12.11
2019

How to Avoid Lawsuits With GPS Tracking Technology

In today’s economy, companies can be easy targets for people looking to make a quick buck. When it comes to defending assets in a lawsuit, it is critical to have evidence to back up claims or to defend against fraudulent ones. GPS tracking devices can now help save a company thousands or even millions of dollars in legal fees.

Employees and customers also see the opportunity to cheat the system. An unhappy employee may claim owed wages when work was never actually done. An unhappy customer may suggest that a large construction crew or field service company damaged their property. Now, it’s easy to review records, routes, photos, or signatures and verify if activity actually took place — or did not.

Customers often believe they can easily cash in when they see the name of a popular utility company on the side of a van. They may claim faulty service, damage, speeding, or even that a worker arrived late or didn’t even show up at all. Now, there’s proof to confirm or dispute such claims. With GPS tracking technology, companies can save money on legal fees while preserving their reputation.

Keep Workers Accountable
If one of your drivers is in an accident while on the clock, how can you verify whether they were driving dangerously or speeding? If you suspect that an employee was taking unauthorized time off from work and caused an accident while driving back to a job site, can you prove it? You can! When you’re using our solutions, a supervisor can review current and past worker locations, time of arrival, time of departure, work completed, etc. Plus, with the ability to take photos from a worksite and collect customer signatures right at the time of service, not only is there instant verification, but there’s also a quicker way to speed up payroll processes from the field to the office.

Make Your Case
GPS tracking can validate where any employee is, where they have been and when, and if they are/were within or outside the boundaries of a specific, predetermined area at any given time. In the event of an accident, there’s no need to rely on forgetful witnesses. If there was a time lapse between the incident and the claim, important details that make or break a case may be lost.

Save Money
Tracking solutions actually speed up claim processing and cut down on administrative costs. But the real savings comes from the reliability of historical data from GPS tracking to defend against phony claims. Such tracking solutions dramatically cut down administrative costs, keep insurance down, and help avoid unnecessary claims. There’s no need for an in-depth investigation, as GPS tracking system provides the data where and when you need it. This doesn’t just help prevent stress; it can also be expensive. But by keeping a clear record of your fleet activity, you can keep your premiums down and minimize unnecessary claims.

Keep Track
GPS tracking is designed to protect your drivers, save you money, and increase the productivity of your fleet. By keeping an independent record of your fleet’s activities, it’s easy to defend drivers that might be targeted with fraudulent claims, misconduct, or accusations.

Be prepared to defend your fleet against expensive lawsuits. When you install Actsoft’s Encore, you will be able to defend and protect your fleet against expensive lawsuits, save money, increase efficiency, and preserve your company’s reputation.

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11.20
2019

GPS Fleet Tracking for the EMS Industry

Arriving at the scene of an emergency or tending to a critical patient in a timely manner is important to the success of your business. Unlike other service industries, the level of service can literally mean the difference between life and death. Arriving as a first responder or taking the time to tend to an elderly patient isn’t always as easy as turning on a siren.

If your emergency crew is scattered across a large footprint, it can be difficult to send the closest vehicle to the scene of an urgent accident. Add to that the hassle of finding the quickest route to a location if there are delays, traffic, and construction.

Your dispatcher is responsible for providing the best current information, but what if their information is outdated? Lag time of even 90 seconds can be an eternity in any medical crisis or situation, and could also mean the difference between life and death.

Like any business, providing proper patient care is crucial to providing the best possible service to retain and win new business and contracts. The costly overhead expenses of supplying each of your emergency vehicles with the necessary supplies and employing experienced and trained EMS professionals can add enormous expenses to any EMS business.

Fleet tracking technology can help provide the best patient care possible while helping to reduce fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs. More importantly, it can help you dispatch the closest vehicle to an emergency situation, saving valuable time.

Increase Productivity, Efficiency, and Accountability

The solutions provided in our Encore suite of tools can help improve the efficiencies of any fleet operation. Our high-performance GPS tracking devices, combined with Wireless Forms, can increase visibility and productivity in the daily activities of fleet vehicles. They can allow you to:

  • Identify locations of fleet vehicles or cargo
  • Review idle and stop times
  • Expedite dispatching
  • Improve fleet routing efficiency
  • Reduce theft of high-value assets
  • Ensure equipment is located at the job site
  • Send paperless forms from the field to the office
  • Track trends to make better future business decisions

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11.06
2019

Truck Safety: Tips and Tools to Promote Good Driving Habits

As the amount of freight transportation activity increases, so do the chances of traffic accidents. Today, trucks carry the majority of freight, about 65 percent, from the United States into Canada and Mexico. With all this movement, there are bound to be accidents. But how many are preventable? What, if anything, can companies do to curb bad driving habits? Experts agree that implementing a proactive program in the workplace is a crucial factor in mitigating traffic incidents. Before we explore possible incentives employers can provide to promote safe driving, let’s look at what commercial truck drivers can do when they get behind the wheel.

  • Get plenty of rest before driving.
    Eat well and stay fit. Driver fatigue and lack of attention can significantly increase your risk of a crash.
  • Slow down in work zones.
    Stay alert. Almost one-third of work zone fatal crashes involve large trucks. Most of these crashes occur during the day. Take your time going through work zones, give yourself plenty of room, and expect the unexpected.
  •  Be aware of your “No Zone.”
    Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your blind spots. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone areas around a truck. Adjust your mirrors and be vigilant in watching out for vehicles.
  • Always keep your distance.
    Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In rear-end collisions, regardless of the situation, if you hit someone from behind, you are considered at fault. Large trucks, given their mass, have much greater stopping distances than 4-wheelers. Take advantage of your driving height and anticipate hard braking situations.
  • Always maintain your vehicle.
    It can save your life. Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Brake defects are the most frequently cited out-of-service inspection violation. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and the lives of others.
  • Drive defensively.
    Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. Two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash.
  • Always fasten your seatbelt.
    Buckle up for safety and vehicle control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life. It will keep you in your seat and allow for you to maintain control of your truck. Increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.

Keeping Track of Your Drivers: How You Can Help?
Now that you know what your drivers should do, how do you know that they’re practicing good driver behavior throughout their shifts? From minor collisions to major accidents, your business depends on safe, conscientious drivers who will mitigate risk and represent your business with integrity. Actsoft offers incredible, affordable, and reliable software solutions for tracking and monitoring driver behavior. Through detailed reports (which you control the frequency of, from daily to monthly to ad hoc and more), you’ll get a full picture of your drivers. Some of the things you can monitor are:

  • Speed
  • Rapid acceleration and deceleration
  • Arrival and departure times

You may also receive vehicle maintenance reminders and alerts informing you when drivers are in restricted or unauthorized areas. This is especially useful when the law prohibits certain freight from entering certain areas, such as neighborhoods and school zones.

If you’re ready to take a step toward a safe, low-risk approach to vehicle management, then give us a call! We can help you choose solutions right for your needs and budget.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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10.22
2019

Actsoft’s Strategic Partnership With Geotab

As a strategic partner of ours that supplies top-notch fleet tracking devices and fleet technology, Geotab is the perfect complement to Actsoft’s solutions. Our alliance with Geotab allows us to pair ultra-advanced hardware and fleet diagnostics with the workforce management capabilities of our solutions to give your team a truly robust digital management platform.

Through Geotab GO9 devices, the MyGeotab software, and Actsoft integration, companies can have a rich and detailed fleet management experience, gaining tools for advanced collision detection, driver reports, and more, as well as the features they need to effectively manage all other aspects of their workforces.

After employees have exited their business vehicles and begin working, insight can sometimes become lost; this is where handset tracking comes in. Our solutions provide device monitoring technology, allowing you to keep tabs on each member of your team during working hours in the field. In addition to handset tracking, we also provide solutions for Timekeeping, Job Dispatching, Intra-Company Messaging, and Wireless Forms, allowing your team to take its processes fully digital and control its operations with higher efficiency. When paired with Geotab’s proficiency in the fleet management sphere, our solutions can provide even greater potential for your business.

Use Actsoft and Geotab to gain full insight on both your fleet and remote workforce in near real-time. Our strategic partnership with Geotab allows us to expand the capabilities of our mobile management solutions, help our existing customers continue to succeed, and create meaningful new relationships both now and in the future.

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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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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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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07.03
2019

Construction Season: How to Avoid Theft and Damage

With construction season underway, it’s not uncommon to see heavy machinery, trailers, and sundry other tools left unattended on construction sites. And while signs like “No Trespassing” and the like may deter mischievous teenagers, it’s not going to do anything to stop thieves who want to cash in on the opportunity you left them.

According to research, a knowledgeable thief can enter a site, load the equipment, and be off within ten minutes. However, anything more than that and most thieves will move on to the next score. Additionally, many construction companies don’t have a simple loss prevention plan, so it may be days before they notice that tools are missing. This can result in a lot of wasted time and effort trying to recover and replenish tools, not to mention the time taken away from work.

Here are a few tips that can help construction companies, along with any company that deals in expensive inventory, keep track of their goods, save time and money, and keep on schedule with their projects.

Plan, Prevent, and Save

Simple software solutions can help your employees keep track and manage equipment easily and even automatically — without much effort. The solutions that we provide include GPS-enabled software that allows you to track and trace equipment in near real-time. So if your backhoe is moved from a site, you will be alerted via text and receive up-to-date positioning so you can see exactly where your equipment is.

Keeping track of your equipment through routine inventory checks can also be helpful for knowing where your tools and assets are and what’s missing. You can scan right from your phone and import that information via solutions like Wireless Forms.

Maine.gov also offers these helpful tips in preventing crime and securing your property.

  • Implement a documented check-out and -in system for all tools and equipment.
  • Establish an “end of shift” security inspection protocol.
  • Make unscheduled visits to work sites, including at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
  • Lock and immobilize equipment during non-work hours.
  • Utilize basic key control and specialized locks. Locks should be placed on all vehicles, portable equipment, storage sheds, trailers, and utility bodies when not in use. Use only high-security locks: pick-resistant, case-hardened, or laminated steel. If a chain is required, it should be case-hardened and thick enough to prevent easy cutting.
  • Attach anti-theft devices, such as steering wheel locks, kill switches, tire and wheel/axle locks, locked hood side plates, and locking fuel caps.
  • Whenever it is practical, all operating levers, handles, etc. should be stored under securely locked covers or lids.
  • Lock and protect equipment with an alarm system.
  • Avoid storing equipment overnight at the work site whenever possible.
  • In high crime areas and where values warrant it, consider hiring a security guard or using a surveillance system.
  • Fences are a good form of perimeter protection. Exits and entrances should be kept to a minimum. If it is not possible to fence an entire site, consider partially fencing it, including trailer, equipment, and storage areas.
  • Good lighting is extremely effective in deterring criminal activities. Keep storage areas well lit and free of hiding places, such as shrubbery and trees. Consider using motion-detecting floodlights.
  • Contact the local police before starting a job. Ask them to include the job site in their patrols. Ask neighbors to report suspicious activities.

To Aid in Recovery

  • Double-stamp all tools, equipment, and attachments with an identification number, one conspicuous and one hidden.
  • Display warning signs that indicate identification and serial numbers are recorded.
  • Paint your equipment with bright, easily recognizable colors to identify them from a distance.
  • Use aerosol-applied Microtaggants, thermostat plastic coatings that contain coded pigments or metal particles.
  • Stencil the state’s logo or other identifying marks on equipment.
  • Take photographs of your high-value pieces; catalog these photos and update them as equipment is purchased and sold.
  • Consider equipping each piece of high-value equipment with tracking devices.

After a Loss

  • Secure the scene.
  • Make a prompt and thorough report to a police agency and to the Risk Management Division.
  • Send theft alerts to equipment distributors.
  • Check eBay and used-equipment sales for your equipment.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.15
2019

How Asset Tracking Can Help Recover Stolen Goods

It’s unfortunate, but with the number of products that are moved by trucks daily, fleets have become targets for thieves. Especially for trucks that have highly valuable cargo, it’s essential to have protection against situations similar to what happened to Transvalue, Inc. on I-95 in North Carolina back in 2015.

Armed robbers took more than $4 million in gold from the drivers of Transvalue. After holding up the drivers, the robbers unloaded barrels filled with gold and made their getaway in a separate vehicle. Neither driver was able to get a good look of the burglars, who made off with the gold.

A year later, a suspect was arrested after a friend tipped off the FBI. But by this point, the gold was broken down and sold. However, there is a scenario where police would have been able to recover the stolen gold and return it to Transvalue.

If the containers holding all those valuable assets had tracking devices like the ones we provide, inconspicuously placed in the containers, the thieves would not have gone far. Using the live GPS tracking feature would have allowed Transvalue to communicate with police and track down the criminals almost immediately. It provides a mapped location of every one of your assets at any given time.

It’s sad that crime can be so unrelenting and that Transvalue will never recover the gold, though they are attempting asset seizure of all the lavish purchases the robbers made. Catching criminals like these are a big deterrent that can help stop future crimes from occurring. But the lesson learned here is that it’s important to take every measure possible to keep the safety of cargo in mind. Be glad it wasn’t your company who learned this lesson the hard way and get your assets on track.

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01.09
2019

Commercial Motor Vehicle Medical Certificates

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have long had to comply with various safety precautions to ensure they’re alert on the road during long drives and amid poor driving conditions. One of these mandates is a clean bill of health.

The National Registry of Medical Examiners was created to reduce highway accidents according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Requiring CMV drivers to have up-to-date medical certificates is based on various reports, such as National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) crash investigations, which indicates that improper medical certification of CMV drivers with serious disqualifying medical conditions has directly contributed to fatal and injury crashes.

A school bus and truck collision in New Jersey illustrates the importance of certified medical examiners, according to the NTSB. The school bus driver involved in the crash received his medical certification in January 2012, before medical examiners were required to have training. The FMCSA had no regulatory authority over the examining doctor, there were no federal training or certification programs to ensure that examiners were familiar with the regulations, and there was no national registry of examiners. However, examiners were expected to exercise good medical judgment and carefully evaluate each person on whom they performed a physical examination (Herner, Smedvy, and Ysander 1966).

According to the investigation, in this case, the medical examiner, a chiropractor, never saw the school bus driver before and did not obtain medical records or consults from the driver’s primary care and specialist doctors. The extent to which the medical examiner verbally discussed the driver’s chronic low back pain and diagnosis of alcoholism (and alcohol abuse), which are underlying potentially disqualifying conditions, is not known. Moreover, it is unknown to what extent he discussed the prescription medications he was aware of, even though he wrote on the commercial driver’s license (CDL) form that they do not interfere with driving. Therefore, the NTSB concludes that the CDL medical examiner did not thoroughly evaluate the school bus driver for medical conditions that could have disqualified him from receiving a CDL. The NTSB also concludes that based on the school bus driver’s combination of medical conditions and use of multiple prescription medications, it is likely that he would not have been medically certified to drive a school bus if he had fully disclosed his medical history on the CDL medical certification.
While it’s impossible to know what a driver’s habits are on a daily basis, it’s crucial to put measures in place to ensure the safety of vehicles and passengers on roadways, as illustrated by the New Jersey crash.

Along with required medical examinations by now-certified medical examiners, as well as the newly passed Hours of Service legislation, there are other measures companies themselves can institute to ensure driver safety. GPS tracking has long been a popular tool to maintain watch of driver behavior — which would have been impossible pre-technology. Now, for pennies a day, fleet-based companies, or any business who uses drivers to deliver services or goods, can monitor a host of behaviors.

What can I monitor?

  • Driver speeds
  • Idling
  • Fast braking
  • Travel outside of authorized areas
  • Rapid acceleration

Each of these behaviors can be set up to alert managers and office personnel so that a driver can be notified that they are breaking a rule and must modify their behavior before an accident or other liability happens. Moreover, weekly or monthly reports can be created to get a snapshot of driver activity, to compare behavior from month-to-month or to compare drivers with each other.

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