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The Divergent Road in Trucking Insurance: What Recent Legislation Means for Independent Owner Operators 

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The Divergent Road in Trucking Insurance: What Recent Legislation Means for Independent Owner Operators 

70% of for-hire carriers in the US own just a single power unit. Further, 91.5% of all carriers operate with six or fewer trucks. Without these small fleets, it’s hard to imagine how America would function; packages wouldn’t arrive at our doorsteps, food wouldn’t reach grocery store shelves, and gasoline wouldn’t make it to the pumps. Owner-operators and small carriers are the hidden heroes behind our day-to-day conveniences.

For many experienced owner-operators, starting their own authority becomes an attractive career progression, especially as legislation like AB5 in California changes requirements on independent contracting. But, starting a new authority and making the leap from owner-operator to independent motor carrier authority comes with new challenges. One of the biggest and earliest challenges that new authorities face is acquiring insurance. Here, legislation can serve as a helping hand or create more problems to navigate.

If you’re an owner-operator starting a new authority – or an experienced carrier looking to reevaluate your insurance policy – understanding the trucking insurance landscape will help you navigate the challenges of running your business.

The State of Trucking Insurance in 2023

Whether your fleet includes one truck or six, insuring your vehicle is a non-negotiable – some types of insurance are legally mandated while others will be required by any potential business partner. In either case, you’ll be looking at purchasing multiple types of insurance to give your business adequate coverage.

It can be tempting to “set it and forget it” when it comes to your annual insurance policy, but the reality is, the insurance industry is undergoing a lot of change right now. Those changes then create a ripple effect on trucking fleets. While some legislation might be a tiny splash for the big carriers, small carriers might find their business drastically impacted in the wake.

If you’re thinking of becoming a small business owner by starting your own authority – or if you already are – here are a few pieces of recent legislation that you should be aware of.

The Hidden Costs of Going Green: California’s EV Legislation

Out of California comes a rollout of sustainability measures that will hit independent trucking businesses the hardest. Earlier this year, California banned diesel trucks with engines older than 2010, and more clean energy bills are fast approaching. By 2035, half of all heavy vehicles sold in the Golden State must be electric with the eventual goal of reaching 100% electric trucks by 2045. Setting aside questions of EV charging and feasibility, let’s focus on what this means for small, independent carriers buying trucking insurance.

Imagine that, like 350,000 other truck drivers in the US, you’re an independent owner-operator. Three types of insurance will be crucial for setting your business up successfully. First, there’s auto liability coverage, which all trucks are legally required to have. Then, there’s cargo coverage, which any business partner you work with will expect you to have in order to protect their freight. Lastly, there’s physical damage insurance, which is the type of insurance that will be most impacted by electric vehicle mandates.

Physical damage insurance costs go up as the cost of your vehicle goes up, meaning that if you’re forced to buy a newer – and much more expensive – electric vehicle, you’ll also need to buy more expensive insurance coverage along with it. If you have a high enough cash flow, you could offset some of that cost by taking a higher deductible, but for the vast majority of new authorities, this option is too costly.

Another option is that you opt not to purchase physical damage insurance at all if you own your vehicle outright. But, if you get in an accident or there’s any type of natural disaster that damages your vehicle, you – the independent motor carrier – will be out the full cost of replacing or fixing the vehicle.

California’s electric vehicle push creates a snowball effect on insurance that arguably comes down on independent carriers the hardest. By forcing small businesses to either shoulder the steep costs of insuring a newer electric vehicle or take on a troubling amount of risk, mandates such as these could discourage owner-operators from starting their own business.

Tort Reform a Courtroom Win for Independent Carriers

Meanwhile on the East Coast, Florida’s recent tort reform gives much-needed relief to small trucking companies by significantly reducing the likelihood of nuclear verdicts in liability cases, which encourages more insurance companies to offer coverage in the state.

Florida’s tort reform shortens the statute of limitations on negligence lawsuits, revises admissability standards for medical evidence, and modifies negligence standards so that if a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault for their injury, they cannot recover damages. Together, this tort reform revamps the state’s lawsuit standards to reign in the impact of nuclear verdicts.

Nuclear verdicts happen when a trucking company is found liable for $10 million or more in a lawsuit, with the highest verdicts reaching well into the hundreds of millions. After making their way through the courts, some cases unfold so that insurance companies end up being held responsible to pay some – or all – of the verdict amount.

Of course, costly verdicts can sometimes be justified or even necessary to hold trucking and insurance companies accountable. But, in jurisdictions where nuclear verdicts become excessively common, insurance companies become less willing to provide insurance in these areas or raise prices to protect themselves. It’s basic supply and demand from there. Fewer insurance providers means higher insurance costs to consumers. Once again, independent carriers and small trucking fleets bear the brunt of high insurance costs.

Tort reforms, like we’ve seen recently in Florida, put a ring fence around what types of cases and evidence can qualify for nuclear verdicts. These limitations and guidelines stabilize the insurance business, which then helps stabilize trucking and the larger economy.

For you as the independent carrier, tort reform creates a more balanced business environment and better insurance choices.

Two Roads: The Future of Independent Carriers

Florida and California have some of the newest legislation affecting trucking insurance, but change is the norm in this industry anywhere in the country. Goods get to their final destinations thanks to the many small, independent carriers and their ability to meet challenges with flexibility. Legislation can either clear the way for them – or become a roadblock. When it comes to insurance legislation, the unseen impacts these laws have on the small carriers down the line should never be pushed to the background.

Joe Nibley is the Vice President of Milepost Insurance Agency LLC, a commercial auto and trucking insurance agency. For more information, visit (company website).


Does Your Forklift Fleet Management Need Improvements?

A thorough forklift fleet management plan can increase profitability, safety, visibility and more. People should strongly consider reviewing their existing strategies and see if they’re as effective as possible. Consider the signs below as proof it’s time to make meaningful changes.

Too Much of the Budget Is Spent on Upkeep

Regular maintenance is essential for a forklift’s safe operation. However, there often comes a time when the overall money to maintain the vehicle’s functionality becomes prohibitively costly. That’s why one of the best ways to enhance forklift fleet management is to deploy solutions with predictive capabilities. Then, algorithms can alert people to problems days or weeks before a forklift breaks down.

However, people must start with the basics when maintaining forklifts. They can do that without relying on smart sensors or new platforms. One tip is to use a gauge to check the forks for unevenness. Put the tool above the fork bend and make contact with the fork’s horizontal and vertical lengths. Check that the measurement is close to 90° and repeat the process with the second fork.

Even all-encompassing maintenance strategies can’t make forklifts work indefinitely, though. It’s a good practice for people to refer to upkeep records for individual forklifts — especially those that break down more frequently than others. Storing that content digitally in the cloud makes access easier. They should also listen to the advice of technicians, who usually tell forklift owners when it may be better to replace a problematic forklift instead of continuing to repair it.

Newer forklift models can also align with efforts to minimize emissions. Designers have created options with significantly reduced carbon monoxide output from the tailpipe. Alternatively, company leaders could invest in electric forklifts. They’re emissions-free vehicles — save for those produced during the manufacturing process.

Since forklifts are integral to many warehouse and logistics processes, any unplanned downtime can be extremely costly and disruptive to the workflow. Fortunately, people have plenty of potential ways to improve forklift fleet management, including predictive analytics and digital recordkeeping tools.

Company Unable or Unwilling to Make Data-Driven Decisions

People use forklifts in busy logistics facilities that handle thousands of products or parcels daily.

Now that more businesses offer those vehicles with onboard telematics solutions, people can start using data to learn more about how they use forklifts. Individuals can learn things such as the average operating time per day, which drivers spend the most time using forklifts and even the weight and dimensions of pallets handled by forklifts.

However, estimates from John Rosenberger — a telematics executive with The Raymond Corporation — suggest only 40% of companies are active and consistent users of lift truck telematics. Even the people in that group quickly become overwhelmed and lose focus on the details within the data.  Rosenberger believes another 30%–40% of people use forklift telematics data casually. He also said telematics only comprise about 2%–8% of a powered industrial truck’s cost, meaning data collection capabilities don’t add significant expenses.

These statistics show people must do more than invest in technology that allows them to improve forklift fleet management. It’s also vital they commit to learning the new skills and setting aside the necessary time required to make the most of the data at their disposal.

Decision-makers should take a historical look at how they’ve managed their fleets over the last several months or years. How often have they tried or been able to rely on data when making the appropriate choices? If they can’t remember or know there have only been a few occasions, those are strong indicators it’s time to do better.

Increased Accident Rates or Other Driver Safety Incidents

People sometimes overlook how forklift fleet management can — and should — incorporate personnel-related aspects. When enterprises experience upward trends in accidents, cases of unauthorized usage or other safety issues, fleet management tools can reduce those problems.

Some products on the market enforce access control. Besides telling supervisors which drivers access individual forklifts in real time, technologies can indicate the vehicle’s total operating time and whether someone drove it out of a preset geofenced boundary.

Managers can also drill down and see data about potential hazardous operations. Did someone operate the vehicle with the side door open or not wearing their seatbelt? Maybe they drove the forklift excessively fast or turned corners too sharply. Telematics tools can detect those actions, giving supervisors the data to justify disciplinary procedures.

Solutions also exist that can help people get to the bottom of safety patterns. Perhaps recent accidents occurred three times more during a particular shift than others. A closer look at the data may show more than half the employees typically working at that time have less than six months of forklift operator experience. If so, that information might encourage the HR department to schedule training more frequently and ensure the curriculum is sufficiently intensive.

Solving Compliance-Related Issues

This type of forklift fleet management could also reveal instances of people not complying with probationary requirements. A manager may tell an employee who has recently engaged in unsafe forklift driving that they can only operate the vehicle with their direct supervisor watching. Telematics tools could flag occasions where someone used the forklift without that manager nearby.

These products could also alert people to instances where workers operate forklift types that don’t match the licenses they hold. Getting alerted to those instances could save companies from preventable regulatory scrutiny.  It could also give leaders more peace of mind, knowing problems won’t take them off guard.

Start Improving Forklift Fleet Management Today

Knowing about existing problems with forklift fleet management is the first step to addressing them. The examples above illustrate some telltale signs of room for improvement, plus how companies can take actionable steps for the better. One smart option is to choose one area of forklift operations to focus on initially, then scale up the usage of new solutions once they prove their worth.

No technology can tackle all issues, but data collection and telematics products can substantially elevate overall visibility. When people are more aware of what happens with forklifts used by their organizations, they can verify the return on investment shown by those machines, see how the forklifts enable higher productivity and use data to cut down on safety threats.

fleet Website addresses needs of fleets carrying shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

How Fleet Managers Should Optimize Their Daily Maintenance Checklist

Rising costs, labor shortages and issues in the supply chain are making fleet management much more complex. Old practices aren’t as effective, so business leaders need new ways to keep their companies modern and in step with the times. 

The needs of logistics professionals can change by the day, so keeping pace is critical. Here’s how logistic professionals can optimize their maintenance checklists. 

Implementing Automation

The first step in optimizing a checklist is to implement automation. Machines have become much more intelligent over the past few decades. Modern technology frequently sees artificial intelligence (AI) excel at saving time in the workplace and on the road. 

Fleet managers should take advantage of automation because it’s also a beacon of safety. Since 1972, on-the-job injuries have dropped significantly, and automation receives much credit for smoothing processes.

Companies can benefit significantly from fleet management software. These programs take paper out of the workflow and give professionals the data they need in front of them. Software is ideal for those who want to improve time management and automate specific tasks. For example, programs can bill customers, manage operating expenses and monitor vehicles through tracking software. 

Prioritizing Safety

Workplace safety has improved in the last half-century, but fleet managers and drivers still face risks when they hit the road. Drivers are the most integral pieces of any business utilizing fleets, and managers should emphasize safety and train them to implement best practices. Knowing the expectations now can save many headaches in the future. 

Safety should be a top priority from day one, and that starts before the keys go in the ignition. Fleet owners can optimize their checklist by training drivers on what to watch for with their vehicles and how to perform maintenance. For example, suppose a tire goes flat on the highway. Training the driver to fix it themselves saves money and reduces downtime because they know the best way to mitigate the issue.  

Using Telematics

Another way fleet managers can optimize their maintenance checklist is by implementing telematics. This software is ideal for tracking driver behavior while on the road. Employees who know they have a tracking device in the vehicle are more likely to adhere to best practices while operating. Telematics gadgets alert fleet owners of drivers’ habits, whether speeding, phone usage, hard braking or other detrimental acts.

Most fleet owners use telematics to correct driver behavior and ensure safe driving, but the benefits go beyond that. Managers have legal backing if someone steals the vehicle. A GPS tracker lets owners know where their trucks are at all times so law enforcement can find those culpable. 

Telematics can optimize your maintenance checklist by providing the information to drivers more quickly. These devices often detect vehicle problems before a human. Finding issues earlier leads to a more straightforward fix and less strain on the company’s wallet when it’s time to repair. 

Determining Task Responsibility

Technology can tell fleet owners the problem, but it takes humans to look under the hood and fix it. Drivers can perform maintenance tasks, like airing tires or changing the oil. Other, more complicated tuneups may need a certified technician specializing in certain vehicle parts. 

Fleet managers must divide who gets what responsibility to ensure every maintenance element goes smoothly. Owners can optimize their maintenance checklist by assigning tasks based on who can perform them the best. Employee experience will play a key role in addition to the type of vehicle. 

Reducing Maintenance Costs

A maintenance checklist should include tasks that reduce costs in the long run. Fleet owners can save money by doing small things now and preventing more significant problems in the future. Some of these tasks may include:

  • Washing: Washing might not be at the top of a fleet manager’s list of maintenance tasks, but it’s critical. No matter where they drive, cars end up with dirt and debris on the exterior and undercarriage. Fleet owners can optimize their checklists by creating daily and weekly tasks. For example, drivers should sanitize the steering wheel daily. Weekly, they should perform tasks like cleaning the mirrors and door handles. A clean car shows employees and consumers that the company cares about safety and cleanliness.
  • Waxing: Waxing is another preventive maintenance task. Fleet owners operating on the coast or in cold-weather areas should be wary of rust buildup. Salt from the ocean and the roads can easily damage a car by causing rust. Waxing twice a year protects vehicle parts from breaking due to rust damage and makes the maintenance checklist easier in the long run. 
  • Tires: Tires are an integral part of any fleet. Owners can use tires as a way to optimize their maintenance checklist. Drivers and managers should track the psi of every vehicle because it plays a significant role in other factors like driver safety and fuel mileage. For example, properly inflated tires increase fuel mileage by up to 3%, but underinflated tires harm fuel economy. 

Upgrading When Necessary

Modern problems require modern solutions. Sometimes, fleet managers and drivers can take precautions and perform preventive maintenance. However, the vehicle doesn’t want to cooperate for one reason or another. The problems could stem from unknown issues or a car reaching the end of its life. Fleet owners should keep an eye on what components require the most attention because an upgrade could be in order.

A maintenance checklist should include every component of the fleet’s vehicles. Owners should account for extensions and attachments like trailers. Cars wear down over time, and managers should consider upgrading the entire vehicle or individual parts. Enhancing the fleet with aftermarket updates like a cold air intake or iridium spark plugs could make the checklists easier for drivers in their daily duties.  

Optimizing the Maintenance Checklist 

Today’s economy makes things more challenging for fleet managers. Supply chain disruptions, rising prices and other problems increase the job’s complexity. The heart of the work lies with the cars and drivers. These professionals should optimize their maintenance checklist to keep pace with today’s demands.

A modern-day checklist starts with automation. Fleet owners should let management software take care of tasks like billing and scheduling vehicle maintenance. Automation allows them to focus on the bigger picture. 

Managers should also heavily emphasize safety to their drivers and help them take steps to protect themselves and their vehicles. Minor optimizations in the short term can save a fleet company a lot of money in the long run.

technology trailers VIN cost

Understanding Vehicle Data and VIN Decoding: A Beginner’s Guide

A crucial part of fleet management is tracking and comparing every vehicle’s performance through data analytics. Vehicle identification numbers also play a considerable role, providing standard information about each unit that helps with maintenance and adherence to safety regulations. 

This guide contains everything fleet managers should know about VIN decoding and understanding the data behind their vehicles.

Tracking Vehicle Performance

The old method of tracking commercial fleets primarily took place on spreadsheets. This outdated strategy is too simplistic to monitor vehicle performance, diagnose mechanical problems and identify inefficient parts or driving habits.

Technological advancements have made recording and assessing fleet vehicles’ data easier. Today’s fleet management software allows businesses to import the vehicle identification numbers of each unit and immediately gain access to dozens of insights, including these relevant metrics:

  • Vehicle speed
  • Miles per gallon
  • Fuel consumption
  • Weight of load
  • Braking intensity
  • Driving style
  • Idle time

Fleet management software connects to the vehicle’s black box — the device responsible for telematics. Contrary to popular belief, telematics isn’t the same as fleet management software, but the technologies are closely intertwined and have maximum effectiveness when utilized together.

Telematics describes the digital connection between informatics and telecommunication. These two essential management responsibilities have combined to form one role — sending and receiving information about the fleet over long distances. Logistics professionals use fleet management software to organize this information and make informed decisions.

The critical piece that makes fleet management software and telematics work is the vehicle identification number. The VIN signifies the individuality of every car on the road. Even if an entire fleet consists of the same make and model, each vehicle still has its own unique VIN.

Decoding and Utilizing VINs

The VIN is a 17-digit alphanumeric code that provides all of the car’s relevant background information. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standardized VINs in 1981 to create a reliable method of registering and tracking vehicles. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the 17 digits:

  • Characters 1-3: The world manufacturer identifier or where the vehicle was made
  • Characters 4-8: Weight, body dimensions, engine and transmission type
  • Character 9: Manufacturer’s security number
  • Character 10: The model’s year
  • Character 11: The main factory where the vehicle was assembled
  • Characters 12-17: The vehicle’s serial number

Manufacturers put the VIN in multiple locations to avoid confusion, including the dashboard, under the hood and in the owner’s manual. The assembly details are nice to know, but fleet managers should focus on the middle digits. These characters describe the vehicle’s unique attributes and help owners decide the proper driving and maintenance practices.

Knowing the VIN specs of each unit in a commercial fleet can be helpful in many scenarios. For example, fleet managers can refer to the VIN dimensions and assign a vehicle with the appropriate height or weight if a particular route passes over or under a bridge. 

When making repairs, technicians can use VINs to confirm the correct part size that needs maintenance. This information enables them to repair or replace engines, transmissions, wheels, tires and other crucial components to maximize the vehicle’s life span.

VINs also help businesses compare the performances of identical vehicles. If one truck has shown a recent decline, fleet managers can investigate its VIN, identify any subtle differences compared to other models and locate the source of the problem. If there are no differences, the driver is likely the problem and the manager can act accordingly.

Most importantly, VINs enable managers to upload information about their vehicles at lightning speed. They can simply copy and paste every VIN into their fleet management software and let it organize for them. VINs are the secret ingredients that make telematics and fleet management software work together.

Benefits of Understanding Vehicle Data

Utilizing VINs with telematics-based fleet management software has greatly simplified the jobs of supervisors and drivers alike. These are the most significant benefits of collecting and monitoring vehicle data from a fleet’s daily operations.

1. Improved Efficiency

Commercial vehicle drivers can encounter many efficiencies throughout the day. They might choose the least optimal route, get stuck in traffic or fall into bad driving habits that hurt the vehicle’s performance.

Telematics takes out the guesswork, helping managers identify the most efficient routes and driving habits employees should take. These adjustments save precious time and fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Efficiency will become essential as fleets with alternative fuels reach the mainstream. The driving experience of these new vehicles will be foreign to fleet employees and the best routes will be less apparent, given the different mileage ranges. Telematics will adjust to the latest technology faster than humans and bring them up to speed.

2. Safer Work Environment

One of the most critical benefits of understanding fleet data is maximizing driver safety. Telematics technology can identify bad driving habits by tracking employee phone usage, average speeds and other potentially reckless behaviors. It can also spot mechanical issues as they emerge, helping fleet managers get unsafe vehicles off the roads for necessary repairs.

3. Massive Savings Potential

Greater safety and efficiency create massive savings potential. Fleet managers can save money on fuel, maintenance, parts, driver training and new vehicle purchases. Most auto insurance companies also offer safe driving discounts to their customers based on telematics. Businesses have nothing to lose and everything to gain from tracking their fleets.

4. Legal Settlements

If a commercial vehicle gets into an accident, telematics can help the company avoid a legal dispute. Many businesses install dashcams to prevent this exact situation from happening. The dashcam not only monitors the employee’s driving but also comes in handy to prove their innocence in an accident and shield the company from liability.

5. Asset Recovery

Fleet management software comes with a convenient GPS locator that sends alerts to the manager’s computer or mobile phone. Businesses can easily find and recover the vehicle if it gets stolen. Motor vehicle thefts have increased in recent years, so fleet managers need to work harder to protect their assets.

The More Insights, the Better

It will always be challenging to track dozens of vehicles at once, but VINs, telematics and fleet management software make the job easier. They enable fleet managers to collect information about each vehicle, supervise drivers and make the best decisions for the fleet’s long-term success. The more insights logistics professionals have, the better they can control their automobiles.

How Fleet Managers Can Encourage Fuel-Efficient Driving Habits

How Fleet Managers Can Encourage Fuel-Efficient Driving Habits

Fuel is one of the highest costs for fleet managers. Unfortunately, the price of gas and diesel fluctuates often. The past few years have been challenging because of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

These factors have caused gas prices to skyrocket and stay high, and fleet owners must find ways to cut costs. Here’s how they can encourage their drivers to save fuel while on the road. 

Enforcing New Policies

The most direct way to encourage fuel-efficient driving habits is to enforce new policies for drivers. Fleet managers could set efficiency metrics for the team and have them aim for specific targets each quarter. Some companies establish a speed limit for their drivers to ensure they get the best mileage possible. 

Training Drivers From the Start

One way to make policies effective is for fleet managers to communicate their expectations from the start. Hiring managers and supervisors can encourage fuel-efficient driving habits by showing new people in training. These workers could be entry-level, first-time employees or seasoned veterans. Either way, fleet managers should ensure they know the expectations and metrics they need to reach.  

Giving Feedback to Drivers

One of the best methods to improve driving habits is to give feedback. Letting employees know how they’re doing and if they’re being fuel-efficient gives them direct knowledge of whether they’re performing well or need improvement. Today’s technology is beneficial because supervisors don’t have to sit with people while they operate. They can use telematics to give feedback from anywhere. 

Telematics serves multiple beneficial purposes for fleet owners, but the best one may be the ability to increase fuel efficiency. These devices recognize drivers’ habits and provide real-time feedback to improve performance. Sometimes drivers may accelerate too quickly on the highway or leave the truck running idle for longer than allowed. Telematics devices can also tell people if there’s a better route with less traffic. 

Altering Driver Schedules

Using telematics is one of the best tools at a fleet manager’s disposal. The ability to see traffic patterns can help companies ease supply chain pains by delivering on time and early. Managers can also keep this in mind for their drivers. Paying attention to trends by the time of day or year can encourage fuel-efficient driving.

Fleet managers should create routes daily based on traffic patterns in the area. The time of day can impact congestion significantly. One highway could have traffic jams frequently in the morning but be mostly clear by midday. Driving at night typically brings less traffic on most routes. 

Another factor to consider is holidays, which could come in the middle of the week if the government doesn’t fix them on a particular day. Also, fleet managers should consider holidays that are exclusive to specific states and counties. These days can affect traffic significantly, so supervisors must be mindful of the traffic patterns. 

Being Mindful of Fuel Capacity

Drivers can go for long stretches in rural areas without seeing a gas station. For example, vehicles on Interstate 70 in Utah can travel for over 100 miles without coming across a service station. Drivers who encounter roads like this should calculate their vehicles’ fuel range to avoid running out of gas. 

For example, say a driver’s car gets 30 MPG and has a 12-gallon fuel tank. They should be able to travel 360 miles on a single tank. Practicing fuel-efficient habits can increase mileage. However, fleet managers should encourage drivers to refuel once the tank reaches 25% remaining. Drivers should multiply the range by .75 and refuel after 270 miles. 

Incentivizing Drivers With Rewards

Employees like to receive recognition for their hard work. Those who regularly put in their best effort and advance the company’s goals deserve praise. One survey found that about 40% of employees did not feel recognized for what they did during the pandemic. COVID-19 has stretched fleet managers thin amid protocols and other challenges. 

One way to boost morale and improve fuel efficiency is by creating an incentive program. Fleet managers can use this tactic by tracking employee data and seeing who has performed the best and saved the most fuel per drive. Drivers who don’t rank highly can reflect on measures they can take to improve. Supervisors can reward the top workers with special privileges like monetary bonuses, gift cards or other prizes. 

Lightening the Load

There are a few ways drivers can benefit their managers by implementing fuel-efficient tactics. However, fleet managers can also take measures to set their drivers up for success. An excellent way to start is by monitoring the amount of weight on each vehicle used. 

Heavy vehicles have difficulty saving fuel. Most automobiles have gotten lighter over the years, but freight can still weigh down a fleet. Every 100 pounds of cargo reduces the miles per gallon by 1%. That can add up quickly on a long-haul truck. Fleet managers can encourage fuel efficiency by lowering cargo weight, removing unnecessary items and replacing drag in vehicles. 

Purchasing Fuel-Efficient Parts

Another way fleet managers can help their drivers save fuel is by changing particular vehicle parts to make them more aerodynamically efficient. Semi-trucks can weigh about 35,000 when empty, so every pound goes a long way. One way to improve aerodynamic efficiency is by installing drive wheel fairings, which reduce the distance between the wheels and the trailer. The reduced airflow lowers the amount of drag and enhances efficiency.

Managers can also install fairings on the rear to lower the amount of turbulence the trailer encounters. Employees can easily take them apart when unloading and reattach them when finished. Some fleets employ cab extenders and attach them to the cabin. They help the airflow and restrict the amount of crosswind that can affect drag and fuel efficiency. 

Getting Maintenance Checks 

Fleet managers can extend the life of their fleet by getting routine maintenance checks. These appointments increase fuel efficiency by ensuring all parts work at their peak level. Some of the  elements fleet owners should examine are:

  • Tires: Tires can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency. Fleet managers and drivers should track the PSI constantly and ensure it’s optimal for each tire. Underinflated tires compromise fuel mileage by about 0.2% for every pound dropped.
  • Air filter: Another maintenance point affecting fuel economy is the air filter. It will have difficulty with airflow once it traps debris and dirt from the road, resulting in lower efficiency. Fleet managers should regularly replace the air filter to improve fuel economy.
  • Engine: Engine tuneups are a necessity for fleets. Supervisors may see they need to replace the spark plugs or oxygen sensors when tuning the motor. Another way to help the engine is to upgrade the oil to a low-viscosity blend.

Creating Fuel-Efficient Drivers

Fuel costs are unpredictable and one of the largest expenses fleet managers have to deal with. They can mitigate costs by encouraging fuel-efficient driving habits. Small changes here and there can add up to significant savings in the long run.

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7 Ways Fleet Managers Can Leverage Data to Improve the Supply Chain

“Data is the new oil” is a common catchphrase among business leaders today. It’s more than a string of buzzwords, too, as digital data’s value continues to skyrocket and unlock new possibilities. Still, data won’t provide any value by itself. Companies have to know how to apply it.

Fleet managers have much to gain from data if they leverage it correctly. Here are seven of the most impactful ways they can use data to improve the supply chain.

1. Planning More Efficient Routes

Route optimization is perhaps the most recognizable use case for data in fleet management. UPS has famously saved 100 million miles per year through ORION, its data-based route planning platform. Systems like ORION analyze real-time data to find the most efficient path, saving time, fuel, and money.

Fleets can gather data from GPS networks, transit authorities, weather systems, and other cars on the road. Analytics platforms can then use this data to provide a more accurate, timely picture of traffic and road conditions. Those insights help these systems find the best path forward, even when that’s not necessarily the shortest route by distance.

Real-time data lets fleets account for road closures, inclement weather, and traffic. Drivers can then follow the most efficient routes possible every time, minimizing travel time and costs.

2. Predicting Inventory and Demand Shifts

Supply chains are infamously fragile, largely because they’re prone to disruption but lack the insight to predict these challenges. Fleet managers can counter that by using data analytics to recognize potential disruptions as they arise, informing quicker responses.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can find connections between complex and seemingly disparate data points that humans often miss. In supply chain management, these insights can reveal demand and inventory trends. Analytics algorithms can alert managers when a demand spike may be coming so they can adjust their ordering accordingly and prevent shortages.

Amazon uses an anticipatory shipping system that predicts when customers will want an item, pushing them into the delivery network before users even purchase them. Some bakeries use weather analytics to indicate shifting demand because of the weather. Insights like this can help supply chains become more resilient.

3. Enabling Predictive Maintenance

Maintenance is crucial for efficient fleet operation, and data can improve these processes, too. Internet of things (IoT) sensors can gather data on engine vibrations, temperatures, and other maintenance factors. They can then alert workers when the vehicle will need repair in a practice called predictive maintenance.

Predictive maintenance helps catch vehicle health concerns before they become more costly and dangerous. It also improves on traditional, schedule-based preventive care by eliminating unnecessary servicing.

Vehicles can drive up to 100,000 miles before some maintenance is necessary, but others may not. It all depends on the specific factors at hand, which predictive maintenance accounts for. These data-centric repair practices offer the optimal balance between costs and vehicle safety.

4. Tracking Driver Behavior

Drivers’ actions on the road can influence many other factors, from truck health to operating costs. Traditionally, fleet managers had to address these behavioral concerns through training and background checks before hiring, which doesn’t guarantee ongoing success. Using data from telematics systems enables a more effective approach.

Telematics solutions can let fleet managers track driver speeds, braking habits, seatbelt usage, cornering issues, and more. This data provides an up-to-date picture of driver behavior, helping managers recognize commendable performance and address unsafe driving. They can then tailor feedback to specific drivers to promote better driving habits.

One study found that 69% of fleet managers noticed an improvement in driving behavior after implementing telematics. As driving habits improve, so will cost efficiency and safety from fewer accidents and lower fuel consumption.

5. Managing Fuel Costs

Fuel is often one of the highest expenses for vehicle fleets and an effectively unavoidable one. While fleet managers may not be able to eliminate fuel costs outside of electric vehicles, they can minimize them through data analytics. Data from various sources can reveal paths to reduce fuel consumption and costs.

IoT and telematics tracking in trucks can reveal whether specific vehicles use more fuel than others. Fleet managers can then perform repairs to make them more fuel-efficient or replace
them with newer, more economical alternatives. Similarly, data over time can highlight which routes lead to the highest diesel consumption, informing future route planning.

Other data-centric improvements will help manage fuel costs as a secondary benefit. Route optimization, predictive maintenance, and driver habit correction will all result in lower fuel consumption, keeping expenses low.

6. Monitoring Shipment Quality

IoT devices can also help fleet managers monitor data about shipment quality. Many products may deteriorate in some conditions during transport, leading to waste. Data can reveal when
situations arise that may jeopardize shipments, informing immediate action to save them and prevent waste.

Lack of transparency leads to billions of dollars of pharmaceutical products shipping at improper temperatures or arriving past their shelf life from delays. IoT temperature trackers can provide real-time data about refrigerated shipments’ temperature, alerting drivers and managers when it gets too high. Companies can then adjust routes to deliver that shipment to a closer location where they can store it properly, avoiding waste.

These sensors can help protect food, plants, and other perishable shipments, too. Supply chains can effectively prevent product waste in transportation.

7. Improving Customer Service

All of these data use cases will also help fleet managers improve their customer relationships. Each of these applications will reduce operating expenses and improve efficiency, which translates into lower costs and wait times for clients. Fleet managers will build a more satisfied and loyal client base as a result.

Improved efficiency is particularly important for B2C (business to community) fleet operations. Studies show that 65% of U.S. consumers expect two- to three-day delivery speeds, but only
29% of companies have that as a goal. Fleet managers can meet these high expectations through data-based route optimization and inventory management.

B2B clients will also appreciate the improved speed, lower costs, and reduced waste. These savings will help them deliver more value to their customers, so they’ll be more likely to partner with fleets who can provide them.

Data Is an Indispensable Resource for Fleet Managers

Data can be one of a fleet manager’s most valuable assets if they know how to use it effectively. These seven use cases can help fleets become safer, more efficient, and less wasteful, despite ongoing supply chain challenges. As supply chain resiliency becomes increasingly crucial, fleet managers must capitalize on data’s potential.


Preparing to De-winterize Your Truck Fleet: 8 Important Steps

Experienced fleet owners understand the importance of winterizing trucks when cold weather comes around. However, de-winterization often doesn’t get the same amount of press. Despite being a crucial step, many fleets may overlook de-winterization or rush the process.

Maintaining efficiency and minimizing maintenance costs means adapting to all weather conditions, not just the cold. Here are eight important steps to de-winterize a truck fleet.

1. Inspect for Damage

The first step in the de-winterization process is to check for any damage that might’ve occurred in the winter. As ice accumulates and then melts, it could seep into a truck’s metal parts and cause rust. De-icing chemicals on the road have a similar effect, causing $15.4 billion in rust damage over the last five years.

As the weather starts to warm, fleets should inspect their vehicles for damage like rust, chipping paint, and excess wear. Many of these hazards can be small and easily overlookable when they’re not paid attention to, but they’ll lead to more significant damage. Looking for and addressing winter damage early can help prevent larger, costlier breakdowns.

2. Check Tire Pressure and Treads

As fleets inspect their trucks, they should also address the tires. Tires will lose a significant amount of air pressure in colder weather as the air condenses. As the weather starts to warm, this could lead to severely underinflated tires or uneven inflation.

Fleets will likely have to inflate their tires more frequently as the weather changes than they would normally. Anticipating this shift can help fleets adapt their maintenance schedules to prevent uneven wear from underinflated tires.

While workers inspect truck tires, they should also pay attention to the treads. The rubber could’ve hardened in the cold, leading it to wear down faster or even crack. If fleets don’t check for this damage and replace any worn-out or cracked tires, it could cause serious accidents.

3. Look for Animals and Nests

One part of de-winterization that can easily go overlooked is checking undercarriages and engines for animals. As temperatures drop, small animals sometimes shelter in vehicles to stay warm. If they stay hidden, they could cause serious damage to a truck and may get seriously injured in the moving parts.

Fleets should inspect truck engines, wheel wells, and undercarriages for evidence of animals. If they find any, workers can get rid of them by making loud noises on the truck to scare them away or enticing them out with food. These checks should happen regularly throughout the winter, especially if some vehicles lie dormant, but they’re a critical part of de-winterization, too.

4. Change Oil and Check Other Fluids

A more obvious but still crucial de-winterization step is checking and changing the trucks’ fluids. Lighter fluids don’t thicken as easily, so many fleets switch to lighter oils in the winter. While most drivers know to make this switch, it’s important to change back to a heavier oil as the weather warms

If trucks used 0W-20 in the winter, they could switch to 5W-20 as winter ends to ensure proper lubrication. This switch shouldn’t add any time to regular maintenance schedules since fleets should already perform regular oil changes.

This step applies to other fluids, too. Fleets should check their wiper fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and – if any trucks have automatic transmissions – transmission fluid. Even if fleets don’t need to change them, they may need to replenish them.

5. Wash the Exterior

Washing fleet vehicles may seem unimportant at first, as their utility is far more important than their appearance. However, washing should be a standard part of de-winterizing fleets, not to get rid of dirt but salt and de-icing chemicals.

Since more than 70% of roads in the U.S. are in snowy regions, salt and other de-icers have likely accumulated through the winter. These materials can corrode metal parts if they sit on the vehicle for too long. Fleets can avoid breakdowns and high maintenance costs simply by washing these materials off their trucks.

Some fleets may even want to wax their trucks. While this step isn’t necessary, it can protect the trucks’ paint and prevent early corrosion.

6. Align and Balance the Wheels

As trucks stop for de-winterizing maintenance, fleets should align and balance their wheels. Fleets likely already include wheel alignments and balancing in their regular maintenance schedules, but it should be a part of de-winterization regardless.

Water that seeps into cracks in the road freezes and expands in the winter, creating more cracks and potholes. As a result, road conditions during the colder months tend to take a larger toll on truck wheels. Aligning and rebalancing them as the weather starts to warm will help avoid damage from these poor conditions, minimizing ongoing maintenance costs.

7. Check the Batteries

Another part of the truck to inspect is the battery. Batteries produce less current at low temperatures, so they have to work harder to deliver the same power in the cold. Consequently, they’ll wear out faster in the winter, so fleets should check to see if they need to change them as winter ends.

De-winterization checklists should include a battery voltage test. This will reveal if a truck’s battery has depleted faster than expected, and fleets can adjust their maintenance schedules accordingly. If batteries have seen substantial damage or drainage, it’s best to replace them ahead of time to avoid complications down the line.

8. Replace the Wiper Blades

Finally, fleets should replace all trucks’ wiper blades as the winter subsides. The rubber on these parts becomes hard in the cold, causing them to wear down and crack faster. Replacing them before heavy rains start will ensure this damage doesn’t cause more significant issues.

Even if wiper blades seem fine, it’s best to replace them during de-winterization downtime. That way, no cracks or other damage invisible to the naked eye threaten the wipers’ integrity down the line. It may also be a good idea to supply drivers with an extra pair of wiper blades in case they encounter any issues while driving.

De-winterization Is as Important as Winterization

De-winterization may not see as much conversation as winterization, but it’s just as important. If fleets overlook these maintenance steps, lingering issues from the winter or improper preparation could create larger issues. They could endanger drivers or lead to more expensive repairs in the future.

Every fleet must include de-winterization as part of its maintenance schedule. These eight steps aren’t the only things that these processes can cover, but they provide a baseline. Without these considerations, de-winterization will be insufficient.


Reducing Incidents of Impaired Driving in the Trucking Industry

Trucking can be a dangerous profession, and impaired driving makes it needlessly more so. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a danger in any vehicle, but especially in a 17-ton semi-truck. Fleet managers must reduce impaired driving incidents in their fleets in light of this danger.

No fleet manager would argue against the need to eliminate impaired driving incidents. However, the path toward that goal can be less clear. The dangers are immediately evident, but it can be harder to determine which remediation strategies are most effective.

The State of Impaired Driving in Trucking

Thankfully, drunk driving incidents are far less common in truck drivers than among ordinary passenger vehicles. While 20.6% of drivers in passenger cars involved in fatal crashes were above the legal limit in 2017, just 2.5% of truck drivers were. However, that figure rises to 3.6% when considering truck drivers who had alcohol in their system but weren’t above the legal limit.

Drug use is a more common factor in impaired driving among truck drivers. Over-the-counter medication accounted for 17% of fatal and injury crashes among commercial drivers. While many of these medicines aren’t inherently dangerous, they may make drivers drowsy or unattentive, putting them at risk.

Impaired driving may not be a frequent issue for fleets, but considering how dangerous it is, just one incident is one too many. With that in mind, here are five ways fleet managers can reduce these incidents.

Implement Strict Policies

One of the most effective methods is also one of the most straightforward. Stricter impaired driving policies discourage these incidents, as heavier consequences provide more motivation to avoid unsafe behavior. Drunk driving laws reflect this, as DUI fatalities have trended downward as regulations have become stricter.

Fleet managers can apply this concept by establishing harsher penalties for incidents surrounding impaired driving. Ideally, these policies should be tighter than local laws, imposing sanctions for lower blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. Actions that break the law should result in termination, and smaller offenses should still carry consequences like temporary suspensions.

It’s also important to formalize these policies and communicate them early and often. The more drivers are aware of these actions and their penalties, the less likely they will engage in them. Management should also enforce these rules evenly to solidify their stance on their gravity.

Install Ignition Interlocks

Technology can also be a helpful resource in reducing impaired driving incidents. The most useful technology fleets can use is ignition interlocks, which require drivers to pass a BAC test to start their engines. Studies show that programs reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by 50% to 90% after installing these devices.

Ignition interlocks can take several forms, too. Some use traditional BAC tests that drivers blow into, and these may provide the most accurate readings. Other systems use passive sensors that detect alcohol vapors in the air. These are less disruptive but may not be as precise.

Fleet managers should also use ignition interlocks to measure data and track trends related to impaired driving. Even if someone is below the legal limit and can thus drive, their readings can show trends in alcohol consumption. Managers can then notice when a driver may be at risk and take appropriate intervention steps.

Monitor Impairment Risk in Hiring

Fleet operators can also reduce impaired driving by looking for risk signals in the hiring process. Hiring managers should perform background checks to look for any past impaired driving incidents. This should apply to more than just DUIs, including crashes where alcohol was present but below legal limits.

Past driving behavior is often a reliable indicator of how someone will act in the future. One study found that 20.7% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a record of previous accidents. Past incidents of drug and alcohol use could likewise make an applicant more at-risk of driving while impaired.

Hiring managers should ask applicants about their history if any crash or substance abuse-related records come up. Some drivers may have made substantial strides and improved from past mistakes. Where fleets draw the line is up to the individual company’s discretion and ability to accept risk.

Improve Education

It can also help to ensure employees understand the risks of impaired driving. Drivers are likely already aware that they shouldn’t drive drunk but may feel like having a few drinks before driving isn’t a big deal. Fleet managers should educate drivers on how dangerous this can be to encourage safer behavior.

These sessions should focus on the less obvious factors, such as over-the-counter medications causing drowsiness. Point to figures like how BAC levels as low as 0.015% can impair hand-eye coordination by 20%. It may also help to stress how these factors impact the drivers’ personal safety to make it more resonant.

These training sessions should occur during onboarding and at regular intervals after. Educating employees and offering the latest facts and statistics at least once annually can help them retain this information. When they better understand the risks, they’ll be less likely to engage in dangerous behavior.

Minimize Related Risk Factors

Fleet managers can avoid impaired driving incidents by preventing situations that lead to them. Most drivers probably won’t drink on the job, but some circumstances could change that.

Professional drivers are especially vulnerable to having mental health issues like stress. This could lead them to drink or take medication when they otherwise wouldn’t, leading to impaired driving. Fleet managers can mitigate this risk by reducing on-the-job stress.

Improved route planning can help by making drivers feel less rushed, and keeping them informed of any changes has similar effects. Flexible schedules can also reduce stress by making it easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Fleet managers could also survey their drivers to see what would help them feel less strained, reducing the risk of impaired driving.

Reducing Impaired Driving Is a Must for Fleet Managers

Impaired driving may seem like a straightforward issue at first, but it can be multifaceted. Likewise, multiple prevention strategies should be used to attain the greatest risk reduction.

Fleet managers that employ these five steps can create safer operations for their drivers and others on the road. They can then prevent injury, ensure timely deliveries and avoid hefty legal consequences.

Maintenance Inspections

What New Fleet Managers Can Expect From Maintenance Inspections

Managing a fleet can be a fulfilling experience, but it also includes a lot of responsibility. New managers must understand and anticipate these responsibilities so that they can operate legally, safely and efficiently.

One of the many considerations new fleet managers must keep in mind is the need for regular maintenance inspections. While anyone in the industry understands that regular maintenance is important, the specifics may be less clear.

With that in mind, here’s what new managers should expect in this area.

Why are Maintenance Inspections Necessary?

First, it’s important to understand that regular maintenance checks aren’t just recommended but mandatory. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all motor carriers to regularly inspect, repair and maintain all of their vehicles. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and other legal damages.

Apart from the legality of the situation, these inspections can help fleet managers minimize operating costs. Failing to inspect some components can lead to costly repairs and replacements, so it’s best to catch any potential issues early when repairs are more straightforward.

These inspections are also a critical part of vehicle safety. Without them, drivers may unknowingly be putting themselves and others at risk, as equipment failures can cause accidents.

How Often Do You Need Maintenance Inspections?

Fleet managers should also know how often to perform these inspections to optimize their schedules. Since every vehicle carries unique maintenance needs, the FMCSA leaves some room for interpretation in this area. Fleets must perform inspections at least annually, but some emergency systems, like emergency doors, need inspections every 90 days.

For optimal performance and safety, inspections should be more frequent than the minimum requirement. Diesel vehicles require work less frequently than their gas counterparts, which can help save costs, but it’s still best to check them regularly. What this schedule should look like varies between use cases, but going by miles driven may be more effective than going by time.

What Should Maintenance Inspections Include?

When it comes time for the actual inspection, fleet managers should keep a few factors in mind. First, they can choose to either perform the inspection themselves or have a qualified third party do it. The former option may be more cost-effective, but it also requires a knowledge base and reporting system that smaller companies may not have.

Whether fleet managers perform their own inspections or rely on a third party, they should look for a few specific factors. Here’s a closer look at these specifics.

Qualified Inspectors

The FMCSA outlines some requirements for who can perform these maintenance inspections. These qualifications are fairly straightforward for most of the inspection process. Employees or third parties must have knowledge and proficiency in the necessary methods, procedures and tools, but the FMCSA doesn’t define what that specifically entails.

Brake inspection qualifications are more rigid. Brake inspectors must either complete a state, Canadian province or union-sponsored apprenticeship program or have at least one year’s experience in brake maintenance.

When looking for third-party inspectors, fleet managers should look for these qualifications or, ideally, higher standards. Similarly, if fleets inspect their own vehicles, they should require employees to meet these qualifications.

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation

Fleet managers should also understand what specific components and systems they should check. The FMCSA says maintenance inspections must cover “parts and accessories which may affect safety,” which can apply to most parts of a vehicle. Inspectors can refer to the FMCSA’s extensive list of parts for reference, but the most important areas to cover are fairly evident.

Engines, steering systems, brakes, seatbelts, wheels and the like all fall under this scope. Some of these parts will require more regular inspection than others, so fleets should schedule inspections of varying depth. As for how often to inspect each area, it’s safest to go by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Emergency Features

Vehicles with some extra emergency features need to undergo additional inspections, too. Many buses, for example, have systems like emergency doors, pushout windows and lights marking these features. If fleets have any vehicles with these types of systems, they need to check them every 90 days to ensure they work properly.

These emergency features can mean the difference between life and death in some scenarios, so the FMCSA takes them seriously. Fleet managers should likewise pay close attention to these systems, ensuring they receive more maintenance and inspection than other parts. If there’s anything wrong with them, fleets should repair or replace them as soon as possible.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports

Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) are another important part of maintenance inspections. These are reports that drivers write up at the end of each driving day that identify any potential issues they’ve noticed. Fleet managers likely already collect these records, but they must save them and ensure they meet standards to satisfy the FMCSA.

According to FMCSA guidelines, DVIRs should cover:


-Steering mechanisms

-Lighting devices and reflectors



-Windshield wipers


-Coupling devices

-Wheels and rims

-Emergency equipment

Drivers can look at other parts and accessories, too, but these are the only required factors. If DVIRs report any issues, fleets must resolve them before operating the vehicle again.

Thorough Records

No matter what the specifics of a maintenance inspection look like, fleet managers must keep thorough records. Every time an employee performs a check, the company should record it in a safe, accessible place. If the fleet faces an audit from the FMCSA or needs to check the maintenance history to inform a repair, these records are crucial.

The FMCSA requires fleets to keep DVIRs for at least three months and records of annual and roadside inspections for at least a year. That will quickly add to a lot of storage, so fleet managers should consider using an electronic system for recording and organizing this information.

Fleets should also record any repairs they have to perform on vehicles. To help keep things organized, all reports should include vehicle identification information like the make, model, year and serial number.

Maintenance Inspections Are a Crucial Part of Fleet Management

Maintenance inspections can account for a significant portion of fleet operations. New fleet managers must understand these factors to prepare accordingly, enabling efficient, safe and compliant operations.

Every fleet’s maintenance inspections will look slightly different, but these general guidelines apply across every fleet. Managers should take these guidelines, then apply and adjust them to their specific situation. They can then meet relevant regulatory requirements and keep drivers safe.

technology CGS supply

Resolving Fluidity Challenges in Today’s Bottlenecked Supply Chain Environment with Technology

In today’s demanding supply chain environment, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are facing unprecedented supply chain challenges much like larger companies and, as a result, have been investing in their own fleets due to the lack of equipment available in the marketplace.

Equipment scarcity as well as the reliance on outdated, legacy technologies to resolve today’s challenges are fast becoming the key underlying obstacles affecting SMEs to maintain their competitive advantage in today’s bottlenecked supply chain reality. More and more, companies are understanding that along with the investment in the assets must be the investment in asset management technology.

It has become clear that the right asset management platform—meaning the right technology, the right team of experts, the right level of adaptability and scalability– can serve as an invaluable tool to not only manage assets, but also transform operations and streamline processes.

The growing importance of technology for competitive advantage

While SMEs are looking for technology to help them respond to market shifts and evolving business strategies, they typically rely on modest IT budgets and stretched-thin admin teams. As their current software is reaching its end-of-life phase, SMEs are looking for cost-effective, scalable technology that can address today’s needs as well as those of the future. They rely on technology partners to help understand what is necessary: Is it an upgrade to a current system? Is a modification or new feature in order? Will a plug-in elevate the system to where it needs to be? Should this be a start-from-scratch system?

There is no doubt that as time goes on, SMEs–even those who may have resisted technology– will rely on technology services and solutions more and more, as the agility and flexibility of small and medium-sized enterprises within the supply chain have become ever more vital to supply chain fluidity. Innovative asset management technology platforms are enabling fleet managers to optimize their assets, control costs, manage M&R (maintenance & repair) as well as reduce admin costs. Tools designed to manage M&R help ensure streamlined communications, accountability, productivity and, most importantly, safe equipment. Customers utilizing asset management technology realize these robust benefits and more.

When selecting an asset management platform, it’s important to work with a partner with a proven track record, such as, Consolidated Intermodal Technologies (CIT), which was developed by Consolidated Chassis Management (CCM) and, for the last 10 years, has served as the asset management tool for its chassis pools. CIT is designed for fleet managers looking to upgrade their technology to support a growing fleet in a sustainable, scalable and efficient manner. CIT’s platform focuses on various intermodal equipment fleets, including chassis, trailers, containers, reefers and gensets of around 100 units.

These types of technology solutions are emerging as a competitive advantage by providing real-time visibility that enables businesses to make strategic decisions based upon quantitative analysis. Efficient asset management will provide the opportunity for SMEs and larger companies to outsource many back-office activities, enabling internal resources to be redirected to value-adding processes, including supply chain management. In fact, these services offer the possibility for SMEs to reduce labor costs, and the human capital necessary to manage their supply chain operations.

When it comes to investing in technology, we at CIT believe it is important to remember that one size does not fit all. It is crucial to collaborate with a technology partner who understands your business, your IT capabilities and resources as well as your goals. With the right asset management platform and team of experts that “get you,” businesses of all sizes can address the most complex and critical challenges to optimize operations, align business objectives and enhance corporate culture practices.

CIT is an innovative and proprietary asset management platform designed to enhance efficiency, elevate productivity, increase visibility, improve workflows and processes while lowering expenses and eliminating time-consuming redundancies. CIT understands the pain points of fleet managers as well as the importance of optimizing assets that are in compliance and on the road. For more than 10 years, the CIT platform has been the technology behind CCM’s fleet optimization system.


A seasoned technology executive with over 30 years of transportation IT industry experience, Mr. Thomas Martucci oversees the development and implementation of technology strategies that generate revenue and reduce costs. As VP for CCM and CTO for CIT, Mr. Martucci is responsible for business process management, software development, and technology implementation.