Geotab T-Mobile 3G to 4G Upgrade Program

T-Mobile 3G Sunset 12/31/2020

 

T-Mobile has announced they will enforce the published date to deactivate 3G GPS tracking devices. This means Fleetistics customers with GPS devices using the T-Mobile 3G network need to plan now.  Those devices will stop reporting at the end of the year. Fleetistics has several programs in place to aid customers in transitioning from TMO 3G to the newer 4G technology.

AT&T and Verizon customers are not affected by T-Mobile’s plan. They have committed to maintain their 3G networks until 12/2022.

Customers must be in good financial standing to participate in the upgrade program.

 

T-Mobile Telematics

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877.467.0326

TMO 3G Upgrade Program (Geotab customers only)

 

  1. Existing ProPlus and Fleetistics rental customers automatically get replacement devices in Q4 of 2020 or at Geotab’s discretion with a service agreement that extends past 2020. Now is the time to call Fleetistics customer service and schedule 3G upgrade for Q4 to be sure GPS devices are available.
  2. Current customers not on the ProPlus service can qualify by upgrading to Pro Plus prior to 1 July 2020.  They will then be eligible to receive free replacement devices in Q4 with a 12 month ProPlus service term. ProPlus service includes a host of upgrades, such as road-side assistance, that make being a ProPlus service customer an excellent value. Click here to learn more about ProPlus features.
  3. Customers not wanting to upgrade to ProPlus may purchase a replacement device at a deeply discounted and subsidized price. Contact Fleetistics for details.
  4. Customers not wanting to purchase a 4G device may receive a free T-Mobile 4G device with a minimum service agreement of 24 months. If you love the Geotab platform and never plan to leave the most robust fleet management solution available, why not take advantage of this free 4G upgrade offer.

Changing Cellular Network Carriers On Upgrade

In some situations network coverage changes and a customer may feel a different carrier is now a better option. Since this program is T-Mobile specific the free upgrade program does not offer carrier switching. However, for a nominal fee, customers may choose to replace T-Mobile device with an AT&T or Verizon telematics device. Contact your Fleetistics account manager or customer service for pricing and details.

GO GPS Tracker from Geotab

Installation Requirements

To avoid undue delays and administrative fees you will have 5 days to install the replacement devices from the date of delivery before the old 3G devices are deactivated. If you have more GPS trackers than you can replace in 5 days Fleetistics will work with you to provide multiple deliveries for the cost of shipping.

The goal is to make this exchange process for customers across the United States quick and efficient.

Replacing Devices In MyGeotab

It is  important that you replace the old GPS devices with the new devices in your MyGeotab account. The linked document, Geotab Replacing A Device, walks you through this process.  Be sure to contact us with the serial numbers of the devices you have replaced so they can be deactivated.  Failing to do this step will result in double billing. It is recommended that you open a support ticket in MyFleetistics asking customer service to verify everything is correct once you feel the replacement is complete.

After swapping the GPS devices, replacing them in MyGeotab, and confirming with Fleetistics customer service, the 3G T-mobile devices can be disguarded since they will be deactivated and cannot be reactivated.

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Measuring Fleet Productivity & Idle Waste

Measuring fleet productivity and controlling idle waste are two easy ways to save money in difficult times.

Contributed by Sherri Mills

In this blog, we discuss two top cost-control strategies using Geotab GO device data to help boost productivity and vehicle uptime. In the business we often refer to this as the “low hanging fruit”.

What is fleet productivity?

Tracking fleet productivity is a top concern for many businesses, especially when labor is one of their most significant costs. Improving productivity will help you provide optimal service to your customers, which is important now more than ever. Telematics technology gives fleet managers accurate and detailed visibility over their vehicles, helping businesses allocate assets where they are needed most.

Maintaining 100% visibility over vehicle utilization and work assignments helps make sure that Hours Paid = Hours Worked as much as possible. Gaining just one hour of driver productivity per day, or even per week, adds up quickly.

Keeping Score

Fleet productivity is the basic measure of employee work output. Creating a productivity score provides a way to objectively measure performance so you can identify successes and pinpoint where improvement is needed.

Keep in mind, it is not ideal to expect 100% productivity, especially when employees lack control over their own output, for example when they are dependent upon customer availability, or when they are impacted by adverse weather and traffic.

Productivity score formula

(Total Hours Worked) / (Shift Hours less Lunch, Breaks or Meetings, Downtime like traffic) = Productivity Score

For example:
(Drive time = 5 hours + Office time = 1 hour) / (8 hour shift – 1 hour lunch and breaks)

(5+1) / (8-1) = 86% Productivity score

You can adjust this formula as needed depending on the structure of your business.

Managing Idling

If you’re looking at ways to improve productivity, idling is another area to look at. While not all idling is avoidable, for example in heavy traffic, there are many instances where it can and should be minimized.

Excessive idling not only wastes fuel, but also time — idling vehicles are not making deliveries or driving to their next work location. Idling can also put extra load and engine hours on your fleet, increasing the number of oil changes and other maintenance tasks required.

While the GO device automatically monitors idling within each trip (no setup required), customizable reports and rules make tracking idling easy.

Here are the most effective reports for identifying and curbing idling:

1. Highest Idling Duration

See the percentages of engine time spent idling versus driving, per driver, per day. The results of this report can be used to determine which drivers need further training.

2. Daily Idling Cost Trend

The Daily Idling Cost Trend report provides a rolling, seven-day view of your fleet’s total cost of idling, which can be refreshed daily. You can use this report to spot trends during certain days of the week, which may correlate to specific work assignments or job sites, allowing you to make adjustments for the following week.

3. Last 3 Months Idling Trends Report

This report displays the total fuel spent while idling across the entire fleet. You can use this report to assess whether or not your efforts to reduce idling have been successful. Trend reporting tools can also be used in areas like asset utilization.

You can download the Last 3 Months Idling Trend from the Geotab Marketplace. View report.

 

4. Idle Cost (previous 30 days)

The Idle Cost report provides a 30-day rolling view of the fleet’s total cost of Idling. While managing productivity is key, seeing the whole cost of idling over 30 days is impactful as well.

Conclusion

Telematics systems can be used to measure and understand the productivity of fleets.  With Fleetistics and the Geotab telematics platform, you and your customers are assured exceptional data producing real ROI results.

We look forward to partnering with you and demonstrating real success for your customers’ fleets in 2020.  The best is yet to come. 

 

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DOT Compliance For Small Business

Small Business Explanation

This blog is designed as general information for the small business operator who is unsure if their line or volume of work requires being DOT registered and compliant. The video will help distinguish between a weekend warrior and commercial entity. It will guide you through some of the most common requirements so when you are eventually pulled over you are prepared. It also gives you an idea of how to respond if you are not a commercial entity so you can get on your way quicker. Be sure to check your local regulations and read the FMCSA website for details.

 

Does My Business Need to Be DOT Compliant

Knowing if you need to be DOT compliant as a small business may be confusing. There are a few questions to answer to make this determination. Once realized, you can work to get compliant in an organized manner.

The first criteria is whether your power unit (truck) is being used to generate revenue. Are you acting on behalf of a business to make money?  Second is gross vehicle weight.  Does your power unit and trailer have a combined GVWR over 10,001 lbs?  The gross vehicle weight rating is marked on the decal inside the door jam. Most heavy duty pickup trucks have a GVWR over the 10,001 lbs limit. When you add a trailer to the power unit, it is easy to exceed 10,001 lbs.

Last, where is the vehicle operating? If the vehicle is operating state-to-state, the vehicle is considered to be a commercial vehicle. There are mileage exceptions to this.  Most widely used is the 100 air mile short haul exemption.  A commercial vehicle that stays withing a 100 mile radius of the work reporting location, and returns to that location within the work day may be exempt.  There are also agricultural exemptions for a 150 mile radius.

Always refer to the FMCSA guidelines and FAQ to be sure your vehicle qualifies for an exemption.  If DOT compliance is in doubt, contact your local FMCSA filed office for guidance.

 

FMCSA Compliance Made Easy

Once you are designated as a commercial operator, you are required to implement electronic driver logs for hours of service compliance. This can be a daunting realization. Failing to be compliant can lead to all sorts of terrible consequences such as DOT fines, higher insurance rates or even being dropped.  On top of that, reduced delivery times with limited driving hours and a host of computer related activities will suck up your time and financial resources.

In contrast, compliance with a full featured ELD system eliminates wasting time correcting paper driver logs, a second set of books, and potential DOT fines.  Ultimately it rewards you with happier drivers and  less turnover. In the end, your investment in ELD generally pays for itself in many ways.  Fortunately, Fleetistics offers ELD, DVIR, IFTA and other services in a single platform to facilitate FMCSA compliance and save you time and money.

 

Basic DOT Compliance Checklist

  • Read and follow your State & FMCSA guidelines
  • Train your drivers and test their knowledge as your first line of defense to a DOT audit
  • Issue and train drivers how to use paper logs if your electronic logging device goes down
  • Carry a correct and properly mounted fire extinguisher
  • Carry a box of three roadside triangles
  • Display your company name, IFTA decals and DOT number on both sides of your vehicl
  • Always keep spare fuses on hand for the vehicle type
  • Have available in cab the proper registration, insurance, ELD documents and CDL
  • Track time on duty and mileage by state for IFTA
  • Maintain annual inspection and documentation

 

Check out our other blogs on:

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Balancing Safety and Service for a Brighter Fleet Outlook

Contributed by Sherri Mills

Safety and Service – Creating a Balanced Approach

With personal safety and the safety of others at the forefront of our minds, safety will remain in focus as we re-start our engines, and re-open our doors.  As fleet management resumes a more robust pace in the days ahead, the scope of business reality and total cost of ownership (TCO) for fleets will include a balance of both safety and service.

First, as demand increases and productivity resumes, so does the efficiency required to perform at optimum levels. The essential vehicles of your fleet, and the employees that drive those vehicles, will still be your most valuable assets. Protecting them and ensuring their safety is critical.

Back to Basics

National Safety CouncilGet back to basics with measuring and monitoring the safety of your fleet.  Pay close attention to harsh driving behaviors, seat belt usage, and speeding. Utilizing actionable telematics and accelerometer data, will ensure compliance, accountability.  It will help your team to rally to a stronger position of recovery.  Setting driver alerts for speeding will recoup lost dollars and provide peace of mind in safe driving measures.

Reducing Fuel Spend

Next, but equally important is Fuel economy.  Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. For every 5 mph driven, over 50 mph, it is costing roughly an additional $0.18 per mile for gas.  With monitoring and coaching, you can easily slow drivers down and capture that savings.  In addition, speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to vehicle collisions.  It impacts the total cost of risk, predominantly in workers compensation claims.  A report by OSHA, NHTSA, and NETS estimated that one work-related accident involving a fatality could cost an employer $500,000. Telematics’ accelerometer data provides the insights for targeted coaching to ensure the safety of your fleet and your drivers by reducing collisions.

Optimize and Right Size

Finally, consider the service component.  To maintain balance within your fleet, the other side of the scale is ensuring safety on the road with proper servicing and maintenance. Time is money; not only in recovery mode, but also in building and preserving your fleet going forward. As you rebuild your fleet focus on rebuilding more efficiently than before. Understanding asset utilization, average miles driven per day, rolling cost per mile by route and improved maintenance can make your fleet leaner and more efficient without a loss of revenue. You can rehire your best field service technicians and implement new standard for training and service. During this slow period you can review all aspects of your business and prepare a new way of doing things when our country gets past the Covid-19 challenge.

Most Costly Assets

Use the Tools to Balance Safety and Service

Telematics data provides the details you need to proactively schedule and plan for routine maintenance. Engine data alerts you to ongoing service issues and reduces down time. Planned maintenance is a standard part of vehicle ownership, but unplanned repairs due to aggressive driving and vehicle misuse are an unnecessary cost. The cost savings resulting from fewer scheduled maintenance appointments is a given.  In contrast, a non-scheduled maintenance interruption can result in lost profits of between $400 to $700 per incident for a standard vehicle and thousands for a truckload of frozen seafood.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that telematics technology can help a company reduce these scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and repair incidents by as much as 14%.   Managing your fleet with specific diagnostics information and daily reporting of service needs will provide better control, overall planning, and build longevity for the next phase of your operations.

return-on-investmentProactively managing with balanced attention to safety and service gives you a competitive edge.  Stay safe on the roads with telematics technology from Fleetisitics, and build toward a better, stronger tomorrow.

 

Securing Trailer Cargo

Securing Trailer Cargo For Safety

Unsecured or poorly secured trailer cargo is fairly common on the road.  We all see painting vans with a half dozen ladders on the roof, a mattress on top of the car or a carpet hanging out the back doors.  Often the body rubs the wheels due to being overloaded. By all means if you want to be pulled over, attract attention to yourself by being this guy. Anyone can be pulled over for being unsafe but the more obvious you are about doing a great job securing your cargo, the less likely you are to get pulled over.

 

Calculating Working Load Requirements

One of the most interesting aspects of securing cargo is calculating the number of straps and the working limit of each. This is covered in the video below but the general rule of thumb is that the straps have to be rated for 50% of the load weight. For example, you have an 8,000 lbs backhoe, your straps or chains need to be rated for 4,000 lbs.  You need one in the front and one in the rear. If the cargo is over 10,000 lbs, you must strap all four corners for a working load limit of 50% or higher.

One thing that I learned, and not until watching the video for the second time, is critically important.  If your strap loops around the equipment, the strap rating is cut in half. Why? The video doesn’t say but it likely has to do with how the strap was tested and that angles on the equipment may cut into the strap under extreme loads.

What looks to be a smooth rounded edge may decrease the strap strength by 40% when 2,000 lbs of pressure is applied.  Consequently if you have to have 4,000 lbs in straps and each strap is rated for 2,000 lbs, if you wrap around the equipment and do not use the hooks, your straps are considered to be only 50% of the listed 2,000 lbs working load. To compensate you will need four 2,000 lbs straps which are considered 1,000 lbs each to get the 4,000 total, or 50% of the 8,000 lbs.

 

Securing Accessories Or Implements On Your Equipment

Often times trailer cargo includes equipment with a boom, grapple, mower or other implements that attach  to the equipment. Implements require a separate conversation to ensure they are also secured. There are two ways to secure an implement.

  1. Utilize a factory locking mechanism
  2. Use straps or chains

A factory locking mechanism includes a pin or spring loaded locking handle that keeps the implement in place. These generally are designed for transporting the equipment with the implement attached. As a rule of thumb, if in doubt strap it down. Additionally, if a DOT officer can easily see you have taken the extra steps to secure your load, he/she will likely opt to pull over the truck next to you that did not take great care to be safe.

 

Securing Trailer Cargo Checklist

  • The better it looks, the less likely you are to get stopped. If it looks good, odds are you already did a good job.
  • Straps or chains are sufficient
  • Under 10,000 lbs, 1 strap in front and 1 in the rear
  • Over 10,001 lbs, strap the 4 corners
  • Secure cargo if it will impact the vehicle handling during an emergency maneuver or routine driving
  • Leave the load rating labels on the straps
  • Teach your drivers how to calculate the needed straps or chains based on cargo weight
  • Secure to immovable components, like the frame, not a brush grill
  • When in doubt, add more straps
  • Don’t overload the axles and tire max working load

Check the rules and regulations in the state you operate in and FMCSA for complete details.

 

Check out our other blogs on:

GEotab GO9 GPS Vehicle Tracking
Fleet Management Platform
Mobile Phone GPS Tracking App
Fleet Weather Service

GPS Tracking

Fleet Management

Phone Tracking

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