“Action can be taken to warn customers that deliveries might be late or even missed in some extreme cases,” says Salter.
Similarly to units like GreenRoad, PACCAR Parts offers a unique fleet management system called TruckerLink, which allows a company to view information such as real-time statistics and location on a vehicle.
“TruckerLink utilizes proprietary Remote Carrier Switching technology that seamlessly switches the cellular connection between two networks, not just one,” says Tony McQuary, general sales manager for PACCAR Parts in Renton, WA. “TruckerLink tracks the performance of each driver—in terms of operational efficiency—and then allows the dispatcher to take the steps needed to help improve their performance and their bottom line.”
TruckerLink also utilizes geo-sensing in order to better locate a route vehicle and to make sure that the drivers are on time.
Roadnet’s Web-based program, Roadnet Performance Dashboard, displays easy to read graphs and gauges, which gives a user a plethora of information. A manager can customize what information he wants displayed at a glance and compare the actual data with the company’s goals. This data is fully customizable, allowing the user to choose various date ranges down to the type of chart or graph the user wants displayed. It helps a company keep track of their total orders, average route cost, number of stops, number of routes and more, each of which is fully customizable in order to gather useful information, which can be presented with intuitive reports.
Another helpful product is Roadnet Telematics. “Roadnet Telematics is our newest product and boasts significant savings through reductions in idling and wasted fuel as well as in vehicle maintenance costs,” says Brandt. Roadnet Telematics aims to positively influence a driver’s safety habits by monitoring a driver’s seatbelt usage, speeding habits, and other forms of risky behavior.
Looking down the road
One notable trend in the route vehicle industry is the evolution of handheld routing technology, and it’s expected that more drivers will eventually be interacting with handheld technologies. According to Descartes’ Wood, there will be more handheld technology such as smart phones and tablets in the truck along with Wi-Fi and 4G services in order to stay well connected.
Telecommunication connectivity such as cloud computing and open API is also gaining traction fast in the industry. The ability to quickly identify and resolve issues related either to the driver or the vehicle helps maintain a smoother workflow in the industry.
Meanwhile, the industry is also experiencing a heightened focus on ecological driving. “The desire for companies wanting to be ‘green’ and improve their eco-driving is a really key trend,” says GreenRoad’s Roberts. Services such as GreenRoad’s Idling Manager are important programs that support eco-driving. When truckers drive ecologically it not only lowers their carbon footprint, but helps their fuel efficiency as well.
The technology on the market today can help transportation executives pay closer attention to poor driving habits, which not only affect liability and maintenance of route vehicles, but “by keeping your drivers safe and focused on the road, vehicle telematics contributes to the health of your entire business,” says Roadnet’s Brandt. d