Fleet Owner Identifies Importance of Data Analysis

Mission critical. It’s a description companies often use to stress the importance of some activity. In a story written by Fleet Owner senior editor Kevin Jones, and published in the October 2016 issue, Jones describes the use of good data, along with the tools like telematics and fleet management software, to analyze it and communicate decisions to the cab. This data and analysis provides the well-run fleet a competitive advantage.

With the stunning numbers from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)  in Jones’ report, we would argue obtaining data and good analysis has become in two words – mission critical. Consider this: Highway traffic congestions cost the trucking industry $49.6 billion in 2014. Those costs largely come from delays totaling more than 728 million hours of lost productivity, which equate to 264,500 commercial truck drivers doing nothing for an entire year, Jones reported. For each truck traveling 150,000 miles annually, that lost productivity cost its fleet an average of $26,625 in additional operating costs. Each truck.

But that doesn’t even include costs associated with weather events, which the National Highway Administration estimates at an average of $8 billion to $9 billion annually. Like the most recent one – Hurricane Matthew, which struck areas in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia the hardest, just as the October issue of Fleet Owner hit the newsstands and mailboxes.

To address the problem, ATRI conducts an annual study of the nation’s worst bottlenecks, Jones wrote. That information helps trucking companies in figuring out delivery schedules with customers based on what the study reveals. The numbers are also helping transportation officials with state and federal government agencies look for ways to make network improvements through integrated, proactive management of existing infrastructure along major corridors.

While all of this is important for the long-term, it doesn’t help truck fleets with a more immediate need – getting loads through to Atlanta or Chicago or thousands of other locations. In his report, Jones provides a look at how fleets are using connected vehicle technology tools like ELDs to gather and analyze information to obtain operational efficiencies, to obtain profit margins, to improve driver recruitment and retention and to significantly reduce delays.

One of those many tools Jones identifies in his report is Drivewyze weigh station bypass service, which is available on ELDs made by PeopleNet, Omnitracs, Rand McNally and Zonar. Jones interviewed Brian Heath, president of Drivewyze, and Treasure Phillippi, safety supervisor for Dallas-based auto hauler Moore Transport about weigh station bypass. Fleet Owner readers learned how Drivewyze provided Moore Transport 6,281 bypasses for 123 of the company’s fleet of 165 trucks in the first five months of 2016. That returned an estimated 379 hours of driving time to Moore Transport drivers.

To read more, pick up a copy of the October 2016 issue of Fleet Owner, you’ll find the story on pages 40-42, 44. Or you can read the Fleet Management feature on the Fleet Owner web site (Story is available only to registered users. To register, visit the Fleet Owner web site, and at the top right of the page, click on “Register.”)

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