All Pedigree Technologies posts related to the Transportation industry.


Buying Based on Functionality vs History

In the transportation technology industry we have been trading bragging rights for years now. One provider does X better than Y and the other bought B & A but what really matters to fleets when making an investment into technology?

We spent the last year or so collecting information from our customers, prospects and even competitors and a few themes emerged. While the ability to solve complex business problems remains top of mind for the fleet operator, it is not always the deciding factor when evaluating one provider over the other. 3 out of 5 prospects we talked with said that relationships and references were deciding factors in why they were leaning our way or another way. 2 out of the 5 stated that most providers “all do the same things” and 4 out of 5 competitors listed “name dropping” and references as a leading sales tactic when soliciting new business.

These findings (amongst others) were telling and influenced us writing this blog post to our audiences with a few pointers and some advice when it comes to attributing weight to decision criteria. So here it goes…

 


 

Not All Features Are Created Equal:

Just because a provider can state that they provide electronic log books does not make them as competent as another provider that provides a comprehensive, integrated hours of service (HOS) solution that happens to include an electronic log book. As an example at Pedigree Technologies we support over 45 HOS exemptions which provide our clients with competitive advantage fueled by more operating hours because we can support various calculations for niche industry applications such as Oil & Gas or North of 60. What’s that you ask? Exactly our point!

 

Tech Over Talk:

We have sat through our fair share of painful sales presentations and it’s one thing to talk about features or functionality but it’s far more powerful to discuss business problems and how the tech will solve them vs listing off a series of cool functionality that may or may not be applicable to the audience. Our team must undergo rigorous industry training to qualify as a sales professional, in fact most of our sales team comes from the transportation industry vs the technology industry. This provides a knowledge base that you can’t teach, but rather have to live. The benefits of industry experience come out in spades when working on solutions.

 

Buying to Catch Up Is Not a Sign of Progress, It’s a Sign of Upcoming Integration Challenges:

We have all seen dozens of transactions in the telematics and fleet technology space over the last decade or so. It is incredibly predictable to identify the path of these consolidating entities over the first few years post combination. As an example: It does not make financial sense for these companies to maintain two technology stacks, so eventually one of them will sunset and many customers will be forced to migrate to either the other platform or a new one all together. Either way the misnomer surrounding buying from one of the consolidators is flawed and almost always results in a shift away from that provider within 3 years. The safest bet is to work with a real tech company that has a fully integrated solution since birth.

 

Bigger Isn’t Always Better:

Have you ever heard the term, “it takes a long time to turn this ship”? That is in relation to the effort and complexity that comes with larger less nimble organization. In fact there are many business books written about this very corporate challenge. Escape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore for one. A good read for innovators and those looking to buy from innovators. It is hard enough to produce leading edge technology and mission critical solutions without having to worry about how it will impact legacy platforms and deployments. You know who we are referring to here. ;)

 


So in summary it is important to evaluate not just the technology, not just the referenceable customers, not only the size of the organization and not only the people, but a combination of all of them. Think about it this way — as a fleet operator, how do you solicit new business and how do you want your target audience to measure your value? What are your competitive strengths? Now that you’ve answered that question — apply the same logic to your vendor and partner selections.

Let’s build something remarkable together — the unofficial member of your fleet operations team!

 

Strategies to Reduce Costs: fleet management cost savings

6 Ways to Reduce Fleet Costs: Fleet Strategies for Your Company

Fleet owners and operators face unique financial challenges. Rising fuel costs, compliance violations, and driver turnover can keep your fleet costs rising and profits stagnant. Unfortunately, reducing fleet costs is not any easy task, but there are tools and systems that can help significantly.

Companies utilizing fleet management technology, such as OneView and its full suite of telematics solutions, are saving anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 each year. Here’s how they are doing it and how you can save, too:

 

1. Cutting Fleet Fuel Consumption

Fleet tracking helps reduce fuel consumption in three major ways: First, by utilizing insight into how long your fleet vehicles have been running, and when and where stops are taking place, you can reduce out-of-route miles that are increasing your overall fuel consumption.

Second, you can dispatch the closest workers in response to customer calls, and provide mobile service workers and drivers with the most fuel-efficient route.

Third, with accurate engine runtime and idle-time data, you can address prolonged idling and reduce the amount of fuel wasted on trucks that are left running.

 

2. Addressing Driver Performance

By utilizing Fleet Management software your company can start improving driver performance immediately, which saves a significant amount of money in the long run. With insight into driver behavior (such as stops, speeds, rapid acceleration, or hard breaking) companies can spot issues and coach driver behavior. Through driver coaching and addressing small problems before they become major, drivers stay compliant and lower the risk of costly fines incurred by violations.

 

3. Improving Dispatch Processes

Calling each individual driver for location information and job status updates wastes time. And in the end just increases fleet costs. However, a dispatching solution allows you to use real-time location data to determine who is closest to the next job site and make real-time routing changes or update stops instantly. Through safe two-way messaging, you can communicate job updates with remote workers and provide them with the most fuel-efficient route. You can also improve customer satisfaction by giving accurate updates of when workers will arrive at a job site.

 

4. Scheduling Proper Maintenance

When small maintenance issues go unnoticed, they can quickly become big, expensive problems. With a maintenance solution, engine diagnostic data and insights into machine health are relayed to the home office. After conducting machine assessments, you can schedule maintenance with configured alarms to alert you the next time routine oil changes and tire rotations are needed.

You can also keep track of breakdown trends and machine records to better monitor and predict when maintenance will be needed next. Effectively scheduling and managing vehicle and equipment maintenance will reduce downtime and costly repairs – saving you time and money!

 

5. Avoiding Compliance Violations

Fleet managers know the headaches that FMCSA violations bring. With the right ELD, you can ensure compliance and avoid hefty fines. It will even alert both drivers and office staff when they are nearing the driving limit, ensuring that drivers have time to pull over and stop. By having a trustworthy, constantly updated ELD partner, your company will avoid costly fines and properly record all hours, ensuring FMCSA compliance is being met at all times.

 

6. Reducing Paperwork and Reporting Time

Fleet tracking systems eliminate the hassle of manual paperwork, saving time and labor costs. Drivers can complete fuel purchase forms, road-side inspections, IFTA reports, and DVIRs on an in-cab device. With a system like Pedigree Technologies’ OneView, state miles are already calculated for automated IFTA reports. This allowed one of our customers, General Equipment, to save $48,000 a year by not having to manually fill out paperwork and calculate miles by state. For other examples, check out our fleet case studies for more.

 

No matter what size fleet you operate, there are multiple ways your company can cut fuel costs and increase efficiency. Learn more about OneView and set up a free demo today!

Want to learn more about maximizing fleet driver efficiency and safety? Check out our 5 Summer Safety Tips for Your Fleet blog post.

Note: This post was originally published September 2013, and has been periodically updated and edited for relevance and accuracy.

Exempt from ELD?

Who Is Exempt from the ELD Rule and the FMCSA’s Requirements?

Is My Business Exempt From ELD Requirements?

Before we can look at who is not required to use ELDs, it will be helpful to review those that are required to do so. After we have this covered, we can look at the few exceptions to the rule.

For now, know that the FMCSA states that most drivers must follow the HOS regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), and that they require ELD use by any commercial drivers who are “required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).” This includes commercial buses as well as trucks and applies to Canada- and Mexico-based drivers.

According to the FMCSA website, and in general, a CMV is described as “a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions”:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

The short version? If you operate commercial motor vehicles in your business you’re required to keep HOS records. If you’re required to keep HOS records, you need to use an ELD to do so.

So who is exempt?

According to the FMCSA, there are a few exceptions to the ELD requirements:

Drivers who use the timecard exception are not required to keep records of duty status (RODS) or use ELDs. Additionally, the following drivers are not required to use ELDs; however, they are still bound by the RODS requirements in 49 CFR 395 and must prepare logs on paper, using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD), or with a logging software program when required.

Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.

The 30-day period is not restricted to a single month but applies to any 30-day period. For example, June 15 to July 15 is considered a 30-day period. This applies to any driver operating in the US – so drivers domiciled in Canada and Mexico also need to observe this 8-day rule.

Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000. (As reflected on the vehicle registration)

There may be instances where the model year reflected on the vehicle registration is not the same as the engine model year, most commonly when a vehicle is rebuilt using a “glider kit.” In this circumstance, an inspector/investigator should use the model year on the engine to determine if the driver is exempt from the ELD requirements. If the engine model year is older than 2000, the driver is not subject to the ELD rule.

To be perfectly clear: The pre-2000 year requirement does not apply to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It applies to the engine model year.

Drivers currently using an AOBRD (for now)

A “grandfathered” AOBRD is a device that a motor carrier installed and required its drivers to use before the electronic logging device (ELD) rule compliance date of December 18, 2017. The device must meet the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15. A motor carrier may continue to use grandfathered AOBRDs no later than December 16, 2019. After that, the motor carrier and its drivers must use ELDs.

Driveaway-Towaway Operations

Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway.

So there you have it. While the ELD requirements are far-reaching, there are a few exemptions that exist. If you think your operation has landed in some sort of gray area, don’t hesitate to contact our experts and we’ll help you determine if you need to install ELDs.

For more information on exemptions from the ELD rule, consult the FMCSA website.