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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 Benefits McLaughlin Customers

For approximately six months, Cheektowaga, N.Y.-based McLaughlin Communications has been using the Networkfleet L3500 telematics system, purchased through Wright Express, a  provider of payment processing and information management services, to keep tabs on its vehicles, monitor vehicle position and employee driving habits, reduce fuel use, and track unauthorized use in its fleet of more than 80 trucks.

"We have been able to reduce unauthorized use, speeding, after-hour driving, and idling, and are experiencing about a 12-percent reduction in fuel use," said Michael Grives, vice president, McLaughlin Communications.

The system also benefits McLaughlin's customers and clients. They can track or review the positioning history of any vehicle at any given time.
"About a month ago, one of our trucks was stolen from a jobsite," noted Grives. "Within 10 minutes, we were able to call the police and give them the vehicle's exact location. The truck was recovered without any damage and minimal loss within an hour." 

Grives said he didn't experience challenges in implementing the new system. McLaughlin sent one of its own qualified employees into the field to install all the units into fleet vehicles; the entire process was completed and running in 10 days.  

"We don't know how, or why, we ever tried to operate our company in the past without these units," said Grives. "We operate an installation business that facilitates hundreds of installs in customer's homes daily. The benefits this system provides is immeasurable. It is like having a virtual leash on our company property."

According to Grives, the monthly fuel savings covers the cost of the system.

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