A recent article in Heavy Duty Trucking examines how mobile apps have recently become popular among truckers for “freight brokering.” According to the article, “The Uberization of Trucking” has called into question the new ways the trucking industry is going mobile. We want to look at how trucking-specific mobile apps have gained prominence in the industry, and how they can best be utilized by fleets.
Trucking-specific applications have proliferated because they provide tremendous opportunities to improve driver satisfaction, productivity and compliance. There has also been an explosion in consumer applications, as consumers and drivers alike have come to expect that they can do the same types of things in their working life that they can do in their personal lives via smart devices. As with consumers, the relevance of mobile apps for commercial transportation has grown due to the broad array of benefits they offer.
The use of mobile apps varies across the industry. Many fleets already use those developed by their telematics/fleet management vendors to extend the efficiencies of in-cab solutions to out-of-cab operations. Some develop their own mobile platforms, customized to the intricacies of their unique operational profile; while others deploy third-party services to complement or supplement their legacy technology solutions. At the end of the day, fleets should be looking to deploy apps that deliver measurable value to their operations and their drivers. Fleets should focus specifically on offerings that:
Improve driver satisfaction and efficiency
Ensure regulatory compliance, enhance safety and improve customer service
Are easy to use and adopt
Can be used safely and comply with key regulations
Complement existing processes and systems
As is the case with virtually any technology, selection of the mobile app is just one step in the process. Fleets should adopt policies that govern when and how drivers and others should interact with mobile devices. Some devices and applications are smart enough to help enforce safe and appropriate use, such as preventing or limiting driver interaction while the vehicle is in motion. It’s important for the managers making these decisions to realize these possible nuances and provide a strategy to solve any potential issues.
Telematics and fleet management vendors represent the epicenter of how fleets effectively interact with their vehicles and drivers. This includes providing solutions to monitor and orchestrate activity at the vehicle and driver level in order to ensure acceptable levels of performance, safety and compliance.
With the right protocols in place, it is far easier to select an app that will deliver the desired benefits, and that will positively impact fleet efficiency and profitability. For some fleets it’s as easy as needing to know where a trailer is. With Omnitracs Roadnet Anywhere, for example (pictured above), managers can keep track of their fleets without being tied down to their desks. They can get real-time updates with a smartphone, tablet or portable computer.
To find a variety of qualified apps that will streamline your fleet, visit www.omnitracs.com to learn more.
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