Category Archives: Equipment Issues

Mobile Fleet Devices in Local P&D: BYOD, COPE, or both?

There is a great article in FleetOwner about evaluating how to deploy mobile devices in a fleet. The basic choice is between these two options:

  • using drivers’ existing personal smartphones for business purposes or
  • having company-owned phones with selected personal features.

Read on for a great discussion about BYOD (“bring your own devices”) vs. COPE (“corporate-owned, personally-enabled”) smartphones. A lot of it depends on who your drivers are, since you can only demand so much from independents, while employee drivers have less choice. A good read for any fleet owner or fleet manager.

http://fleetowner.com/technology/smart-devices-and-fleet-desires?page=1

You’ll need to register for FleetOwner.com to read the entire article.

–Jonathan Miller

The Risks of Rebrokering

We received this from our friend Mark Stoyas at Basic Enterprise in Chicago.

http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=31986&page=1

There are compelling arguments for maintaining a separate brokerage authority, as summarized here. However, don’t forget the simple fact that, if you don’t have a separate brokerage authority, a brokered load that is involved in a costly accident can bring down the rest of your trucking operation–and we believe that is too high a risk to take.

–The Editors

Cut Down on Driver Communication by 90% in Local Trucking

We hear all the time that communication between dispatchers and drivers is a huge problem in local trucking.  This is what our customers are complaining about:

  • Most handheld devices are prohibited while driving.
  • Driver/dispatcher communication is a huge bottleneck in the office.  When only one person knows critical ETA or POD information, customers don’t get the info they need when they need it.
  • Drivers aren’t reliable in reporting arrival and departure times.

reduce dispatch to driver talkingThe best way to manage your communications between dispatchers and drivers is to eliminate the need for so much talking.  Now you can cut down dispatcher-to-driver talk and still provide superior customer service.

OneTerminal TMS from JSY Software eliminates risky talk in the following ways:

  • It updates actual arrival and departure times for each pickup or delivery with no talking to drivers.
  • It separates pickup from delivery so that you have accurate data for each action.
  • It lets everyone on your network see all POD information in real time.
  • You simply push out updates (like new pickups) to drivers with a click.
  • Best of all:  no talking required.

You will be able to get every job done safely without talking to drivers when you are using OneTerminal TMS.

For your free hands-on consultation, fill out the short form below, or contact us at jmiller @ jsysoftware.com (Jonathan Miller) or 877-540-0030.

[contact-form] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Website (optional)” type=”url” /] [contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”true” /] [/contact-form]

 

No Direct Connect? No Problem!

The best way to manage your communications between dispatchers and drivers is to eliminate the need for so much talking.

OneTerminal TMS from JSY Software is your solution. It virtually eliminates risky talk with drivers.

  • Automatically, and without the need for any driver input at all, keep track of available weight and space capacity on every truck, in real time.
  • Keep track of Hazmat quantities and weights, in real time. Send placarding alerts.
  • Send order details, including routing instructions, with a single mouse click.
  • Best of all: No talking required.

Make your drivers safer and give your staff and customers better information – and get it faster.

OneTerminal TMS gives you a better operation with almost no driver talk.

For your free hands-on consultation, fill out the short form below, or contact us at jmiller @ jsysoftware.com (Jonathan Miller) or 877-540-0030.

[contact-form] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Website (optional)” type=”url” /] [contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”true” /] [/contact-form]

GPS Options for Local Trucking Fleets

We found this article on TruckingInfo.com that discusses the possible options and benefits of deploying GPS in a smaller fleet:

Click here to see the full article.

Depending on what works best with your TMS, there are a variety of GPS packages that can give you the functionality you need.  In addition to watching GPS “breadcrumbs” on a screen, dispatchers can benefit from systems such as Actsoft’s Comet Tracker, which has simple drop-down forms for drivers to enter arrival and departure times; this can be used as an alternative to geofencing.

Keep in mind that EOBR rules that usually apply for OTR fleets are waived for local trucking because of the 100-mile exemption.

–The Editors

 

 

Top 5 Reasons Not To Hire A Local Truck Driver: Best Practices

Everyone is complaining about the driver shortage. But don’t make the mistake of hiring unqualified drivers.  As we have said previously, it is always worth waiting for the best driver to hire instead of panicking and taking the best available candidate on hand at the moment.  Your company will be rewarded with lower turnover, lower claims, and higher productivity.

In local pickup and delivery work, what are the top 5 reasons you would not want to hire a driver?  Here’s our list of best practices:

  • Reason #5:  Securing freight. If a driver can’t use e-track or logistic straps, that driver shouldn’t work for you.
  • Reason #4:   Liftgates.  Your drivers need to show you — not just tell you — that they can take a skid up and down.  Make every candidate do this in front of you.
  • Reason #3:  Math.  Every driver must be able to count the number of pallets in a shipment, with no mistakes.
  • Reason #2:  Hazmat. Don’t just look at the endorsement!  Make the driver take a written test.
  • And the Top, #1, Most Important Thing in local P&D that a driver needs to do to make you money:  Backing and Spotting.  Make the driver show you his/her speed and accuracy.  When you’re making 20 stops a day, you can’t afford drivers who are slow at this.

Do the right thing.  Be patient, and be tough.  If you flunk between half  and 3/4 of your applicants, you have a good test.

–The Editors

Appeals Court Vacates EOBR Regulation

Because the proposed EOBR regulation did not address how the rule could prevent EOBR devices from being used to harrass drivers, a federal appeals court in the Seventh Circuit (in Chicago) vacated the regulation on August 26th.

Click here to see the article in CCJ.

As we’ve posted before, the EOBR rule generally would not have applied in local trucking because of the 100- or 150-mile HOS exemption.  Despite this setback for the FMCSA, the EOBR issue is not dead.  Watch this space for further news.

–The Editors

Are You Missing a Truck?

As reported in the Chicago Tribune:

An asteroid with the estimated girth of a 26-foot box truck sailed within 7,500 miles of Earth on Monday, June 27th as it passed harmlessly over the Atlantic Ocean, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The space rock followed the path that scientists had predicted, looping around the planet in a boomerang-shaped trajectory, NASA spokesman D.C. Agle said.  Its nearest approach to Earth was 30 times farther away than the International Space Station.

We were wondering how this could have happened.

  • Did the driver’s GPS give him a faulty pickup location?
  • Was he on a clandestine rendezvous with a highly exotic girlfriend?
  • Was the truck propelled into space by a hyperactive lift gate?

If this is your truck, please let us know.  We can contact NASA on your behalf.

–The Editors

Keeping Your Docks Safe in Local Trucking

We came across an interesting approach for keeping trucks connected to docks and preventing injuries.

Click here to read the complete article.

While it’s written by a biased source (the author works for a company that makes RIG-based and wheel restraints), the issues are worth exploring, and you can’t argue with improving safety and reducing injuries.

Who out there has experience with restraints of these types?

 

 

 

How to Cope with $5.00 Diesel in Local Trucking

It now costs over $200 to fill up a straight truck, and pouring 120 gallons into your twin-75 equipped tractor can cost $500.  In an earlier post we discussed fueling strategies.  If $10 is saved on labor, it is as good as $10 saved on fuel cost.  What else is there?

We are not going to list all the well known strategies for reducing fuel efficiency, such as more efficient trucks, driving slower, less idling, correct tire pressure, etc.  Many of these techniques have little benefit in the local trucking universe.  Often overlooked is what kind of diesel is being used. This is a potential money-saver for you.  Think about it.

During the winter months diesel is often blended with expensive additives to prevent ice buildup.  Sometimes standard practice starts the “additive season” too soon and ends too late.  The difference in cost can be ten cents per gallon or more.

In the warmer months, or warmer climates, biodiesel is an excellent choice.  Because of government subsidies, biodiesel is often $0.15/gallon less than plain diesel.  Biodiesel gets the same or better mileage and comes with no additional maintenance or other expense.  Look for a source, figure out the extra labor cost (if any) to get the truck to the appropriate facility, and make an informed decision.  Most wet fueling operations can provide biodiesel.  It is your tax dollars that are providing the subsidy, so you might as well get some benefit from it.

So, what is biodiesel?  Biodiesel is a blend of diesel fuel with organic materials other than ethanol, such as used cooking grease, canola oil, etc.  It is refined and cleaned before use.  Here is a link to an interesting slide show about biodiesel:

http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/sustainability/pdfs/Advance_Biofuel_Webinar_20100827.pdf

As usual:  keep doing the homework, and you can probably keep finding new places to save money.

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