Government regulations have been pushing the transportation industry to modernize in the interest of improved safety but getting compliant doesn’t have to be a costly headache.
In fact, thanks to mobile technologies, meeting the latest compliance requirements can also help trucking companies better manage their fleets and drivers, while dramatically improving delivery efficiency and performance.
Here are three major areas where compliance is optimizing fleet performance:
1. Telematics and GPS
Telematics have transformed fleet management, thanks to the ability to monitor and manage vehicle locations, performance, and driver behavior. Engine and vehicle data is collected automatically through sensors, while GPS provides location and positioning data.
Mobile technologies such as handheld computers and tablets connect to sensors and GPS data, enabling real-time logging and communications between drivers and fleet headquarters. Additional capabilities are also possible, including integration of cameras to verify and validate telematic indicators such as harsh acceleration, braking, and speeding.
A complete system yields data to help improve driver safety, fuel consumption, and vehicle performance. It also helps ensure smooth deliveries and compliance with the latest regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
To create a telematics and GPS system, our omniQ experts recommend a cradled ET50/55 enterprise tablet or TC70/75 handheld mobile computer from Zebra Technologies. Both devices can be cradled aboard a truck to capture black box and GPS data while providing Wi-Fi and cellular access for complete mobile tracking, monitoring, and communications.
Each device can be removed and used as a mobile computing device as well, so drivers or staff can log vehicle inspection reports, access routes, and capture proof of delivery. Pairing these devices with mobile printers also allows for fast and easy printing of delivery receipts, barcode labels, and invoices wherever and whenever they’re needed.
2. Routing and Scheduling
With fuel costs rising again, it’s more important than ever to use the most cost-effective and efficient delivery routes. Mobile technologies offer an easy way to ensure this by helping distribute dynamic up-to-the-minute route and scheduling information that helps minimize fuel consumption, meet tight delivery windows, and fulfill expedited delivery requests.
Additionally, mobile-enabled GPS can guide drivers along the most efficient routes in real time, providing up-to-the-minute audio or map-based turn-by-turn navigation assistance, ensuring on-time deliveries that enhance customer satisfaction.
It’s all easy and affordable to achieve with the right software and handheld mobile computers such Zebra’s TC20, TC51/56, and TC70/75 models. Through a single device that fits in the palm of their hand, drivers can access all the routing, scheduling, navigation, and other applications they need, plus voice, barcode capture, and photo capabilities.
omniQ’s Route Edge software is an enterprise-class solution for Proof of Delivery, Direct Store Delivery (including DEX), and sales management. Route Edge leverages decades of industry knowledge and experience to improve the performance of field employees during the delivery, invoicing, and merchandising process. For more information on Route Edge, click here.
3. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)
Now that the FMCSA has mandated electronic logging through its ELD Rule, an electronic logging device (ELD) is necessary for fleet management, compliance, and driver safety.
An ELD is the electronic hardware that’s attached to a truck engine to monitor whether the engine is running and the vehicle is moving, along with miles driven, hours of service (HOS), and the duration of engine operation.
Zebra’s mobile computing solutions, such as the ET50/55, can serve as the central hub for ELD data while delivering the applications and connectivity to drive a complete ELD solution. As a cradled onboard mobile computer, the ET50/55 interfaces with engine sensors or a mobile device that collects and communicates ELD data by connecting with a vehicle’s black box.
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