NASHVILLE—McLeod Software's Loadmaster now works in tandem with fleet management solutions provider Isaac Instruments and trailer tracking provider TGI-Connect. These are the first two companies to take advantage of McLeod's new open application programming interface (API) integration point for mobile communications, ELD systems, and tracking solutions.
This is part of a growing trend of trucking technology companies integrating solutions to provide fleets with more data within the same portals. CEO Tom McLeod announced the partnerships on the opening day of his company's 2022 user conference, held here at the Music City Center.
"It's a compliment—or a validation of our approach," he said during a roundtable briefing with industry media. "When we have multiple vendors who are interested and willing to write to our API. Previously most integration work has been done by the supplier coming in and asking us to develop a program that interfaces with them."
Because all potential partner solutions are different, McLeod said it took his team "a fair amount of manual labor. Of course, our goal is to be easy to interface with and to have the best interfaces. That can create a real bottleneck for us—especially at this point when we've seen such an increase in the types of integrations and the number of players that are having some success in the marketplace. We get requests from customers."
Titan Transfer (No. 201 on the FleetOwner 500: Top For-Hire Fleets of 2022 list), a full-service truckload carrier headquartered in Shelbyville, Tennessee, is the first fleet client to begin using the new Isaac-McLeod integration.
"Titan Transfer is excited to be working on the integration project between Isaac and McLeod. We feel that their partnership will improve the mobile communication experience for our drivers in the cab and help streamline our dispatch process," said Steven Thompson, Titan's VP of operations.
Integration growth since PowerBroker opened API
The first two deployments of McLeod's open mobile communications API with the new LoadMaster Symphony Mobile Communications Service comes two years after McLeod published an open API for digital freight matching within its PowerBroker system.
That initial open API allowed digit freight matching products and services to develop their integration solution within McLeod PowerBroker. McLeod said at least six companies had certified their integrations with PowerBroker.
The Loadmaster integrations will allow Isaac and McLeod fleets to directly view hours-of-service and other critical data from the Isaac solution in McLeod LoadMaster's Symphony Mobile Communications module. The integration also allows document images, such as a bill of lading, to flow automatically from the Isaac solution to McLeod's DocumentPower system.
"So it's good for our interface partner and, subject to our backlog, it's certainly good for us," McLeod said. "We don't have to reinvent the wheel every time somebody comes up with a new format."
Isaac integration ties dispatch to HOS
For a solution such as Isaac's, the integration seamlessly combines workflows on one platform, where dispatchers can better match loads to nearby drivers with available hours. Dispatchers can use McLeod's LoadMaster to manage workflows from beginning to end, while drivers are better equipped with complete load visibility, real-time updates, and mobile communications tools. These integrated features, including real-time GPS data, allow fleets to optimize their workflows, further increasing driver productivity and ensuring customer needs are met.
"Isaac is thrilled to be an officially integrated partner with McLeod Software, providing fleets with even more ways to increase driver happiness and boost efficiency," said Jacques DeLarochelliere, Isaac's CEO and co-founder. "Our top priority is always to work on behalf of fleet clients like Titan as they choose the best technology options for their needs."
Issac and TGI-Connect are the first McLeod-certified integration partners with the new LoadMaster Symphony Mobile Communications Services. In the future, new LoadMaster integrations with ELD, mobile communications, and trailer telematics would employ this new standard.
McLeod said this would allow any qualified telematics provider who wants a supported integration solution with LoadMaster to do it independently and then arrange certification with the software company. Previously, vendors would have to request McLeod Software to build the interface.
"If we publish our API and say, 'Here's how you do mobile communications with us. Take off and run with it, and you can be up and running as quickly as you want to. You're not dependent on us,'" McLeod explained. "Then we can have multiple providers doing their development simultaneously. We can bring on new enterprise partners much more quickly."
With the TGI-McLeod integration, data from TGI's satellite-based asset trackers are mapped with asset data in the McLeod system, so position updates are sent in real time. This allows seamless integration between both systems.
For example, if the McLeod system has a new asset created, and that asset exists in the TGI system, then location data from the asset starts automatically passing through to McLeod. Similarly, if an existing asset in both systems is deactivated in McLeod, then the TGI system will automatically stop sending data for that asset.
"We are excited to mesh our brand-new cloud-based asset tracking solution with the latest Mobile Communications APIs offered by McLeod for their Loadmaster software solution," said Randy Boyles, VP partner at TGI-Connect. "We have long revered McLeod as a leader in transportation management software and consider it an honor to be named a Certified Integration Partner with McLeod."
In the future, users of the Loadmaster system and TGI-Connect asset tracking will be able to take advantage of TGI's newly introduced Internet of Things over satellite, according to the company.
"Our shared goal is to help mutual customers automate fleet operations, driving their ROI, and Isaac Instruments has been an innovative partner in developing this interface using our new API platform," said Ahmed Ebrahim, McLeod's vice president of partner alliances.