09.04
2019

Trucking Troubles: Two Major Fleet Hurdles and How to Handle Them

Every year, the trucking industry faces the same problems which can pose huge threats to business if they’re not tackled properly. From ever-changing regulations to unpredictable fuel prices, there are a wide variety of factors fleet owners must deal with on a day-to-day basis, leaving less time to grow business.

First, let’s take a look at the most common stumbling blocks for fleets today:

  1. Fuel price volatility
  2. Driver safety

Fuel Price Volatility
According to The Gazette, America’s 2.2 million freight trucks get about six miles per gallon on average hauling cargo, which can amount to $500 per day or more. Depending on the driver’s speeding habits, that cost can rise significantly.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that total world consumption of marketed energy is expected to increase by 44 percent from 2006 to 2030. Because of decreases in spare oil production capacity, there’s no way to make up for sudden supply gaps or more demand, which drives the price up. This situation is further complicated when you factor in the problems of political instability in oil-rich countries.

Because fleet owners have no control over the cost of fuel, they must rely on other means to save money on fuel, such as driver behavior, route optimization, idling reports, and GPS tracking.

The average long-haul truck travels 4,000 miles a week, so even small reductions in fuel consumption can amount to a lot of cash saved by year’s end. By changing driving habits, like slowing speeds down by 10mph, will boost fuel mileage by a mile per gallon or more. This is a huge gain in savings for trucks that are getting six miles per gallon hauling heavy cargo.

Idling is another gas hog, as it uses about a gallon of diesel per hour. If your driver is letting the truck run while he drinks coffee and reads the paper versus turning it off to go inside a restaurant for that time, fleet owners are looking at an expensive cup of coffee.

Saving fuel (and money) is as easy as using basic devices and software that can monitor driver behavior, such as speed, idling, and even where they’re at in near real-time. These reports are emailed immediately, or as often as a manager chooses, so businesses can have a clear picture of how much money is going out during the course of a day and where savings can be had.

Driver Safety
In 2016, there were approximately 475,000 large truck and bus crashes. Of those, 3,864 were fatalities while 104,000 ended in injuries, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). The estimated cost of all truck and bus crashes is estimated at about $100 billion per year.

  • The average cost of a large truck crash involving a fatality is $3.6 million per crash
  • A crash with injuries costs almost $335,000 per crash
  • The average cost of all large truck crashes is about $148,000 per crash

Not only are crashes devastating to victims, but they make enormous dents in a company’s bottom line. The worst part is, the majority of crashes are preventable. The majority of fatal crashes involving large trucks are attributed to speeding and driver fatigue. Thankfully, there are incredibly effective solutions to monitor and curb this behavior, giving fleet managers more control over what’s happening on the road.

Our easy-to-install tracking devices record driver speeds so you can make sure each employee is adhering to your standards. And ELDs monitor drivers’ hours, helping to assure that they don’t go over their legal time limit, thereby reducing ability for fatigue to factor in Both are crucial pieces of information in understanding how drivers are performing, and experts agree that making drivers accountable is an easy and powerful way to get better results on the road so there are fewer crashes, less costly citations, and reduced liability. By encouraging good driver behavior, there can even be a reduction in vehicular insurance, which is an easy way to cut costs and fatten up your earnings.

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08.21
2019

Encore’s Capabilities During Mission-Critical Situations

When emergencies strike for a mobile workforce, the ability to retain connectivity is crucial. Organizations that are tasked with disaster recovery efforts in particular need ways to efficiently communicate more than ever when bandwidth is stretched thin and communication channels are limited. With the power of Encore, Actsoft’s premier solution, organizations can have an easier time directing their mobile employees, collecting data in the field, and restoring order during emergency situations.

Encore provides multiple ways for departments to send and receive data with their mobile employees through features like Wireless Forms, Job Dispatching, and Intra-Company Messaging; plus, the solution’s ability to operate over Wi-Fi and cellular networks alike gives your workforce the versatility it needs to stay in tune with itself during periods of connectivity shortage. Data collection is able to remain even more secure throughout the entire process with Encore Vault, our newest solution tier.

In addition to helping facilitate strong communication between the office and the field, Encore can provide your team with even more ways to increase its safety protocols through greater insight. Organizations in remediation services, the public sector, and waste collection can rely on our solution’s GPS Tracking functionality to see all aspects of their mobile workforces at once and keep their personnel safer through positional data that’s brought straight to their solution’s live view map. If an employee is injured on the job while performing work, their pinpointed location can be easily identified, allowing dispatchers to send out assistance to them quickly and efficiently.

Encore remains a valuable tool for organizations that are called upon during mission-critical situations because of its ability to enhance communication and visibility for their mobile workforces. With features for location monitoring, secure instant messaging, and versatile dispatching, your organization can be better prepared for the next emergency event and save time and money throughout the entire process.

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07.31
2019

Employee Tracking: Big Brother or Smart Business

When it comes to the subject of tracking employees, many business owners get uneasy. They worry that they might create a “big brother” culture or send out the message that they don’t trust their employees. In turn, many workers feel that by being tracked, management doesn’t trust them or wants to micromanage their every move.

The simple response to these concerns is that the tool is not the problem, but how it’s used.

The ability to track vehicles, drivers, equipment, and cargo is one of the most significant shifts throughout all industries over the last several years. Let’s take a look at a few benefits of tracking.

Time-Saving
It makes scheduling deliveries and drivers easier. Office personnel can quickly see where all drivers are and also who’s clocked in and available to work (via mobile timekeeping) within seconds. This beats having to call various drivers, check traffic and routes, look at work schedules, and more to make dispatching happen.

With GPS-enabled features, route optimization is possible, saving drivers time and unnecessary fuel costs. Mobile timekeeping allows drivers and remote employees to clock in and out via their mobile devices. This eliminates having to go into an office, log into a computer, or call in.

Reduce Liability
With driver reports, management can see if drivers are speeding, hard braking or accelerating, and idling. This is crucial information because if your driver causes an accident, this can cost your company thousands or even millions depending on the severity. By understanding driver behavior, management can reward great driving or stop bad driving habits before they cause permanent damage.

Set up vehicle maintenance alerts so you know exactly when each vehicle in your fleet needs to be serviced.

Complying is easy with automated Hours of Service technology. Now you can account for your drivers’ schedules with an easy-to-use, economical solution that provides reliable information.

This is just a quick overview of how you can use tracking information to save your company money, reward good behavior, and curb bad habits before they ruin your reputation. Transparency is crucial in business as it helps everyone do their jobs effectively and intelligently. By letting your team know that tracking is in place to protect them as much as it is to protect the company as a whole (and, in turn, their livelihood), then most employees will view tracking as a benefit — and a way to show what a great job they’re doing when bonus time comes around.

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07.23
2019

What Great Leaders Know: Understanding Weakness Leads to Success

From legendary coaches to the best teachers, the strategy is always the same: Understand the team’s weaknesses. It’s easy to identify star players and focus on the moments of glory, but without assessing the big picture, your team will only perform at a fraction of its potential. This is especially true for companies who are dealing with many moving parts, including fleet-based operations who have dozens of drivers spread out across the city, state, or country.

Understanding what seems like minutiae — such as driver behavior, gas usage, and time management — may seem like an impossible undertaking; how can you possibly track all of these activities every day? And the more important question: Is it worth it? The answers are surprisingly simple. With hardware and software solutions from Actsoft, your tracking is automated and reports are automatically compiled and sent to you as often as you need them. And the value is in the numbers. Most companies save thousands each month by monitoring fuel usage and route efficiency.

Actsoft, the maker of a suite of tools for remote management, puts all of the fleet information together on one platform to give our customers the power and knowledge to be able to make key strategic decisions.

With high-performance GPS-tracking devices and software like Encore, you can find the strengths and weaknesses of your entire driving team. Now you can accurately fine-tune performance, cut down on waste, and reduce liability.

Some of the key features include understanding driver behavior. By monitoring various aspects of driving habits — everything from speeding to fast braking — you can get a clear picture of your company’s health in that area. If you have several drivers who are in the habit of speeding and braking late, not only does your accident risk spike but so does your fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.

Likewise, if you have drivers who stay within the pre-set perimeters, stay within speed limits, and don’t idle, you can count that aspect of your business as healthy and a model for other areas. This allows you to re-focus your energy on departments that aren’t functioning as well.

Moreover, a workplace that rewards great performance is one that usually has less turnover and overall better ratings in employee satisfaction.

By using a mobile solution like Encore, which can be accessed on any smart device, you’re taking charge of what happens outside of your office walls. With a wide variety of additional features, you can choose from allowing mobile timekeeping and dispatching, giving you an upper hand on the competition. All this amounts to a healthy fleet that is driving responsibly, generating more revenue, and saving the company big bucks every year.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.25
2019

Fleet Safety 101 With Actsoft Solutions

Safety is the top priority for those tasked with managing a business fleet. As drivers operating business vehicles tend to be dispersed considerably far from one another, finding a fleet management solution that can provide details on the driving behaviors of each mobile employee is integral, no matter their distance from the office.

Two of the most important aspects of keeping a safe business fleet include being able to monitor driver habits and keeping tabs on vehicle locations. Too much hard acceleration and braking can increase vehicle wear and tear, putting your mobile employees and other users of the road at greater risk when it comes to accident potential. Being able to recognize excessive instances of dangerous driving habits like these and actively enforcing procedures to help curb them in your mobile workforce can help your staff implement safer driving styles. Vehicle tracking can also help you better pinpoint and dispatch out aid to any of your drivers that may need emergency assistance if an accident does occur.

Actsoft solutions are equipped to provide your fleet managers with all the tools they need to employ a safer fleet by blending versatility with robust features. Our premier solution Encore lets you see near real-time traffic patterns on a live view map, and it can integrate with some third-party software types for an even more detailed experience. Sync weather data with your Encore solution’s map to see where your drivers are located in relation to any inclement storms or blizzards, even on a nationwide scale. You can then use features like Job Dispatching to communicate out new protocols to your drivers nearly instantly, helping them stay safe and return to their tasks once it’s safe to begin driving again. Encore’s detailed reports about driver speeds also make it easy for you to see which of your drivers are going too fast too frequently.

Manage delivery delays and more using Actsoft technology to better prevent staff from driving in hazardous conditions. The power of our applications helps you see where specific drivers are, respond more efficiently to any breakdowns that might occur, and keep your team safer on the road as a whole.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.04
2019

The Benefits of Asset Tracking

Most businesses employing a mobile workforce also rely on at least a few pieces of vital equipment to conduct daily operations. With the power of Actsoft’s asset tracking technology, your team can keep constant tabs on its machinery and gain key benefits like these.

Theft prevention

Your assets, most likely, collectively add up to a high monetary value, making security crucial. Actsoft applications are able to provide you with an extra way to surveil any relevant equipment and protect it more effectively against being stolen. Return on investment comes in many different forms with our solutions; in addition to common benefits like better fuel efficiency and productivity, theft prevention helps companies like yours regularly receive additional savings.

Saved time

Leaving the assets your company regularly uses in the field overnight can reward your team with extra time to complete jobs. Rather than having to task your employees with returning equipment to the office before finishing a workday, you can allow staff to leave the machinery at the job site, giving them more time to complete work. Rest assured that assets remain safe while left behind, ready for use the following morning, as they’re being monitored via our GPS Tracking feature.

Increased accountability

Improper usage of assets by employees outside of working hours can be a big problem for businesses to deal with, especially if it’s a frequent occurrence. Implement a greater standard of workforce accountability through our GPS Tracking feature’s ability to pinpoint assets. If any pieces of equipment deviated from their specified locations after day’s end, you can see detailed reports of where they were taken, along with accompanying timestamps. You can even set up alerts to notify you if they move at unauthorized times.

Our asset tracking capabilities can help businesses in industries from construction to transportation improve their operations. Give your workforce an additional method of security by using Actsoft solutions to help safeguard the valuable equipment your business relies on today.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.21
2019

The Advanced Aspects of GPS Tracking in Encore

The GPS Tracking feature in Encore is a multifaceted tool that uses advanced solutions such as Breadcrumb Trails, Traffic Overlay, and Geofences to provide companies with ways to save. Each of these aspects do this by working to increase efficiency and security even further for businesses that employ a mobile workforce.

Breadcrumb Trails

Past routes that mobile employees have taken to job sites are recorded and presented on Encore’s map through Breadcrumb Trails. Any time a driver travels to a location during working hours, their business vehicle’s position is picked up and archived in the system’s memory. Company supervisors can then go back and review trip histories to enhance accountability and verify job completion.

Traffic Overlay

At the beginning of each work day, administrators in a company’s home office can also use Traffic Overlay to see near real-time congestion patterns on roadways. By identifying the most traffic-heavy routes to job sites prior to travel, companies can help their mobile employees avoid excessive idling, save time and fuel, and reach customer locations faster.

Geofences

Geofences help businesses improve fleet and asset security, employee accountability, and quality control, all at once. These are digital boundaries that can be custom constructed on Encore’s live view map around job sites in the field. Geofences are used in tandem with Alerts to electronically notify managers whenever an asset, employee, or vehicle enters or exits set perimeters, providing an extra layer of surveillance for their valuable equipment. In addition to better theft prevention, geofence monitoring helps organizations ensure that their workers are arriving to and leaving assignment destinations right on schedule.

These three aspects of GPS Tracking in Encore give companies like yours even more ways to save time and money. Through providing increased detail about your workforce’s daily routine, Breadcrumb Trails, Traffic Overlay, and Geofences can help you run a more effective operation.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.08
2019

The Cost of Idling

We all know that idling is very costly, but is there an actual dollar amount attached to letting a car sit with the engine on for extended periods of time? We found out in a recent case study that idling can cost up to $20,000 per year in fuel for companies with a fleet of vehicles. That’s a lot of money, but if your business operates in New York City, idling could cost you nearly that much in an afternoon. Plus, citizens could be motivated to report when your vehicles are idling.

New York City recently enacted legislation that would pay citizens up to 50 percent of the summons revenue for turning in vehicles in violation of idling. According to an article in the New York Post, the bill stipulates that citizens be trained by the Department of Environmental Protection in order to profit for their help. Citizens would then need video evidence of a vehicle idling to receive compensation.

Under the proposed bill a first-time violation is punishable by warning, but second offenses would be between $350 and $1,500 and subsequent fines could cost as much as $2,000 for vehicles.

However, those fines are nothing compared to the Heavy Duty Vehicle Idling Laws currently in place in the state of New York. Heavy-duty vehicles, including diesel trucks and buses, can be fined from $500 to $18,000 in the case of a first violation after five minutes of idling.

Those are some shocking numbers for fleet owners knowing that one vehicle’s fines from idling can cost nearly as much as an entire fleet may waste in fuel in a year due to idling. With that much money on the line can your company afford to not have a solution for idling?

We can definitely help save money wasted on idling. With our solutions, companies can set up alerts that reports idling in vehicles to stop the habit before it becomes an issue.

These laws in New York are meant to help the economy and your company can contribute by tracking idling and cutting the engine before your business is forced to cut a check. Idling can cost $20,000 a year in fuel and nearly that much per idling offense, now potentially with citizens incentivized to report violations. Don’t let idling cost your company a load of money.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.16
2019

Tips for Doing More With Less

Efficiency is key. It’s a message we’ve preached for years at Actsoft. Getting the job done with the most effective use of manpower in a timely manner will save money. Plain and simple.

Efficiency is important to all companies and businesses, but as time progresses, it will become an even more important part of the trucking industry.

Why? In recent years, there has been a shortage of truck drivers and the number may continue to decline. With a decrease in manpower on the road, it’s crucial that each minute is used in getting the job done and essential that drivers are given the tools they need to succeed on the roadways. After all, the workload for trucking companies isn’t getting any lighter.

With our suite of solutions, both management and drivers will find their days made much easier.

Our tools do everything a management team will need. It will keep track of vehicles with GPS, view driver activity, and improve routing. All the tools necessary to compile reports and have insight into a business’s fleet comes included.

It keeps drivers in mind, too. With it, they can use the route optimization feature to find the best possible path to completing the job and getting them off the roads. Spending less time on the road allows drivers more time to be home with their families. Benefiting the driver and the company, with happier employees.

With the number of truck drivers decreasing, it’s imperative that companies have all the tools necessary to get the job done. The need for truckers isn’t decreasing, so it’s even more important to be able to do more with less.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.11
2019

Feature Study: Alerts on Encore

Encore’s Alerts feature provides businesses with an extra dimension of insight into their mobile workforces. While displayed GPS locations of employees during working hours help to ensure that staff are at correct locations, Alerts notify administrators of certain events that occur during the course of a workday and help organizations expand the consistent return on investment they receive from using our solutions.

Geofence Alerts

Alerts bridge the gap between GPS Tracking and Geofences by using both of these features to keep a company’s administrators up to date about their employees’ activities during working hours. As Geofences are digital boundaries that companies can draw around job sites they frequent or areas they would like employees to stay out of, Alerts can be set up to run any time these boundaries are breached by employees or assets. Geofence Alerts are instrumental in protecting equipment from theft or improper use outside of normal working hours, and also improve employee accountability by helping supervisors ensure that staff are where they’re supposed to be when on the clock.

Vehicle Alerts

Fleet vehicles that register certain types of driving behaviors will also trigger alerts. Excessive speeding, aggressive braking, and hard accelerations are three instances where supervisors can receive notifications about the statuses of their convoys. Vehicle events can also be monitored via alerts. These include check engine lights, low battery indicators, and ignition on/off monitoring. Vehicle alerts are valuable to companies because they help improve driver safety, enhance fuel efficiency, and reduce vehicle wear-and-tear, all through the power of data collection and reporting.

As one of the most wide-ranging features of Encore, Alerts increases the versatility of a workforce by helping to keep mobile operations running smoothly. It serves as a money-saving tool that can be used around the clock, allowing your team to leave valuable equipment in the field overnight due to intuitive monitoring. To learn more about the capabilities of this feature and how it can take your business to the next level, schedule a live demo today.

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