ELD’s Are Just the Beginning… But you must start Somewhere

As a result of the ELD Mandate, which is less than 100 days away, trucking companies will have to comply with ELD solutions and any necessary installations. But here’s the good news: There are several benefits of ELD solutions—so, you’ll likely find your company’s efficiency and drivers’ performance to improve over time. The ROI is realized when using the technology properly…

The information to follow should open your eyes, answer some questions and ultimately help you better prepare for what is about to come. At the end of this article we would appreciate the opportunity to show you how to pay for your ELD initiative by utilizing additional technologies….

ELD Deployment Timeline Q&A

Contrary to what the popular belief is, you should anticipate that your ELD rollout will not go as planned. There are bottlenecks that will inevitably come up. Here are some things to consider:

  1. How will you roll your trucks back through the terminal to install the necessary equipment?
    1. When your trucks are not on the road you’re losing $$. A clear implementation schedule is crucial.
  2. How much time will each install take?
    1. Plan on 20-30 minutes per truck if your intention is to hide the ECM device from the driver… 30-60 minutes if you install a compliant mounting system.
  3. Who will be overseeing this initiative & what should they do?
    1. Nominate ONE person in your organization!
    2. Read the ELD Documentation provided.
    3. Have WEEKLY calls with internal personnel.
  4. How will I train the Drivers and Internal Staff?
    1. Drivers are visual…use video as the go to tool.
    2. Run paper log in conjunction with ELD in the beginning. Every time a Duty Status change would be completed on paper, duplicate in ELD.
    3. Understand the Regulations and how they are applied within the ELD. Remember, the FINAL RULE solutions are to the second and not by 15 minute increments.
    4. Encourage your drivers when they succeed!
    5. Internal staff should read the appropriate documentation on the Admin platform, write out questions and discuss on weekly calls.

Bring Your Own Device & Bluetooth vs. Tethered Q&A 

This section is being debated daily in our world… What configuration best suits your fleet? Whether your company is comprised of Company drivers, Owner Operators & Independent Contractors or a mixture of them all, there is a solution.

  1. What does BYOD mean?
    1. Running the ELD on a Smartphone or a Tablet. I caution the use of an ELD on a Smartphone due to the obvious nature of a “phone”…. The voice aspect. This can interfere with necessary data transmission. Tablets are a far better solution to run an ELD. We recommend a DEDICATED Mobile Device for ELD.
    2. While it is easier to deploy on a Smartphone, it is much harder to manage. OO’s & IO’s can certainly bring their own device but ask yourself, do you want them talking on the phone while the ELD is running in the background? How will they see their 30 minute break time clock? Loads being dispatched? All things to consider.
    3. Tablets give the size and power needed to run the ELD with the flexibility of taking the unit out of the Cab to conduct Pre/Post Trip with the ability to take pictures of defects. They can also be locked down to only access certain applications. Much harder to enforce when running the ELD on someone’s Smartphone.
  2. Bluetooth vs Tethered Connection
    1. Bluetooth technology will send the necessary ECM information to the Tablet over the air where as a Tethered connection will transfer data via a cable connected between the 2 devices (ECM/Mobile or Terminal)
    2. Both connections WILL work if setup properly!
    3. Tethered may limit the use of the device OUTSIDE the cab.
    4. There may be options to utilize both technologies!

ELD + Onboard Cameras + Advanced Fleet Management + TMS Integration is the absolute future of the Transportation Industry… By utilizing these additional technologies you will operate more efficiently, safely and cost effective. You can achieve this all in a SINGLE platform that M2M In Motion has created with the carrier in mind. Contact us, we started out just like you!

Sincerely,

The M2M In Motion Family….

For more information on ELD solutionsonboard camera solutions and Advanced Fleet Management please contact us here.

3 In-Cab Camera Options For Trucking Companies To Choose From

It’s becoming increasingly popular for trucking companies to install cameras in the vehicles. Why, exactly? In-cab cameras can improve the driving experience, protect driver safety, regarding fallacy and potential lawsuits, and boost efficiency of communication, between both driver and dispatcher.

Beyond these benefits of in-cab cameras, installation can also lower insurance costs, which is a major bonus for trucking companies. Check out the article in the link for further proof. As many drivers are inexperienced, accidents are pretty common, leading to a sense of distrust amongst insurers who are on the hook for pricy settlements. So, premiums have increased, and in some cases, insurance companies simply refuse to offer coverage.

Yet—installing cameras in fleets will give the company more credibility and insurance companies more faith. These video cameras are often used in court, as they can highlight the moments before an accident hits—making a driver’s case stronger and accurate. What’s more, as drivers are being filmed, they’re more vigilant with driving skills and are less apt to make phone calls, take photos, text, or engage on any apps when driving.

Here are a few cost-saving technologies to choose from.

Forward-Facing Camera (non-connected)

In simplest terms, you’ll just need a single, forward-facing camera to record what’s ahead of you (the most budget friendly). Being the most basic, they’ll offer better coverage and reassurance, but you won’t be able to record from different angles or collect any real-time data.  These simple, non-connected cameras are limited and can be unreliable depending on manufacturer. Also, these simple cameras require the user to manually pull the SD card to view the camera footage. This presents challenges in the field when real-time accident footage is required.

Multiple Cameras (non-connected or event-based)

If you’re interested in seeing from several different angles, and willing to shell out the extra cash, you can tact on more cameras throughout the vehicle. This will offer extra protection, as you can record video from all sides.

Whether you want a dual-camera, where you’ll see from forward-facing and rear-facing, or you’d like to add up to 5 cameras, the technology will add functionality and cost. These systems are a step up from single cameras and allow for more than 1 viewing angle. A downside though is that they require manual pull of the SD card to retrieve footage or rely on the manufacture to detect an event. Event based systems are limited to events only, and do not allow for access to historical footage and will not help customers retrieve footage to monitor driver safety & compliance, end-customer disputes, roadside inspections, etc. .

Onboard 3G Camera Telematics

If you want all the gizmos, and to possibly eliminate an existing GPS tracking solution, you might choose a more luxury style of logging, with a video data event recorder camera solution. With these systems, you’ll find built-in GPS, so you can watch your vehicle move along a Google map in real time and track your distance with GPS telematics functionality all built into one solution/vendor. A vehicle can have up to 5 cameras connected through a web-based platform to allow for live streaming, on-demand historical footage, and proactive event generation. These systems combine in-cab camera functionality with GPS telematics. There are differences in systems out there so make sure to do your homework. The reliable, higher quality solutions allow for companies and users to access footage real-time as events are happening in the field.

Depending on the vendor, customers are able to access live video streaming, which you can select your level of quality and number of cameras, which will dictate cost. What’s more, you can access searchable on-demand storage, so you can play back your video recordings whenever you like (in the case of an insurance claim, a customer dispute, workman’s comp claim, law enforcement stop, road rage incident, or just for fun!).

Nowadays, providers offer $0 down lease programs that eliminate the need for any capital up front to realize the positive bottom line impact. In today’s world of technology and safety equipment, there is no better bang for the buck, than some form of Camera Solution in your fleet vehicles…

For more information on In-Cab Camera Systems and Fleet Management solutions, contact us here.

Joliet Mayor O’Dekirk Gives Rosy Outlook For 2017

Posted in Joilet Patch on June 30, 2017.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk touted several recent and ongoing business developments across Joliet as part of his mid-year report.

 

How To Pick Your ELD Solution

As a result of the ELD Mandate, which will go into effect December 2017, trucking companies will have to comply with ELD solutions and any necessary installations. But here’s the good news: There are several benefits of ELD solutions—so, you’ll likely find your company’s efficiency and drivers’ performance to improve over time.

And even better news? It’s safe to say that any roadblocks that could’ve posed legal challenges to the ELD Mandate are gone. So, the next step is to determine complexity, need, and budget.

According to a study, ELD costs estimate to $495/yearly, or rather $41.25/month/truck, and ELD vendors cost between $165-832/year. So, it’s safe to say there’s quite a variety. Here’s how to pick which type of solution is right for you—there are two set categories to choose from.

FMCSA Rule Compliant ELD

This gadget has no bells and whistles, but it gets the job done. Starting at the lowest price point—fit for a driver on a tight budget—it comes to about $18/month. What’s more, there’s often no up-front fee. And, as it’s super easy to use, it’ll make training and practice a breeze.

It also offers a single, web-based platform, keeping all your ELD management needs contained in one solution. It mainly conforms to a BYOD model, which means you can bring your own device, but be certain that the states in which you drive in will accept a personal device at a Roadside Inspection. Most ELD vendors would recommend a tablet to separate voice and data communications.

From the mobile app service, you’ll directly receive automated duty status changes and visual drive time data, including changes in breaks, shifts, and cycles, all broken down into color-coding blocks. And, you can revisit your logging reports, for the current day and 7 previous days, to effectively observe progress and improve driving skills.

This type of basic model is most appropriate for a single driver, as opposed to a larger fleeting company, and someone on a budget. An owner/operator for a truck, like a 1099 driver, doesn’t necessarily need all the other services that come with more intricate ELD solutions, as shown below.

ELD With Fleet Management & Tracking

FMCSA rule compliant and providing the same basic services as explained above, but with more functionality—this ELD solution lets you track miles and hours through a Fleet Management System. Starting at about $39, this ELD solution is better suited for a Carrier that has both Company Drivers, OO’s and IO’s with a focus on Safety, Management, and an overall want to progress.

As the number of drivers and load

dispatches increase, the more challenging it is to make sure the process is smooth and communicated well. By providing better logging skills and visual tracking devices, drivers can hone their skills and feel more in control of their routes.

What’s more, with the help of DVIR (driver vehicle inspection reports) and driver-messaging features, trucking companies can stay up to date on driver performance and safety standards—overall, increasing the company’s ROI. So, shelling out some additional cash can really go a long way for Carriers with larger fleets.

For more information on ELD solutionsonboard camera solutions and tracking, contact us here.

3 Benefits Of In-Cab Cameras For Trucking Companies

There are many more uses for cameras other than simply snapping a fun, family photo. In fact, installing in-cab cameras can actually create a safer and more positive driving experience. As the benefits are clear, many fleet and trucking companies are purchasing in-cab cameras for their vehicles, to keep their drivers protected, readily accounted for, and in control of their surroundings. Here’s why.

It Protects The Driver From False Claims

It’s tough to say who is in the wrong when it comes to an accident on the road, especially when a large vehicle is present. Here’s where an in-cab camera comes in handy—it’ll record the data for you, catching it all on film.

So, if the other car’s driver is blaming your company’s driver for the hit, the recorded visuals will help make your case, should the other driver be at fault. Think of this as a shortcut to going to court and letting things get messy. And, because the evidence is on camera, it’ll lower collision and litigation costs.

It Can Record Several Details For Safer Driving

Not only does the in-cab camera take a video of what’s happening on the road, but it also records several other features that can enhance efficiency and make the driving experience simpler. Such features include the driver’s range of motion and the vehicle speed, all data points that can be helpful in fraudulent insurance claims and driving reports. What’s more, drivers can review this data and improve their driving safety skills.

It’s not enough to just have raw video alone—instead, including telematics sensors, engine control modules, roll stability systems, and algorithms that predict risk and appropriate driving behaviors in these in-cab camera systems can help evaluate driving performance. Some systems are more complex than others, so deciding which type is best for your vehicle might take some time and research.

For instance, you can install a forward-facing camera, or a dual, forward-facing and driver-facing camera to capture what’s happening from both angles. You can also decide the number of cameras you want on the vehicle in total, as you can include a few extras on the exteriors. Of course, as with any type of equipment, the more features, the higher the tag, so keep that in mind when selecting your desired services and models. 

It Improves The Driving Experience

Think of an athlete or dancer working on his or her jump shot or choreography: playing back the actions through video is the greatest way to hone those skills. The same process applies to driving—where drivers can review and critique their report to enhance their performance.

And, as trucking companies can see their drivers’ actions, they’re better able to grant rewards for positive behavior and progress. When drivers achieve their goals, they’ll be recognized for their hard work, putting control back in their hands.

Whether a future mandate is passed or not, the trend in in-cab cameras will only continue, because the results are heavily in its favor.

For more information on ELD solutions, onboard camera solutions and tracking, contact us here.

The Implications Of The ELD Mandate For Trucking Companies

Come December 18th, 2017, as a result of the ELD mandate, all commercial motor carriers and truck drivers will be required to implement a certified ELD that meets the FMCSA requirements. So, what does that mean, exactly

ELDs are electronic logging devices that record drivers’ Record of Duty Status (RODS) in relation to their Hours Of Service (HOS). For fleets unequipped with such devices, they’ll have until December to put them into action, while fleets that have already adopted an AOBR platform will have until December 2019 to make sure they’re up to the published ELD mandate’s standards and specifications.

Here are some things you might expect, as a result of such actions.

It’ll Take Time To Get It Right

Adapting to a new electronic logging system (say goodbye to tedious, inefficient paper logs) can take time and effort, as it’s important to make sure you’re finding a system that’s a good fit for your fleet. Doing some research to find an expert provider of ELD services will pay off in the long-run, as you’ll be better equipped to train employees on how to use a simple and accessible system and guarantee a streamlined transition.

Take the time to inquire about products and vendor capabilities to ensure you’re in good hands. Working with a vendor who understands the operations and the different devices to choose from will help you select the right provider and ELD products for your particular fleet. For instance, does it matter if the system is Android, iOS, or Microsoft? Are other software components necessary, in addition to telematics? Do temperature, vibration, shock, water, and other modalities factor in? These are just a few points to consider.

It Boosts Efficiency

Who wouldn’t want that, right? One of the many benefits of the ELD mandate is that it’ll make the drivers’ lives easier, so they can focus on one task at hand: Driving (not logging). As implementation of the mandate immediately cuts down on paperwork and time spent logging, it lets drivers and dispatchers work on communicating better with one another and staying on top of whereabouts, in an effort to stay more organized when on the road.

It Prevents Ambiguity Of Unassigned Mileage

Let’s say a technician needs to borrow a truck for a road test, or some piece of equipment needs to be moved around the lot—that added mileage will now be accounted for, thanks to ELD services.

As a result of the ELD mandate, exempt drivers can track their mileage within separate categories, so the subsequent driver and the folks in the back office won’t be confused as to who is responsible for those additional hours. Depending on how many conditions this applies to, you might want to include two-to-four differing, exempt categories.

It Gives Drivers More Flexibility & Control

A huge change from the new ELD guidelines is that drivers will gain more flexibility and control over their logging hours and edits, thereby preventing any potential for driver harassment.

Here’s how it works: Drivers can edit their logs, meaning they can either reject or accept an admin’s insertion. Until the driver responds, the logging edit will remain pending, meaning fleeting companies can no longer interfere with the accuracy of their drivers’ logging reports. Letting drivers be responsible for their own logging reports puts the power back in the right hands.

There Are Smartphone & Tablet Based System Opportunities

For a lower-cost plan, many ELD providers allow the option to connect a tablet or smartphone device, as supplied by the driver. The mobile device will work in tandem with a “black box” device to wirelessly sync information from the truck’s electronic control module.

By using these mobile devices (which are simple to use), it provides greater flexibility for the driver and can help increase system efficiency through camera features. However, there is a drawback to be wary of: if the phone’s battery dies or the device gets lost or damaged, it could cause logging complications. So, perhaps an in-cab camera and computer system would be more durable and reliable.

For more information on ELD’s and Fleet Management solutions, contact us here.

hni forum on ELD Strategy

We were fortunate enough to be a part of hni’s open forum on Building Your ELD Strategy this week. Over 70 transportation owners, safety directors, and risk managers attended. With the ELD mandate by the FMCSA becoming law, it is a stressful time for most transportation companies that have not moved forward with an ELD strategy. With so many options and a bunch of misinformation out there, it doesn’t make this process any easier for companies to decide which ELD provider to choose. The theme that resonated with the audience was 1) working with an open-architecture platform that allows flexibility and growth & 2) collaborating with your solution provider. Instead of fearing the transition to electronic logging devices, this presents an opportunity to embrace technology and drive better business decisions throughout your company. Most transportation companies use multiple platforms & systems to manage their fleet, from their back end system, to GPS tracking, to Report Analytics, to IFTA reporting, and more. The decision on ELD should be embraced as an opportunity to CONSOLIDATE to a single-platform. By choosing an open-architecture platform, this allows the opportunity to have ONE portal, ONE sign-on, to manage all of this functionality for your company.

Our Company, M2M In Motion, is a Single-Source Provider for Fleets and the Transportation Industry. We have a cloud-based, open architecture platform to help your business manage GPS Track & Trace, Driver Behavior Scorecards, ELD, Onboard Video, Route Optimization, IFTA, Customized Integrations, and more. We are a local, stable provider with more than 10,000 connected devices on the road. But most importantly, our organization is founded by people that WORK in the transportation industry. We know this is a big decision for you and your company, but the bigger decision is choosing the right partner. Give us the opportunity and we won’t let you down…

We want to thank John at hni again for allowing us to be a part of the ELD forum and speak with his customers. We look forward to many more forums like this. And I encourage everyone that reads this to reach out to us with your questions – whether you work with us or not, we are here to help.

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Providing Data to Help You Make Better Business Decisions

In the age of technology one thing is certain, data is constantly being collected. As we move forward in business, the companies that will consistently have a leg up on their competition are the ones that are putting that data to good use. Knowledge is power; anyone can make a business decision, but is that decision made based on facts? Often times you will hear people say “perception is reality,” and that is philosophically true. Although, this is not always the case when you are trying to determine an important decision that impacts your company’s operation.

For example, running a transportation company has many variables: assets, fuel, dispatch, drivers, maintenance, customer satisfaction, etc..you get the point. On the outside, everything might appear to be running smoothly. Drivers are on time, fuel costs are down, and your customers are happy. My question is, why stop there? This won’t always be the case, and since we live in a constant flow of information, solving issues proactively should be the standard. With the data that is at our fingertips, being a reactive company will only lose you business.

M2M In Motion is an asset tracking platform that provides every piece of data a company needs to make informed business decisions. The key piece to this solution that separates itself is the word “platform.” By creating a platform, we have allowed our customers to dictate the features and information they need through customization, without the high software development prices. Too often products are made available to us that don’t have everything we need, so we are forced to mix and match until we patch together a functional system. M2M In Motion has eliminated that issue and is ready for you, the consumer to let us prove it.

The “In Motion” Difference

M2M In Motion differentiates itself from the competition by listening to the industry experts and applying that knowledge into a scalable platform that can grow with your organization. We understand that each organization’s operational environment is unique to their business. This is the very reason why we have built an Asset Tracking platform with the functionality relevant to all industries and encourage customization based on specific needs. We have found that the competition gives you too many bells & whistles, most of which are not relevant to your operation. At the same time, customization and backend integration is sometimes difficult to achieve.

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