Don’t Ride Out the Storms: Measure and Manage Them

Oct. 2, 2014
Weather. I’ve been in the business for over15 years and this one still makes me think!   Weather is always in the top 3 things that fleet operators bring up when we talk about areas we can improve as a technology community. So why has this element been ignored for so long? Over the last few months CLS has been helping a large international fleet with technology planning and sourcing, and we were tasked with researching the technology available to help manage and plan for inclement weather. Surprisingly, we didn’t find anything that would really fill the gap.

Weather. I’ve been in the business for over 15 years and this one still makes me think!  

Weather is always in the top 3 things that fleet operators bring up when we talk about areas we can improve as a technology community. So why has this element been ignored for so long? Over the last few months CLS has been helping a large international fleet with technology planning and sourcing, and we were tasked with researching the technology available to help manage and plan for inclement weather. Surprisingly, we didn’t find anything that would really fill the gap.

We decided to map out opportunities around weather and try to understand why this is such a forgotten component today. We started with understanding the requirements, and broke these up into three areas:

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After

Before: Much like an airline pilot checking the weather during a flight, knowing what’s to come is huge in planning and safety. Being able to predict seasonal impacts to MPG or even adjusting rating for loads based on likely delays.

During: “Merge into right lane, hands on 10 and 2, reduce speeds” (speaks the ELD system). As a trucker enters high winds, provide re-routes based on a severe snow storm in Minneapolis, or your time to spoil in Zone 3 of the refrigerated trailer is 6 minutes today due to a heat advisory. Correcting driver behavior is endless.

After: We now know that we only achieve an average of 4.9 MPG in Fargo, ND between December and February. Maybe our shippers should cover some of this added expense. “Take I-75 as we predict an 18% increase in accidents in the Detroit area this month.” 

We see such an opportunity to help the industry manage weather and take one less unpredictable factor out of a razor thin margin business. This past week the CLS team filed patents on some pretty cool things that we hope to bring to market soon. 

After all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

About the Author

Christian Schenk 1 | President

Christian Schenk is president of CLS LLC, the premier technology consulting group for the transportation industry. With more than a decade of experience in telematics and fleet management, Schenk founded CLS LLC in 2013 to help transportation companies transition into the mobile era.

As an active member of many associations both in the wireless and transportation verticals, he has the benefit of interacting with some of the world’s most influential executives from worldwide technology leaders such as Google, Yahoo, Samsung, Motorola, LinkedIn, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

Prior to launching CLS LLC, Christian spent several years working for transportation technology leader, XRS Corporation. Through a variety of positions with XRS, Christian managed product marketing, marketing, business development and business strategy teams, and also drove the design and launch of the innovative XRS mobile optimization platform for the company.

Schenk is known in the industry for his extensive knowledge and in-depth, hands-on experience in process management, business development and transportation logistics. He is an active member and advisor for Samsung Telecommunications, Motorola Solutions and CTIA—The Wireless Association. He is also a member of many trucking-related associations, including the American Trucking Association, the National Private Truck Council and the International Foodservice Distributors Association.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry during this informative webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive...

Voice your opinion!

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