Refrigerated carrier K & J Trucking is implementing the R:COM fleet management solution from Blue Tree Systems. The truckload carrier is using the system’s trailer tracking and temperature management features to lower refrigeration unit fuel costs and provide food safety data for customers.
“We chose Blue Tree’s R:COM solution initially for location tracking and temperature management in transit,” said Michelle “Shelley” Koch, president of K & J Trucking. “One of our goals was to get ahead of the curve when it comes to food safety regulations our customers are facing, but we’re already seeing refrigeration unit fuel use drop as well. Our fuel costs are down enough that we expect the systems to easily pay for themselves within a year.”
According to Blue Tree, the largest source of fuel cost savings for K & J Trucking is the ability to monitor and shut down refrigeration units when trailer doors are open.
“A pre-cooled trailer that is unloaded quickly actually holds its temperature more efficiently, especially on multi-stop loads, because a running refrigeration unit pulls in warm air,” Koch explained. “R:COM data confirms that this practice protects loads so even skeptical customers have been impressed with the Blue Tree technology.”
The R:COM solution provides up to the minute temperature data through direct connections to trailers’ Thermo King refrigeration units. The live information and alarm notifications are also enabled to alert the fleet’s managers via text message if a problem arises after hours. Historical temperature data is also available to customers and food safety agencies.
K & J Trucking has been outfitting its trailers with the Blue Tree R:COM solution since June of 2012. Currently, 70 of its 165 refrigerated trailers have been equipped with the system by the fleet’s technicians. Based on the carrier’s three-year trade cycle for trailers, the entire fleet will be fitted with R:COM systems within two years.
“The Blue Tree Systems R:COM technology is giving K & J Trucking better visibility and quality control, and producing fuel savings at a lower operating cost than other tracking and temperature management solutions,” said L. T. “Chip” Powell, director of US operations at Blue Tree Systems. “Those lower costs lead to a fast ROI while the system is also helping meet customer needs.”