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Telematics Use Grows in Work Truck Fleets

From tracking preventive maintenance to reducing vehicle idling and fuel consumption, truck-based fleets are adding telematics devices to their fleet vehicles to improve operations.

March 2010, Work Truck - Feature

by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

Telematics Track Heavy Transport, Inc. Fleet

For just under a year, Santa Ana, Calif.-based Heavy Transport, Inc., has used a Navman Wireless tracking system with map screens in all of its trucks and tracks hours of service in a few of its rental cranes. The cargo truck fleet specializes in single truckload to complete project shipments and comprises approximately 90 heavy-duty trucks and 300 cranes.

The system is hooked up to the hydraulic pumps instead of the ignition switch so the fleet not only knows when the engine is running, but also when the ignition switch is on. According to Bob Weyers, general manager at Heavy Transport, Inc., "The trucks are all wired so it shows us when the door is open or closed and when the ignition is on or off."

In the company's crane rental fleet, cranes are sent out for "bare rent" at times, with the rental based on a preset weekly fee. The telematics unit tells Weyers if cranes are used beyond the original rental agreement, as truck drivers are paid hourly while working locally and mileage when working out of town.

"These units made the drivers aware that we know when or if they are not fully honest with their log books and delivery orders," said Weyers.
Heavy Transport experienced a few installation issues in the first few trucks. "We made one call to our rep, and he made it good," said Weyers.
Heavy Transport customers want location updates of trucks pulling their loads. According to Weyers, "the Navman Wireless units let them know instantly where [vehicles] are and the speed they are traveling."

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