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It’s not a new issue. For as long as there have been fleets, fleet managers have faced pressure to make them more efficient by increasing productivity and/or reducing costs.
But there’s one important area you may be overlooking that can have a huge impact on overall efficiency: your trailer technology (or lack thereof).
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways that neglecting trailer technology is dragging down your overall efficiency – and smart ways to overcome those problems.
1. Failing to tap into the power of trailer technology altogether
“Technology is finding ways to make (fleet operation) easier, quicker, more accurate, less taxing, safer or safeguarded, sometimes bringing sweeping industry change with it." per Aaron Marsh in the Fleet Owner magazine article “7 truck technologies you need (and why).
The idea is that tech is going to make life better for fleet managers and drivers, but that’s not necessarily what leads leaders to make an investment decision. Moving freight and goods can be highly competitive, frequently with very thin margins, so the pitch for technology boils down to this: does it make your fleet more competitive?”
2. Neglecting to monitor trailer activity and routing proactively
With trailer tracking, you have access to reports that can help you identify inactive trailers quickly and get them back on the road fast to increase loads and turns per unit. Plus, with geofencing capability, you can eliminate route deviation to increase efficiency.
The key is to keep an eye on the data regularly!
3. Overlooking mile-by-mile analytics to reduce waste and lower costs
Technologies like FleetLocate allow you to get real time, near-pinpoint location updates of your entire fleet. You can maximize your drivers' hours of service by knowing the location, availability and maintenance status of all your equipment.
Plus, thanks to the recording of actual mileage based on GPS data, you have access to actual cost-per-mile analytic reporting. With the cost-per-mile of operating trucks continuing to increase – keeping an eye on trailer mileage costs is all the more important.
4. Not using cargo sensing to change detention behavior
Trailers and drivers are the most costly when they are not moving. According to a U.S. Department of Transportation report, time spent detained at shipper or receiver facilities costs the shipping industry approximately $1.6 billion annually in lost carrier income and truck driver pay!
Excess detention time, with a driver waiting, has also been shown to adversely affect industry safety and driver retention. With tech solutions like IntelliScan, you can instantly know when a trailer has been loaded or unloaded. You can even set up alerts to show when and where your trailers are detained so you can take action and unload your trailers faster.
5. Forgetting to use tracking to protect your assets and investments
If you're still not sold on investing in trailer tech usage, consider the ability to find lost trailers. In the Fleet Owner article we mentioned earlier, Aaron Marsh also notes, “When you think of asset tracking as it applies to truck trailers, the first thing that might come to mind is loss prevention.”
Technology like FleetLocate will warn if trailers are in high-theft areas, and geofencing provides real-time alerts to quickly locate lost or stolen equipment, potentially reducing insurance costs.
6. Overlooking the power of technology to improve driver retention
Did you know what new technologies can even help with driver recruiting and retention? Drivers may find themselves driving around yards to find the right trailer among hundreds of others. Tracking solutions can streamline that process by giving them the tools to find the right trailer quickly.
By helping drivers pick up unloaded trailers with more confidence and speed, technology can help get them back on the road faster while maximizing their hours of service. Cargo sensing prevents errors in trailer assignments that result in non-billable miles for a driver to get to alternate trailer locations, understandably causing driver frustration that can lead to increased turnover.
7. Misunderstanding the power of technology to improve customer satisfaction
Real-time trailer data can optimize trailer pools and streamline routing creating not only a better experience for drivers and fleet managers, but also an improved experience for shippers! Timely deliveries and consistent, dependable service are important to increasing overall customer satisfaction and technology can help with just that.
8. Underestimating the ways that technology gives you a competitive advantage
When it comes to the technological tools, Aaron Marsh offers a final thought: “Using them can make your fleet more competitive—or, turning that around, if you don’t have them, they could give an edge to your competition.”
Improving your trailer fleet is what drives us
Premier has invested in the most innovative, capable technologies as well as proven systems and components such as air ride suspensions, aluminum roofs, Purkey’s charging systems, lift gate battery monitoring, two-way refrigeration monitoring and control, fuel sensors and solar panels, all for the purpose of helping our clients do business more simply, efficiently, and profitably.
With years of industry experience, the Premier team understands what you need. And we take special pride in partnering with our clients to develop effective, tailored solutions, delivered with the friendliest, most flexible customer service you’ve ever had.
Contact us to see what we can do for you.