In a recent article that was forwarded to me it was well described on how trucking companies can benefit from technology.
In this article numbers like for every mile per hour higher is a loss in .14 miles per gallon. Other numbers like 27% gain in MPG, or 25% difference in your best driver and your worst. Other numbers tout 10% savings in tractor maintenance. Here are the real heavy hitters, average MPG in the U.S. is 6, while some are seeing 8.5 and on to say the most efficient 10.5 MPG, now there is one I would like to know about. Bottom line is this, making any improvements to your fuel bottom line in MPG could benefit your company $ 500 - $ 900 per truck per year.
Some companies are looking at other factors; hard braking, long and short idle, over speed, over RPM, out of route miles, and many others. Fact is with an article out there like this one and others that have written about the same things why is it estimated that only 15 – 20% of the trucks on the road today have on board computers. Seems to me besides the sales guy that is beating on your door to buy something that will save you fuel, any trucker right now would benefit in just knowing what his/her truck is doing, or how the driver in that truck is performing. At the margin that carriers are operating at right now, how you can ask the question….”How much is that system going to cost me?” and not “Why don’t we have those in our trucks?” is way beyond me.
For months I wrote blogs about all the regulatory stuff going on in the industry, CSA, new HOS, possible EOBR mandates, distracted driving, and seem like way to many others. All of this regulatory attention has driven some carriers into looking at onboard computers as a way to help them with hour of service management, lower CSA scores, and some have made deals with enforcement to buy and install onboard computers as part of a prosed safety plan to either lower fines, waive a possible unsatisfactory rating, or a combination of both. This is a good thing and using a proven system will help you do just that.
BUT WHY DID IT TAKE THAT TO BENEFIT THE OBVIOUS!!!!!!!! That’s right I raised it up an octave there. Sorry, but I am in contact with enough carriers that are still worried about the economy, fuel prices, driver shortage, government intervention, and many other legitimate issues in running their business. The problem is they have no idea what area they need improvement in because they really don’t know what their own problems are. Without the opportunity to look and analyze the data of your fleet by truck and by driver you really have no chance in making your operation better. I love the quote in the last paragraph of the article, "The sky's the limit as to what information you can get out of technology," no truer words were ever said. Companies today that have already embraced technology are looking for more. It’s not just about MPG, it is the data elements that end up equaling MPG. There are companies that are looking at comparing ambient temperature as it relates to the driver being able to rest comfortably without idling the truck. Others are using the data within their fleet, their freight, and their lanes to determine the best tractor combination to buy the next time, not what the OEM’s say they get on a test track. You have to know how it will perform under your operating scenario. Below is a real easy snap shot of what implementing onboard computers did for my past fleet. You don’t have to be that big to receive all the benefits. This is 80 trucks out of one location and only tracking 3 data measurements.
8.52 % savings just for turning it on and reporting to the drivers on a monthly basis. We went on to improve this number and provide a self-funded incentive program to let the drivers share in as well. That savings paid for the investment 3 times over in the first year.
Simply put, if you are serious about running more efficient, more productive, and most important, SAFER, then you really cannot afford to not invest in the opportunity to see how your business is really running. Ask yourself if you really care about staying in business and making a profit.
Good to be back