and driver utilization can lift equipment availability to meet customer demand with existing assets. Connecting with drivers via tablets, fleet managers can instantaneously update drivers on detours, reroute them around heavy traffic and direct them to preferred fuel vendors.

5. Track Hours of Service: Drivers and managers benefit from automatic hours of service tracking that’s available from any location. The team can develop a deeper understanding of how efficiently the fleet is organized, and the drivers can manage their time easily and accurately. The less time spent on paperwork, the better for everyone.

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6. Monitor Safety Habits: With connected trucks, management can view how fast vehicles are driven, how quickly they accelerate from a stop and other indicators of driver behavior. Drivers can be rewarded or counseled based on their performance relative to regulations and standards.

7. Optimize Vehicle Performance: Vehicle sensors can deliver alerts about engine problems and other diagnostic issues, while informing routing centers when a vehicle is out of service. The cache of vehicle data can help drive fleet overhaul and replacement planning as well.

8. Schedule Alerts for Repair Centers: Wired vehicles can monitor vehicle diagnostics and contact repair centers with proactive schedule alerts. This allows drivers and managers to plan for maintenance rather than running a truck to the point of failure.

9. Streamline Compliance: In 2014, more than 46 percent of out-of-service violations related to hours-of-service tracking. To comply with the federal Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, mobile telematics technologies, such as tablets, allow drivers to easily and immediately input data into one simple form that contains all the necessary information.

10. Retain/Attract Drivers: Mobile technology can increase connectivity for drivers who often feel disconnected by allowing them to virtually attend company meetings while also improving daily communication with their managers.

11. Offer Superior Driver UX/Entertainment: Based on telematics data, drivers can participate in intra-company gamification to incentivize driving efficiencies, or set up reward systems for the drivers who exceed their efficiency and safety goals. They can use the devices off-duty for movies, games and chatting with family and friends.

12. Enhance Security: Storing both company and personal data on mobile devices is possible with the Samsung Knox Workspace security solution which creates a secure container for business applications and data. With this technology, company-issued tablets can be used for entertainment and communication during driver downtime without compromising the security of business applications.

In this new world of trucking fleet management, paper is being replaced with mobile devices empowered with telematics technology. The power of data and open communication delivers improvements in compliance, driver efficiency and fleet performance.

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Posts By

Gary Wollenhaupt

Gary Wollenhaupt is a veteran of the transportation and logistics industry, with carrier-side experience in intermodal, rail and inland and ocean shipping verticals, managing corporate marketing and public policy initiatives. He's also worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper and in corporate and agency public relations. Follow Gary on Twitter: @gary_writes

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