With the ELD mandate in the books, mobile devices in vehicle cabs are now commonplace. These phones and rugged tablets can help fleets distinguish themselves from the pack by leveraging telematics technology that takes a big bite out of waste and boosts profit margins every day.

A typical over-the-road fleet spends from 20 to 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 an average of 110 hours each 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 11 benefits that telematics technology can deliver for trucking fleet management.

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 (HOS) can boost overall fleet utilization.

Improve Safety

Drivers who know their behavior is being monitored tend to perform according to company and regulatory standards, which can reduce accidents and damage to vehicles and freight.

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.

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 cab-mounted tablets, fleet managers can instantaneously update drivers on detours, reroute them around heavy traffic and direct them to preferred fuel vendors.

Monitor Safety Habits

With connected trucks, management can view how fast vehicles are being 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.

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.

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.

Streamline Compliance

Despite the December 2017 deadline for the ELD mandate, 43.7 percent of out-of-service violations were related to HOS tracking during the 2018 RoadCheck enforcement event. Fleets need to be more proficient with mobile telematics technologies to improve compliance.

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.

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 also use the devices off-duty for movies, games and chatting with family and friends.

Enhance Security

Storing both company and personal data on mobile devices such as the Tab Active2 or Galaxy Note9 becomes possible with Samsung Knox, which can be leveraged to create secure and separate containers for business applications and data. With this technology, drivers can still use company-issued tablets for entertainment and communication during downtime, without compromising the security of business applications.

In this new world of trucking fleet management, mobile technology has rendered paper records obsolete. The power of data and mobile technology delivers improvements in compliance, driver efficiency and fleet performance.

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