Posted by: Jason Hall, December 12th, 2013
For those already familiar with Android tablets and other types of Smart devices, using our new Webtech Driver Center on the MDT3500 In-Cab device will be easy and intuitive. But for those who have never used a Smart device, how difficult will it be for them to adapt to new technology? I met with Webtech Wireless trainer Thu (pronounced Two) Huyhn to find out.
“First of all, Webtech Driver Center is based on Android so if you’ve used Android, Apple, or any Smart device, it’s really easy”, he says. With the exception of “pinch zooming” (which isn’t needed for Webtech Driver Center), it supports all Android hand gestures. Smart device novices or those coming from an entirely paper-based background may initially find this technology challenging, which is why Thu adds, “If you’ve never used a Smart device before, there would be a little learning curve”. But that’s partly why Thu is looking at new ways to acquaint our customers with Webtech Driver Center, the MDT3500, and Android.
Increasingly, Thu is turning to video format to provide existing customers with a visual user guide. “I’ve planned these videos, each about five minutes long, to be modular. As each video can stand alone (if needed) they provide just enough information to get up and running using the MDT3500 and Webtech Driver Center. It’s ABC’s of the MDT”, says Thu.
Webtech Driver Center/MDT 3500 training videos:
- Login and entering main driver information
- Entering summary information (loads, trailers, vehicle)
- Pre-trip, post-trip workflow (remark -> eDVIR)
- Drive, on duty, off duty (HOS)
- Reading the graph and duty list
- Editing the duty list, explaining what is editable and non-editable
- Using the Driver Center Logs (On Quadrant)
The main advantage of electronic reporting is that a dispatcher can see in real-time when and that the eDVIR report is complete. As eDVIR is least familiar to me and newest to many customers, I ask Thu to walk me through what’s in the video.
He laughs and says, “It may sound trivial thing, but this is really important because it allows drivers to enter their [physical] walk arounds electronically”. Thu first describes the paper-based scenario in which a driver makes a physical inspection of the vehicle before leaving on duty. “You go out to the truck and check things like tires, fluids, wipers and so on. This is your pre-trip paper work, which must be done and submitted to your manager (Dispatcher). The electronic system is pretty much the same up to this point, except that instead of paper you’d log into the MDT and detach it from the cradle to make you inspection”. At this point, the benefits of eDVIR over paper-based reporting multiply.
“With the paper-based reporting, the driver vehicle inspection form is given to the manager who must either file it or get somebody to re-enter the information into an electronic system (on a computer) again”, Thu says. Either way, the manager needs to review the form and check for any trends that would alert Maintenance. “For example, if a truck needs oil added several days in a row, it’s likely leaking oil and should be scheduled for maintenance”, he says. “Because eDVIR in Webtech Driver Center is the input point that sends data to Quadrant, the manager can run a Quadrant report called the eDVIR report to help identify trends and issues with trucks”.
Thu’s training videos are meant for drivers, because they focus on using the MDT, which is driver facing. While the system is known for its simplicity, users often want training to ensure they’re getting full value from the system they’ve purchased. He mentions that the videos will be available to account managers in a couple of days. I’ve you’re interested in training (by video or otherwise), contact your account manager.