MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Bridgestone/Firestone Tire has become the 1,000th North American truck fleet to equip its vehicles with PeopleNet’s onboard computing and mobile communications technology.
The private carrier is equipping its 300 tractors and 600 trailers with PeopleNet’s g2x system.
"We saw our former supplier struggling to keep its system updated so we knew we needed to make a change,” says Ron Tartt, general manager, private fleet for Bridgestone/Firestone North America. “We began to look at alternatives because we need a tracking and communications capability. While our fleet runs mostly fixed routes and we plan backhauls in advance, this capability is essential for providing enhanced customer service. We want to be able to tell the customer when a load will arrive or if we have a delay.”
Tartt says the system will help the company pinpoint delivery times so customers can be ready to unload when the vehicle arrives.
“We put the project to find a new tracking and communications system supplier on the fast track,” Tartt says. “We looked at systems from several suppliers at trade shows and then tested some systems and units. Among the criteria we considered were cost and value, and ease of use. In that respect we wanted a web-based system. Not only would that feature allow us to monitor the fleet from wherever we are, it also reduced hardware complexity and eliminated the expense of servers and other in-house hardware."
Especially appealing for the company was the fact the g2x is a Web-based system so there is no additional in-house hardware costs, Tartt adds. He also says Over-the-Air Programming (OTAP) capabilities were also a selling point, as that capability prevents the fleet from having to bring each unit into the shop and connecting it to a laptop to download data.
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