05.22
2017

Busting Burglars: Home Appliances & Tracking

Imagine having just slated a recently constructed home for closing. There could be anywhere from a few days to a week before the closing actually occurs. During this window, appliances are installed within the home. This is also when thieves tend to target these homes to steal those appliances.

Charlotte, North Carolina experienced a string of burglaries last year that targeted the appliances within homes slated for closing. The perpetrators, in each instance, made off with thousands of dollars’ worth of appliances. Each appliance stolen is a loss incurred that has little-to-no chance of being resolved even if the perpetrators are captured.  Unfortunately, when items are stolen, the costs fall on the owners. It’s a reoccurring theme nationwide.

Elsewhere, over $30,000 worth of appliances were taken with neither the contractors nor the homeowners aware of their whereabouts. With the authorities stretched too thin to monitor every home slated for closing, and burglars not fading out of style anytime soon, what can you do to protect your assets?

Tracking.

In order to defend against thieves, tracking your assets is one of the primary choices to make. Utilizing GPS to remain aware of your assets’ locations and its impact were outlined in Workforce Management & The Return on Investment: Vehicles, Part I. While that piece focuses on maintaining awareness of large pieces of equipment, the concept of monitoring unattended equipment can be applied to household appliances.

Actsoft has the CalAmp TTU 620, a battery-powered device that can be attached to appliances once the homes are slated for closing. Once attached, the devices send a signal relaying its whereabouts as long as its batteries retain power, which can last up to an entire year depending on use. Its relatively small size makes the CalAmp TTU 620 the perfect companion for unattended appliances due to being unobtrusive and of low energy cost.

 

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.12
2017

Trucking, Tracking, and Safety

A lone truck driver was traveling along a cliff-side roadway, midway through completing a long haul. While navigating one of the roadway’s curves, the brakes fail. The truck, its cargo, and driver all go over the edge, with no witnesses to the incident…

Elsewhere, winter snows assault another driver as he travels into the northern reaches of the country. With temperatures well below freezing, the driver’s rig suddenly comes to a stop. Despite his efforts to start it, his truck remains dead in the snow. The drop in temperature has caused his gasoline to gel. Now, he must radio for assistance, but the zero visibility caused by the snowfall will make finding his location incredibly difficult…

Both of the above instances capture hazards long haul truck drivers face while completing deliveries. With drivers spending weeks on the road at a time, they expose themselves to risks that jeopardize their rig, their cargo, and their own person. The elements of nature and mechanical failure present a significant threat to truck drivers that their employers should take into consideration. A fully loaded rig legally carries 80,000lbs or 40tons as its cargo. The trucks and trailer carry price tags in excess of $260,000. Combined with the incalculable cost of human life, a driver and semi-truck incapacitated and exposed to the elements result in a pressing issue for their employers.

How do you find a semi-truck when communication with the driver is impossible and weather conditions limit visibility?

The answer is “GPS Tracking.”

Actsoft provides employers with the technology to track their employees and assets in near real-time. While the driver in the first example is traveling, our tracking feature will relay his position back to the company’s office at regular intervals. The web-based portal allows the driver’s location history to be viewed; when things go wrong and he stops transmitting via the radio, a “breadcrumb trail” of his positions as captured by the tracking software can be pulled up. Even after he goes over the cliff, the tracking technology will still send his location while the vehicle is unmoving. It will even “ping” at a slower interval in order to conserve energy. The driver in the second case has the benefit of still being able to communicate actively with his rescuers, but the blinding snow combined with the dropping temperature makes his situation almost as dangerous. With Actsoft software continuing to relay his position to his employers, rescuers can pinpoint the driver’s location and save him and his rig.

Truckers hauling cargo across the country face various challenges; weeks on the road being grueling enough on their own. With changes in terrain and weather presenting themselves as hazards for these drivers, it is worth employers considering installing a means for tracking their position. The ability to track these rigs would mitigate the loss of vehicles, their cargo, and their drivers.

 

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.05
2017

Distracted Driving & The Workforce

This story is a familiar one: A lone person is driving along an often-traveled route, confident in their ability to navigate without giving the road their full attention. Their phone, sitting in a cup-holder to their right, vibrates with a notification. The driver picks up the phone. It is a simple text: “what do you want for dinner?” They smile, deciding to look back up before responding. “Why is there a pole in the middle of the road?” they ask themselves before colliding with the light pole…

Distracted driving is the cause behind a multitude of traffic accidents within the United States. 2.5 million People are involved in road accidents annually. With what amounts to over 37,000 deaths a year, it is clear that the roads of America are not as safe as we would like them to be. Of these people involved in yearly accidents, 1.6 million of them are the result of cell phone involvement.

The presence of cell phones within vehicles creates increased opportunities for drivers to be distracted from focusing on the road. As stated in our previous blog post, the optimum speed for drivers to maintain in order to avoid inefficient fuel consumption is 55mph. According to Luke Ameen’s “The 25 Scariest Texting and Driving Accident Statistics,” it takes an average of five seconds to read a text message on your mobile phone. In those five seconds, a driver traveling at 55mph would have traveled the entire length of a football field. That distance, combined with that length of distraction, sets the stage for an accident to occur within a moment’s notice.

While cell phone usage is only one of many distractions drivers face while operating their vehicles, business owners must consider it the primary distraction in today’s age. More businesses are distributing company-issued smartphones in order to strengthen the connection to their remote employees and manage their workforce more efficiently. These same businesses are inadvertently increasing their employees’ likelihood of getting into an accident while operating a company vehicle. This circumstance complicates the matter further in a couple of ways:

  • An employee causing an accident opens the door for you and your business to be held accountable. Should the accident result in any loss of life, the fallout would result in more than just increased insurance premiums for your business.
  • In the event no one is harmed during the incident, the loss of a functioning vehicle is a blow to your workforce. The inability to utilize your resource hinders your efficiency, while the driver more than likely continues to text-and-drive.

Since handheld devices can be distracting while completing work related tasks, Actsoft provides a solution through the CalAMP LMU-3000, which is compatible with any vehicle that has an OBDII port. An easy and reliable “plug-and-play” option that captures the location, acceleration, and driver data you desire while taking the possible distraction out of the hands of a driver. The CalAmp LMU-2620/2610 is a hard-mounted or “permanently installed” option that constantly monitors vehicle activity and immediately responds to pre-defined threshold conditions. Both are welcomed alternatives to companies who are looking for tracking functionality while keeping drivers eyes on the road.The GPS Lockbox PTT Driving Kit enables drivers to holster, charge, and utilize their mobile devices for push-to-talk communications without keeping them in their hands. When married with the software, it creates a complete system for communication and for hours-of-service compliance.

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the organization implores all employers to have a cell phone ban for all drivers. With 64% of the total number of traffic accidents caused by drivers distracted by cell phones, it is in the best interest of employers to discourage the use of cell phones while driving year-round. Curbing the use of cell phones while behind the wheel will not only benefit your workforce and its productivity but also benefit society.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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04.14
2017

Idling Vehicles & The Fight Against Fuel Consumption

The City of Ontario, California recently implemented a pilot of anti-idling software across a variety of vehicles. In June 2016, according to the city’s fleet services manager Craig Grabow, Ontario calibrated five vehicles within its fleet with the software, while establishing an equal number of vehicles as the control group. Three of the vehicles operating under the pilot software were from the Police Department, while the remaining two belonged to Utilities and Parks & Maintenance.

The vehicles running the anti-idling software idled, on average, 56% of the time they were in use. Spending over half of their use-time idling led to the consumption of 140 gallons of fuel per month, per vehicle. This idle time, combined with the average cost of gas being $2.78, resulted in $389.2 worth of gas consumed per month, per vehicle. The experiment confirms the incredible costs idling vehicles burden businesses with.

The anti-idling technology enabled the vehicles to consume 22.5 gallons of gas less per month on average. With the price of gas remaining $2.78, the average saving for each vehicle being $62.55 per month and the yearly savings reaching $750.60.  The savings may seem relatively small when compared to the overall expenditure businesses experience, but (if applied to the entirety of the City’s fleet of 1,000 units) can total over $750,000.

 

Where Does Actsoft Come In?

 

Actsoft provides technology that provides users with the ability to set up alerts with predetermined parameters that, when reached, immediately notify users with an email. Idling vehicles are just one of the many threshold alerts Actsoft software provides, relaying the times vehicles are left running while not in explicit use. When establishing the alert parameters, administrators can specify a time that a vehicle can idle for before the alert is triggered. This grants administrators the power to decide what constitutes a negative instance of idling.

While vehicles within your fleet may make several stops during each workday, each stop does not equate to an instance of idling. Setting parameters at a reasonable interval allows your employees to maintain a workday without rushing to avoid an idle alert and prevents you from being overwhelmed by the reported incidents.

Idle alerts open the door for businesses to curtail the amount of fuel consumed by their fleet.  With, according to Sustainable America, 3.8 million gallons of fuel consumed by idle vehicles in the United States daily, implementing an idling software is one step in shoring up the costs hemorrhaging your business.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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