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.

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08.14
2018

Natural Wonders: World’s Most Stunning Mountains

As we’ve discussed over the past few weeks, one of the lasting benefits from our solutions is the ability to dramatically reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Casting aside archaic paper forms in exchange for more efficient, eco-friendly digital forms; better choosing which employee to dispatch to job assignments based on proximity; and getting control of unnecessary idling time from your drivers all cut back on unnecessary waste. Plus, making these seemingly small changes also puts a lot of money back into your pocket.

This week, in continued celebration of the environmental impact our solutions help to impart on the world, we’re taking a look at some of the most stunning mountains from around the globe. These soaring peaks have provided a never-ending supply of inspiration, for artists and adventurers alike, and it’s no surprise why.

Vinicunca, Peru
Also known as Rainbow Mountain, it doesn’t take long to figure out where its moniker hails from. Its terrain is “painted” in a vibrant array of colors not commonly found on a mountainside; we’re talking stripes of lavender, turquoise, yellow, and maroon. Buried deep within the Peruvian Andes, it can be surprisingly difficult to find, despite its unique coloring, so hiring a local guide is probably the best bet. Spend a few days in Cusco, just four hours north, ahead of time to help acclimate to the altitude before embarking on the trek to the peak.

Matterhorn, Switzerland and Italy
Straddling the border of Switzerland and Italy, this bluff is most recognizable from the Swiss side, where its snowy peak towers above the rolling green hills below. Often said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world, it’s advised that you do so from a safe vantage point. (Read: from the ground.) Trekking to the top is only for the most-experienced climbers with top-notch equipment. However, there are lifts in the area that scoop visitors up to an elevation of more than 12,700 feet, for some truly breathtaking, up-close views of the goliath.

Mount Fuji, Japan
The tallest mountain range in Japan, this peak is almost instantly recognized by all as it’s become an iconic symbol of the region. (Plus, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013.) While impressive in scope, Mount Fuji is actually easily accessible for hikers of all skill levels, though it’s suggested that those with less experience stick to the official climbing season, which runs from early July through mid-September, when conditions are safest. Huts line the trails and, for a nominal fee, travelers can break for meals, brief rests, or sleep.

Mù Cang Chải, Vietnam
Never before has rice been so beautiful. The name actually references an entire region filled with rice terrace fields carved into the sides of mountains, rather than one specific ridge. The resulting effect — during grain season, from mid-September through mid-October, when the rice is fully ripe — are mountainsides covered with vibrant, perfectly manicured steps of yellows and greens. It’s a sight unlike any other and draws in thousands of visitors each year. Conversely, visit earlier in the year during the rainy season (May and June), to see the mountainside steps flooded, resembling mirrored steps ascending the cliffs.

Ama Dablam, Nepal
The less-famous sibling to Mount Everest, this Himalayan peak holds its own. The 22,349-foot-tall mountain’s name translates to “mother’s necklace”; its name comes from the extended peaks on each side, which resemble a mother’s open arms, and a hanging glacier on the southwest side, which bears a resemblance to a sacred pendant traditionally worn by Sherpa women. Climbing to the summit is no easy task, but we’re perfectly happy admiring its splendor from the comfort of the ground.

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07.27
2018

Natural Wonders: 5 Spectacular Lakes to Visit

You’ve been running your business the same way since its inception. So what’s the incentive in changing things now, if what you’ve been doing thus far works well enough? Why switch things up when you’ve been able to keep your company up and running, doing things on your own? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

The answer to all three of these questions is one and the same: A few simple changes can make a world of a difference, letting you see an immediate increase in profitability. That’s what Actsoft’s solutions can do for your business; our software is simultaneously affordable, simple to implement, and effective. You can still run your business the way in which you have grown accustomed, but with a few tweaks that help make your production more efficient.

Such tweaks — like making the switch from paper forms to our Wireless Forms, or using GPS Tracking to better monitor the efficiency of your workers’ driving habits — can result in a tremendous return for your business. You’ll save on the cost of excessive paper use by ditching hard copies in lieu of going digital, and the amount of fuel your fleet burns through will dramatically reduce just by making smarter driving decisions.

Mind you, these are just two of the Actsoft features that help improve your business’s practices. With an extensive suite of tools, there are many more that can reshape the way you do business. But by cutting back on the amount of waste your company produces, the result translates into more money making its way into your bank account. In addition, there’s that feel-good sensation that comes with knowing this type of eco-friendly behavior reduces your company’s carbon footprint and helps to make a positive impact on our environment.

In celebrating the “green” effects Actsoft’s solutions can have on the environment, we’re continuing to explore some of the stunning natural wonders of the world. This week, we take a tour of five of the most awe-inspiring lakes from around the country.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
The largest lake in New Hampshire, this striking body of water stretches a whopping 21 miles and is dotted with 258 lush islands of various sizes, from tiny bumps of land to those housing multiple homes that offer unique panoramic views from within the lake. Winnipesaukee is the perfect spot for all the outdoor excursions you’d expect — hiking, biking, horseback riding, and watersports galore — but for a real treat, head to the Castle in the Clouds. The 100-year-old stone mansion, which sits atop Ossipee Mountain, offers breathtaking views of the lake from the peak’s high vantage point.

Mono Lake, California
This desert oasis in the middle of the Sierra Nevada is worth a visit because of the unusual landscape surrounding it. The lake has a remarkably high salt level due to the lack of an outlet, so there are no fish present, but the waters are full of brine shrimp. The area is a popular nesting ground for an array of winged creatures, including California gulls and snowy plovers. Be sure to take advantage of some photo ops with the columns of tufa — limestone formations shooting out from the ground — that dot the landscape around (and in) the lake.

Lake Willoughby, Vermont
This glacial lake, with exceptionally clear waters, in the northeast corner of Vermont is as close as you can find to a fjord in the states since it’s flanked by mountains (and forest). A trip to this place is guaranteed to be a quiet, relaxing one, since the only town abutting it is Westmore, a sleepy town of just over 300 residents. Anglers, in particular, will rejoice at the variety of fish up for grabs; swimming the chilly waters are Atlantic salmon, rainbow smelt, steelhead trout, and round whitefish, among others. Don’t miss a chance to hike to the top of adjacent Mt. Pisgah for unrivaled views of the shimmering waters below.

Crater Lake, Oregon
This almost perfectly circular lake in southwestern Oregon was formed in a caldera, essentially a naturally formed cauldron that was created when a volcano collapsed amid a major eruption nearly 8,000 years ago. With a depth of nearly 1,950 feet, it’s the deepest lake in the country, and its strikingly blue hue is a testament to both the depth and purity of its waters, which is sourced only from rain and snow. Book a boat tour and you can opt for a stopover on Wizard Island; the 315-acre island was formed from a series of smaller eruptions in the (several hundred) years following Crater Lake’s explosive formation.

Maroon Lake, Colorado
Nestled in the valley between two mountain ranges — Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak — known as the Maroon Bells, this lake is a must-see in particular because of the majestic surroundings. Located just 10 miles west of Aspen, getting here is easy, but you most likely won’t be able to drive it. The road to the lake is closed to most private vehicles during the day — this was initiated to combat the severe pollution brought in by traffic, due to area’s tremendous popularity — so booking a bus trip is your best option. Hiking trails abound and lead to Insta-worthy photo ops year round, but the area is exceptionally picturesque in the autumn months when the landscape is dotted with explosions of fall colors.

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07.20
2018

Natural Wonders: 5 Secluded Beaches to Escape the Crowds

Sometimes, the very thought of “going green” can sound the alarm for business owners as a practice that, while noble, requires a huge investment of finances that not only will affect their bottom lines, but that they just don’t have the resources to put forward, even if they wanted to.

But that’s not always the case. At Actsoft, we give business owners the tools to cut down on unnecessary waste, namely paper and fuel. Just by cutting back on the use of both resources, you’ll be putting money back into your pocket and reducing your carbon footprint.

For example, our Wireless Forms tool gives you the ability to significantly reduce the amount of paper you use both in the field and in the office. To boot, in addition to the financial savings and eco-positive results from dialing back paper use, you’ll also see gains in terms of your team’s ability to turn around more work in the field.

When you switch from paper to digital forms, your remote crew can process “paperwork” much faster and, instead of having to take the time to bring all physical forms back to the office for processing, they can zip it off instantly and be off to the next assignment without missing a beat. And your office team can work faster to process it since there are no discrepancies resulting from poor handwriting or damaged papers.

It’s an all-around win-win solution: money in your pocket and a reduced carbon footprint. And it’s why we’re continuing to celebrate our green solutions by paying tribute to some of our favorite natural wonders from around the world. This week, we’re traveling to some of the greatest secluded beaches. These are the ones to hit up when you want a beachy retreat but without all the noisy crowds.

Dry Tortugas, Florida
It doesn’t get much more secluded than this. First, you have to get all the way down to Key West, in the Florida Keys. From there, you’ll hop on a ferry (or charter a seaplane) and travel some 70 miles west, where you’ll arrive at the 100-square-mile national park. Pack everything you need, including food and drink, since there are few amenities on the island. Four calm, crowd-free beaches can be found along either side of the cloistered paradise. In the center, serving as a backdrop, is Fort Jefferson. Built as a military fortification and then later used as a prison, this massive structure takes up an expansive portion of the island and is a must-see site for any history buff. If a day trip to the island isn’t enough for you, there are a limited number of campsites available to rent, on a first come, first serve basis.

Second Beach, Washington
Part of the La Push trio of beaches, the only way to get to this stretch of surf is through a hiking trail full of switchbacks and an array of trail conditions, including a worn (but fully functional) wood-framed “staircase.” A cabinet tree (which some hikers opt to drop keepsakes inside of, despite the “leave no trace” rule inherent for most naturephiles) marks the near-end of the path. Once at the beach, you’re treated to a stunning view of towering sea stacks in the distance, plus a natural rock arch you can often hear the wind whistling through on stormier days. Oh, and if this all looks familiar, it’s because it was featured in the movie, “Twilight.”

Cumberland Island, Georgia
Georgia’s southernmost (and largest) barrier island is only accessible via a ferry, so don’t plan to drive there, despite the island’s close proximity to the mainland. The eastern side is where you’ll find some 17 miles of beach stretching from the top to the bottom of the island. While the beaches are a peaceful respite from throngs of crowds, and devoid of litter and debris, you may find yourself sharing the space with a potentially rowdy group … of horses. Cumberland Island is home to a number of feral horses that roam its grounds, including the beach, so be on the lookout for a congregation of the majestic creatures potentially frolicking in the surf. Hotel accommodations are available on the island or, if you’d rather be a little closer to nature, you can reserve a campsite from the National Park Service.

Roque Bluffs Beach, Maine
In the sleepy town of Roque Bluffs, you’ll find a duality of waterfronts. On the north side of the road are the serene, still freshwaters of Simpson Pond. In stark contrast, across on the street is where saltwater waves lap at a half-mile stretch of sandy beach. Pack a picnic, since there isn’t much in the way of accommodations along this sleepy stretch of coastal Maine road, found nearly 90 miles east of Bangor, the closest “large” city. Then enjoy the views of Englishman Bay as you while the afternoon away.

Awahua Beach, Molokai, Hawaii
With a long history of isolation, thanks to its past use as a colony for those with leprosy, the entire island of Molokai remains the least developed of the Hawaiian chain. This is especially true of Awahua Beach. The beach is only accessible by hiking, but only with a local tour group, since you’ll pass through the abandoned remnants of a historic leper colony. Once you arrive, you’re treated to a quiet, stunning black-sand beach, surrounded by some of the tallest cliffs to be found on the island. Because of the unpredictable, strong currents, swimming is prohibited, but there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying the one-of-a-kind views.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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06.15
2018

Natural Wonders: 5 Refreshing Swimming Holes to Dive Into

As we’ve discussed in the past, it’s our mission to help your business run as smoothly as possible, while also eliminating waste. With the reduction of physical waste, your company can collectively contribute to the betterment of the planet and environment and, in doing so, see better financial returns.

For example, if you have a fleet of vehicles, the last thing you want is for your drivers to be running their trucks with abandon. Idling needlessly burns fuel, thereby chipping away at your bottom line. On top of that, fumes are pumping into the air when they don’t need to be. With our software, you can set up alerts to monitor your drivers’ behaviors and take appropriate action if need be. This way, you’re able to lower your company’s fuel consumption, while also doing your part to lessen your carbon footprint.

To continue our celebration of the natural wonders of the world, this week we’re highlighting the best swimming holes from around the country. These natural bodies of water have a habit of showing up in the most awe-inspiring places, and time and again are served up against spectacular backdrops.

Sliding Rock, Brevard, North Carolina
What better way to kick off your tour of swimming holes than with one that doubles as a waterpark? Just 40 miles southwest of Asheville, this place is less about lazing about in the water all day, and more about a naturally occurring 60-foot-long smooth boulder that doubles as Mother Nature’s waterslide. Visitors patiently wait in line — yes, there is actually a formal queue set up, with on-duty lifeguard — eager to slip across the rock’s slick surface and plunge into an eight-foot-deep pool of frigid water.

Queen’s Bath, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii
Situated adjacent the ocean, this tide pool — replete with schools of fish and other oceanic critters — is actually a sinkhole that was created when a lava tube collapsed and subsequently filled with water. Queen’s Bath is accessible only after a bit of a hike, part of which includes traversing rocky terrain, so be sure to bring reliable footwear. Year round, this swimming hole is a beautiful and serene excursion, but you’ll want to avoid it in the winter months. From October through May, the surf can be exceptionally severe, making a visit here hazardous.

Homestead Crater, Midway, Utah
Not all watering holes are for cooling off in. This one is located within a 55-foot-tall volcano-shaped cave, formed some 10,000 years ago. The mineral-rich waters below remain consistently heated to a sizzling 90–96 degrees. The manmade entrance into the cave lets you stroll in at ground level, so don’t worry about rappelling down. Once inside, you’re welcome to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the sultry waters; you can even sign up for a paddleboard yoga class.

Juniper Springs, Ocala National Forest, Florida
Pack your camping gear for this spring, because it’s located smack dab in the middle of a picture-perfect recreation area, complete with facilities such as restrooms and canoe rentals, so you’ll probably want to book a site and spend a few days here. Hundreds of springs of varying sizes bubble up to form the sprawling swimming hole, surrounded by a canopy of palm and oak trees.

Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Alaska
Another that isn’t going to cool you down, the beauty of this one is that it’s accessible year-round, despite Alaska’s bitter cold winters. The intense concentration of minerals here is said to have healing powers; whether you believe that or not, one indisputable fact is that a dip in the pool is beyond relaxing. Bonus: Stay at the resort for a possible late-night glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, the greatest natural light show on the planet.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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