Since 2001, Crane Transport, located in Gainesville, Georgia has been servicing unique companies in industries that include everything from poultry to glass. Thanks to their diversified fleet of 275 vehicles that include tractors, Air Ride vans, refrigerated vans and flatbeds as well as the dedication of over 350 employees, they commit themselves to providing exceptional customer service and accurate delivery times all while helping drivers get to and from each job as safely and as timely as possible.
Driver Visibility Leads to Great Customer Service
“Service is our reputation” is the motto at Crane Transport. With hundreds of vehicles on the road, knowing exactly where each driver is, how far away they are from their next delivery and the route they take to get there is crucial information – and helps provide the excellent level of customer service the company has built their foundation on.
According to Tim Hutchings, Director of Safety and Compliance, seeing really is believing—especially as it pertains to letting customers know when a driver will be making a delivery. “We can pull the Live Map up and see exactly where the truck is, take a screen shot of the location and send it to the customer to show them the exact location of the truck so they have a precise delivery time—that’s a huge factor for us when it comes to customer service.”
Being Compliant Means Operating Safely and Efficiently
When it came to choosing a GPS fleet tracking solution, Crane Transport focused on finding a provider who could provide robust mapping technologies as well as be able to easily identify specific vehicle types and easy-to-use formats when it came to extracting fleet-related data. Another one of those “must haves” was eLogs. Hutchings was extremely interested in eLogs from a compliance standpoint but also knew it could benefit the company as whole.
The biggest compliance-related challenge Crane Transport faced was figuring out how to eliminate the use of paper logs while managing the impact on drivers. According to Hutchings, driver logs weren’t being managed as efficiently as they could be. “We had two or three people doing data entry off of manual paper logs that our drivers were keeping. Implementing eLogs across the business helped eliminate the work of two people so we could focus their attention on other areas of the business.”
Another notable improvement was around the topic of safety. Since using Fleetmatics, Crane Transport was able to report an accident rate of 0.32%. According to the DOT’s standards, the threshold for satisfaction when it comes to accidents is 1.5% which Crane Transport is well below. “One of the reasons for this cut was us really looking at the number of speeding occurrences and hard braking behaviors from our drivers. While we can’t prevent lane change issues or side swipes from other vehicles, we can see real data when it comes to braking and speeding violations which helps our business tremendously,” says Hutchings.
Tracking and Coaching Driver Behavior
Driver behavior can mean many different things to different companies. In Crane Transport’s case, they focused on fuel efficiency—and how their drivers were using the fuel in their trucks based on their actions behind the wheel. Since most of the vehicles in the fleet are a model year 2014 or newer, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Hutchings to see a different fleet utilization rate for each vehicle. Add in driver habits and fuel spend can be all over the board.
Some drivers within Crane Transport’s fleet had a habit of pressing the gas pedal to the floor even though they had low RPM engines in their trucks. Using Fleetmatics helped Hutchings and his team determine how much time each driver was spending in a certain gear as well as provided data around driving behaviors that affect fuel usage — namely idling and speeding. By checking money-based dashboard metrics such as fuel purchased and wasted fuel, Hutchings was able to see how driving behaviors impacted the business in a monetized way. “The Daily Report is used as a regular training method which helps us coach drivers to correct those driving habits like idling and speeding that lead to wasted fuel,” says Hutchings.
Crane Transport has even been able to tie speeding occurrences and harsh driving events back to claims against damaged inventory carried in the back of the truck for transport. According to Hutchings, “We can protect customers’ freight. Fleetmatics helps us to make sure we are in good standing with our customers.”
Outperforming the Competition
When asked what one thing helped them outperform the competition, Hutchings doesn’t hesitate when he says the Fleetmatics mobile app. Further driving home the point of delivering exceptional customer service, Hutchings says the mobile app has helped equip his drivers and office staff with knowledge such as truck location, expected route and arrival times - all powerful information that he benefits from sharing with his customers. “Knowing how far out a delivery is or eyeballing a truck’s location on the Live Map is a big advantage for us when it comes to servicing our customers”, says Hutchings.