Tech firms introduce new software products for improving truck driver logging records
Apr 1, 2004 12:00 PM, [Compiled by Mary Davis firstname.lastname@example.org]
TRUCKING industry technology companies are providing new products to improve efficiency in managing drivers and their hours-of-service (HOS) records. These software and computer products can take many of the headaches out of the management process.
With new HOS rules in effect, turning to computerized systems may ease the process for carriers.
TMW Systems Inc, Beachwood, Ohio, has introduced its detention tracking feature for TMWSuite.
“Now that drivers can't make up for time spent waiting to load or unload, it's imperative that trucking companies be able to track how much time their drivers are spending in detention and charge for it when appropriate,” says Tom Weisz, TMW Systems president.
Teletouch Communications, Tyler, Texas, developed wireless mobile asset tracking products with start/stop motion detection. Qualcomm Inc, San Diego, California, also has announced it will have a fully automated driver productivity module available by June 2004.
The TMW product alerts dispatchers immediately when a detention situation exists. The system also can notify the customer of the situation in real-time, increasing the chances that the situation can be resolved. If the detention runs longer than a customer's agreement allows, the system will automatically create the billing charges within the system, eliminating the possibility that someone may forget to invoice for the delay.
In addition to traditional location reporting features, the Teletouch tracking products notify fleet managers when a trailer is in motion and when it breaks a designated “geofence” (the borders of a specific area, such as a terminal).
When a trailer starts or stops moving, the devices transmit the location and other data, via satellite, to the mapping software at the carrier's fleet management office.
The first phase of Qualcomm's driver productivity solution provides fleets a stop-management system with technology to automatically detect arrival and departure events at all significant stops a vehicle makes en route.
By knowing when a trailer is moving and when it is on course, companies can log time more effectively and develop more efficient routing, billing, and payment procedures, according to Teletouch.
“Our mobile asset tracking product sends notifications only when alarms are triggered, or at predefined intervals, said J Kernan Crotty, Teletouch president.
“Qualcomm's Stop Management system enables automatic arrival and departure for better driver utilization and fleet productivity by capturing data from all significant stops while en route, not just at the shipper or consignee, without the need for driver intervention,” said Glynn Spangenberg, vice-president, general manager, Qualcomm wireless business solutions division. “Fleets need more accurate and granular visibility of driver activity information to reduce detention and unplanned stops, and this solution satisfies that requirement while offering complete integration to back-office systems typically without mobile hardware upgrades.”
Qualcomm's driver productivity solution is a stop-management system with data delivery that automatically determines arrival and departure events for OmniTRACS and Omni Express equipped vehicles, both at planned and unplanned stop locations, while integrating with a customer's enterprise system.
The Qualcomm driver productivity module leverages existing capabilities within Qualcomm's mobile communications solutions to identify customer-defined landmarks and increase the accuracy of operational data.
The Qualcomm product gives carriers proof of on-time delivery, electronic data interchange (EDI) status updates, measurement of excessive detention at pickup/delivery appointments, enhanced security through detection of stops at unsafe locations, automatic notice if vehicle stops driving, and tracking and auditing of drivers' hours of service
The Teletouch self-contained tracking products, which are attached discreetly to trailers, are available in three formats. All three feature the start/stop functionality. There is a one-way device that sends reports at designated intervals, a two-way device that is “pingable,” and a line-powered device that is attached to a power source on the tractor or trailer portion of a truck. It sends out information regarding location, fuel level, and overspeed.
TMW'S product offers automatic detention alerts through the system's (add-on) TotalMail mobile communications system. When a driver sends a TotalMail message notifying the system that the vehicle is at a stop location, the feature begins tracking time spent at the stop. If the driver does not send a departure message within the time frame allotted to that particular customer location, dispatchers are notified immediately with a visual signal as well as an alert message. The system can also automatically send an alert e-mail to the customer.
If the customer contract states that the trucking company may charge for detention time, the system can automatically determine when a charge is warranted by comparing the time elapsed between arrival and departure to the time allowed for the type of stop. It will then automatically create the proper billing charge. Dispatchers can enter the amount of each detention charge manually, or let TMWSuite's automatic rating engine determine the figure based on the billing rates set up for the customer.
Using the TMW Report Wizard, it's possible to build reports that provide summary and detailed information on time spent at all customer locations, as well as revenue and costs associated with detention. This helps the companies determine if any changes need to be made with particular customers or in general.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.