Are You IT?
Mar 1, 2001 12:00 PM, Mary Davis
TIRED of playing telephone tag in the search for tank cleaning equipment? The Internet has a better game, and it's easier to play — e-mail. With e-mail, there's no King's-X in the game. Many managers today have discovered the effectiveness of contacting someone electronically, rather than being it all the time in voice mail.
As a matter of fact, visiting a company's web site, clicking on the e-mail access, and firing off a query may bring more success than finding a telephone number and making a call. There are reports that timely responses are more likely from e-mail than they are from telephone messages left in voice mail.
If you're looking for information about tank truck cleaning equipment and supplies, there are plenty of web sites just waiting to be entered. Some have rudimentary pages and others provide in-depth information. All have convenient e-mail access. If you are still determined to interact with the company through conventional methods, the web approach is still a good source for telephone numbers of specific personnel and departments, and snail-mail addresses.
Information about Sellers Cleaning Systems, Piqua, Ohio, tank cleaning equipment can be found on the Crane Pumps & Systems web site. A drop-down application provides specific information about products.
The pages cover different spinner models and their performance capabilities — for example, pressure per square inch and gallons per minute flow.
There are photographs of the equipment along with descriptions of their applications.
In addition to the e-mail contact that is available on the site, a feedback section solicits comments from customers. Information about the sister companies also can be accessed.
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Niagara National Corporation manufactures cleaning equipment and chemicals. One section of the company's web site is devoted to interior tank cleaning systems.
A photo of a skid-mounted system is posted on the pages, plus a list of wash unit components. Another section contains information about the company's wash water recovery systems.
There are pages for cleaning compounds and pressure washers.
Montgomery Manufacturing, Fort Worth, Texas, features its cleaning compound, Green Strip, on its web site.
The product's applications for individual uses are provided, as well as specific suggestions for cleaning tank trailers hauling certain products.
Orders can be placed through the web site.
A-One Chemicals & Equipment Inc, Houston, Texas, posts a chemical products index with descriptions and applications. Products that are recommended for tank truck cleaning are listed and their advantages discussed.
E-mail access is available for more information about the products.
BetzDearborn, Trevose, Pennsylvania, offers products for the treatment of wastewater in tank truck cleaning facilities. The applications button at the top of the page leads to information on wastewater treatment products.
The specialty chemicals are used for removing pollutants, minimizing sludge handling, improving wastewater quality, promoting water savings and recycling, and improving safe chemical handling.
Information addresses specific concerns such as suspended matter, foaming, odors, color, and emulsions.DRIVERNET FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
DriverNet, provider of driver workstation kiosks at 440 truck stops, has filed for bankruptcy and laid off most of its staff, according to the Kansas City Star. According to the report, DriverNet has laid off 55 employees.
The Kansas City MO-based company, which has 350,000 users, said it hopes to find a buyer to continue maintaining the workstations. DriverNet's kiosks are used by drivers for several tasks, including to check e-mail, seek loads, and send faxes. The company's web site remains active, and David Buckley, company president and chief executive officer, said everything will run as normal until a buyer is found.SPICER DRIVESHAFT DIVISION OFFERS INTERACTIVE TRAINING
Spicer Driveshaft Division of Dana Corp and software developer Eloquent will conduct a pilot project using interactive software as part of a new training program featuring streaming audio and video that will be made available via CD-ROM or at www.spicerdriveshaft.com.
Bob Morgillo, warranty/technical support manager for Spicer, said he believes Spicer will be the first company in the trucking industry to offer training assistance of this type.
The first program, which will cover the basics of proper lubrication procedures, was made available in August. It includes the importance of proper lubrication practices, how to grease a universal joint assembly, identifying and analyzing problems that might result from poor lubrication practices, and the impact of poor lubrication procedures.
If the pilot project goes well and the format is positively received by the trucking industry, future training topics will cover proper maintenance procedures, inspecting and tearing down driveshaft assemblies, application and specification guidelines, and rebuilding techniques.
Plans also call for programs that will interlink the software to OEMs, OEM dealers, and trucking trade publications with web sites.EMERGENCY ROAD SERVICES
FleetNet America LLC, a unit of Arkansas Best Corp, has reached an agreement with Celadon Group's TruckersB2B Inc to provide nationwide emergency road services to TruckersB2B members. FleetNet's services will be available to TruckersB2B members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by phoning a toll-free number. The full scope of breakdown solutions available via Fleet Net's vendor network includes emergency roadside mechanical repairs, tire maintenance and replacement, vehicle towing, and scheduled or nonscheduled maintenance activities.PETERBILT PUTS CATALOG ONLINE
The Peterbilt Truck Accessories Catalog is now available online.
By logging onto the Peterbilt web site, www.peterbilt.com, users can search among more than 30 product lines for a selection of accessories ranging from chrome exhausts, mirrors, and quarter fenders to floor mats, steering wheel covers, and safety equipment. Many featured products will fit most leading makes of trucks.
The online catalog also allows users to view product photos, and a dealer locator helps identify the nearest Peterbilt where accessories can be purchased and in many cases installed.LOCATIONSMART EXPANDED
@Road has unveiled its new technology solution for delivering location-based content to wireless web-enabled devices. This technology application, one of four mobile-commerce application solutions made possible by @Road's patented LocationSmart technology platform, enables @Road to provide location-specific content via its iLM Internet Location Manager to any wireless web-enabled device, including cell phones, personal digital assistants, and laptop and notebook computers.
LocationSmart integrates positioning technologies such as GPS, wireless communications, and the Internet to transport XML-enhanced, location-specific content. Services that can be offered through LocationSmart include mobile yellow pages, real-time traffic reports and interactive navigation, news and e-mail, and local information on nearby hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other hospitality services.SOFTWARE CAN HELP USERS PASS DOT AUDIT
J J Keller & Associates Inc introduces Keller-Soft DOT Compliance Audit & Policy Customizer, a software program that helps users prepare for and pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) audit.
With this program, users can audit the six regulatory and accident areas that DOT examines in a compliance review. The software provides a safety fitness rating, and lets the user record, store, and track audit results. It then gives plans to assist in fixing any areas found in violation.
The software also features 32 customizable written policy templates on various safety-, regulatory-, and transport-related topics, including: drugs and alcohol, vehicle maintenance, hours of service, log auditing, and accident investigation.
The program is available for $279 by phoning 800-327-6868. Callers should reference Action Code 01097 when ordering.ALK ISSUES VERSION 3.0 OF PC*MILER/STREETS
ALK has released PC*Miler/Streets 3.0 street-level routing, mileage, and mapping software. Among its additions are drag-and-drop stop management, enhanced driving directions, and a Time Windows routing and scheduling feature that provides users with up-to-the-minute route planning.
PC*Miler/Streets' new stop management lets users move stops up and down within a route entry window or move stops to an entirely different route. The program's enhanced driving directions now include height clearance information on the “Detailed Report,” notifying users and drivers of truck restrictions. Time Windows allows users to calculate routes that most accurately satisfy pick-up and delivery time constraints.
Windows-based PC*Miler/Streets 3.0 is also compatible with the AS/400 environment. UNIX, mainframe, and other platform compatibility is available through a TCP/IP interface.PARTSSYSTEMS.COM DEBUTS
PartsSystems has announced the launch of PartsSystems.com. This new web site provides fleets the opportunity to purchase name-brand truck parts on-line with price discounts.
The site offers 40 truck part categories — ranging from clamps and adhesives to LED lights and inverter/chargers. “All told, we offer more than 1,000 items from 12 different manufacturers,” said Doug Gritzmacher, business development manager. Fleet managers can check out the products PartsSystems.com offers, including suggested retail pricing, without having to register.
While PartsSystems provides parts and components at competitive rates, it also serves as a destination site by providing links to OEM manufacturers (trucks as well as parts) for product research, state departments of transportation, online truck magazines, trip map agencies, permit agencies, and weather sites. In addition, the web site lists a truck industry events calendar.CENTERON SYSTEM USES DSSS
Robertshaw Industrial Products Division's Centeron Distribution Management System uses DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum) technology to transmit data from wireless monitors in tanks, to customers checking levels from any computer with Internet access.
While a conventional radio signal, known as narrow-band, contains all its power within a narrow portion of the radio frequency bandwidth, a spread spectrum signal is spread out over a broader portion of the band. This makes the DSSS signal resistant to interference, while just one interfering signal at or near a narrow-band radio frequency can make a radio inoperable.
Global positioning satellite (GPS) readouts for each tank site are incorporated into the Centeron system, so drivers and dispatchers have the most accurate locations on their delivery route maps. The system also can be adapted to in-truck GPS systems.VENEZIA GETS CABCARD
The CabCARD is now available to all drivers for Limerick PA-based Venezia Transport Services. CabCARD works through the OmniTRACS satellite tracking and communications system purchased and installed in Venezia's entire fleet of dry vans and tankers. A pre-paid debit card, CabCARD can be used to make reduced-rate long-distance phone calls or to send or receive e-mail messages through the cab-based OmniTRACS system.A-1000 ACTIVE GPS RECEIVER
GPS Management Systems has released the A-1000 active GPS receiver/transmitter, a component in its “Eye In The Sky” fleet asset locating, monitoring, and management system.
The A-1000 is considered active as it supports two-way communication between the base station and vehicle. This is achieved using a cellular telephone connection. The active system lets the base station PC call the vehicle and see its real-time location. The base station PC also can call all the vehicles in the fleet to download position data, including speed, stops, and location, which the computer will store and display.
For more information, contact GPS Management Systems, 23 Motif Blvd, Brownsburg IN 46112.
Circle #214 on Reader Service Card
Prophesy Transportation Solutions Inc has launched its new Internet-enabled Shipment Status for the trucking industry. This subsystem, a component of Prophesy Dispatch, allows trucking companies to provide shippers, recipients, and other interested parties with real-time information about any shipments being carried. Information is viewed via any standard web browser.
With this service, any trucking company now can provide complete shipment status to customers without taking up dispatcher phone time, and customers have access to progress of their shipments via the Internet. Communication is enhanced by optional support for automated, e-mail-based status information or alerts from the trucking company, and by providing the ability to follow up immediately with e-mail questions regarding status of a shipment or load.QUALCOMM OFFERS ITRUCKMAIL WEB INTERFACE
Qualcomm Inc has announced the commercial release of its new iTruckMAIL web-based service. iTruckMAIL enhances existing TruckMAIL mobile communications system to allow mapping and messaging capabilities via the Internet. Features include street-level mapping, free-form messaging, vehicle position reporting and history, easier IT implementation, multiple user connectivity and platform access, and laptop connectivity.
TruckMAIL, a mobile communications solution designed for fleets of less than 100 trucks, is used by more than 150 of Qualcomm's customers. The system provides two-way communications and satellite tracking using Qualcomm's technology. It enables fleets to redirect loads and communicate with drivers, and it provides accurate information regarding estimated times of arrival. iTruckMAIL will be offered to current TruckMAIL customers who desire online connectivity and to new customers within the truckload market.CARGO SECURITY FORUM ONLINE
TydenBrammall has launched a web site, www.cargoguy.com, that will cover a range of topics related to cargo security. The web resource's personality, Cargo Guy, will field specific questions from site visitors regarding issues such as the hidden ramifications of loss and damage, and the impact of security systems on insurance rates.MATLACK PICKS POWERSUITE
TMW Systems Inc has entered into an agreement to convert Matlack Inc's operations management software to the TMW PowerSuite system on the NT platform. Matlack, a 1,200-tractor liquid bulk tank carrier, specializes in carrying freight for the chemicals industry.
When Matlack decided to change dispatch operations systems, it had specific requirements. “We wanted to go to a graphic user interface that would give us better ease of use and better visibility — ie, visible mapping of our resources,” said Michael O'Donoghue, vice-president of IS at Matlack. The company also wanted to be able to integrate to e-mail and the Internet.FLEET ADVISOR UPGRADED
Eaton Corp's Trucking Information Services has released the latest upgrade of its Fleet Advisor transportation logistics and fleet management system. Fleet Advisor uses on-board computing, global positioning technology, and mobile communications to facilitate real-time data collection from mobile fleet assets. Version 4.0 has enhanced the on-board computing and mobile communications package with several new functions.
The new version of Fleet Advisor also offers many operational enhancements. Fuel economy reports, International Fuel Tax Agreement information, power take-off fuel use reports, and DOT-compliant paperless logs have all been improved.GOCOMCHEK.COM TO DEBUT
Comdata Corp has unveiled its web site GoComchek.com, a real-time fuel price, routing, and highway amenities resource. Comdata said the site, scheduled for official online debut in January 2001, will be offered free indefinitely to all segments of the trucking industry.
GoComchek.com will be linked in real-time to the company's network of more than 8,000 truckstops and service centers, allowing users to access the last-transacted Comchek fuel purchase price at each location. The site also will calculate and display net-state fuel tax prices per gallon for each stop.
The site will also offer search engines allowing users to find fueling locations or nearby merchants by city, state, amenity type, or facility name. Another feature of GoComchek.com includes entire route searches by interstate or interstate direction.THE BOSS USES GPS UNITS
Fleetboss distributes The Boss fleet management system, which uses individual vehicle Global Positioning System (GPS) units, precision mapping programs, and exclusive computer software. It makes it possible to manage vehicle data, including start and stop times, vehicle idling, number of stops by address per day, vehicle speed, and use of equipment such as pumps and PTOs. The Boss system uses real-time stored data to monitor drivers' efficiency and productivity 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no monthly fees.
Fleetboss' proprietary Autographics software presents the data in easy-to-read chart formats that allows managers to compare a single vehicle's weekly or monthly activities or compare an entire fleet against established benchmarks.
For more information, contact Fleetboss, 241 O'Brien Rd, Fern Park FL 32730.
Circle #215 on Reader Service Card
Strategic Concepts Inc has released its advanced vehicle monitoring system interface. This new interface allows Strategy5 users to download state line crossing odometer readings, driver and vehicle performance statistics, and vehicle fault codes from tracking system providers including Motient and Qualcomm.
Strategy5 is supported on the Red Hat Linux, IBM AIX, and Sun Microsystems Solaris platforms with integrated Microsoft Windows clients.
Circle #216 on Reader Service Card
Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc is offering the new Fujitsu TeamPad 500, a Microsoft Windows CE-based handheld device designed for on-the-road, route accounting users. The TeamPad 500 adds options such as a color screen, wireless wide-area network (WAN) capability, and an integrated printer/magnetic-card.
The TeamPad 500 uses the Windows CE operating system and incorporates a 150-megahertz processor. The handheld runs various software applications. It can also communicate with a WAN, allowing delivery personnel access to real-time information and updates. The integrated printer, mag-strip reader, scanner and WAN capabilities are optional.
Circle #217 on Reader Service Card
Boncosky Services, a specialized transporter of bulk liquid chemicals, has launched a web site. The site features pages such as: Who We Are, with links to the company's mission statements and safety policies; Sales and Services, listing resources available to shippers as well as third-party driver management, logistics management, and leasing services; and Locations, including a map with the position and address of service centers.
The Employment Opportunities page lists driver requirements along with application and release forms that can be downloaded. The quarterly newsletter and press releases are offered on the What's New page. Pertinent address, phone, and fax information, as well as a human resources e-mail link, can be found on the Contact page.TRIMBLE GETS CERTIFICATION
Trimble Navigation Ltd's cellular-based fleet management product has received certification and approval for use on Verizon Wireless' WIN4 North American wireless network.
Approval of Trimble's CrossCheck AMPS lets system integrators and service providers offer a turnkey, cost-effective and nationwide asset management solution with no roaming charges.
With its patented IQEvent Engine technology, CrossCheck AMPS integrates Global Positioning System (GPS), cellular, and computing technologies into a single, low-cost mobile positioning and communications system. CrossCheck AMPS uses the standard wireless analog AMPS cellular network to send GPS data and messages from mobile units to base stations running Trimble's FleetVision software. An optional handset also allows CrossCheck AMPS to be used for voice communications.HAND HELD HAS DOLPHIN 7400
Hand Held Products is shipping the Dolphin 7400 — a new Windows CE-based mobile computer featuring a two-dimensional image engine. The device can be ordered or upgraded with automatic data collection and communication technologies including: 2D image engine for mobile imaging applications, laser bar-code scanners, PC-card radios, flash memory cards, touch-screen, and three keypads. The computer features the 206-MHz Intel StrongARM RISC processor.
A Type-II PC-Card slot provides OEM integration of 2.4-GHz ISM frequency radios for Local Area Networks, Wide-Area Network radios, and Mobitex — or to add supplemental memory. The Dolphin 7400 also supports wireless terminal emulation for IBM 3270, 5250, and DEC VT220 systems. For more details, contact Hand Held, 7510 E Independence Blvd, Charlotte NC 28277-9411.
Circle #218 on Reader Service Card
Aeris.net is betting that 2001 will be the year that land-based applications for mobile tracking systems really take off — and freight transportation will make up a huge chunk of that market.
Dan Jester, director of mobile applications for California-based www.aeris.net, said Aeris.net considers the freight transportation industry its second-biggest target market for land-based mobile applications, right behind the home security market because of low cost and more reliable national coverage.
He said widespread coverage has always been the strong point of satellite-based systems. Yet satellite-based tracking also has been more expensive and usually encounters transmission blockage in major urban areas, said Jester. That's where today's land-based systems have an advantage. Not only do they cost less than satellite-based technology, but they can also locate vehicles when they are in a warehouse behind closed doors.
Aeris.net uses a form of wireless transmission technology called Microburst to send short data messages in quick bursts at a low cost. The company partners with the makers of receiver technology — such as Lat-Lon — that provide the device that sends and receives the transmissions from the truck cab or trailer.