Within the past five years, more than one-half of the companies using NexTraq fleet tracking software have adopted mobile services. “Our clients were asking for handheld capabilities,” says Dan Valentine, director of marketing for the Atlanta-based company that has automated nearly every aspect of fleet and driver management. “First, they wanted to track vehicles, then drivers, then drivers and vehicles on specific jobs.”
In 2009, NexTraq began developing the Fleet Mobile application that builds on the software’s basic GPS location data. The web-based app provides a dashboard of fleet data, including vehicle locations, trip status, and fuel purchases. Managers use a web link to access real-time data from the field.
Last year, a new NexTraq Connect application began changing how ready-mix drivers and dispatchers communicate, with time and attendance features, job details, and navigation. Drivers use a mobile device to clock in and out, enter job status updates, and navigate to jobs. They can assign themselves to vehicles and report vehicle information, including odometer readings and maintenance issues.
Dispatchers can see who is on a job and where, and send assignments accordingly, including jobsite location, schedule, and materials needed. With mobile dispatching, drivers receive notifications directly on their phones, even away from their vehicles.
NexTraq Connect can also reduce operational costs. The mobile app provides dispatch communications with less expensive equipment. It only requires a NexTraq “plug-and-play” GPS device and mobile phone or tablet, rather than hard-wired GPS devices installed in trucks.
The mobile fleet solution is scalable, so it provides the same benefits for small or large fleets. “Our customers typically see immediate savings of 10-20% on fuel and labor costs through efficient dispatching, more direct routes, reduced idling time, and improved driver habits,” says Valentine.
Future versions of NexTraq Connect will include invoicing, billing, and worksite transaction tools for an even more comprehensive fleet management system.