ELDs – The journey has only just begun!

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, October 23rd, 2014

MDT3500Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are already an integral part of the trucking industry’s future, with a final FMCSA mandated adoption deadline anticipated at the earliest in the spring of 2017.

The proposed mandate has generated all sorts of discussion in the industry with camps on both sides of the opinion fence – those absolutely in favor and those absolutely not.

It’s clear that many details still need to be ironed out.

With all this talk about ELDs, speculation on what the final mandate will actually look like and how it might impact the transportation industry, have we spent any time considering the benefits ELDs may deliver well into the future?

Technology typically develops to meet an existing need or requirement and then evolves to encompass more and more. If you take the mobile phone as an example, early models offered basic phone services. Today’s mobile phone is a GPS, daily planner, game station, music player, movie viewer and a host of other services.

Given this standard model of technology maturation… what could the future ELD offer in the way of services?

We’ve given it a bit of thought. Click here to read more.

Are you ready for the ELD Mandate?  This infographic details the benefits of ELDs. If you’d like further reading, download our “Preparing for the FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) whitepaper here.

Fleet Management by Exception

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, October 9th, 2014

ExceptionsAs more and more, fleet management data becomes available, fleet managers can easily find themselves stuck behind their desks, sorting through reports to locate the source of issues and concerns.

Fleet reporting is critical, and right from the initial days following implementation of a fleet management solution, the reporting data can help fleet owners/managers better understand their fleets and day-to-day challenges. Over time, however, the data can become mundane and less serviceable. Managing by exception is far more beneficial to the fleet owner/manager and entire organization – enabling fleets to deal with deviations from the norm quickly and efficiently.

Management by exception (MBE) is a practice in which only significant deviations from the plan or norm are brought to the attention of the management team. This ensures that management focuses only on those areas that require action – allowing them to hone in on the specific issues for rapid resolution.

Management by exception enables thinking and planning at the strategic level.

Fleet managers who manage by exception are notified only when, for example, a driver is nearing a violation, excessive driving behaviors are detected, or in the case of winter operations, an irregular amount of material such as salt is used on a particular street.

To avoid over managing exceptions, your organization should define thresholds that highlight only those results that require further action.

  1. Set thresholds that make sense – spend as much time as possible to ensure your thresholds are meaningful and sensible.
  2. Know when to stay away – when all processes are working leave them alone.
  3. Focus on eliminating the exceptions or factors that lead to exceptions so they don’t repeat. An exception that keeps coming back is counter-productive and perhaps requires a different approach.

Benefits of Management by Exception

  1. Saves management time and energy and allows for concentration on more important problems and issues
  2. Leads to a much better return on technology investment.
  3. Facilitates the engagement of specialised staff for highly routine jobs.
  4. Encourages workers to exercise their own judgement. As long as they are within established guidelines, they can continue working.
  5. Leads to identification of critical problem areas and rapid resolution.

Accountability-WordleThe principle of accountability dictates that government officials are responsible to their citizens for all decisions and actions and that those decisions and actions be accessible and open to public scrutiny. Without accountability and transparency, democracy is impossible. Accountability and transparency makes for good business too – together, these principles can save money, strengthen people’s trust in government and encourage greater public participation in decision-making.

Communicate your Service Level Agreements for Increased Accountability and Transparency

Service Level Agreements between service providers and customers clearly identify the services to be provided as well as their costs and priorities. Greater still – these documents highlight the mutual responsibilities of the parties involved – the government agency and its citizens, so the public is made an active participant in the services they are receiving.

Borrow Practices from Commercial Carriers for a Further Level of Detail

Government fleets can also borrow protocols the federal government has implemented to improve motor carrier safety for commercial fleets. Exemptions exist for state and local government fleets; however, pre and post-trip inspection reporting can promote safety and increase accountability amongst vehicle operators and maintenance personnel across the board.

Commercial carriers with vehicles that exceed a specific weight restriction are required by federal regulation to inspect their vehicles and document the results in a form prescribed by the federal government.  This form, the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR), covers a wide-range of safety areas including brakes, steering mechanisms, tires, emergency equipment etc…The form also provides space for the driver to acknowledge that they reviewed the previous drivers DVIR. For more efficient and accurate methods of tracking, electronic logging is also available.

Sharing Service Level Agreements and utilizing protocols that are already in-place in other industries are just two ways government agencies can proactively increase safety, transparency and accountability, whereby developing a greater bond with the citizens who are making use of the services offered.

Webtech Wireless will be exhibiting at this year’s TransForum User Conference and Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee, September 21-24, 2014. Visit us at booth #227!

As always, the TransForum Conference will provide an incredible array of opportunities to network with leaders from various organizations and positions within the industry. Attending the event is your ticket to gain insights from many of these leaders, including Webtech Wireless on existing and emerging challenges, and the technology solutions and best practices that ensure your organization will come out on top.

Some of the more critical challenges faced by the industry that can impede or halt a carrier’s ability to grow:

Regulation: One of the most immediate concerns to industry stakeholders is the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate; however, there are several other regulatory mandates on the horizon that can potentially impact the industry.

Freight Pricing: Flat in 2013, consistent industry growth is required for pricing to improve.

Driver Availability:  The ATA forecasts the driver shortage will total roughly 239,000 by 2022. Eric Starks, President of FTR (Transportation Intelligence) states in a Commercial Carrier Journal article, “We are facing easily the largest collection of regulatory changes in history. There are 20 regulations already started or are coming into play that either take a driver out of the system, or cause a productivity dip that requires adding another driver.”

Given that technology plays an incredibly important role in addressing these top challenges – technology can enable regulatory compliance, technology can help optimize your business performance and improve bottom line results and technology can generate operational efficiencies that can offset driver shortages, it’s the perfect time to attend TransForum.

Would you like more info? Book an appointment with a Webtech Wireless solution expert!

Hope to see you there!

Drawing more than 5,000 attendees, this year’s Congress delivered a wide-range of valuable educational sessions to public works professionals and also provided a forum for us to re-connect with partners and customers – to share, to learn and to grow.

Congress also offered the venue for us to launch our new fleet intelligence solution, Webtech Fleet Center. An incredibly comprehensive and robust fleet business intelligence platform, Webtech Fleet Center drives better business, better accountability and better transparency and best of all, it meets the ever-broadening needs of government and commercial clients alike – all in one easy-to-use solution!

Events like Congress are key for us. The breadth and width of information available, the depth of the exchanges, the fostering of ideas – all come from being in the heart of the industry. This Congress was no different. We’ll take what we gathered and continue to evolve our solutions to meet and exceed the needs of our customers. We’d love to continue the dialogue with you. What are the challenges you face in your day-to-day business? How can we help you address these challenges? Contact us at: info@webtechwireless.

For more information on Webtech Fleet Center, please follow this link.


Incredible success for Vancouver Street Dance Festival!

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, August 22nd, 2014

Street_DanceCongratulations to fellow Webtech Wireless employee Boris Khramtsov for the success of this year’s Vancouver Street Dance Festival!

Boris is one of two event organizers, Jessey Kwong is the other. Together they have created an event that is not only gaining National exposure, but steadily generating more interest on an International level!

The festival, a free outdoor event, took place this year on August 2 in Robson Square, downtown Vancouver and attracted more than 5,000 people.

Three years since its inception, the dance festival has grown from one that featured local judges to this year’s event featuring specialized judges from across North America, including some International representation from Paris. The competitors are now also from as far away as Japan. From an organizational standpoint, Boris and Jessey have grown the team to 12 people and have formed a non-profit organization to help plan and host all future events.

So, check it out and maybe even make plans to attend next year’s event? And if you need additional encouragement here are some pretty cool facts about Vancouver’s street dance community:

  • Vancouver is home to a small, but thriving street dance community that is better known around the rest of the world that in its home town.
  • Vancouver street dancers travel all over the world to compete and judge
  • Dancers from Asia participate in work exchange programs for the opportunity to dance in Vancouver


Do you want more from your GPS/AVL and Fleet Management Solution?

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, August 14th, 2014

Webtech_FleetCenter_horiz_COUL_TMDrive change and enhance your operations like never before! Introducing our new ground-breaking fleet intelligence solution – Webtech Fleet Center!

Webtech Fleet Center is a powerful set of GPS/AVL and fleet management tools that deliver enhanced business intelligence for fleets. Really enhanced! In fact, it might be just what you need to increase your levels of service, establish a competitive edge, increase transparency and accountability and drive better bottom line results.

Combining the best of InterFleet and Quadrant, Webtech Fleet Center delivers all the traditional fleet management functionality you’re used to but includes some very new, very exciting benefits that provide the fleet manager with the ability to drive even more business value, be even more accountable and provide a superior level of service. New functionality includes:

  • Route Completion Reports:  Compare actual performance against planned targets and gain real, valuable insight into fleet activity
  • Live Service Maps:  Define new levels of customer service with access to customer-centric information
  • GIS Solutions:  Cross-correlate fleet intelligence and custom GIS maps for enhanced reporting and monitoring
  • Advanced Reporting: Gain access to more meaningful, relevant data spanning up to 15 months to enable better, more efficient business decisions
  • Dashboards:  Access only that data required to highlight critical issues and get visibility to roadblocks at a glance

These tools will help organizations meet regulation and compliance initiatives, optimize fleet performance and productivity, reduce costs and ensure the safety of drivers better than ever before.

Want more information? Follow this link.

Let Webtech Fleet Center translate your fleet information into data that is meaningful, and relevant and help enable the organizational change you need to remain current in today’s fast-paced and ever competitive world!

Trucking – the future is bright!

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, July 31st, 2014

Truck on HighwayThe American Trucking Association has released a report on the outlook of the trucking industry and things are looking very good! Not just for the trucking industry, but for the freight economy overall.

It is expected that overall freight tonnage will grow 23.5 percent from 2013 to 2025 and freight revenues will increase 72% according to the ATA and IHS Global Insight.

Trucking is expected to maintain its position as the nation’s dominant mode of freight transportation.

But as we’ve been hearing all along change is afoot, carriers will need to adapt to succeed as freight transportation is expected to become more and more complex, and more and more competitive.

Commercial Carrier Journal makes the following predictions for the coming decade:

  • We will continue to experience driver shortages
  • Technician shortages will be even worse
  • Our current road systems will require significant investment
  • Successful fleet owners are going to be the ones who recognize and accept increased regulation and technology as part of a new business foundation
  • Operating costs are going to steadily increase
  • To be successful, trucking organizations will need to look at ways to increase their operating efficiencies or offset operating costs as smartly as possible and make technology work on their behalf as much as possible

Aside from the very positive outlook on the growth of the trucking industry, the challenges we’ll be faced with in the coming decade aren’t all that surprising, and the solutions to address many of these challenges are already available today. Fleet management solutions can provide a head start for success now and in the coming decade. And becoming an expert at off-setting costs and increasing efficiencies can provide significant bottom-line results almost immediately.

To read more on this topic, see the following articles:



Are you prepared for the migration to 3G?

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, July 18th, 2014

2G3GThe need for speed, network speed that is… and increased network quality and access is driving the need for telecommunication carriers to slowly begin shutting down their 2G cellular towers to free up 2G spectrum for enhanced 3 and 4G services.

The need to migrate is therefore imminent, but there are some significant benefits to migrating that might cause you to look upon the transition in anticipation.

Faster, high efficiency networks will enable carriers to use available bandwidth as efficiently as possible and higher speeds will allow for enhanced application/solution development which will benefit end-users. For example, future fleet vehicles will be able to benefit from real-time streaming and driver dash cameras – technology that is just not supported on 2G networks.

When you consider the amount of innovation that has occurred in the past few years, particularly relating to fleet management – we can only dare to imagine the amount of information we’ll be able to access from our fleets and how that information might translate into improved strategies, operations and earnings.

So….Are your vehicles or assets equipped with 2G Locators? Want to jump on the bandwagon? We don’t blame you!

Get in touch with us today to determine the best migration plan for you.

3GMigration@webtechwireless.com or 1.866.287.0135 ext 143

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, July 3rd, 2014

Waking-Up-to-the-Costs-of-Fatigued-DrivingIt’s no secret the FMCSA plans to mandate electronic logging devices (ELDs). The subject, however, is a sensitive one, with fleet executives looking for ways to meet the new legislation, keep costs down and minimize operational disruption and drivers warily perceiving the requirement as another means for management to watch their every move.

The concerns from both sides are valid. But as is often the case, may be over exaggerated. The results of implementing an ELD can actually bring some unexpected benefits.

In an online article posted by the Commercial Carrier Journal on June 24, 2014, a panel of fleet executives were asked about their experiences implementing ELDs, which were overwhelmingly positive – for their businesses, customers and drivers.

There is obviously going to be a cost associated with implementing an ELD solution. But the good news is if you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to understand the mandate, map out your specific needs, research the many solutions and associated installation processes or even potentially plan out the training of your own installation resources (training and equipment installation were bottlenecks all fleet executives on the panel experienced). It stands to reason, the longer you delay, the more you’ll ultimately disrupt your organization and the more you’ll spend on ensuring your compliance with the mandate.

From the driver perspective, electronic logging devices were initially viewed with trepidation. But they ultimately served to paint a more realistic view of a driver’s available time, which filtered all the way through to better business planning at the management level, better targets and better results. The real-time, accurate information from each driver allowed dispatchers to route more efficiently which resulted in reduced stress and reduced pressure to reach unrealistic targets, enhanced driver productivity and increased driver paychecks.

So start planning now and take the time to research the options available to you, how you’ll implement your solution and how you’ll work with your staff to get their buy-in and set the stage to get the most from a solution that could be perceived as a burden, but also stands to generate some very tangible benefits for fleet owners, fleet executives and the drivers themselves.

To learn more about the upcoming ELD Mandate, read our “Preparing for the FMCSAs Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate.

Read the full Commercial Carrier Article here.