Tech Strategies for Fleets
In the 21st century, big rigs are becoming more and more integrated into the Internet to help trucking companies, both big and small, increase their profit margins and generally make life easier. Here are some examples of tech strategies that fleets and owner-operators alike can or should adopt to help run a tight ship.
Benefits of Tech
In the 20th century, truckers had to log their personal driving times to comply with the Department of Transportation. Now, with the help of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), truck drivers no longer have to keep track of hours when a machine can do it for them.
The same line of logic applies to fuel cards. No longer does a driver need to keep receipts for diesel purchases when the information can go straight into the server. The number of headaches that simplification causes are immeasurable.
While devices that track vehicular speed can seem annoying, they are in the best interest of everyone involved. Driving at 65 MPH costs approximately 10% more than driving at 60 MPH, and that is just in fuel costs alone. When you factor in the savings on vehicle wear, speeding tickets, and lives lost, the numbers add up to discourage speed.
Efficiency goes beyond just staying within the speed limit. Being able to track tire tread can help prevent deadly catastrophes and alert the optimal time to replace a tire.
The government also uses its clout to encourage people to adopt technology. One recent example of this is the ELD mandate, where the FMCSA changed having an ELD from a suggestion into regulation in December 2019.
Another indirect example is the FMCSA Clearinghouse, a database that tracks driver use of drugs and alcohol. By requiring people to use the database, the FMCSA hopes to reduce the use of heavy-duty vehicles while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
Having cameras around your truck can help vindicate you from fault should an accident occur. We at TopMark Funding have an article detailing various dash cams and their pros and cons.
ELDs are not just a good idea to save time and effort on behalf of you and your crew, it is now a required regulation by FMCSA standards. Check out our article on ELDs for more information.
A global positioning system will allow the driver to know how to better get to their destination. Upgraded suites can allow fleets access location and travel direction of each truck in real time! To learn more about GPS systems we recommend, see our article!
Wi-Fi will not help you or your crew member drive, and may even distract them while driving. However, for the responsible trucker who knows to keep his focus on the road when driving, having a Wi-Fi connection added to the truck can help improve the quality of life in the sleeper cabin. Access to the Internet on laptops and a higher bandwidth for mobile devices is always a plus.
Verizon Connect offers tracking of assets, job progress, dash cams, and emergency roadside assistance. Currently running two promotions: three months free when you purchase 36 months in advance, and some features free until October 1st, 2020.
Real time GPS tracking, monitor driver performance and authorize purchases on the spot,easy data export to a CSV file, a wealth of vehicle health information including fuel level and battery voltage, free trial options, and clear pricing makes Zubie a solid choice for trucking fleets, although you may need an OBD-II to J1939 converter to make it interact with your semi truck properly.
Fleetio provides you with an absolute bastion of information on your trucks, for each individual expense type from fuel to tolls, real time cost per mile, and see what percentage of total expenses each section is to help reduce the total size of the pie chart. Allows you to manage vehicle assignments so you can have multiple people use the same truck on different days with ease. It is also reasonably priced at five to eight dollars per vehicle per month, but does not double as an ELD, so you will have to get a separate ELD to be FMCSA compliant.
ERoad supports IFTA fuel tax reporting, tracks idle time, helps optimize routes using previous data, and provides daily fleet activity information to help you reach your goals one day at a time. With many more features for heavy trucks (including hours of service compliance and a compliant ELD), the only real downside is the price: pricing starts at $25 per vehicle per month, three times larger than Fleetio’s advanced pricing.
Technology is a very helpful tool to help fleets operate at their best, and it is improving all of the time. The examples of technology listed here are all mostly backwards compatible, meaning it does not matter if your truck is new or used, it can be retrofitted to have the technology if needed.
If you need a new truck, you can count on Topmark Funding. We work with over two dozen financing groups to get you the financing you need, regardless of your credit. Read below for more information about us.
CORONAVIRUS [COVID-19] UPDATES AND ARTICLES
- Trucker’s Guide to When Every State is Reopening
- FMSCA Extends Hours of Service Relief Declaration
- How Truck Drivers Can Keep Their Cabs Clean During COVID-19
- International Roadcheck Delayed Over COVID-19 Fears
- Pennsylvania Reopens (Some) Rest Stops
- Truck Dealers Seek “Essential Status”
- Navistar And Paccar Halt Production
- Mack And Volvo Suspend Truck Production
- Fmcsa Expands Its COVID-19 Response
ABOUT TOPMARK FUNDING
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