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041619 bolt tandem map layout_cropped.png Photo: Bolt Systems

New BOLT app aims to make fleets more efficient

Bolt Tandem Workflow pairs up with ELDs to help drivers shave time off their routes, deliveries, avoid bad weather and keep connected to dispatch.

CINCINNATI.  BOLT System, a fleet management and freight tracking software company, has a new mobile app for its customers and drivers. BOLT Tandem Workflow connects to customer accounts and provides drivers with a suite of services to improve driving productivity, while also streamlining paperwork.

The application, which was first unveiled this week, will be available for Android and iOS-based tablets and smartphones in a month. “The reason for ‘Tandem’ is we have to tandem up with an ELD (electronic logging device),” Jerry Robertson, BOLT System’s chief technology officer, told Fleet Owner during a live demonstration of the app at The National Private Truck Council's annual conference and exhibition here.

BOLT Tandem Workflow augments what qualified ELDs provide. “Because it takes two to make this all work,” Robertson said, noting the program is sold as an enhancement. “We’re subscription-based. We don’t have longterm contracts. We want to sell you something that immediately you’ll recognize the return-on-investment. And if you do that, we don’t worry about you leaving us.”

The new driver interface extends what BOLT can do with its customers and their drivers, he said. “When our customers dispatch loads to their drivers through BOLT, drivers can see the destination on their ELDs if they have a screen for messaging. But their smartphone or tablet now gives them complete guidance and alerts for their delivery, plus it allows for mobile imaging.”

Through BOLT Tandem Workflow, drivers are shown a map of their route to their delivery drop, along with their estimated time of arrival. By hitting the weather symbol, drivers can see any potential weather alerts – such as snow warnings in the mountains, or heavy rain or high wind alerts. Likewise, they can click on the traffic icon to see if there are potential traffic issues – bridge or road closures. Once the driver is on the road, the app can give directions to the final destination.

Photo: Bolt Systems041619 bolt tandem map_cropped.png

“Those are very helpful tools for drivers,” Robertson said. “But another big payoff of our app is that it can forecast when hours of service are drying up, and where en-route you’re likely to be when you’ll have to shut down for a re-set. That helps drivers plan for parking.”

Robertson said that his company is working with the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO), which recently launched the Truck Parking Information and Management System (TPIMS) so live truck parking availability in eight mid-American states would be shown on the BOLT app.

From an operations standpoint, BOLT can work with its customers to input preferences for fuel purchases. “That way, if one of our customers has a fuel contract with a truck stop chain, all a driver has to do is hit the fuel symbol to see where the closest preferred fueling station is. What’s more, our customers can message individual drivers or broadcast messages to all drivers through the app.”

Robertson said the app can help fleets shave minutes off each stop. “If I can save five minutes per stop, I can get in one more stop per truck per day,” he noted. “If I have 300 trucks, that’s 300 more stops.”

Once a delivery is made, the BOLT app can document and transmit bills of lading. “We designed ‘image capture’ into the app, so a driver can simply take a picture of the document and it can then be transmitted to the back office for processing,” said Robertson. “This speeds billing by attaching the document to the purchase order and lead to driver settlement right away.”

In addition, multiple barcode standards are interpreted by the BOLT app, providing freight information from individual SKUs to pallet or case content information. “Barcode scanning significantly improves the process of loading and unloading.

“Our new app is very robust with features,” Robertson said. “The name of the game is productivity, and giving drivers tools that make their job easier. The BOLT Tandem Workflow app does just that.”

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