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Get The Latest News And Stories In And Around Fleet Management

Our in-house editorial team works diligently to provide you with the most relevant topics and breaking news in the world of fleet management.
 

FMCSA Suspends 34-Hour Restart Rule: What To Know

12/24/2014 by Leslie Garcia

The recently signed bill to suspend the 34-hour restart Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulation brought with it a slew of headaches, especially for the trucking industry. But what should the industry takeaway from the recent updates and ongoing development? Here are key items to note during the process:

What Does the HOS 34-Hour Restart Suspension Mean?

The suspension of the 34-Hour Restart provision went into effect December 16th, 2014 and states that carriers are no longer required to implement two consecutive off-duty periods from 1:00 – 5:00 a.m. In addition, drivers are no longer limited to one 34-hour restart within 168 hours or 7-8 days (depending on the work week). This means that businesses that operate under the 34-hour rule no longer must abide by the previous provision. Enforcement of the 34-hour restart requirement has been suspended until a further study of the rule’s safety benefits is complete by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Until further notice, trucking businesses that use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track their drivers’ hours of service should revert to the previous restart provisions that were in effect on June 30, 2013.

The FMCSA Study: What Is It?

The FMCSA’s study was created “to evaluate the effectiveness of the new 34-hour restart provision on driver fatigue” among other driver-related concerns, according to the administration’s Website.  Note that 90 days after the President of the United States has signed the bill (March 16th, 2015), the Secretary of Transportation must put into effect a study about the operational impact related to the suspended provision. In order to be legitimate, the study must take into account a significant pool of drivers selected from small- to large-sized carriers that represent a variety of trucking categories to provide valid information.

Next, the study must compare data from drivers operating under the 34-hour restart rule against data from drivers operating under the rule that originated on July 1, 2013. The FMCSA plans to asses driver alertness, fatigue, and well-being, as well as safety events. Each of these metrics will be measured using state-of-the-art tools to best capture and record data. Lastly, the FMCSA has a total of 210 days (from the March 16th date) to conclude the study and generate a final report to send to Congress and publish for the masses.

Enforcement of the 34-Hour Restart Suspension: What to Expect

As expected during times of federal mandates, trucking businesses may experience disruptions to their operations as law enforcement agencies adapt to recent changes. Should a driver experience issues when on the road, carriers are advised to contact the commercial motor carrier safety program in their state’s Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).

Note that although law enforcement may practice leniency towards carriers that use ELDs or electronic driver logs and driver profiles affected by the recent suspension of the 34-hour reset rule, companies that use paper logs are still expected to manually note all driver hours and statuses and maintain a law-abiding record of work hours.

ELD Providers:  Who’s Doing What

The suspension recently went into effect which has ELD and electronic driver log providers scrambling to stay on their feet and meet regulation updates. The FMCSA has yet to determine a deadline for providers to develop a solution for their customers. However, some providers are already tackling the issue and creating interim or permanent fixes to the changes. Teletrac, along with other providers, is currently working on a solution to best assist their HOS customer base during this challenging process.

“Providers are constantly thinking about the changes and intelligently coming up with a solution that can be deployed at a much quicker pace when the FMCSA completes their data study, or when the date the terms expire for the suspension restart deadline comes around, regardless of the changes the federal government decides to implement,” said Ozzie Flores, product manager at Teletrac.

Ultimately, the best thing businesses can do is be patient and stay tuned to the latest news and updates. The more you know, the better you can prepare for any future mandates and changes coming your way.

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How To Boost Safety in Sub-Zero Temps?

12/10/2014 by Shazia Haq

The global economy functions on a never-ending thirst for energy. As the need for oil, gas and mining increases, companies that operate in these areas continue to face challenging obstacles while trying to stay safe.

Noble Casing Inc., an oil and mining company based out of Fort Collins, CO, faces daily risks in the field from rocky terrain to below freezing temperatures.

The company currently operates across three states with some of the coldest temperatures in the United States: Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota. Tom Childers, the company’s lead fleet managers notes, “It’s cold with rough roads and dirt. Our guys deal in the coldest temperatures possible. I had guys from Alaska say they’re going back to Alaska because it’s so cold. It can get 50 below zero with 70-80 percent humidity. You can’t feel your hands let alone drive at a job without challenges.”

These challenges are high: protecting employees while simultaneously lowering operational risks and labor costs. The main issue, however, has always been safety: safety of the company’s business and of its drivers.

When deciding how to lower risk on the road, the company looked to a range of GPS tracking companies that could help track their drivers. “There were companies that did not meet all of our needs. When we demoed with Teletrac we saw the features catered to the needs of our business more.” A large part of the company’s solution that appealed to Noble Casing was Teletac’s Safety Analytics, which monitors unsafe driving behavior and ranks the best and worst drivers in a fleet.  Noble Casing was in need of reliable technology to reduce accidents in addition to lowering fuel costs and streamlining their operations in the field.

“When employees go out the door we make sure they’re trained and prepared for different situations.” These situations include a few routine accidents on the road. “We’ve had guys sliding off the road, swerving...we had a guy drive into a ditch because he didn’t know how to put the vehicle in four-wheel drive. Safety Analytics can help us reduce incidents like that.”

In fact, a portion of the company’s mission statement reads: Safety is our culture.  Safety is not given a backseat to production, customer service or profit margins.  We place safety at the forefront of all decisions we make. “Safety is everything to the company,” Childers affirms.

Two big features the company has recently implemented in addition to Safety Analytics: electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) and electronic logbooks (E-Logs): “Taking away the paper has saved us considerable time.” Considerable time, including a knock from the Department of Transportation. Childers notes, “Having E-Logs saved the company on an audit recently. Not bad.” Not bad, for one of the most successful oil and mining companies in the U.S. And now one of the safest.

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NTSB Calls to Ban Hands-Free Cell Phones from Drivers

11/17/2014 by Dennis Jaconi

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended several policy changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) following their investigation of a crash between a truck and a train in Maryland back in 2013.

The truck passed through a grade crossing just in front of an oncoming train, which hit the truck and derailed, spilling hazardous cargo. The driver survived but with severe injuries, and exploding cargo caused property damage as much as half a mile away from the collision site.

Investigators found that the driver typically relied on his ears to tell him of approaching trains, instead of stopping just before the crossing to look. On this occasion, he received a cell phone call just before reaching the tracks and never heard the train whistle. He may also have been less alert than normal because of an untreated, undisclosed medical problem. Further, his employer has a history of repeated safety violations, including not maintaining driver qualification files and not tracking driver hours.

Possibly the most important of NTSBs recommendations, and certainly the one most likely to impact drivers directly, is that the FMCSA ban drivers’ use of even hands-free cell phones when driving.

Many jurisdictions have already banned cell phone use while driving unless the device is hands-free, the assumption being that handling the phone or looking at it is an unacceptably dangerous distraction. But NTSB has found that hands-free devices are also unacceptably dangerous. The real problem is not what the driver’s hands are doing but what his or her mind is doing behind the wheel. Trying to talk to someone who is not in the vehicle takes the driver’s mind away from the vehicle as well.

In the case of the crash in Maryland, the driver was using a hands-free cell phone when he was struck by the train.

NTSB also recommended that FMCSA improve how it follows up on compliance violations, and that it improve how investigators and medical examiners communicate about possible medical disqualifications. The Board asked states, railroads, and landowners to work together to improve safety at private grade crossing.

All of these recommendations have the potential to make the roads safer, but most will impact drivers only indirectly. And if the FMCSA chooses not to act, drivers and their employers can do little to improve these areas on their own.

Talking while driving is an exception.

No one needs to wait for Federal action to refrain from using a cell phone. Conversely, even if the FMCSA bans the use of hands-free phones behind the wheel, drivers will likely keep using them unless they accept the ban is necessary. The rule would be hard to enforce.

Employers can help here through driver education and bringing awareness to the point that any form of distraction is dangerous and that even hands-free phones are unacceptably distracting. If a phone call is so important it can’t wait, the driver should pull over in a safe location to make the call.

Aware of the safety risks that texting and hands-free phone calls bring to the road, many delivery fleets and logistics companies are actively deploying two-way messaging tools for their operations. Comprehensive fleet management systems can provide an effective communication solution between dispatch and drivers. With Teletrac’s app-based two-way messaging tool, drivers can use their in-vehicle devices (displays, tablets) to quickly create and send inbound canned or free-form text messages to dispatchers and vice-versa. Messages are stamped with a date, time and vehicle name, enabling managers to stay updated about job-site arrivals, departures, availability and job details for each driver. Furthermore, the messaging feature disables once the vehicle is moving, eliminating the temptation and risk of sending a message while in route. To learn more about Teletrac two-way messaging visit: http://www.teletrac.com/fleet-management-software/driver-tracking/two-way-messaging

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An Honest Look At HOS Rules

10/17/2014 by Caroline Ailanthus

Since last year, drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) must follow new, updated rules limiting their Hours Of Service (HOS) in order to prevent dangerous exhaustion at the wheel. These vehicles are strictly defined in the law and generally include anything over 10,000 pounds, carrying hazardous material, or carrying over a minimum number of passengers (whether paying or not).

The HOS rules are slightly different for drivers of passenger vehicles than for cargo vehicles, but in each case limit the number of hours per shift and the number of hours per work week and require at least minimum rest periods. Drivers carrying cargo must have at least ten hours off-duty between shifts and may not work for more than 14 consecutive hours, or drive for more than 11 consecutive hours.

The driver must also take a 30 minute rest break at least every eight hours. Drivers may not work more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. Work weeks must be separated by at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty and must include two nights, since most people sleep better at night and need sleep at night more. Exceptions exist for drivers with access to sleeper berths, but to use those exceptions the driver must spend at least eight hours in the berth consecutively, and must also take a separate break of at least two consecutive hours either in the berth or off duty. 

Drivers of passenger vehicles must have at least eight consecutive hours off duty between shifts and can work a maximum shift of 15 hours with a maximum ten hours of driving. The maximum work week is the same as for cargo haulers, although no minimum weekend length is specified. Drivers who have sleeper berths must stay in them for eight hours but may divide those hours into two parts, provided neither break is less than two hours long.

Failure to follow the new regulations—or failure to properly document following them—brings serious consequences for both the driver and his or her employer. Fees can be thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars per violation, even if the only thing the driver did wrong was to not properly log his or her breaks. Carriers can also receive fines in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for failing to require drivers to follow the HOS rules and to properly document their breaks. If a driver keeps going three hours or more over the limit, the violation is considered “egregious” and is subject to the maximum possible fine—well over $100,000, in some cases.

It is important to recognize that these rules do not actually limit a driver’s rights but, rather, protect them. Driving is difficult, dangerous work and requires adequate rest. The law, in effect, protects a driver’s right to remain healthy and safe while at work, even in the face of financial pressure to go farther and longer than prudence dictates.

Drivers need sleep to function well, and denying that need leads to long-term health problems and the risk of a driver falling asleep behind the wheel. 10,000 pounds hurtling down the highway without anyone at the controls is a nightmare that can be avoided.

Find out how Teletrac meets FMCSA standards and requirements with Fleet Director's HOS compliance solution.

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Switching to Electronic Logging Devices

07/25/2014 by Krishna Patel

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) allow fleet managers to automatically store driver information along with hours of service without having to deal with the hassle of manual paperwork.  

In March of 2014 the FMCSA issued a mandate, if approved, which will require interstate commercial trucks and busses to have ELDs installed in all vehicles.  With the public comment period on the mandate at a close the FMCSA will take the next few months to review the feedback before crafting the final rule.  

What does this mean for truckers?  The mandate requires that drivers who use paper logs must switch to ELDs. In order to verify compliance the mandate also covers technical standards for electronic logging devices. In addition the mandate also sets parameters to protect drivers from harassment by forcing load planners and dispatchers to set manageable schedules and expectations for route completion. With an ELD mandate fleet owners will have two years to comply with the final rule, resulting in every interstate commercial vehicle being equipped with an electronic logging device that will store driver information and hours of service.   
 
With change on the horizon, drivers and fleet owners should prepare for the benefits and challenges of switching to ELDs.

More Involvement
The ELD mandate will impact both managers and drivers. Load planners and dispatchers who are involved in the planning of driver schedules will also be held accountable for FMCSA regulation violations.  With the implementation of an electronic logging device, managers will have clear visibility into a driver’s hours of service, allowing them to proactively adjust schedules to comply with regulations.

Issues With ELD
Many shippers won’t allow for trucks to remain in their lot over a certain period of time and if the driver has met their HOS limit they could be forced to violate the FMCSA regulation. However, drivers are allowed to move their vehicle for up to two hours after their HOS limit has been met if the situation is due to “unforeseen circumstances” such as weather implications.

The View From the Driver’s Seat
Fleets companies continue to face driver shortages and the current ELD mandate has many drivers frustrated with the extent of regulations. The mandate is beneficial to drivers as it improves road safety by drastically reducing driver fatigue and the risk of accidents.

How do you feel about the ELD mandate?

To learn more about Teletrac Fleet Director's compliance software see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
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Advice From Veteran Fleet Managers

06/09/2014 by Shazia Haq

Managing a fleet can be a stressful endeavor. But learning from past mistakes can make becoming a fleet manager an easier responsibility.

There have been many fleet professionals in the public sector who have seen just about everything. The biggest piece of advice, as with any career, is to listen.

Beyond your immediate circle of colleagues, seek out professionals who are in the area and have been in the industry for a while. Their knowledge will open you up to a new way of thinking, says John Alley, assistant manager of vehicle maintenance for King County Metro Transit in Washington. Alley also adds that it’s imperative to visit your customers to understand their concerns and issues. And always keep your boss informed of what your operation is up to and how it is performing.



John Trojanovich, a retired equipment manager with the Arizona Department of Transportation, says that taking the time to learn how to become a good listener will pay huge dividends throughout your career. The people around you will always be your best resource. And if you’re new to the job, chances are that those around you know much more than you.
 


While you may be eager to correct existing issues within the fleet, be sure to consider the long-term effects.

Paul Hanson, director of Minnesota Department of Administration, Services Fleet and Surplus, says to be cautious when first entering your new position. Being proactive is great, but without the proper analysis of the fleet’s history and future goals, you may just be pushing the problem aside or creating a bigger issue down the road

Lastly, it’s up to you to promote your department.

George Baker, director of Central Services for Volusia County in Florida, reminds you to be the head cheerleader for your organization. Your fleet needs you to be a public relations superstar that gets involved in the community, networks, speaks to the press, and partners with government officials. The more positive relationships you are able to develop, the more resources you’ll be able to secure for your fleet.

To learn how Teletrac Fleet Director software can make fleet management simpler, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
 
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New Mandates On The Horizon: Are Businesses Ready?

05/29/2014 by Leslie Garcia

The rules and regulations that the trucking industry faces are ever-changing: Fleets must work through a range of newly-appointed orders to stay compliant. And it’s not easy.

In the past year, fleets had to deal with new rules regarding Hours of Service (HOS), fuel economy standards, healthcare and greenhouse gas emissions. And there are plenty more on the horizon, which is why preparing your fleet for the incoming changes is crucial to your company's success.

The evolution of trucking has now led to further plans and proposals that are now on the forefront. Some of the more noticeable items include mandating the use of technology, such as electronic logging devices (ELDs), the adoption of the clean air initiative, health-related insurance, and the far-reaching effects of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

Electronic Logging Devices

While drivers may not advocate for ELDs, they will soon have to accept the mandated technology.

In March, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created a proposal to require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use ELDs in their vehicles to improve compliance with the safety rules that govern the number of hours a driver can work.

While the proposal originated with good intentions, the proposed 2016 mandate on ELDs is causing quite a stir in the trucking industry.

According to an April survey by Overdrive Magazine, a whopping 71 percent of independent truck drivers and 52 percent of company drivers said they would quit their career if ELDs were mandated. And with good reason, perhaps.  New technology and design are often an unnecessary complication for drivers who simply want to get the job done. Learning and navigating a new device can be a time consuming task.

Despite the negative reaction, there are plenty of benefits that the ELD mandate would provide: Drivers will be able to improve compliance with existing safety rules that govern the number of hours they are allowed to work, which could lessen driver coercion and other violations. The proposed rulemaking would considerably reduce the paperwork burden associated with manual HOS recordkeeping for interstate truck and bus drivers, and it would also improve the quality of logbook data submitted.

The FMCSA also stated the new rule will ultimately reduce HOS violations by making it more difficult for drivers to misrepresent their time on logbooks. This would help truck drivers avoid detection by the FMCSA and other law enforcement personnel. An examination of the data has shown it will also help reduce crashes caused by fatigued drivers and prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million, according to the FMCSA.

Clean Air Initiative

In an attempt to reduce greenhouse emissions, fuel efficiency standards are already being phased in this year under a joint agreement between the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. Those regulations, which are set to go into effect in stages until 2018, levy different fuel efficiency marks based on the size and weight of the vehicle involved:

  • Heavy-duty trucks and vans will be required to achieve up to a 10 percent reduction for gasoline vehicles and a 15 percent reduction for diesel vehicles in fuel consumption
  • Most tractor-trailers will be required to achieve a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption
  • Vocational vehicles will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 percent

Health-Related Insurance and Costs

Another proposed regulation that may go into effect soon focuses on an employer mandate related to health coverage. This mandate will require companies with 50 or more full-time employees to provide healthcare for their workforce under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Under this rule, companies may be fined for each uninsured employee, which could sum up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly fines. But businesses can help keep extra costs at bay. Implementing preventative care initiatives, such as mandatory physicals, is key in eliminating high insurance premiums for employers and their workers.

Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program Affects Preventative Maintenance

The CSA program was created in order to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicles.

CSA quickly collects violation information, ranking the safety performance of fleets with similar operations based on that information and making it available to the public. Similarly, drivers receive their own scores.

While CSA records capture both driver and vehicle violations, it creates a two-edged blade for maintenance operations. Drivers now report problems they formerly considered too minor to note. Issues such as broken lamps or under­inflated tires will keep drivers from leaving on a trip because they want to avoid CSA-damaging violations. That helps maintenance stay on top of those repairs, but it also may create a bit of a backlog in maintenance repairs for fleet companies. The true answer to help avoid this and other potential issues during federal mandate season is to invest more in preventative efforts, such as safety tools and features that help optimize your fleet, and stay informed.

 

To see how Teletrac Safety Analytics, ELDs and other driver features can help you adapt to the latest mandates, get a Free Live Demo Now!

 

 

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Technology Is Changing Fleet Management

04/01/2014 by Dennis Jaconi

Field service management (FSM) most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installs, services or repairs of systems or equipment. Traditionally, optimization in FSM has been a challenge since it involves multiple scheduling, routing and dispatching of technicians to varying locations. In turn, minimizing costs while maintaining quality customer service has been a tough feat. However, the way field service departments are increasingly being managed is evolving. With rapid advancements in internet technology, it’s clear there won't be a gradual shift in methodology.

This new generation of field service management may no longer require a technician to go on site to inspect every piece of equipment. Instead, via wireless technology, these machines can relay any necessary work orders and send usage updates to manufacturers without the need for an examination from a technician.

With pieces of equipment now boasting wireless communication capabilities, it means that field service departments cannot stick with their old school techniques. A field service company that still relies on dispatchers using whiteboards, file cabinets and paper documents will quickly be left behind, while modern, technologically advanced teams will continue to find growing success through mobile, cloud and social platforms.

Leveraging Big Data 

Possessing analytics and insights into equipment and machinery allows field service divisions to contact customers and provide them solutions before they are even aware of a potential problem.

Rather than technicians arriving to a jobsite as a reactionary measure, this new standard for field service gives customers will be a sort of preventative maintenance program that will keep their equipment running at full capacity without any downtime.

Soon this type of service will no longer be seen as a luxury because every business will need to have fully enabled networks that provide constant streams of data that provide insight into understanding their customers.

The more data that a field service company can compile, the better their analysis. And with this information, they can take initiative and supply real-time service to all of their customers.
 

To learn how Teletrac's Fleet Director software platform can optimize your field service department by reducing overhead and improving customer service, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
 

 

dennis jaconi, denny jaconiDennis P. Jaconi is a part of Teletrac's vibrant Marketing team and contributes insight into the ever changing world of m2m technology. He loves to speak directly with customers to learn how fleets are leveraging GPS solutions for improved business efficiency while reducing carbon emissions. To read these customer stories visit Teletrac's Customer Reviews Archive.

 

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3 Biggest Maintenance Mistakes

03/25/2014 by Dennis Jaconi

For the most part, fleet managers do their best to keep vehicles running at peak performance.

But a poor approach to vehicle maintenance can cost thousands of dollars and countless man hours. It’s up to fleet managers to keep a watchful eye on the entire preventative maintenance program and ensure the system in place is working.

1) Setting the Standard
Short-term savings are not worth it when it comes to the overall lifespan of a car, van or truck. Putting off preventative maintenance for a few extra days or weeks eventually jeopardizes an entire fleet operation.

The upfront preventative maintenance costs are a fraction of the eventual price for repairs on oil, tires, brakes, or any other critical part of the fleet vehicle. Since different vehicles require different forms of care, each vehicle should be treated individually and not with a “one size fits all” form of maintenance.

2) Involve Drivers
Drivers spend the most time with fleets vehicles, so why wouldn’t he or she be involved in its upkeep?

While technicians have a great grasp of what to look for, they only see a particular vehicle for a few hours. By involving the driver, techs can make better improvements and correct problems they would otherwise be unaware of.

3) Don’t Ignore The Data
There is a wealth of information available when a vehicle is being serviced, but only if someone is looking in the right place.

By collecting and processing data when a fleet vehicle comes in for a maintenance request, fleet managers can gain valuable insight into trends across the entire company.

The key is finding a way to use the data that is available to identify what is and isn’t working, and then develop a plan to address those widespread issues throughout the entire preventative maintenance program.

To learn more about Teletrac's Fleet Director vehicle diagnostics software for preventive maintenance, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
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White House Approves E-Log Mandate

03/14/2014 by Leslie Garcia

The wait is almost over for Electronic Logging Devices to become a mandated driver staple.

The rule requires all drivers now subject to keeping records of duty status to use an Electronic Logging Device. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration originally submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget on August 7, with the projected publication set for November 18. 

So it had taken over half a year, but the proposed rule to require drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices has finally been cleared by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. 

Because of this recent development, it is expected that a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published by the end of March.

That timeline was pushed up a few weeks compared to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) monthly report which projected the Office of Management and Budget to clear the rule later in the month.

According to the DOT, the new rule is comprised of four basic parts:

  1. Requiring drivers to now keep records of duty status to use Electronic Logging Devices
  2. Specifying performance and design criteria of the devices
  3. Stating the supporting documents that drivers will still be required to have
  4. Dealing with driver harassment apprehensions, which derailed the previous Electronic Logging Device rule

Along with Electronic Logging Device mandate, the FMCSA’s Carrier Safety Fitness Determination rule proposal is also projected to still be published August 4, according to the report.

The rule would alter the FMCSA’s data gathering process in regards to how it calculates a carrier’s Safety Fitness Determination score. After the rule is passed, the agency will use data from roadside inspections, investigations, violation history and crashes, which is a nearly identical data set that is currently being used in calculating a Safety Measurement Scores in the agency’s existing Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.
 

To learn more about Teletrac's Fleet Director's compliance capabilities, including E-Logs, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
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Cargo Theft At All-Time High

03/12/2014 by Leslie Garcia

Cargo thieves continued to make the lives of freight operators a nightmare during the past year.

A total of 951 cargo thefts were reported in 2013, which tied the all-time mark set in 2012, according to FreighWatch International. With an average of $171,100 per stolen load, that adds up to over $162 million in stolen cargo across the entire industry in the United States.

The high total breaks down to an average of over 79 cargo thefts each month. And of the 951 thefts that occurred in the past year, 692 were full-truckload or container thefts and 65 were less-than-truckload thefts, according to the FreightWatch International report.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Theft of a vehicle and its load accounted for 73 percent of the reported thefts in 2013, with theft from a trailer or container being the second most common occurrence, and the identity theft form of deceptive pickups ranking third as the most common type of theft.

On average, the value per stolen load did fall 2 percent to $171,000 during the past year.

The theft of electronics led the way in average value per stolen load at $397,000. Stolen loads of alcohol or tobacco ranked second at $280,000 per load, followed by clothing or shoes at $272,000.

Cargo theft activity were most prevalent in June and September, but the last quarter of the year was the most concentrated of the year. And just about half of all thefts occurred on Fridays and Saturdays.

Thefts by State

California more than doubled the next closest state by accruing the most thefts in 2013, with a total of 259.

  • California: 259
  • Texas: 123
  • Florida: 113
  • Georgia: 71
  • Illinois: 70


Combatting Cargo Theft

Using a trailer and asset tracking unit enables fleet managers to locate, manage and recover company equipment. This provides location tracking and reporting for company assets can be easily managed through advanced GPS tracking software.

The robust, self-powered unit incorporates built-in GPS and cellular data modules with no need for external antennae, which ensures that the entire fleet will have optimal anti-theft security.
 

To learn more how Teletrac's Fleet Director can help minimize cargo theft see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
 
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5 Steps Toward A Successful Fleet Brand

03/10/2014 by Michael Jarvinen

A successful fleet operation needs total support from management at all levels. However many fleet managers struggle to showcase the value of their department to key decision makers within their company.

You can easily craft a successful brand message for your organization’s fleet operation with the steps below. .

Showcase Value
In a few notable words, showcase the value the fleet department brings to the company on an everyday basis. By and large, the fleet department wants to be perceived as the problem solvers sought after by customers.

The fleet manager's role to the company's finances is advanced by an image that lets you to establish the work you do best, brings about quality responses, produces appreciation and creates supporters within the organization.

Identify the Market
In regards to those involved with directing fleet decisions, upstream customers include company stakeholders, which consists of management, the finance department, procurement operations, human resources and other departments that are impacted by fleet operations. Conversely, downstream customers are comprised of fleet drivers, field administrators, maintenance staff, mechanics, the original equipment manufacturers and service providers.

Understand the Market
The ultimate goal is to persuade someone, have them believe in your department, and become an agent of change on your behalf. It’s not enough to simply identify who these people are: You will also need to know what they think. Find a way to get inside the heads of these key decision makers to deliver an effective marketing message that makes them understand your importance.

Strengthening the Brand
In many organizations, everyone within the company has a different idea of how to best utilize your department. This is why it’s important to strengthen your brand through a concise, effecting value message that will resonate at the highest level.

Tie-in Corporate Goals
Define the fleet’s role and goal. Keep this consistent with the customers’ interests and expectancies and continue to transmit and emphasize that message.
 

To learn how Teletrac's Fleet Director software can help amplify your brand's awareness, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
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