Instant Pot cooking would not seem to be an appropriate post for a fleet management blog, but all is not what it seems to be. Before we are done we will touch on driver safety, morale, health, giving back to the community, and return on investment.
I first heard about Randy from a co-worker that belongs to a Facebook group that he is active in. His story peaked my interest so I contacted him to learn more. He quickly agreed to do an interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Randy drives a 2020 Peterbilt for Western Distributing in Colorado. He used to prepare his meals using a lunch box oven as many truckers do. That, and fast food are what truckers are often stuck with due to the demands of their work. He could not make pasta or rice, and the lunch box oven is not the greatest way to prepare vegetables. He was very limited in what he could prepare in it and found himself bored with the limited menu. Meals took a long time to prepare and were not very appetizing.
Typical Lunchbox Ovens Used by Truckers
All of that changed when his sister gave him an early Christmas gift in Colorado around November 25th of last year, his first Instant Pot. He picked up an inverter in Las Vegas, installed the inverter in Guymon, OK, and finally used his Instant Pot around December 2nd or 3rd. The first meal he cooked was spaghetti, something that just can’t be done in a lunch box oven.
Now he uses it daily and has added more Instant Pot products to his in cab home. He can cook just about anything with his collection that includes the dual lid for air frying, another 3 quart Instant Pot, an Instant Vortex Plus and an Ace Nova blender.
Real Meals on 18 Wheels
Randy told me he eats healthier and life is easier with the Instant Pot appliances. He can cook almost anything on the road. His favorite is making pancakes on saute. He stocks up on produce every few days and meat weekly. The hardest part he says is parking his tractor-trailer at the grocery store.
Instant Pot products have saved him time and money while expanding his diet to include pretty much anything at all. He can pressure cook, air fry, bake, steam, roast, saute, and even make soup. With so many homeless people on the road, he gets great satisfaction doing little things like baking a cake or providing a meal for a homeless person in need.
Healthier Drivers are Safer Drivers
What impresses me most is Randy’s desire to change the way people eat. He believes that when drivers eat healthier and get a wider variety of fresh foods, they will be stronger, happier and more alert, making the road a healthier and more comfortable workplace for truckers and a safer place for all of us.
MyGeotab release 2101 includes a new and improved look and feel. Changes in colors, fonts and icons focus your attention on what is most important and impart information quickly. Many of the improvements are things we have been asking for, and we are especially excited to show you what is coming soon. It is a lot to take in, so we have used quite a few GIF images to tell the story. These updates should be rolled out toward the end of May 2021.
Finally, users will be able to add vehicles without an associated device serial number. You can add vehicles as they are acquired and update with a device serial number when you are ready to install the devices. This allows you to organize in groups, add license plate info, and assign appropriate maintenance reminders in advance. You can also add assets that you may not need a tracking device for, but would like to do inspections or set maintenance reminders for.
To be able to sort based on this new functionality, three new statuses and icons will display on the Vehicles page.
Active with a tracking device
Active without a tracking device
Streamlined process for install records
Previously, Customers who employed Installers and used one of the installation websites had to navigate to a specific page to review new installation records and manually update the vehicle name, license plate and other information. Customers will now receive a prompt when there are new installation records, and can update the vehicle information using anAccept Allbutton.
Device Data Streaming
With Data Streaming, Administrators can send share requests to partners they work closely with, and partners can subscribe to Data Streams that make sense for their business. Subscriptions are available on Base, Regulatory, Pro, and ProPlus rate plans, with easy billing that begins as soon as a share request is accepted. For more information on Data Streaming, stay tuned for Blog updates and training announcements. You can also email email@example.com.
New on the Map in MyGeotab Release 2101
Vehicle and Driver Label Options
Large fleets have wanted for a long time to be able to choose when vehicle names and driver names are displayed on the map to reduce clutter. Now you will be able to do just that. Easily add or remove the labels with a click.
My Location Enhancement
If you used the MyLocation button in the past you may have wondered if it was working, as it only took you to the general area. In MyGeotab Release 2102 it will identify your actual location with a blue circle. This is a great tool to see where assets are in relation to where you are.
New Replay Feature Added to Map Options
This new feature allows you to replay trips for single or multiple vehicles adding visual insight to how the driver’s trip progressed. For example, you can focus on and replay parts of the trip there were delays or exception events to better understand what occured.
View Previous Trip & Current Position Together
You can now view the vehicles’ previous trip as well as the vehicles’ current position on the map. This feature adds context to the current location by helping users to understand the vehicles progress.
New Administrative Features in MyGeotab Release 2101
Emailed Reports to Individual Users
Sceduling reports to be sent to individual users a convenience we have long awaited. In MyGeotab Release 2101 you can still create a group and send to everyone in it, but now you can also choose an individual user to receive scheduled reports. This will be a real time saver for administrators.
Select AND or OR Logic in the Groups Filter In Feature Preview
Previously the OR function was the only available operator. Now, if you need to see just the tractors in your eastern branch, you will be able to select the AND function to refine your search.
Reprocess Data for Selected Rules Only
You can now select just the rules you want when requesting a reprocess of data. Previously, the system would evaluate all the rules in your database for the specified time period. Geotab heard our concerns that after a full reprocess of data, genuine exceptions are erased.
For example, an exception event is generated when a driver speeds in a construction zone. Then, later in the year â?? when the construction is completed â?? the speed limit reverts to the original posted road speed. In cases like this, when the data is reprocessed, some exception events are removed since the system now evaluates the rule against the current posted road speed. The ability to select specific rules when reprocessing data, preserves your data to avoid similar situations.
Inside Any Added to Event Types for Zone Rules In Feature Preview
The Inside Any event type generates a separate exception event for each zone when a driver drives through a cluster of zones â?? either overlapping or in close proximity to each other â?? with the same zone type. Previously a separate rule for each zone was required to achieve this result.
Set Truck Specific Speed Limits
On some roads there are different speed limits enforced for heavy duty trucks than for passenger vehicles. This new feature allows fleet managers to apply truck-specific speed limits based on posted road speeds for trucks.
In addition, adding truck speed limits to a group rather than on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis saves you time and automatically applies the rule to any fleet vehicles added at a later time. You can set up truck-specific speed limits using the rules page. Under Conditions, click the Add speed limitbutton then toggle Truck speed limit to Yes.
Speeding exception reports will use truck-specific speed limits for vehicles in groups that have opted to use this. When exceptions are calculated against truck-specific speed limits, the application indicates the maximum truck speed limit for your convenience.
Where there is a custom speed limit for trucks on a specific road segment, the map can be updated as well. Click the road segment on the map to view the general posted speed limit (left) and the truck-specific speed limit (right). To update either speed limit, select Update posted road speed from the list.
Maintenance Reminders in MyGeotab Release 2101
Improved Functionality & a Fresh New Look In Feature Preview
Tracking maintenance is easier than ever in MyGeotab Release 2101. A new bulk import feature allow you to easily add previous maintenance records. Of course you can still schedule preventive maintenance, receive reminders about upcoming and overdue maintenance and log completed maintenance. All of these features come with a new and improved, simple, easy-to-use UI and intuitive user experience. Currently these updates to Maintenance & Reminder features are only available in feature preview.
View All Reminder Rules in One Place
The Maintenance Reminder Setup page makes it easier to view all scheduled maintenance reminders in a single place. For each maintenance reminder, you can also view the following details: maintenance type, repeat frequency and number of vehicles. To access the list of scheduled maintenance reminders, go to Engine & Maintenance > Maintenance > Reminder Setup from the main menu. From there select Add Reminder to quickly and easily add new reminders and assign vehicles to them.
Manage Upcoming Maintenance
Manage your maintenance schedule on the new and improved Upcoming Maintenancepage! Enjoy handy filter and sorting tools for vehicle, maintenance type, status and reminders to help you find what you need fast, while avoiding overdue maintenance events. You will find this page under Engine & Maintenance > Maintenance > Upcoming. Once there you can easily add comments and details to log completed maintenance events, add a new maintenance event that was not prompted by a reminder, and view your completed maintenance records.
Import Your Maintenance History
You will now be able to import your existing maintenance records into MyGeotab to have everything in one place. Keep a complete history of vehicle maintenance in one convenient location. Geotab will provide a downloadable Excel template. Just follow the instructions provided, and upload your records using the Bulk Import tool.
Last, but not least… An easy new way to unlock user accounts
We have all received that call from a user who has exceeded their login attempts and can’t log in. Now the administrator will be able to visit the Users page, click the lock icon beside the user, then click the Unlock button.
To make room for 4G and 5G technology offering faster speeds and enhanced features, the 3G networks are being phased out. All of the pandemic and election drama we experienced in 2020 took our attention away from the coming transition, but technology marches on, with us or without us. Now is the time to be making plans for upgrading your 3G systems.
FREE GPS DEVICE WITH SERVICE TRANSFER
When Will it Happen?
It is hard to identify a definitive drop dead date for 3G because network upgrades get done in phases. Depending on where you are it could come a little sooner, or a little later, but the 3G sunset is definitely coming. Early adoption of 4G and 5G products will give you access to the faster speeds and enhanced capabilities, while waiting until the last minute could leave you without services.
For example, Verizon originally planned for 3G CDMA devices to sunset by the end of 2020, but later delayed the shut down by a year, now . Still, in some areas like East Texas, the 3G CDMA network is no longer viable. Additionally, an internal document acquired by Android Police indicates that T-Mobile has an aggressive timeline in place that will affect some 3G devices on their network starting early this year. After researching the subject, we found that the general consensus is by early next year, you definitely need to have 4G or 5G systems in place.
Planning for the 3G sunset now gets you ahead of the game. We have resources available to help you to prepare, and upgrade programs in place to mitigate the financial impact. We even have a special limited free device promo for new customers that are transitioning from another GPS provider, so be sure to share this with friends and business associates that are using other platforms.
According to Kiplinger.com gasoline prices will continue to rise slowly, but steadily in 2021. This view is supported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and other authorities on the subject. Thankfully no one is projecting the extreme prices we had from 2008 to 2014, possibly because of demand being low during the pandemic, but they are definitely going to rise from the low prices we have become used to. As this post was written, the national average for regular was $2.40 per gal and diesel $2.64, up 15 cents per gallon from this time last month. An end to the pandemic which we all hope for will likely increase demand pushing prices higher faster.
Back to Fuel Savings Basics
In 2020, with gasoline prices as low as we have seen since 2004, and so many other concerns about keeping employees safe during the pandemic at the forefront, reducing fuel spend was just not our focus. In 2021 we will need to get back to basics when it comes to keeping an eye out for fuel waste.
Many consumer sites like AAA offer tips for consumers on how to save fuel. Back in 2007 when gasoline prices spiked over $3.00 per gallon, businessfleet.com published a great list of 20 ways for fleets to save fuel. Here is their list with some brief explanations. To get the full details and statistics that support their conclusions, you can read their post here.
Use A/C Sparingly – using A/C only when needed and vents when it is cooler outside saves fuel.
Park in the Shade – keeps interior cooler and prevents fuel evaporation.
Encourage Carpooling when possible.
Make Your Vehicle More Aerodynamic – avoid anything that creates wind drag.
Purchase Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
Anticipate Traffic Flow – accelerate and decelerate smoothly
Avoid Aggressive Driving
Avoid Uphill Speed Increases
Check the Web for the Best Fuel Deals – check out GasBuddy.com
Fill Up in Mild Weather – get more fuel density for your dollars at cooler times rather than the heat of the day.
Use a wholesale club or grocery store – Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s
Fleetistics WEX Fuel Card Integrated with My Fleetistics for Higher Visibility
The bottom line is it is time to get back to a fuel savings mindset. Fleet management technology is designed to give you the insight you need into your fuel spend and much, much more. Contact Fleetistics for more ideas on increasing visibility and lowering overall fleet costs.