Trucking's dynamic duo

Integrating onboard computing and GPS-based mobile communications unleashes the power to streamline workflow and maximize efficiency


Without this tool for preventive maintenance, diagnostics is on hold until the truck arrives at a shop or dealership, either on its own power or by a tow.

In addition to curbing maintenance expenses, fault-code reporting makes drivers feel more secure about the appearance of a check-engine light. They believe that maintenance has their back and will advise them about what they should do. That keeps them from making unnecessary trips to and stops at dealerships, as in the case of a light for high exhaust temperature due to terrain causing a hard pull.

Fault-code reporting is an indispensable tool for staying ahead of changing maintenance requirements.

Mobile Communications with Geofencing

For a variety of reasons, more fleets are turning to mobile communications devices with geofencing and automated messaging.

Driven by an automated GPS system, there is little to no required telephone communication between drivers and dispatch, which in itself frees up everybody’s time. Change management, including driver instruction and customer notification, is automated and handled predominantly through electronic messaging.

Geofencing enables data collection and reporting about vehicle status and location, associating latitude and longitude with each stop throughout the route. A geofence is essentially the radius (or “fence”) around a designated point that triggers certain events from a mobile communications device, which are reported to the system.

Automating the relay of arrival and departure date/time provides accurate, timely information to the back-office system without data-entry by the driver. The addition of automated exception notification updates dispatch and customers, providing better service.

The Future is Now

The integration between OBR, GPS-based mobile communications and back-office routing, dispatching and accounting creates a centralized, paperless environment that relieves drivers and back-office personnel of handling paper and initiating phone calls, plus provides a solid foundation for efficient decision-making.

It’s all about muscling costs out of fleet operations. Show me a fleet with a better bottom line, and I’ll show you a fleet that’s more competitive.

Rick Ochsendorf is senior vice president of operations for PeopleNet, a leading provider of innovative and integrated onboard computing and mobile communications systems for effective fleet management. www.peoplenetonline.com

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