08.16
2019

Electric Fleets: Is Now the Time?

We’ve discussed at length the various ways you can transform your company into a green machine. From the ways small businesses are leading the pack in environmentally sound practices and tips for helping your company follow suit, to ways you can reduce wasteful vehicle idling and the benefits of going paper-free, how we treat our planet is very front-of-mind for an increasing number of people.

And why shouldn’t it be?

In addition to that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with making decisions that reduce your carbon footprint and help ensure a hospitable environment for future generations, there can also be an array of financial benefits from making eco-friendly decisions.

One of the biggest changes — one that also includes the largest potential environmental impact — that your company is (or soon will be) faced with is the decision as to whether or not to upgrade your fleet from traditional internal combustion engines to the newer, cleaner electric vehicles. Before taking the plunge, there are a few things to consider to make sure it’s a decision that’s right for you at this point.

How far does your fleet travel each day and what do the routes look like?
If you operate a fleet that travels long stretches, you need to determine whether there are any outposts at which you can recharge along the way if that route goes beyond your vehicle’s single-charge limit. Plus, you’ll want to factor in the length of time it will take to charge a nearly drained battery. (This varies from vehicle to vehicle and the output of each charging port.) If there are no viable options, now may not be the right time to make the switch. But, if your drivers can make the full or roundtrip journeys without the fear of fizzling out, you may want to proceed.

Where will you house vehicles?
One detail that’s easy to overlook is, when you have electric vehicles, you need to have a place to plug them in while they’re not in use. It’s important to maximize your daily range in between charges, so what better way than to start at 100 percent charge at the beginning of each day? If you have a smaller fleet, regular old outlets may suffice wherever you park them at night. But as the number of electric vehicles you incorporate grows, you may want to consider the cost-benefit of installing charging stations.

How will you deploy new vehicles?
Once you determine the benefits of making the switch to electric, you have to decide a rollout plan. Are you going to replace your entire fleet at once? Or implement a multi-year (or -month) plan to slowly make the switch over time? Consider the fiscal impact you expect from the introduction of these new vehicles (i.e. money saved over time from less dependency on gasoline), the return you’ll receive from the sale of your current fleet, and your level of comfort/ability to spend.

There’s no way around it: Making the switch to electric is an eventual inevitability. But it’s up to you to determine when the best time to begin that transition is.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.14
2019

Do You Know Your Fuel-Saving Facts?

Are you still “myth-ified” on how to save gas money? Every day our Actsoft team talks to huge fleet companies as well as local delivery businesses about how to save fuel, cut costs, and keep their vehicles running smoothly and efficiently. We’ve developed some of the most dependable software in the industry that helps managers do everything from monitor driving behavior (including fast braking and acceleration) to providing optimal routes for drivers in near real-time based on robust GPS technology, all with an eye on keeping gas costs down.

All of this adds up to millions of dollars in fuel savings each year. You may be surprised at what avoidable driving habits are costing your company big bucks each month — and you might even be more surprised at how easy it is to fix it.

FACT: Pay attention to your check engine light, because if it’s the oxygen sensor (which is a common cause of that scary little light flashing), replacing it can improve fuel economy by as much as 40 percent.

MYTH: Aggressive driving (fast braking and accelerating) doesn’t really affect fuel economy. Reality: Slow down and chill out — you’re wasting 31 percent more gas when you drive aggressively than your more relaxed and polite counterparts.

MYTH: Being stuck in traffic is better for fuel than taking a longer, less-congested way. Reality: An hour of idling uses up to a half gallon of fuel, so if you’re in a traffic jam (and sitting idly for even a minute) you’re better off taking the scenic route and moving.

FACT: Oil affects your fuel. Using the wrong type of oil in your vehicle can lower mileage as much as 2 percent.

MYTH: Using the air conditioner always wastes more gas than having windows rolled down. Reality: On highways, it’s more fuel efficient to roll windows up and use the A/C so the car is more aerodynamic.

MYTH: The shortest route is always better on gas. Reality: If you’re using a shorter, but hillier, route, you’ll be seeing the results on your gas gauge. Going uphill — even if the distance is a little shorter — is far worse on your gas tank than driving on flat land.

FACT: A tune-up can improve gas mileage by up to 4 percent.

MYTH: Car heaters use as much fuel as air conditioning. Reality: Car heaters recycle heat from the engine, so they don’t use any extra fuel.

Want the scoop on which solutions will save your company the most money each month? The Actsoft team is here to show you how.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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08.07
2019

What the Cluck? What 37,000 Pounds of Frozen Chickens Can Teach Us

On September 27th, 2014, an Idaho trucking company was missing a truck filled with 37,000 pounds of frozen chickens. The company’s 42-year-old driver, Christopher L. Hall, allegedly abandoned the truck after being refused more money from his employer. Unfortunately, by the time they located the truck at a Montana truck stop, the chicken had already gone south — rotting and oozing liquids.

The chicken: worth $80,000.

The lesson: priceless.

What could the trucking company have done to prevent this loss? One option would have been to give the driver more money and have a potential criminal on their payroll — not to mention someone with little respect for frozen chicken.

The other, wiser option would have been to secure their assets — including both the cargo and the truck. With a simple tracking solution, this chicken situation could have gone a very different way. We provide a robust tracking solution used by thousands of trucks across the country, which would have prevented this loss with simple alerts and reporting tools that cost pennies a day.

For example, management can set perimeters for drivers so that there’s no risk of them taking vehicles out of designated areas. And if they do, an alert is sent to the main office and the GPS-enabled solution will let you know exactly where the truck is. Likewise, if you need to locate a truck, simply pull it up on the map and you can see its location in near real-time.

Another smart option when transporting expensive cargo is Asset Tracking. A discreet GPS-enabled device can easily be hidden anywhere in the shipment, so if it’s lost or stolen you can see where it’s at immediately.

This sort of protection is imperative when you’re dealing with costly equipment and shipments. Not only do you run the risk of losing big money, but you can also damage relationships and ruin a reputation you’ve worked long and hard to establish.

If you’re ready to see what options there are to meet your needs, give us a call today. We’re waiting for you!

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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05.29
2019

How Construction Companies Can Step Up Their Game

From contractors to field employees to the office staff, there are so many moving parts in building new homes, keeping everything straight — especially important paperwork and documents — can be a grueling and expensive task.

We’ve all been around that colleague who’s mired in stacks of papers and can never seem to find the document he or she needs. The hours spent searching for an important contract or form are valuable — so imagine doing this every day. After a month the time and money definitely add up. But even worse, what if that important contract is never found? Imagine having to ask a client to re-sign and redeliver something they already turned in. Not only is this behavior unprofessional but it can cost you big money in the future if it’s not taken care of today.

A tool like our Wireless Forms can help transform a day’s work from a total failure to an easy process that helps eliminate human error. Instead of relying on paper — which can get lost or ruined,  these digital documents allow you to send and receive your paperwork via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can even have your clients sign the forms electronically. It’s clear to see how much easier life is without messy, inconvenient paper.

According to Denver Transit Partners (DTP), a collaboration of several construction companies that are worked on a mass transit railway system in Denver, Wireless Forms increased efficiency exponentially. “Actsoft has trimmed a four-hour process down to an hour,” said Craig Clairmont, DTP’s construction safety manage. To see the full case study, go here.

With the construction boom on the horizon, we highly recommend using Wireless Forms to get faster, easier results all around.

To learn more about Actsoft’s Wireless Forms, call today.

(888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar

 

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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05.14
2019

Feature Study: ELD on Encore

Encore’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) solution helps businesses in the transportation industry easily keep track of the information that they need to regularly document and report. Powered by VisTracks, our ELD application is a powerful tool that can automatically log important data regarding drivers’ active time behind the wheel.

Why is documentation important?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put in place Hours of Service (HoS) regulations that transportation companies must abide by, as a means of enhancing highway safety. HoS mandates set the total amount of time that commercial drivers can spend on the road before they’re required to rest, making documentation of these hours off critical for remaining in compliance.

Manually logging driver data takes time, isn’t always accurate, and doesn’t provide the detailed analytics that our ELD solution does. From Encore’s web portal, you can see reports of your truck drivers’ drive times and hours off, all from an integrated system that automatically captures and displays relevant data.

Benefits of ELD on Encore

ELD on Encore offers multiple benefits to transportation companies that can help them save both time and money. Costly fines can stem from HoS infractions; however, our ELD solution is able to provide your team with all the tools it needs to organize and automatically record its data, lowering your potential to incur regulatory fees like these.

Encore’s ELD solution uses a simple combination of hardware mounted into company vehicles and back end software to automatically document driver logs. This tandem consistently works to provide your drivers with extra time during daily working hours, allowing them to only focus on safe, efficient driving.

Actsoft is constantly developing new solutions to help transportation companies like yours enhance cost efficiency, improve safety, and save resources. Use our ELD solution to take the guesswork out of remaining in compliance with HoS mandates today.

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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04.30
2019

Can Natural Gas Fleets Save Money?

Managers of any business that owns a fleet of vehicles are always on the search for options that will save money. It’s crucial to always be on the cutting edge of technology. Especially with fuel prices steadily climbing, finding thrifty fuel alternatives is a must. Perhaps a company could save some green by converting their fleet to go green.

In recent years, Ford started to offer compressed natural gas and propane-ready gaseous prep packages for V8 engines in its F-150s. According to FleetOwner, this was done as a response to customers reaching out to Ford requesting alternative-fuel capabilities, even for its larger 5.0-liter V8 engines.

But what does this mean money-wise? Can natural gas vehicles actually save companies money?

Manufacturers for the vehicles estimate up-fitting for pickups and vans can cost up to $13,000 per vehicle. In the short run, alternative fuels are an investment. Reports by The Tulsa World and FOX 13 of Salt Lake City see that about three cents per mile driven is saved for a vehicle.

The vehicles in the Tulsa World and FOX 13 reports (transit buses and a news van) are a bit different than the Ford vehicles, which will come with the upgrades and the costs included in the vehicle price. But at three cents per mile, it may take a while to offset the estimated $13,000 of costs and start saving money. For a vehicle that drives 25,000 miles per year, it would take nearly 18 years to begin saving money.

Alternative fuel might not be the best option to save money at the moment, but as technology improves it will become a more realistic option. FleetOwner’s article urged that performance doesn’t drop off with these alternative fuel vehicles, which will be able to tow the same amount of cargo as a traditional gasoline vehicle.

Alternative fuel may not save money for your fleet of vehicles this year or next, but natural gas fleets are a growing trend that fleet owners will want to keep an eye on.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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