Tall order filled

Sept. 1, 2012

Problem:

Harris Trucking enjoys an on-time delivery record of more than 95% and management is committed to stay on top of both the quality of the delivery operation and driver safety. So it’s no wonder that last year the company began seeking out a “next generation” mobile-computing solution to replace its Qualcomm OmniTRACS system.

According to Jed Duggan, vice president & general manager of Harris, the carrier was also determined that its next-gen solution would be costefficient while ensuring driver log compliance would be strengthened, driver productivity would be heightened, fuel costs would be reduced, out-of-route miles would be cut, operational costs would be lowered, load management would be enhanced, and proactive safety management would be improved and in near real-time.

Among those needs to be addressed, driver log compliance perhaps ranked highest. “Driver log compliance is going to be mandatory down the road,” Duggan points out. “Our goal was to get ahead of the curve [with a new computer solution] and be ready so we wouldn’t be held back” by new regs when they do hit.

Solution:

Although Harris Trucking certainly seemed to have a tall order that needed filling, it turned out that the carrier did not have to look far to find the winning solution. Harris turned to its existing supplier and became one of the first companies to beta-test Qualcomm’s Mobile Computing Platform 50 (MCP50). Duggan reports that since installing various MCP50 applications, including ALK CoPilot Truck and Vehicle Inspection Report, Harris has successfully increased fuel efficiency, reduced operational costs, and increased driver productivity.

What’s more, he says other MCP50 applications such as Qualcomm Hours of Service (QHOS), Critical Event Reporting, and Performance Monitoring have improved driver log compliance and made it easier for the carrier to stay on top of regulatory compliance and fleet safety.

“Our drivers are taking to the MCP50 like fish to water,” remarks Duggan. “The drivers’ paper logs were showing they only had two hours of remaining drive-time because drivers were recording their time in 15-minute segments. However, with the QHOS app, it displays that drivers actually have three hours left since the MCP50 records drive-time to the minute.”

He adds that the QHOS app has helped reduce hours-of-service violations by showing drivers their time restrictions and in-cab notifications prior to the end of 11-, 14-, or 70-hour limits. And since drivers must now enter hours electronically, there are fewer errors and productivity has increased. The e-logs are also making it easier for managers to see how much time drivers have so they can proactively manage load assignments.

In addition, he says drivers have been “very pleased” with ALK’s CoPilot Truck app, especially the easy-to-use graphical interface and text-to-speech features. “Drivers don’t have to keep looking down for a piece of paper. They can access truck-approved routes, listen to directions though Qualcomm’s textto- speech technology, and get an alternative route if they get lost…all this results in reduced out-of-route miles and more efficient, safe and satisfied drivers,” Duggan says.

“The partnership between Qualcomm and Harris has improved compliance, driver productivity and time management,” Duggan sums up.

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