Cypress Truck Lines Finds Drivewyze Offers a Better Bypass Solution
As an Optional App, Drivewyze Adds Greater Value to ELDs
With about 600 trucks and 1,500 trailers, Cypress Truck Lines is the largest gypsum carrier in the United States, hauling about 75 million tons of the wallboard on flatbed trailers annually. The company also hauls other building materials such as shingles, steel and lumber. Cypress operates its fleet of trucks from five terminals in the Southeast.
Cypress runs primarily East of the Rocky Mountains in a variety of local, regional and over-the-road long-haul routes. A fair amount of the freight Cypress delivers is dropped off the same day it’s picked up. This allows Cypress to offer its drivers an optimal balance between hauling long-haul freight, which can offer more pay, and local or regional freight, which can get drivers home more often.
Because many of Cypress Truck Lines trucks originate from the company’s two terminals in Jacksonville and Tampa, and travel within a 200-mile radius, drivers must often pass the same fixed weigh stations and agricultural inspection stations two or three times per day. In Florida, all trucks are required to pull into agricultural inspection stations – the majority of which are located along major north-south corridors in northeastern Florida, along the border with Georgia. The inspections are primarily to prevent plant and animal pests and diseases and unsafe food from entering Florida.
Matt Penland, vice president of Cypress Truck Lines and its sister flatbed carrier, Sunbelt Transport, said before Cypress started using Drivewyze, it was not uncommon for drivers to get delayed several minutes each time they encountered a weigh station or inspection site.
“Weigh station and ag site bypass helps our drivers stay on the road and keep rolling and not having to wait in line”
– Matt Penland, Vice President of Cypress Truck Lines
“At times, traffic in and around these stations and ag inspection sites can be bad, which means our drivers would sit in a line of trucks just to find out whether they had to pull in for an inspection or could continue on their way,” Penland said. “Weigh station and ag site bypass helps our drivers stay on the road and keep rolling and not have to wait in line.”
Penland said he first chose a transponder-based system to provide drivers weigh station bypass. But he found that keeping track of the transponders was difficult. Heavy traffic also made it difficult for drivers to change lanes and line up their trucks under the transponder readers mounted overhead to obtain bypasses.
Penland also didn’t like having his company’s trucks equipped with transponders and electronic logging devices. It just seemed to be too much of a hassle to have two separate electronic systems for drivers to keep track of, he added.
During the PeopleNet User Conference in 2014, Penland learned about the availability of Drivewyze, which was being offered as an optional application on the fleet’s ELDs. Penland liked the idea of having one device to track HOS and to provide weigh station bypass. So, he activated the complimentary Drivewyze Heads Up Notifications and the Drivewyze PreClear Analytics weigh station loss reporting tool on all of his company’s trucks to see what was going on.
Best of all, at about the same time Penland decided to activate Drivewyze weigh station bypass service, the State of Florida expanded Drivewyze service from its 19 fixed weigh stations to include its 22 agricultural inspection sites. Since Cypress trucks don’t carry agricultural products, the additional bypass opportunities at the state’s agricultural interdiction sites have made a big difference for his fleet’s operation, Penland said.
Drivewyze Heads Up alerts provide drivers 1- and 2-mile heads up notifications at more than 1,200 sites across the United States. The free Drivewyze Analytics Loss Report shows Penland how often his drivers pass by weigh stations and ag inspection sites and how long they are delayed.
“Drivewyze Analytics gives my drivers the opportunity to avoid unnecessary delays,” Penland said. “It’s just a pain to have to pull in at every weigh station and inspection site along the way. Trucking is fast-paced work. And my drivers are under a lot of pressure since everything has gotta move now.
“Drivewyze gives them an advantage to be able to drive by some scales and inspection sites and get to where they are headed faster,” Penland said.
The company’s biggest motivator to adopt Drivewyze weigh station bypass was the advent of electronic logs, he added. “Now that drivers are held to a stricter standard to account for every hour and every minute, every minute and every second of driving time we can add back into their days helps them and makes them happier drivers. Over the course of a week, those small time savings all add up.”
Since activating Drivewyze on about two-thirds of the company’s fleet of trucks, Cypress Truck Lines has gained significant savings and operational efficiencies. Shortly after establishing Drivewyze service, Penland said the benefits became quickly apparent through a significant reduction in weigh station delays, which raised driver satisfaction.
In the month of March 2016, with Drivewyze activated on 426 trucks, Cypress drivers received 10,813 bypasses out of 12,132 requests for a bypass rate of 89 percent. Based on statistics from recent federal studies, Drivewyze estimates the bypasses returned about 250 hours of driving time to drivers.
Penland said helping drivers to avoid delays is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Drivewyze service. It reduces stress and makes it easier for drivers to make their deliveries on schedule.
“Drivewyze helps us to maximize the productivity of our fleet”
– Matt Penland, Vice President
“We take great pride in offering our drivers top-of-the-line equipment and the tools and training they need to perform their jobs in the safest, most efficient way possible,” Penland said. “We want the best, most dedicated drivers the industry has to offer. So, we’re more than happy to provide them the resources they need to obtain the success they want and deserve. Drivewyze offers us one very important tool to accomplish that goal. Plus, Drivewyze helps us to maximize the productivity of our fleet by removing these costly and unnecessary delays and significantly reducing our operating costs as a result.”