Mapping savings

Knowing that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, producers are accepting new versions of mapping technology into their dispatching operations. For multiplant operations, sharing this technology had been difficult. Now, central dispatch has an eye-in-the sky tool to keep deliveries on time.

In late 2008, the TrakitGPS vehicle tracking and reporting module was updated. It now provides new map views and special vehicle stop reports. The system's capability has been enhanced so dispatchers can view, track, and manage multiple plants and vehicle types.

Dispatchers can select from a bevy of new map views, including road, aerial, and hybrid vantage points. The road view includes specific road names; aerial is based on satellite imaging and includes landmarks; and hybrid is an easy-to-read combination of the two. These aids helps dispatchers direct fleet logistics.

TrakitGPS requires no IT staff. It features GPS tracking to provide real-time order tracking and truck mapping, two-way communication for fleet tracking and management, and provides time-stamped custom reports on all employee activity.

Maximizing truck loads

Another way to increase fuel efficiency is to maximize payloads. Maintaining dump truck legal loads is more efficient with TruckWeight FleetLink. This telematics device allows fleet managers to electronically capture and monitor axle-weight data generated by the company's Smart Scale wireless scale for commercial vehicles.

“Traditionally, onboard scales produce results that have to be manually interpreted, logged, and reported by the truck driver,” says Peter Panagapko, president of TruckWeight. “As a companion to Smart Scale, TruckWeight FleetLink helps replace these manual processes. It creates an accurate electronic record of axle-weight data that can be read by an onboard computer and sent home by satellite- or cellular-based mobile communications systems. Dispatchers and fleet managers can monitor payload capacity while the truck is in the field, eliminating the latency and errors associated with paper-based reporting.”

Dispatchers can now monitor each truck's load in real time. TruckWeight FleetLink integrates with Smart Scale. The sensors monitor subtle changes in the air-ride or mechanical spring suspension. An RF transmitter sends the data to the TruckWeight FleetLink receiver which is connected to an onboard computer, onboard communications device, or cellular phone via Bluetooth, RS-232, or USB.

From there, the data can be used by a wide range of fleet management programs, including dispatch, compliance, and accounting. TruckWeight FleetLink also can be connected to an in-cab printer to produce receipts and other documents onsite. TruckWeight FleetLink uses AA batteries for power and does not require electricity from a truck or tractor.