Since 2002, Illinois-based United Global Logistics (UGL) has been in the business of moving freight – and doing it well. Providing less-than-truckload (LTL) and full container load (FCL) shipments as well as local pick-up and deliveries, intermodal transportation and hazmat services, UGL’s fleet of 138 tractor-trailers move goods safely and efficiently across the United States. Using a combination of Fleetmatics REVEAL™ and LogBook solutions helped them monitor driver safety, productivity and fleet compliance.
Staying ahead of the compliance curve
Because any fleet that tracks HOS needs to comply with the ELD mandate by December 2017, UGL decided the time to implement Fleetmatics LogBook solution was now. “We implemented LogBook way before the official mandate because we wanted to give our drivers enough time to understand how it works,” says PJ Khera, Safety Manager.
Since compliance waits for no one, Khera and his team made sure to stay up on the latest research and information when it came to collecting compliance-related information that would affect how they would do business. “If you want to be compliant, you have to use LogBook. We are a safe company and we would implement LogBook even if the mandate wasn’t official,” says Khera.
The benefits of being compliant spread far and wide at UGL. “Because REVEAL and LogBook together has made my job easier, we are considering getting more trucks. It will help you improve customer service and be more proactive,” says Nazeer Mohammed, dispatcher at UGL. “Get it as soon as possible.”
Shining the light on productivity
Along with monitoring safety, UGL was looking to improve productivity, especially when it came to Hours of Service (HOS) and compliance. Automating manual processes can take some time and Khera and the rest of the team at UGL relied on LogBook to help them uncover inefficiencies and better understand where they were spending their time. “With paper logs, paper piled up and it was really hard to review everything manually. Using LogBook, we can access the solution from our computers and receive notifications if a driver goes over their allotted driving hours or forgets to take their mandatory 30-minute break. This cuts down on a lot of work for us,” says Khera.
LogBook has also been beneficial to drivers. UGL believes that a driver’s main focus is actually driving, not dealing with paperwork. “LogBook cuts down on headaches for a driver. He can simply log into the app, load his trip information and he’s good to go. He no longer has to stop and write everything down,” Khera says.
Increasing productivity has also been a large benefit for dispatchers at UGL. “With paper logs, we used to sit down with a calculator and actually do math. Not that it’s hard but you have to make sure every minute tracked is correct. Since implementing LogBook, it is very easy for dispatchers and drivers – we don’t have to manually count anything anymore,” says Mohammed.
Safety is king
Safety is top priority at UGL and focusing on monitor driver and fleet behavior helps keep their customers happy. “In the trucking industry, if you aren’t safe, you can’t operate. It’s the same for our customers – they don’t hire a trucking company with a lower safety score,” says Tom Choi, Vice Preside of Operations. One of the reasons Choi selected Fleetmatics was for the in-depth safety metrics. With REVEAL and LogBook, speeding events and harsh driving occurrences are easily monitored on a per-driver basis which means Choi and his team can provide near real-time coaching to drivers. This provides the tools they need to encourage safe driving behavior and haul cargo from point A to point B quickly in an efficient manner.
Before using REVEAL and LogBook, monitoring fleet safety and driver behavior wasn’t so easy. A lot of assumptions were made which isn’t the best way to run a business that relies on a fleet of drivers and vehicles to be successful. “We use REVEAL to track our drivers’ speed. I have an email notification set up through REVEAL that lets me know if a driver is going above the speed limit. When I conduct safety meetings, I can talk to our drivers about where they need to improve when it comes to safety,” says Khera.
And when drivers operate safely at UGL, they are rewarded. UGL has created a safety incentive program that drives home the point of driving safely and slowly. For any road-side inspection that results in zero violations, drivers are given a dollar amount depending on the level of the inspection. “Safety is a big part of the UGL culture,” Choi says. “That is the most important thing for trucking companies.”