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:

http://www.ccjdigital.com/battle-for-the-future-freight-will-still-move-will-you-be-hauling-it/

http://www.ccjdigital.com/ata-forecast-tonnage-to-grow-freight-revenues-surge-through-2025/?pid=1059

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.

Webtech Wireless Celebrates Webtech Driver Center!

Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, June 19th, 2014

There was an air of excitement at Webtech Wireless on May 30th, 2014 that rose above and beyond the usual.

We celebrated the launch of the Webtech Driver Center – an Hours of Service solution that helps drivers be more efficient and meet FMCSA and DOT regulations, in a form-factor to best suit their operations.

Early on Friday morning, each Webtech Wireless employee received a postcard, highlighting key Webtech Driver Center benefits. Each postcard was also randomly marked with either a red or blue dot. Unbeknownst to everyone, red dots would award the postcard owner with a special prize to be presented later in the day.

The postcard, displaying a screenshot of the Webtech Driver Center Hours of Service interface

The postcard, displaying a screenshot of the Webtech Driver Center Hours of Service interface

At noon, Scott Edmonds our President and CEO, kicked off the event by unveiling a phenomenal cake shaped as the MDT 3200, displaying a screenshot of Webtech Driver Center. He also touched on how the Webtech Driver Center is a testament to the innovation and creativity that lives at Webtech Wireless through our employees.

Webtech Driver Center in a cake format :-)

Webtech Driver Center in a cake format :-)

At the end of Scott’s presentation, Mike Cornford, Director of Marketing, announced that a select group of postcards (those displaying red dots) were the special prize-winners. Seven lucky employees received Best Buy gift cards and two extra-lucky employees received Samsung Galaxy tablets.

Ever-witty, Scott Edmonds suggested the two tablet winners hurry off immediately to download and install Webtech Driver Center, from the Google Play store  for use on their tablets and then suggested those who received the gift cards could redeem the cards toward the purchase of their own tablet so they too could enjoy the benefits of Webtech Driver Center.

The Webtech Driver Center, designed by drivers to ensure compliance and optimize daily, time-consuming requirements such as driver vehicle inspection reports, in-cab navigation, two-way messaging and electronic forms management can save up to 15 minutes a day, per driver! Maybe we should all download the app!?

The celebrations continued with lunch and a friendly indoor putting competition, which incidentally was won by a golf novice – Scott Venn. Nice!

It was a great launch for a great solution; a solution we hope will continue to give cause for celebration again and again as drivers and their respective organizations (and maybe one or two Webtech employees ) continue to realize the incredible value an hours of service solution, like Webtech Driver Center, can offer a company.

dashboard-truck

We recently announced enhancements to the reporting capabilities of our Quadrant solution with new Advanced Reports and Dashboards. Not only will current Webtech Wireless customers experience a more interactive and dynamic user interface, but they will also have increased capability to analyze data obtained through their Quadrant solution. The Dashboard feature will also enable fleet managers to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measure the impact they have on their operations.

A recent article from Site Prep Tech described how telematics technology is constantly changing, with upgrades being released on a routine basis. Instead of simple track and trace, more companies are choosing telematics solutions that allow them to take data collected and examine it more closely to see how efficient their fleets are operating. Advanced reports not only give fleet managers more information into the productivity of their fleet and drivers, but it also enables them to identify any issues that may require attention.

As telematics technology continues to evolve, it becomes a more integral part of many organizations’ business operations, helping to reduce costs, protect drivers and assets, and improve overall efficiency.

 

eld

According to an article from Transport Topics, more fleet managers are turning to technology and social media to recruit and retain drivers.

At the recent ALK Transportation Technology Summit, one topic of discussion was how fleet managers have used technology and social media to help combat driver shortages. According to J.B. Hunt Senior Vice President Richie Henderson, the company has used social media to improve communication with drivers. As well, he and others at the conference spoke on the ways that technology, like ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices), can actually help make drivers’ jobs easier. By using the features of the technology, such as on-board computers, turn-by-turn navigation, and in-cab cameras, fleet managers can help improve driver behavior and efficiency.

Through it all, the emphasis was the same from many of the speakers at the conference: if you want to keep your drivers, treat them well. And this goes beyond pay increases. As more organizations implement GPS solutions, they are realizing the benefits of the technology and how it can be utilized to improve the experience for both drivers and customers. On the flip side, drivers are also seeing the benefits. Using an ELD can help plan routes for drivers, maximizing their driving time, and improving their wage.

To learn more about how your organization can take advantage of the benefits of a GPS fleet tracking solution, contact Webtech Wireless at +1 (866) 287-0135 or email us at info@webtechwireless.com.

 

 

In the middle of spring, Ohio drew thousands of public works professionals from all across North America to learn more about snow. From May 4-7th, 2014, Cincinnati hosted the American Public Works Association (APWA) Snow Conference. With the sun shining outside and temperatures sitting very pleasantly in the mid 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius), we spent our days learning how municipalities can improve their winter operations.

At the Snow Conference, Chris Jackson, VP Government Operations Webtech Wireless, Kevin Hensley Stormwater Supervisor from the City of West Des Moines, and Dominic Guthrie, Transportation Services from the City of Toronto came together to present on  Mobile and Web-Based Application Services for the Public and Fleet Managers.

Each presenter spoke on how public works professionals can use mobile and web based applications to keep citizens informed with up-to-date information on snow plow route completion, traffic updates, parking restrictions and much more.

Improving customer service was top of mind for all three speakers. Constituents want to be informed and communicating to them not only keeps them happy, but can also reduce risk and keep constituents and city workers safe. Dominic Guthrie shared that the Winter Operations team in the City of Toronto used Twitter to communicate up-to-date information to their constituents this past winter.

Booth Pic

On the trade show floor, public works professionals were crowding around booth #620 to learn how they can better communicate municipal information to their constituents in real-time. At the booth, the Webtech Wireless team  showcased the Webtech 511 solution, North America’s first real-time roads application for smartphones. The application synthesizes the multiple streams of real-time AVL/GPS data and presents information such as snow plow route completion and traffic congestion simply and easily in a smartphone app.

 

The Webtech 511 solution gives municipalities the power to ensure constituents are receiving information that is current and accurate. In an age where news and data are being shared instantaneously, municipalities want the ability to head off viral misinformation before it becomes an unstoppable force. With the Webtech 511 solution, municipalities can disseminate accurate information right when it happens.

Learn more about the Webtech 511 solution.

Large Yellow Snow Plow 2

When snow starts to fall, there’s one thing that’s sure to cross everyone’s mind – “where’s my snow plow?”.

During a storm, it’s easy for citizens to get frustrated, wondering when a snow plow will come by and remove the snow from their streets. Lucky for them, many cities are adopting new technology to communicate this information more effectively to the public, helping improve citizen services.

Cities and municipalities across North America are recognizing the importance of maintaining transparency and accountability with constituents, especially during snow storms. Many are turning to new technology that allows the public to track where snow plows are and which streets have been plowed.

iphone.map01The most common method is through a website where citizens can view a map showing the location of snow plows in their city. Often, the information on these websites utilize the city’s GPS/AVL fleet tracking system, allowing them to use real-time data they already have, but in a form that is accessible to the public. Some examples of cities that have public-facing websites include:

 

Other cities are going a step further and providing the same information on mobile devices through the use of apps. One example is “Buffalo Roads” –  the telematics industry’s first fully integrated mobile application for road status, implemented by the City of Buffalo in collaboration with Webtech Wireless’ Webtech 511 solution. The application, which is available on Apple, Android, and Windows platforms, provides citizens with instant information on road conditions, including when a street was last plowed, and other valuable traffic and news information.

 

APWA Snow Conference

Webtech Wireless will be exhibiting at the APWA Snow Conference next weekend from May 4 – 7 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Be sure to stop by booth #620 to learn more about our solutions, or attend one of our sessions (information below) at the conference.

 

Education Session
Hear directly from public works professionals about the benefits of utilizing mobile and web-based application services to keep constituents informed, using real-time data they already posses.
Date: Sunday, May 4, 2014
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Junior Ballroom C

 

Exhibitor Solutions Theatre
Learn more about Webtech 511 – North America’s first real-time roads app.
Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Time: 10:40 – 11:25 am
Location: Trade Show Floor – Booth 1301

This weekend, our team will be in Cincinnati, Ohio for the annual NPTC Conference and Exhibition. Drop by booth #840 to meet our team, grab some swag, and demo our new devices running Webtech Driver Center!

We recently announced the availability of Webtech Driver Center on select tablets – the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 7.0 and Samsung GALAXY Note 8.0. Make sure to check out the tablet at our booth to learn more about what makes Webtech Driver Center a premier HOS solution.

TS-devices

Two weeks ago the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made the first step towards mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) by announcing the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), which outlines important aspects of the proposed rule. Although the proposal still has to go through a public comment period, followed by agency consideration, the effective date of the rule could be sometime in 2016 – two years after the rule is issued (which some believe could happen later this year). What will the mandated rule mean for organizations and their drivers? See below to find out.

 Mandated-ELDs-v2 

 MDT3500

Current Webtech Wireless customers don’t need to worry about making changes to their solution to remain compliant to the proposed rule. Our current HOS solution includes the use of an in-cab device that works directly with a locator that is installed in the vehicle. The locator gathers location, telematics, and vehicle-diagnostic information and receives data from global positioning satellites (GPS) which together with vehicle information, is transmitted through (GPRS) cellular networks to web-based servers.

 

Introducing Webtech Driver Center

The newest addition to our HOS solution includes the Webtech Driver Center software. Webtech Driver Center is a feature-rich solution built on the versatility and functionality of the Android platform and equipped to solve business challenges including HOS compliancy and eDVIR (Electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports). Customers can choose to run Webtech Driver Center either on one of our rugged in-cab devices (MDT 3500 or 3200), or on select Android tablets, depending on their operational need.

 

NPTC Conference and Exhibition

If you are going to be at next month’s NPTC Conference and Exhibition, make sure to stop by booth #840 to meet our team and demo our newest devices running Webtech Driver Center.