Photo: Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner
Trimble Senior Vice President Bryn Fosburgh

Amid slew of product updates, envision one Trimble

Sept. 11, 2018
Trimble is bringing together the range of its companies under the Trimble brand looking to streamline every facet of transportation business managment.

HOUSTON. "Together, we're better," said Bryn Fosburgh, senior vice president of Trimble at the open of the company's in.sight user conference Monday morning. Trimble is bringing together the range of its companies under that "one Trimble" brand looking to extend into and streamline every facet of transportation business management and more, becoming more wholly the sum of its parts.

That includes truck telematics and fleet management systems provider PeopleNet, transportation office software developer TMW Systems, supply chain data aggregation firm 10-4 Systems, and commercial routing and mapping company ALK. Trimble offers its "open, scalable platform" that is focused on the transportation, agriculture, and construction markets as well as secondary areas such as forestry, utilities, and railroads.

The goal of this improved collaboration is to spur innovation, according to Trimble, and deliver a comprehensive fleet mobility, management, and logistics platform that will connect trucks, drivers, freight, and assets "to make more informed decisions and reach new levels of productivity, efficiency, and safety." Think of Trimble as the single conduit or portal.

With the individual Trimble businesses well-known for their products, those names won't necessarily go away. But the Trimble identity is clearly emerging here, with a crowd of blue-shirted Trimble engineers, consultants, and other employees—not PeopleNet or TMW and so on—pouring through the conference's exhibit and education halls.

Based in Sunnyvale, CA with 11,000 employees in some 36 countries and R&D activities in 15 of those, Trimble is emphasizing that it's not a typical Silicon Valley technology company. President and CEO Steve Berglund discussed the corporation's use of ag tractors in its parking lot where it's developing farm technology, for instance.

"We engage with real workers doing real work," Berglund said. "Our hands are dirty and our shoes are often muddy."

Although Trimble has been the parent of these transportation companies for years, the message here is that Trimble will no longer be "a background presence."

On the conference's opening day, Trimble announced a flurry of product announcements and updates, including:

—The debut of Trimble SmartDelivery, which offers electronic proof of delivery, routing, and fleet mobility technology. It's designed to reduce delivery costs, increase delivery accuracy, and provide real-time activity data and is available on Trimble-certified Android mobile devices.

SmartDelivery gives drivers a single sign-on for electronic proof of delivery as well as daily route planning and tracking, Hours of Service (HOS) and electronic logging device compliance, loading/ unloading and truck assignment, deviation reporting, and automatic notifications such as estimated time of arrival.

—Enhancements to its Video Intelligence platform including an Intelliview feature and a new camera and digital video recorder that capture high-definition video.

Intelliview uses camera recognition and machine learning to filter and prioritize videos and help weed through all the gigabytes of footage truck video systems can generate. The new HD camera has twice the shutter speed and captures video at three times the pixel quality of the system's previously available cameras, according to Trimble, markedly improving video.

Trimble's Video Intelligence system offers forward-, side-, and rear-facing cameras and triggers videos sent based on the fleet's settings such as for sudden acceleration or hard braking. The system has evolved its functionality but notably still does not use a driver-facing camera, although it can support one if customers so desire.

—Over-the-air software updates via WiFi for the Trimble CoPilot Truck in-cab navigation app for Android. Customers using the app can now distribute map updates across their entire driver base, eliminating the need to manually update the data one device or truck at a time, according to the company. 

The CoPilot Truck app provides route planning and offline navigation, and new features available include Driver Map Feedback, which allows drivers to mark a problem location to enable map improvements. A Road Warnings feature gives drivers early warnings of upcoming rollover risk hazards when navigating through high-risk areas.

A new transportation solutions module for less-than-truckload (LTL) operations in TMW.Suite. The module is housed within Trimble's original TMW.Suite system for truckload providers and is designed for users to manage their LTL operations in a single system.

The new module allows fleets with a variety of business lines to manage those processes in the same dashboard, Trimble says. It offers order entry, dispatch planning and design, cross-dock planning, billing and rating, carrier rating and settlements, customer web quoting, and track and trace capabilities. It's also got a streamlined user interface.

—New add-on modules to improve route-planning in Trimble's TruETA solution that aim to include driver intent as a new routing dynamic. A supplemental Driver Trip Planning module allows fleet dispatchers to view how drivers are planning their trip, including rest locations they choose and durations of each stop.

The tool takes drivers' hours of service into account and recommends stops based on remaining drive time available. Folding in the driver's stop location, how long the stop will be, and how hours of service will be affected, the Driver Trip Planning module calculates "one of the most accurate ETAs from dispatch to delivery," Trimble claims.

The improved planning also helps drivers avoid HOS failures and maximize their hours of service, Trimble says, which in turn improves driver retention.

A new add-on Out-of-Route/Out-of-Corridor module for TMW.Suite, TMWSuite, and TruckMate alerts carriers when a driver takes an alternate route that isn't part of the original plan. The carrier can see how much more time and/or distance a trip may take in that situation and can signal the driver that he or she has diverged from the planned route and to proceed back to the correct road.

Carriers can also track their high-value loads and get an alert when a shipment of hazardous material is on a road where it's not allowed. The alert acts as a geofence that can notify dispatchers whenever the driver is a certain distance away from the intended route, according to Trimble, helping the carrier avoid costly fines.

—The launch of TMW Mobile Imaging and TMW.Suite Cloud Imaging products. TMW Mobile Imaging is designed to alleviate disruptions to freight settlement, and Trimble says it's "ideal for carriers who have a large number of images that are incorrectly matched to loads."

The system matches captured images to the correct load and improves accuracy. It boasts reduced delivery errors and disputes while improving driver satisfaction by reducing paperwork. It also pairs with TMW.Suite Cloud Imaging to help simplify the classification process once a document has been sent from TMW Mobile Imaging, streamlining document indexing.

TMW.Suite Cloud Imaging delivers document retrieval, indexing, and rendition invoice printing and allows drivers to upload images to the cloud from their phones. The system improves the accuracy of matching paperwork to loads by cutting out manual processes and quickly captures images and auto-indexes them, allowing for immediate processing and faster payment, according to Trimble. 

—Enhancements for Trimble's Innovative IES Solution that are aimed at improving driver, dispatcher, and billing efficiencies. Trimble's Risk Management, Extended Pay, and RouteSync modules operate within the Innovative IES transportation management system.

The Risk Management tool helps fleets manage accidents, incidents, cargo claims, and workers comp issues from Innovative IES product. Its redesigned claims-management screen helps users find information and open claims easier, Trimble says, and provides better visibility into risk exposure.

The Extended Pay module expands customers' payment options. That includes paying drivers a rate per mile that's dependent on miles driven each week; making a one-time payment for a driver without going through trial/ final payroll/ settlement steps; and importing drivers' hours to pay an hourly rate based on months of service.

The RouteSync module operates within the Innovative IES solution and integrates with ExpertFuel, MobileComm, and ALK's PC*MILER to provide turn-by-turn directions to drivers based on mileage trip options and routing preferences. 

—New features and enhancements for Trimble's TruckMate transportation management system including ALK web services support, Trimble Mobility LTL enhancements, and improved dispatch tools.

TruckMate's Chassis AR/AP Management and TM4Web modules are standouts among the improvements. The former module now helps customers track chassis, invoice for rental fees, and manage payables to chassis vendors better, Trimble claims.

The upgraded TM4Web module processes invoices, accepts payments, deposits settlements and funds faster, helping to reduce administrative costs.

—A new Degree Day Forecaster module for Trimble's Fuel TMS that helps fuel carriers and their customers monitor fuel consumption and manage deliveries better based on data. The tool is designed to stabilize heating fuel distribution, Trimble says, by informing carriers and their customers how much fuel is being consumed and how much is left.

That way, customers can ensure their fuel levels never dip to critical levels, helping ensure reliable heat in homes especially in times of extreme cold.

Carriers can use Degree Day Forecaster to plan their routes based on real customer demand, according to Trimble. Guesswork based on order history or seasonal fuel consumption isn't helpful during extreme cold, the company argues, and manually calling customers to ask if they need fuel is time-consuming and potentially meaningless if customers can't gauge how much fuel they have. It also doesn't account for increased fuel consumption as heating units age.

—A new TMW Go! Fuel mobile application that allows fuel delivery drivers to perform basic functions while away from the truck's in-cab computer.

The app lets drivers view and update their trips and provide input on their intended rest and fuel stops. Customers can track deliveries and update order information more efficiently, according to Trimble, which can reduce related data entry errors. "Real-time" tracking allows fuel delivery companies to set customer expectations and keep to promised delivery times.

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...