I remember seeing this headline and thinking of some of our smaller mom and pop GPS fleet clients who could possibly get hit so hard it might put them out of business…”U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Final Rule That Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers of Buses and Large Trucks”. Not that I don’t see the common-sense logic in the new law….but with the state of the economy affecting even the smallest business-related decisions within every trucking fleet, the slightest transgression could yield a potential $2,750 fine for the driver and a $11,000 fine to the company….PER OFFENSE! (Additionally, states will suspend a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations.) The government means business on this one!!
What to do?! Being able to communicate with their drivers and other mobile workforce is critical to any fleet manager and owner….especially the majority who are keeping an extra eye on the bottom-line, always looking for ways to streamline costs and attempting to run a lean fleet trucking operation.
EasyTracGPS’ ComTrac-NVG tackles this important issue….enabling effective communications between dispatch and driver while, at the same time, protecting innocent drivers who share the road with larger commercial vehicles.
The key is allowing a fleet trucking driver to communicate with the homebase effectively without being distracted in doing so. The NVG is a device that integrates LIVE GPS tracking, turn-by-turn voice navigation (integrated with the Garmin Nuvi and Dezi lines of navigation devices as seen above), AND hands-free 2-way communications between dispatch and driver.
Essentially, how it works it this. Instead of the distraction of a lengthly text message or reply, with the driver glancing back and forth at the road and their cell phone, the NVG requires a split-second touch of a finger to ask something or respond (not perfect of course but much better than the alternative). Questions can, obviously, also be sent from dispatch to any vehicle in the trucking fleet equipped with our device. The NVG would then chime when it received the question, thereby alerting the driver that dispatch was attempting to communicate with him/her. When a new client receives their order of NVGs, and we are going thru the training and orientation process with them, we program the NVGs with “pre-canned” responses based on the clients’ wants and needs. Since the NVG is dash-mounted, all the driver has to do to respond to the question is press one “pre-canned” touchscreen button….WITHOUT having to take their eyes off of the road.
Now, that’s the most important factor….addressing the major issue at hand of helping to avoid needless accidents involving drivers in commercial vehicle trucking fleets. That’s not all you should expect from your investment though. Knowledge is power, and its important that whatever device you decide on offer plenty of it. The NVG tracks pretty much every cost aspect of operating a mobile asset or fleet vehicle….from idle time, to starts and stops, to overspeeding, to route management, and much much more. Also, if dispatch receives a last-minute call from a frantic customer needing an emergency pickup, thru the NVGs turn-by-turn voice navigation feature, an address can be sent to the onboard NVG and the driver instantly rerouted to the new pickup….recalculating directions on-the-fly and guiding the driver right to the doorstep. Whatever device a fleet owner/operator decides on investing in, it’s critically important that the technology offer these capabilities….or something very similar.
What’s also important to note is that these kinds of devices, called MDTs or Mobile Data Terminals in industry jargon, are widely known to be cost-prohibitive to most fleet operations. Your average MDT, typically designed for ruggedized environments such as waste management vehicles, heavy construction equipment, etc. average into the $1000s per device. If that kind of investment is going to be made, make sure to do your due diligence and ensure you’re getting a quality piece and substantial bang for your buck.
If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me directly on my mobile (since I find myself on the road a lot these days) or email as well. Here’s to keeping the roads safer for everyone!
The eye in the Sky is EasyTracGPS. “Delivering vital insight through GPS tracking.”