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Beyond Engines: Innovative Technology for the Efficient Fleet

trucks and technology

An efficient fleet operation requires flawless fulfillment and delivery performance; which is dependent on real-time data collection and communication between workers in the office and out in the field. Fortunately, mobile technologies and solutions offer an ideal way to respond.

A field mobility solution will include mobile devices, software solutions and processes for tracking and sharing data, and communications from one device to another, and from one worker to another.

Below are field mobility solutions you’ll want to consider and our picks for some of the top hardware and software associated with each solution.

Telematics and GPS

Telematics has transformed the way trucking companies manage their fleets, thanks to the ability to monitor and manage vehicle locations, performance and driver behavior. Engine and vehicle data can be collected automatically through sensors, while GPS provides location and positioning data and mobile technologies enable real-time logging and communications between drivers and fleet headquarters.

A complete system yields data and insights that help improve driver safety, fuel consumption and vehicle performance while ensuring your fleet is running smoothly, being operated safely, and meeting compliance requirements. Additional capabilities are also possible, including the addition of cameras to verify and validate the context of specific telematic indicators such as harsh acceleration, braking, and speeding.

For telematics and GPS software, we recommend companies such as Telogis AKA Verizon Connect who deliver Telematics and GPS needs to large and small companies alike. Helping them to see in real-time a company’s fleet performance, and how to best use their assets to meet and exceed customer demands.

route map

Routing and scheduling

With the high cost of fuel and vehicle maintenance, it’s critical to make sure fleets and drivers use the most cost-effective and efficient routes. Operating an efficient fleet and mobile workforce in order to meet customer expectations starts with proper planning for pickups, deliveries and/or service calls. To that end, a mobile ecosystem with dynamic up-to-the-minute route optimization is invaluable and helps meet tight delivery windows and fulfill expedited or emergency pickup and delivery requests.

In addition, mobile-enabled GPS can guide drivers along the most efficient routes in real time, providing up-to-the-minute audio or map-based turn-by-turn navigation assistance, ensuring on-time deliveries that enhance customer satisfaction. Partners such as Descartes lead the way with innovative route planning for organizations with dynamic routing needs, and the need to have real-time information to decrease cost and improve customer service.

Accessing routes, schedules and navigation is easy and affordable with handheld mobile computers or tablets. Through a single device, drivers can access all the routing, scheduling, navigation and other applications they need, plus voice, barcode capture and photo capabilities for a complete fleet efficiency solution.

proof of delivery (POD)

Proof of Delivery (POD)

In light of increasing customer demands for prompt deliveries and real-time shipment tracking, digital proof of delivery has become crucial in the trucking industry. It’s also becoming an essential step in improving overall fleet efficiency as trucking companies move from paper-based documentation to electronic tracking and signature capture.

Understanding your unique business processes is an essential first step in helping us develop a mobile solution that will improve your operation, and also meet the needs and demands of your customers. Over the years we have helped companies such as Coca-Cola, Miller-Coors, Anheuser-Busch, MEI, and more to identify, review, and select a proper POD solution that’ll have a positive impact on their bottom line, and deliver the best customer experience possible.

By using a handheld mobile computer or enterprise tablet, drivers can provide fast, efficient customer service with sophisticated document capture functionality. Proof of delivery is quick and simple with electronic signature capture, bill of lading (BOL) scanning and processing, and even photo and video capture to verify the condition of packages.

Receipts are also easy to generate on the go with mobile printers, such as the ZQ500 Series from Zebra Technologies.


onboard mobile computing: fat vs. thin

Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

An electronic logging device (ELD) is the electronic hardware that’s attached to a truck engine to monitor whether the engine is running and the vehicle is moving, along with miles driven and the duration of engine operation. Now that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated electronic logging through its ELD Rule, an ELD is a necessary component of fleet management, compliance and driver safety.

The rule impacts drivers who have been using traditional methods like paper logs or logging software and automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs). Considering the mandate isn’t going anywhere and it’s an obligation for bus and truck companies to ensure safety on the road, it’s mandatory to install an ELD device. Choosing the right ELD equipment for your fleet can be a challenge if you do not know what to check for. But that should not worry you because we have highly technical personnel who can review your business, then recommend the best ELD for your business based on your needs.

Fortunately, a mobile ecosystem offers an easy-to-use and reliable way to deploy an ELD solution in the form of a cradled onboard mobile computer that interfaces with engine sensors, or a mobile device that collects and communicates the same data by connecting with a vehicle black box.

Zebra’s mobile computing solutions, such as the ET50/55, can serve as the central hub for ELD data while also delivering the applications and connectivity to drive a complete fleet efficiency solution. It’s as simple as identifying the right ELD configuration and solution or connecting your existing ELD system with Zebra’s simple and easy-to-use mobile computers and tablets.

Creating a mobile ecosystem for your operation may seem complex, but it doesn’t have to be when you partner with us. Our mobility consultants have helped numerous companies overcome technology and financial barriers. The mobile solutions they design are aligned with your budget, your long-term goals and your ability to manage new technology.

If you know you’d like to create a more efficient trucking operation but are not sure where or how to begin, give us a call at 866‑811-0110. We can get you started and will guide you each and every step along the way.


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