Next generation: New fleet management system adds voice, text messaging

PeopleNet Corp.'s next generation of its wireless communications and tracking system adds fleet management applications that can be accessed over an Internet connection with any standard browser, as well as free wireless Internet e-mail for drivers and the ability to upgrade onboard hardware over the air.The new system, called INTOUCH G2X, offers voice and text messaging carried over the analog cellular

PeopleNet Corp.'s next generation of its wireless communications and tracking system adds fleet management applications that can be accessed over an Internet connection with any standard browser, as well as free wireless Internet e-mail for drivers and the ability to upgrade onboard hardware over the air.

The new system, called INTOUCH G2X, offers voice and text messaging carried over the analog cellular telephone network, as well as GPS tracking and driver e-mail. Fleet managers access the messaging and tracking network through a secure web site. The site also provides a number of fleet management tools, such as fuel-tax reporting, that draw on vehicle location data and driver inputs.

The onboard hardware features a reprogrammable chip that can be maintained and updated with new software versions over the air. The INTOUCH G2X's free in-cab e-mail service provides drivers with unique Internet e-mail addresses and allows fleets to set parameters for access to that e-mail.

The new system is lower in price than the original INTOUCH, according to the company, which says it will offer current users special upgrade packages as well as continue to support the older system. The list price for the basic in-cab hardware without keyboard or display is $599, and the monthly service charge is $59 for 129 messages. By comparison, the monthly service charge for the original INTOUCH system is $59 for 55 messages. Go to www.peoplenetonline.com.

Hookup.com, an e-commerce partnership between used-truck sellers Taylor & Martin and Hookup, held its first three online auctions last month.

The auctions feature primarily Class 8 trucks, as well as some Class 6 and 7 rigs, trailers and miscellaneous heavy equipment.

Hookup.com said that 62 trucks and trailers received 254 bids during the first auction; four trucks were sold. During the second round, 48 trucks received a total of 125 bids. Eighty percent of the bids went for at least half of the reserve price, according to Hookup.com.

"We sold trucks online when some people said it couldn't be done," said T. Michael Riggs, CEO. "The auction is a success, and we expect even more people to take advantage of the opportunity as we move forward."

Hookup says it received positive feedback from a number of customers. "I've thought for quite a while that something like this should be on the Internet," said Howard Fiebig of Countryside Storage and Transfer in Sebewaing, Mich. Fiebig added that the site's selection of trucks and ease of use will bring him back.

Auctions will be held Tuesdays through Thursdays, but trucks can be previewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.hookup.com.

In-Transit Software has launched www.getadriver.com to help carriers find qualified drivers. The site, which went online last month, says it has been designed to give motor carriers instant access to job applicants through its database.

The web-based fleet-safety service FleetAdvantage, from Advanced Driver Training Services, provides managers with 24-hour access to safety data and up-to-date information on areas of high safety risk. Go to www.adtsweb.com.

American Millennium Corp. has been named as a value-added reseller for Vistar Datacom's GlobalWave system for remote monitoring and control of fixed and mobile assets. American Millennium will market the mobile asset management tool to customers in the energy, industrial, commercial, container, transportation and consumer vehicle industries throughout the 48 contiguous states and Canada. Go to www.vistardata.com.

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