A few months back I wrote an article that suggested that the opportunity to share in financial gains, that did not exist prior to a point in time, with drivers was something that makes perfect sense. I’m talking about paperwork compliance, HOS, speed limit policies, on time performance, fuel consumption, etc. The carrier makes more profit, profit that was hidden from them in the past, they get this profit by the actions of the folks in charge of the equipment, the drivers, so how do they reward these folks, they do it by sharing the newfound gain. It is a win-win-win, the carrier makes more money the driver makes more money, and now that same driver has skin in the game which hopefully engages the driver who is then less likely to go looking for a new employer.
So why aren’t more carriers doing this type of thing, I’m not sure might be they feel it is too complicated to get started. Might be that they are resistant to change, I see this one all the time. They may be too caught up in the whirlwind of the day to day activity of being a busy motor carrier, could be any number of things.
For those of you who read my ramblings you would know that I do very few product reviews, just not my thing. But after I wrote the win-win article I was contacted by a company who asked if I would take the time to look at their product and give them my honest opinion on it. I like the new technologies that are coming out, wish I was better at understanding of the intricacies of it than I am but I was always interested in expanding my horizons, so I agreed.
I’ve got to tell you I really believe that these folks have an outstanding product, I looked at it, I vetted it through a couple of industry experts for their opinion and they whole heartedly agreed. This product is the perfect thing to get your gain share effort started with drivers and it is supper easy to understand and to install. The name of the company is Vnomics, I chatted with the President and learned of their beginnings, which as it happens, evolved out of the defence industry and has now morphed its way into a commercial application focusing on class 8 vehicles.
What these folks have is a technology that is a small box that is wired into the ECM, which is almost invisible. The magic happens in two phases, first, when the technology learns the attributes of the engine, the drive train, the weight of the unit, among other things, and determines what the optimum driving habits are for that truck to perform in that environment at 100% fuel efficiency. So here is where the driver comes in, while the unit is learning the attributes of the vehicle, which takes anywhere from a few days to a week, it is also learning the driving technique of the person behind the wheel, how they shift, average speed etc. Once the unit has enough data, it enters its second phase, this is when it turns into a coach, what I mean by that is if a driver over revs the engine a small audible sound will take place telling the driver that fuel is being wasted, when the vehicle exceeds company speed policy the same thing happens, engine idling is excessive, an audible sound tells the driver you get the idea.
In addition to all these audible noises the unit will tell the driver when the truck shuts down, exactly what percentage of efficiency the unit performed at.
So, to play it out, if your new Vnomics technology shows you that the fuel efficiency percentage of your fleet, let’s say it’s at 90% and you know your cost of fuel, for easy calculation, is say $3.00 US a gallon and your fleet average MPG is at 7.5 that is .40 cents US per mile @ 1.30 exchange = .52 cents per mile Canadian. Vnomics could help your fleet get from 90% to say 98% that would be an 8% increase at .52 per mile that is a 4.16 cent per mile savings. Assuming 10,000 miles per month or 120,000 miles per year per vehicle, that equals to $5000.00 in savings on a single truck.
Let me ask, would you be willing to give your drivers a $2500.00 raise if you were going to receive the same amount, and in actual fact the savings are exaggerated because the truck is being driven more efficiently. In addition, fleets could expect less downtime, less maintenance expense, less wear and tear on the power units because it is being ran in the sweet spot for that power train more often etc.
Again, I don’t usually endorse product but can’t help myself with this one. One of the reasons for this, concerns how I struggled to bring this type of scenario into the fleet I was running some time back. How do you do it if you’re running a fleet that has a combination of flat beds and vans with weights that very from 125,000lb multi axel and then go to van applications where your biggest customer averages 25,000lb payloads let alone discuss geographic differences. All we could do was show the driver where they stood compared to their peers, with this product it’s easy to share gain with the entire fleet as a percentage of maximum potential efficiency, it’s perfect. Check them out at https://www.vnomicscorp.com
If you have a product or service that effects driver retention or is in anyway in the same vein as Vnomics, drop me an email and show it to me, maybe in the future I’ll give you some ink as they say.
Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations. All posts by Ray Haight