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Telematics Case Study: Lowering Vehicle Costs

Dunn Lumber has telematics devices installed on all 22 of its delivery trucks.

June 2013, by Shelley Mika

Photo via Dunn Lumber.
Photo via Dunn Lumber.

Dunn Lumber is a lumberyard and delivery service for homeowners and professional contractors in Washington state. With a 100-year history behind the company, Dunn Lumber operates in 11 locations.

The Fleet: With 30 fleet vehicles in total, Dunn Lumber has telematics devices installed on all 22 of its delivery trucks.

The Challenge: Dunn Lumber's vehicle costs were too high, so it needed to find a way to bring them down. The company also sought visibility into where its assets were at all times, and how they were being handled as well.

As a delivery fleet, Dunn Lumber needed to make sure it operated as efficient as possible, while also maintaining the high standards of safety that are a high priority in the lumber industry. For those reasons, it was clear the company needed technology that would help monitor employee and asset safety at all times, while also saving on costs.

The Solution: Dunn Lumber installed a telematics solution that allows the company to work on safety and efficiency gains with the operators. Using telematics devices, Dunn Lumber is able to select preferred routes for operators, avoiding narrow or unsafe roads. The company is also able to make sure its operators take the preferred routes by sending those routes to a device in the cab that gives them turn-by-turn directions. This makes dispatching simple and makes communication with operators safe — no longer needing cell phones to coordinate deliveries.

The Results: Dunn Lumber immediately began to drive costs down by monitoring driver behavior. "We have seen a significant reduction in idle time and off-route travel, which has resulted in thousands of dollars saved annually," said Glenn Merrill, Central Dispatch for Dunn Lumber. This savings is represented in fuel and vehicle wear and tear.

The most significant improvement, though, has been peace of mind. "Fifteen years ago a delivery fleet operated on trusting the equipment and operators," Merrill said. "We've removed that from the equation by always knowing where our fleet is — at all times."

Telematics have been a valuable and crucial fleet management tool for Dunn Lumber. The solutions have helped streamline its overall fleet operations by lowering fuel costs, and increasing safety and efficiency.

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