Melton: Improved Bypass Performance
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Melton Truck Lines is one of the largest international flatbed trucking carriers in North America with a fleet of 1,300 late-model trucks and more than 2,000 trailers. In 2016, Transport Topics ranked Melton as No. 87 on its list of the nation’s largest for-hire carriers and CCJ ranked it as No. 91 on its list of the top 250 for-hire trucking companies.
Melton trucks haul a variety of loads including construction and building materials, air conditioners, sheet metal, metal coils and large machinery. Each of the company’s trucks travel an average of about 100,000 miles annually.
Delays for Melton Truck Lines drivers can not only result in reduced pay, but also in missed delivery appointments. According to Randy Rhines, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, many of the loads Melton drivers haul are delivered to construction sites where there’s not a lot of room for unloading trailers. “With a lot of activity occurring at these job sites, deliveries must often be scheduled in narrow delivery windows,” Rhines said.
“Missing a scheduled delivery appointment can result in significant delays for the drivers trying to make it to their next appointments, because construction site managers may rearrange the schedule to accommodate the late delivery or may even set a new delivery time,” Rhines said. “With deliveries of heavy equipment, the contractor may have also scheduled a crane to unload the freight and move it to where it needs to go on the construction site.
“If we’re a day late, we can face some pretty huge fines and penalties as it can significantly impact a construction project”
– Randy Rhines, Senior Vice President
For years, Melton drivers had been using transponder-based weigh station bypass to avoid delays at weigh stations. But Rhines and Melton’s Vice President of Safety and Human Resources – Angie Buchanan, were intrigued by recent reports of the rapid growth in the number of states and locations offering Drivewyze weigh station bypass.
Rhines said he first learned about Drivewyze at an American Trucking Associations conference a few years ago. Rhines mentioned he kept tabs on Drivewyze, and when it became available on the company’s Omnitracs MCP200 electronic logging devices, he recommended that Melton activate the complimentary Drivewyze analytics reporting tool to test it out.
That Drivewyze analytics reporting tool showed the company that Drivewyze could have offered its drivers more than 10,000 bypasses from July 21 to August 20, 2016.
The analytics report also estimated that Melton drivers lost nearly 1,000 hours of drive time in just one month. Rhines said those results convinced company executives to provide Drivewyze to the entire fleet.
“Weigh station bypass is important to our drivers because they don’t have to pull into weigh stations as often”
– Randy Rhines, Senior Vice President
“As flatbed haulers, we often feel we’re more likely to be called in for a Level II inspection because our freight is out there visible on a flatbed,” said Rhines. “We understand there’s heightened concerns over load securement. So our company spends a lot of time and money to train our drivers on proper techniques and procedures. Plus, we know our shippers wouldn’t want us to leave their location without properly securing their freight.”
After activating Drivewyze, on nearly 1,100 trucks, the monthly analytics report estimated that Melton saved $85,000 in their first full month of service, and that bypasses saved an estimated 550 hours of drive time.
“Our decision to activate Drivewyze is about providing our drivers the tools they need to be as productive and efficient as possible,” Rhines said. “We also want our drivers to be able to take full advantage of our efforts to improve our safety scores. We think Drivewyze provides us that opportunity through a rapidly growing network of locations. We also think our bypass rate more accurately reflects our improving CSA score because Drivewyze accesses the same information and screening rules that commercial vehicle enforcement officers use.”
As for its more recent results, a Drivewyze monthly analytics report estimates that Melton Truck Lines drivers saved 824 hours of drive time from January 1st to January 31st , 2017. The report also showed that Drivewyze offered more than 14,000 bypasses in January. That result represents a 40 percent increase when compared to results from the first Drivewyze report generated six months earlier.
1Hours estimated by Drivewyze reporting, based upon an average of the pull in times for trucks at any given site.
2Savings estimated by Drivewyze reporting, based on a savings of $9.30 per bypass.