Drilling company specializing in hydraulic cylinder holes for the elevator industry, operating in 30 states east of the Mississippi
When Tim Weaver took over as United Drilling's fleet safety director, he was faced with an immediate problem — poor Safe Stat ratings for the company's fleet of 29 drill rigs and 40 pickups, mostly Class 4. The company was consistently registering a Safe Stat rating above 75 for both its drivers and vehicles. The ratings resulted in time and money wasted as trucks were more likely to face full inspections when stopped by officers.
The Safe Stat rating, compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, tracks the overall safety of vehicles based on crash data, roadside inspections, on-site compliance reviews and enforcement history. A rating of 50 or below is considered excellent; 50-75, good; and 75 and above, poor.
What Weaver found when he arrived at United Drilling in 2003 was an immediate need to improve the ratings. There were no centralized maintenance logs. In addition, the company's vehicles were not always near one of its three facilities in Pennsylvania, Indiana or Wisconsin to conduct preventative maintenance. “We realized we needed to find a better way to track repairs to our vehicles,” he says.
United Drilling's solution was a maintenance software program called Dossier. Developed by Arsenault Associates, Dossier automates the control and administration of fleet maintenance management to reduce downtime, costs, lower spare parts inventories, and extend equipment life.
“We were able to see when things were done, and we were able to better track preventative maintenance,” Weaver says.
With the software installed, the company now tracks an entire vehicle history, including the compilation of serial numbers for all parts, a vehicle's maintenance history and license and permitting page. “It has been more than what we imagined,” Weaver says, pointing out the software purchase was initially intended to track repairs.
Now, he says, it provides a complete database including what type of parts to install and a way to track vehicle performance and detect maintenance problems for individual vehicles or the entire fleet. “I can see if there is a pattern there … I can sort by [a number of categories] to track patterns. Patterns can also indicate if problems are vehicle- or driver-related,” Weaver says.
Because of its tracking aspects — the software will send alerts to remind Weaver of upcoming maintenance on individual vehicles — United Drilling can now schedule routine repairs before a truck spends months at a time away from a maintenance facility.
Within a year of implementation, the company's Safe Stat rating dropped considerably and now hovers around 50, Weaver says. But just as importantly, United Drilling trucks breeze through the inspection process.