What’s important to a carrier that is operating a small business on a tight budget, looking for business growth, surrounded by regulations and high costs?
One opportunity for a quick ROI could be adopting a mobile fleet management solution to help improve regulatory compliance and efficiency, while enhancing freight and driver management.
Other external factors such as the CSA program, HOS rules, and the upcoming EOBR mandate are also influencing carriers to consider mobile fleet management solutions.
But at what price?
Fleets that are considering adopting mobile fleet management solutions –a mobile computer that can help you comply with current government regulations and at the same time, improve driver efficiency and productivity –may be concerned about the cost of such technology. As a small carrier, capital investment plays a key role in operating a profitable business. If the ROI for new technology is quick, then upfront investment might not hurt as much.
But there are so many options, which is the best solution and where do I start?
There are indeed many options available. Here are some key fleet management solution features that a fleet could consider:
- eLogs – Electronic logs or eLogs capture driver hours automatically in near real-time and provide fleets visibility into available hours resulting in better load management. eLogs can help fleets be compliant with FMCSA HOS regulations and can reduce out-of service violations by providing in-cab alerts for impending violations.
- Safe user interface – With the proliferation of technology in the trucking industry, the cab of the truck becomes a collection of various gadgets and tools that can cause distraction. So, a safe driving environment becomes vital to the effective use of technology.
- Ability to automate driver/dispatch information exchange – The fundamental need is to reduce the number of calls back and forth between the driver and the dispatcher, which can result in undocumented instructions, wasted time and, ultimately, lost productivity. What is needed is a way to automate and streamline information exchange, which can help improve operational efficiency and driver time management.
- Ability to monitor driver and vehicle performance data for safety and fuel efficiency – When the truck leaves the company terminal, it’s hard to keep track of the safety of the vehicle, driver and freight, which is especially critical if a carrier is hauling high value cargo. Monitoring basic performance data and unsafe driving behavior patterns over time, including hard braking, speeding, mpg, idling, etc. can help prevent accidents, offer proactive driver coaching opportunities and can help improve fuel economy.
All these features are basic needs in today’s environment. Mobile fleet management technology has advanced significantly since its introduction in 1988.
If you are a small carrier looking for a solution with basic features at an affordable price point, be sure to consider Qualcomm’s Mobile Computing Platform 50 (MCP50). The MCP50 is a richly featured, low-cost fleet management solution designed for fleets of all sizes.
Click here to read how R&M Transportation benefited from Qualcomm’s MCP50.