Jenna Hume | FleetOwner
Through Samsara, Farmer's Fridge receives real-time alerts when a cargo van's temperature drops out of range.

Refrigerated fleet grows with Samsara tech

July 3, 2024
During a tour of the company’s headquarters, Farmer’s Fridge credited Samsara technology for much of its fleet’s growth.

CHICAGO—Since 2021, Farmer’s Fridge, a company that makes and distributes healthy food for refrigerated vending machines, has doubled its fleet each year. During a tour of the company’s headquarters during the Samsara Beyond user conference, Farmer’s Fridge credited Samsara technology for much of its fleet’s growth.

“We make all the food in this fridge and every fridge you may have seen across the country,” said Luke Saunders, CEO of Farmer’s Fridge, during the tour. “We operate about 1,500 locations across 25 markets in the U.S. …We have 125 drivers on the road that do the last-mile delivery to every fridge of those 1,500 fridges and another like 600 or so retail stores."

According to Saunders, Farmer’s Fridge uses Samsara’s technology primarily to monitor the temperature inside its refrigerated cargo vans, ensuring food products stay fresh for delivery. Farmer’s Fridge also uses Samsara technology to help ensure its drivers operate safely. 

“I get a safety score every Monday morning for how the drivers are doing,” Saunders said. “And you'd be surprised when you have 125 people across the country. Some of these people are in markets where they're the only employee for Farmer's Fridge, and our distribution model is they have a parking spot, we're sending a truck to that parking spot, they’re trading trucks, and coming back. So it's been a huge improvement in visibility. We wouldn't be able to run a national network and keep it safe without tools like that.”

When Farmer’s Fridge began using Samsara technology and driver coaching in 2021, the company had a safety score of 54. Now, Farmer’s Fridge boasts a 92 safety score. 

See also: Samsara introduces new innovations in the most Oprah-like style the industry has seen

Safety integrations

According to Steven Berczynski, fleet and safety manager at Farmer’s Fridge, using Samsara technology has helped the company build and maintain a robust safety culture. One of the Samsara tools that helps with this is real-time safety alerts integrated directly into Slack.

“We integrated Samsara into Slack, so anytime there's a harsh event on one of the vans—harsh brake, harsh turn, crash—we get pinged in Slack instantly,” Berczynski said. 

Berczynski explained that reacting to these pings in Slack with an emoji instantly creates a workflow for Farmer’s Fridge market managers, which streamlines the company’s standard operating procedures after an incident. But most importantly, this visibility allows Farmer’s Fridge staff to check in with drivers to ensure their safety. 

During the Farmer’s Fridge tour, Berczynski showed several dashcam videos of the company’s drivers experiencing harsh events like braking or accidents. Berczynski said the Samsara dashcam videos are another important safety feature for the company, as the videos can immediately show the company and law enforcement if a driver was at fault. 

Environmental monitoring

Farmer’s Fridge also integrates Samsara with Slack to monitor the temperature of its refrigerated cargo vans. 

“What we're able to do is, through that same integration with Slack, set parameters on all of the sensors to say if this cooler goes out of temperature for more than 90 minutes, we're going to get a ping in Slack,” Berczynski said. “Setting up that system where we do allows us to, in real-time, take action as opposed to retroactively finding out that we have a temperature issue. It means we can save a lot of products from going out of temperature and expiring, and when it happens on the van, we're able to make real-time adjustments to routes.”

In addition to using Samsara to monitor the vans’ temperatures, Farmer’s Fridge came up with a way to use Samsara technology to monitor its cold storage facilities. Specifically, the company plugs in one of Samsara’s vehicle gateways at its facilities, powering the environmental monitors. Now, Farmer’s Fridge can view the temperature of its van and cold storage facilities in the same Samsara portal. 

About the Author

Jenna Hume | Digital Editor

Digital Editor Jenna Hume previously worked as a writer in the gaming industry. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing from Truman State University and a master of fine arts degree in writing from Lindenwood University. She is currently based in Missouri. 

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