Shaw Tracking Highlights New Technologies At Customer Demo
January 1, 2009
HALIFAX, N. S. - Shaw Tracking recently hosted a series of executive conferences, to demonstrate the capabilities of its latest products and technologies. Among the topics covered was 'Getting the mos...
HALIFAX, N. S. –Shaw Tracking recently hosted a series of executive conferences, to demonstrate the capabilities of its latest products and technologies. Among the topics covered was ‘Getting the most out of your ECM data,’ which was presented by Oscar Tellechea, account manager for Eastern Canada.
He spoke about Shaw Tracker, which is touted as an economical way to track truck activity.
Shaw Tracker is a small black box-type device that’s installed in the driver area of the cab. It creates a “snail trail,” displaying the truck’s location every second which allows customers to: better manage driver hours/payroll; monitor idle-time and speeding; improve equipment utilization; and audit driver logs. The information is downloaded when the truck is driven through a base station, which can be set up at a fleet’s terminal. Base stations also exist at other strategic locations such as border crossings, said Tellechea.
“Customers are now measuring where drivers are spending their time, and a lot of time it’s not at a delivery,” Tellechea pointed out.
The information, including hard braking notifications, can be viewed via a Web interface, hosted by Shaw Tracking. Tellechea said one of Shaw Tracker’s greatest paybacks comes from improving driver productivity. He told the story of one fleet that found many of its drivers were spending too much time at the local Tim Horton’s rather than the Port of Montreal, where they were supposed to be making deliveries.
“All that time has been recuperated and the system has paid for itself,” he said.
Maximizing trailer utilization
Tellechea also spoke about T2, a cellular- based untethered trailer tracking system. The system is not designed for theft prevention (although it can help locate stolen trailers), but rather to help fleet managers optimize the productivity of their trailers.
Tellechea compared it to a “North America-wide yard check,”allowing customers to immediately locate their assets and identify when those trailers are sitting idle at customer facilities. It can also be used to find out when a customer has been making unauthorized deliveries with your trailers, Tellechea added.
“You’d be surprised how much time dispatchers and staff spend looking for trailers,” he said.
T2 also allows customers to establish geofences and receive notifications when a trailer strays beyond a pre-approved boundary. The reporting intervals can be customized for your specific operation and the reports can be viewed online. Graphs can be generated that show the number of trailers that have sat idle for pre-determined time periods, with poorly-utilized trailers appearing in red for easy identification.
There are also sensors that detect whether or not a trailer contains freight. The payback is generated by reducing the time staff spend looking for trailers and being better able to pass on detention charges to shippers, Tellechea noted.
Another capability discussed at the demo was Shaw Tracking’s e-logs. They provide real-time information about a driver’s hours-of-service status, while eliminating the onerous process of filling out logbooks for the driver. From the fleet perspective, e-logs allow the company to continuously audit its own logs electronically, Tellechea explained.
Drivers (and fleet managers as well) can be notified when they are at risk of running out of hours. When visiting the scales, drivers can show enforcement officers their log records on an in-cab screen, or fax them to the scale house. A print-out would also be accepted, if a driver had a printer on-board. So far, Tellechea said enforcement agencies have been supportive of the movement towards e-logs.
When asked if problems arise when a driver runs out of hours a short distance from home and is unable to circumvent the system, Tellechea insisted it’s a non-issue since e-logs allow for better route planning. Drivers receive ample warning if they cannot make a deliver in the time allotted, so they can make alternate arrangements.
The biggest advantage for fleets is that they ensure they are fully-compliant and they eliminate the onerous task of manually auditing logbooks, Tellecha said.
“You have the information live as it happens and you’re auditing yourself constantly, and that is a huge time savings,” he said. Drivers also save time, as they don’t have to fuss over paper logbooks. They can enter any required inputs via a user-friendly, in-cab display unit, Tellechea explained. •