Due the astounding number of responses we recieved for the article entitled, "Focus on Telematics Goals for Greater ROI," check out this Web exclusive content.

Listed in alphabetical order, fleets discuss how they are currently utilizing telematics.

Also, telematics providers share their top reasons to utilize telematics (next page). 

Fleet Feedback 

Chesapeake Energy Corp.
Total Vehicles: 5,000
Provider: Telogis

Innovative Use: “Driver safety is very important at Chesapeake and safety was our initial core goal in utilizing telematics. We have since recognized several additional substantial differences, including cost savings through improved vehicle operation and idle reduction. We are also able to optimize routes, report mileage more efficiently, audit fuel, and identify strategic fueling locations for compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations,” according to Tim Denny, VP of administration for Cheapeake Energy Corp. “Also, telematics enables more streamlined emergency and inventory management, as well as proximity calls and identification.”  

Achieving Management Buy-in: “We provided our senior management team with a financial analysis and estimated ROI for adopting a telematics program,” Denny noted. “We found that we could defray most of our expenses within three to five years by using the system to reduce accidents and idling. Management was supportive and committed to piloting several devices to increase driver safety. It was evident very quickly that the telematics solution was effective and we saw dramatic improvements immediately.”

Total Vehicles: 10,000+
Provider: inthinc

Innovative Use: “With inthinc verbal coaching, our drivers receive audible alerts in real-time when performing unsafe driving maneuvers including speeding, aggressive acceleration or braking, hard turns, hard bumps, or failure to wear their seat belt," said Josh Moore, Cintas project manager. "For events, such as speeding and seat belt use, drivers are given a grace period to correct the unsafe action before the violation is recorded in the inthinc.com Management Portal where I and other fleet managers can view both fleet and driver performance. By sending our drivers those immediate verbal alerts, we are proactively correcting unsafe driving habits and improving the safety of our fleet."

Management Buy-in: According to Moore, inthinc was well received by management following a successful pilot program ran in its Uniform Rental division.

"During that period, our vehicle incident rate drop by 46 percent, our seat-belt use improved by 89 percent, and idle time and fuel use dropped substantially," Moore explained. "For driver buy-in, we try to stress the importance of safety and remind them that the system is there to help them get home to their families unharmed. What we found appealing about inthinc is that we can give our drivers a 15-second grace period to correct unsafe driving behaviors, with no consequence. And rather than using the inthinc system to solely crack down on unsafe driving, we adopted an aggressive safety campaign and incentives program to recognize the safe drivers and we reward them with various prizes and giveaways."

Frito-Lay & PepsiCo
Total Vehicles: 14,107 GPS-enabled route, bulk, and service trucks
Provider: Geotab

Innovative Use: Though using GPS on its Route, Bulk and Service trucks, Frito-Lay/PepsiCo collects key metrics, such as engine diagnostics, idle time, and actual route data, which are leveraged to drive fuel-related productivity and also reliability.

“As a part of our telematics solution, we also have implemented a daily mileage feed from our GPS database to our maintenance system,” according to Bob Zimmer, fleet technology sustainability manager. “This feed provides a daily odometer reading from each GPS-enabled truck, which allows the maintenance system to generate more accurate preventive maintenance work orders.”

The fleet has also implemented a report, which its technicians receive overnight from each GPS-enabled truck. The report lists the line voltage of the truck. Any truck with a below-nominal voltage is then targeted by a technician, and the truck is made route-ready prior to the start of a route sales rep’s day, which improves the fleet’s overall reliability score.

According to Zimmer, collecting data via GPS has driven “significant productivity” in areas such as reducing idle time and fuel consumption, improving overall reliability, reducing out-of-route miles, and quickly locating trucks when required.

“We have been able to gather a much clearer picture of our actual out-of-route miles and engine faults, which affect reliability. The GPS data has contributed to a reduction in fuel consumption, which is a priority for our global sustainability agenda,” Zimmer said.

Achieving Management Buy-in: Buy in for the program was achieved by proving the tactics actually worked in practice, according to Zimmer.

“A pilot was conducted over a set period of time using a controlled group of trucks. No fuel savings tactics were employed during this test,” Zimmer explained. “GPS data was gathered including idle time specifically. The same group was then trained using our idle reduction tactics and the GPS data was again gathered for a set period of time. The data proved that a 48-percent reduction in idle time could be achieved. The demonstrated savings in fuel significantly offset the cost of deploying the GPS devices. Using the idle time reduction savings, we were able to move forward with the project.”

HOODZ of Greater Michigan
Total Vehicles: 21
Provider: Networkfleet

Innovative Use: HOODZ is able to verify the times technicians report in their job packets against the actual start/stop times reflected in Networkfleet reports. This is used to document their hours, including the time they leave the HOODZ shop, when they arrive at their destination, duration at the destination, the time they leave the destination, and when they arrive back at the shop. Handyside reviews the reports each morning for the previous night’s work and approves time sheets as appropriate.

HOODZ is also able to confirm how long it takes to clean a particular restaurant exhaust system and plan accordingly for future jobs. They also can validate travel times to work sites and use this information for better routing and planning. For instance, they can group multiple jobs within the same vicinity in an evening rather than wasting time sending technicians from one side of town to another on assignments.

Tom Handyside, general manager for HOODZ of Greater Michigan estimates that the company has reduced hours per job by approximately 20 percent, since implementing the Networkfleet solution.

Handyside also checks Networkfleet speed alerts and ensures his technicians are compliant with company-mandated speed limits. This not only helps HOODZ drivers stay safe and avoid tickets, it also aids in curbing speeding-related fuel consumption. Additionally, the precise GPS and vehicle performance data Networkfleet collects has been used to resolve customer service questions or correct misunderstandings. For instance, when a customer reported that a technician did not arrive on time, Handyside was able to determine precisely where the vehicle was at the start time of the job and resolve concerns. “The Networkfleet solution enables us to optimize chargeable hours and revenue,” Handyside said.

Achieving Management Buy-in: Handyside and other executives at HOODZ were familiar with Networkfleet, which provides GPS and diagnostic monitoring, because sister company Ductz had been successfully using the system across its fleet.

HOODZ selected Networkfleet to help improve efficiencies and routing of its vehicles and began rolling out the solution in 2008. “We were very clear in our intention with the GPS — that we were monitoring truck movement and times and that Networkfleet reports would be used to validate time entered on time sheets,” Handyside said.

Jack Doheny Supplies
Total Vehicles: Approximately 500
Provider: Networkfleet

Innovative Use: Jack Doheny Supplies is using the Networkfleet solution to monitor vehicle location and use. As a result, the company has been able to save money by reducing lost billings and damages caused by overuse. Networkfleet also enables Jack Doheny Supplies to proactively track and perform vehicle maintenance and service. This, too, has resulted in cost savings and reductions in vehicle down time.

Achieving Management Buy-in: “Jack Doheny Supplies had been working with a GPS provider to assist with asset tracking so we already had internal support for a telematics program; however, we were unhappy with the level of service and inaccuracy of the reporting we were receiving," said Ryan Snyder, GPS administrator for Jack Doheny Supplies.

As an organization, Jack Doheny Supplies outlined exactly what it was looking for in a GPS fleet tracking provider and identified specific criteria to evaluate various vendors' offerings. The company then selected five vendors to evaluate, including Networkfleet. Each vendor was assigned four vehicles across the fleet for a six-month evaluation. At the end of the trial, Jack Doheny Supplies selected Networkfleet. 

Total Safety
Total Vehicles: 300
Provider: SageQuest, a Branded Offering of the Fleetmatics Group

Innovative Use: Fleetmatics’ SageQuest solution is being leveraged across the Total Safety fleet to:

  • Monitor drivers’ behavior by receiving active speeding alerts/reports.
  • Capture driver/routing information via the “Travel and Stops” reporting feature.
  • Implement Total Safety Safe Driving Metrics by utilizing the “Driving Style Summary” reporting feature.

“Additional plans are also underway to implement other SageQuest reporting features that integrate and align with Total Safety’s mission, which is to ensure the safe wellbeing of workers worldwide,” according to Jill Jahn, associate manager of special operations for Total Safety. 



Top Reasons to Use Telematics

It’s a simple question — what are the top reasons to use telematics? And, there are plenty of answers. Fleet managers would be hard-pressed to not find something below of benefit to their organizations: 

  • It can help save lives, both of your employees and others on the road. An organizations responsibility to provide employees with a safe working environment and ensure vehicles are operated safely when in public.
  • Asset management — it’s important to know where your vehicles and employees are.
  • Improved driver behavior.
  • Improved driver safety by reducing speed and monitoring engine problems.
  • Improved overall vehicle, worker, and asset utilization by monitoring daily usage and routing.
  • Increased customer satisfaction and customer service, through the ability to be more responsive to customer needs.
  • The ability to manage operations more effectively and efficiently through extensive performance data.
  • Reduced fuel consumption by lowering idle time, tracking fuel usage, improving routing, reducing excess speeding, and lowering miles traveled.
  • Reduced repair and maintenance costs by identifying problems early and scheduling maintenance.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and ability to meet environmental emissions standards.
  • The ability to make a business more competitive and keep its reputation. Drivers are moving billboards, and if they are being reckless on the roads, it reflects poorly on the company. 
  • Ability to replace performance assumptions with facts to increase efficiency and retain revenue.
  • Increased compliance. With increasing federal regulations, fleets need technology to be sure they are adhering to state and federal laws.
  • A “connected fleet” maximizes the conveniences and cost-effectiveness of new mobile devices and cloud technology.
  • Proven return on investment. The proper system, if used fully, will pay for itself. 
About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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