Ford OEM Telematics Program

Ford - Geotab Partnership

Understanding Ford integrated telematics

Telematics Program Overview

 Ford, like other OEMs are installing a telematics solution in vehicle prior to delivery. Geotab is establishing relationships with OEMs to put the telematics data into the Geotab platform. Geotab is relying on companies like Fleetistics to implement and support fleet customers with either the OEM or Geotab GO device.

In this article we explain the pros and the cons of the OEM approach as well as the Geotab GO device approach. Fleetistics’ mission is to help customers select the best option for their fleet situation without preference or bias.

 

Who Is Eligible?

There are only a few requirements and if you have additional questions contact Fleetistics at 877-467-0326.

  • FIN code issued to fleet operator after fleetaccount.ford.com account is setup
    • Purchase 5 or more Ford vehicles at once
    • Have more than 15 commercial fleet vehicles in service from any manufacturer. Vehicles on blocks do not count.
  • Vehicles purchased Q3-Q4 2019 or 2020 with pre-installed telematics

Current Fleet Vehicles

  1. Contact Fleetistics and express your interest and an account manager will be assigned to walk you through the process and review the pros and cons to both approaches.
  2. Send a list of VINs and FIN to Fleetistics.
  3. Complete the Fleetistics order.
  4. Fleetistics sets up Geotab account.

New Fleet Vehicles

  1. Contact Fleetistics and express your interest and an account manager will be assigned to walk you throgh the process and review the pros and cons to both approaches.
  2. Create and setup your Ford account. fleetaccount.ford.com
  3. Send a list of VINs and FIN to Fleetistics.
  4. Complete the Fleetistics order.
  5. Fleetistics sets up Geotab account.

 

1. Q: What is the contract term?
A: It ranges from month-to-month to several years depending on customer selected options.

2. Q: What if I have a mixed fleet?
A: A Geotab GO device can be used on any vehicle or asset that does not have an OEM telematics device
installed.

3. Q: What about asset tracking?
A: It is not part of the program but Fleetistics can handle that with a Geotab device.

4. Q: Who will bill me for service?
A: Fleetistics handles all telematics services

5. Q: Is there a fee for the installation or GPS unit?
A: No. There is a small setup & implementation fee per vehicle.

6. Q: Who do I call if I have an issue?
A: Fleetistics 877-467-0326

7. Q: Can I see the rest of my fleet in the Geotab portal?
A: Yes. Ford data is integrated into your current Geotab portal.

8. Q: How long does the process take?
A: 1-2 weeks under normal conditions and if everyone works together.

9. Q: What other manufacturers is Geotab integrated with?
    A: Currently Ford, GM, Volvo, Mac and John Deere. More are in development.

10: Q:
       A:

11. Q:
       A:

Go to www.fleetaccount.ford.com

Select Get Started Here or email (reply in 1-2 business days) the name and email of the first account administrator to fcs1@ford.com

Navigate to the Vehicles menu. Your deal should have the VIN already entered. If not, contact Fleetistics and we will look into it for you. If you create a temporary user for your Fleetistics account manager, the account mananger can go into your account and do the setup for you.

Add vehicles if necessary. If a FIN code was not available at the time of purchase you will see unverified. You must email proof of ownership to Ford Customer Service (3-7 day turnaround).

Select the vehicles you want to activate telematics service on and choose Add Consent.

 

Select Geotab as the telematics service provider.

 

Send a list of VINs which have consent to your Fleetistics account manager so they can be added to your Geotab account. If you are a new customer an account will be created and you will be contacted to schedule training. The login page can be found at www.fleetistics.com/login

Ask your account manager about logging in with Active Directory , dash cams or tablets.

Features 

  • Service plans
  • Integration, 3rd parties
  • Accident data
  • Activation/Setup
  • AEMP 2.0
  • APIs
  • Asset tracking
  • Battery on crank
  • Battery monitoring
  • Cell carrier options
  • Check engine light
  • Driver Feedback Buzzer
  • Driver ID
  • DTC
  • ELD service
  • Electric vehicles
  • Engine Hrs
  • Fuel
  • Harsh driving
  • Installation
  • Memory Out of Coverage
  • Modular harness, IOX
  • Vehicle Manufacturer
  • Move GPS device to next vehicle
  • Odometer
  • Roadside assistance
  • Season service
  • Update rate
  • Track Resolution
  • Warranty, Lifetime

Ford

  • Base (LITE) & Pro
  • Limited
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • AT&T
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Forward, backward
  • None
  • 8 hrs
  • No
  • Ford only
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • Yes, limited
  • 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds
  • Matches vehicle

 

Geotab

  • Base, Compliance, Pro, ProPlus
  • Yes, 200+
  • Yes
  • No with GO device
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • AT&T, VZN, T-Mo
  • Yes
  • Yes, heartbeat
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes, all directions
  • Yes, OBD port
  • Yes – J-Bus, OBD, CAT, etc.
  • 30,000+ logs (weeks)
  • Any
  • Yes
  • Virtual and Vehicle
  • Yes, ProPlus
  • Optional
  • As needed. 10 to 300 sec
  • 1 sec
  • Limited lifetime

Features listed include many optional services that require additional fees. The lists are to demonstrate the general capability and flexibility of each platform. Contact a consultant for more details. 855.300.0527

Ford Pro  |  Ford Portal Ford Data Sets

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How To Properly Connect A Trailer

Properly Connecting a Trailer

 

The importance of training employees to safely connect a trailer is undeniable.  Still, many small service businesses use trailers and take for granted that employees know the law and how to properly connect trailers and cargo. There are several small but important things to train yours drivers to do, such as crossing the chains to avoid being put out of service.   Just because you are under 10,001 lbs, it does not mean you do not have to follow State DOT and FMCSA law as a commercial entity.

Trailers pulled by pickup trucks are the dominant configuration for small and large fleet operators outside the trucking industry. Moving a piece of equipment such as a skid steer, lawn equipment or debris likely makes up 90% of the small fleet towing. In this blog we discussing the typical pickup truck and trailer using a ball hitch with a GVW of less than 10,001 lbs.

Accountability for Proper Trailer Connection

It is important to explain to drivers they are responsible for following the law. To hold them accountable you must train them to the standards of the law and test their comprehension. This enables you to transfer responsibility to the driver should he or she get a ticket or be placed out of service. It is also important that your insurance carrier be aware of your training program and overall safety program, including what you do with telematics.

Most important is keeping your employees and other drivers safe. Faulty connections or worn parts can lead to dangerous situations. A trailer coming off the truck at 70 mph can easily cause a rollover, serious injury and fatalities. Something as simple as the trailer tongue coupler not being all the way down and locked on the ball can lead to a major issue.

Trailer Connection Failures

In a personal situation I trusted someone else to attach the trailer to my F-250. Within a 1/4 mile the trailer came off the ball and began to slam around. Fortunately we were going slowly in a residential area and a speed bump caused the separation. The trailer began to slam around as the chains held. The chains didn’t stop the trailer from swinging left and right and slamming into the truck. At that slow speed there was only minor damage. Since then I have learned to always double check since it is my truck, my insurance and my liability as the owner and driver.

In a commercial fleet any damage will result in a lawsuit from the other party and likely one from your employee as well. This topic should be covered annually and for new hires. Get ahead of the issues and proactively train. For consistency, create and maintain a company training library where you create outlines for your staff to use to lead training. One of the best and most consistent training organization is the National Safety Council. Check out their website for good ideas and examples of how training can be documented and executed.

 

Trailer Connection Checklist

  • Ensure trailer connections are tight and secure
  • Look for worn chains, wires and connectors
  • Cross the chains and keep them off the road
  • Check the breakaway braking cable & secure it separate from the chain
  • Ensure the load matches the truck, ball, hitch and receiver
  • Properly inflate tires, replace worn tires, and spec the tires to the trailer max GVW
  • Check all lights and safety equipment
  • Properly secure cargo. Over secure when in doubt. Chains are not required.
  • Properly mark commercial vehicles and carry the needed paperwork
  • Carry approved triangles and a fire extinguisher
  • Ensure the driver is trained and knowledgeable in connecting a trailer

 

Check out our other blogs on:

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Mobile Phone GPS Tracking App
Fleet Weather Service

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Fleet Weather

A New Dimension to Safe Travel

Safe travel has taken on a completely new dimension as we learn more about the invisible enemy and change our day to day routines to protect ourselves and each other.  Drivers have fared somewhat better than some other professions, but must be mindful of the new risks associated with every trip taken.  The end goal is still to arrive home safe after every trip.

The basics are important for everyone to remember.  Wash your hands often and don’t touch your face.  Wearing a mask and gloves is in your best interest, and if you are driving people, especially so. Certain types of driving present more risk than others, so here are a few safe travel tips based on profession.

 

Safe Travel Tips for Food DeliveryPizza Delivery

Avoid handling money.  If you must handle money, wear rubber gloves, change them often, and wash your hands between changes.  Have as little contact as possible with customers.  Step back from the door well before it is answered, or just leave the food and call the client to let them know it is there.  A customer told me today that a driver had left their food outside and did not bother to even let them know.

Be mindful of the vehicle surfaces that are often touched and clean and disinfect them often.  You are constantly handling things others have handled, so keep your immediate environment wiped down and think about safety prior to each trip.

 

Safe Travel Tips for Uber, Lyft, & Taxi Drivers

UberThis is a bit riskier than delivering things as you are in contact with many different people throughout the work day.  A little more precaution may be in order both for your safety and the safety of your passengers.  Keep your distance by only allowing passengers in the back seat.  Be prepared to disinfect between passengers, they won’t mind waiting. Consider fashioning a barrier between the front and back seats. Get creative!

Be watchful for signs of illness and take extra care if you see them.  A quick study of the guidelines published for Paramedics could be in your best interest.  Know what to look for and follow your companies guidelines for when it is best to recommend trained medical transport in lieu of your services.

You may want to require or at least ask passengers to wear masks if they have them.  If at all possible have tissues and hand sanitizer available for passengers.  Post information in your back seat, a friendly reminder could save a life.  The CDC has printable materials available in many languages on their website.

 

Safe Travel Tips for Truckers

Services that were once available every few miles are not so readily available these days.  Be aware before starting a trip where services may and may not be available.  Stay plugged into social networks for information.  There was a recent article about a high school in Washington that is open for truckers to park, shower, and get fed.  Only by networking with others in your profession will you find those gems.

Clean your cab often.  Many surfaces in your cab get a lot of hand contact.  Gear shifts, steering wheels, tablets, and radios should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.  Don’ forget the door handles, inside and out.  If you don’t have sanitizer, soap and warm water will do.  Here is a link to a list of CDC approved disinfectants.  They may not always readily available, so try to have some kind of cleaning solution on hand as well.  1/3 cup bleach to a gallon of water is a pretty safe bet in any case.

This is especially important in shared vehicles.  Some great vehicle hygiene are posted on the NRSPP website.

 

 

Cleaning the Door Handle

 

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Understanding the Value of Electric Vehicles

To EV or not to EV?

Electric Vehicles have come to stay.  There is no doubt that alternative fuel vehicles are steadily on the rise. That also certainly is the case with Electric Vehicles (EV). However, with the decrease in fuel costs in the US as of late, are the benefits worth the cost? Regardless of what vehicle is purchased the total cost of ownership is the major factor. In this blog, Kim Thoman, Fleetistics’ EV Expert, provides a comparison between Gasoline Vehicles (ICE for Internal Combustion Engine) vs Electric Vehicles (EV) and provides information to assist you in making an informed decision on what vehicle is right for your organization.

First, there are many factors involved in cost of ownership. These are the primary considerations.

  • purchase/lease price of the vehicle
  • cost to insure
  • fuel – gas or electricity
  • maintenance
  • Battery replacement or disposal

It’s no secret that ICE vehicles are less expensive then EVs off the lot. Furthermore, you must take into consideration the many incentives offered by government agencies on EV vehicle purchases and even utility companies offering rebates on charging stations. The incentives vary by state and the commitment to EV ideology.  In contrast, insurance is a factor regardless of the vehicle type. This will have to be a discussion you have with your carrier.

 

Cost to Power Comparisons – Electric Vehicles vs Gasoline

Next to consider is the costs to fuel/power EVs vs. ICE vehicles. Based on a study at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the average MPG for gasoline per gallon in 2016 was 25.3. The average cost per gallon was $2.35. Using 15,000 miles as the average amount driven annually the cost for fuel for the year equates to be about $1,400.00 annually.

Likewise we look at EVs in respect to annual electricity consumed. The average cost of electricity in the US in 2016 was $0.12 per kWh. Using a baseline of 15,000 miles per year, after normalizing calculations, it costs about $540.00 per year to charge the vehicle. Finally,  consider the cost of electricity throughout the US varies significantly more than gasoline. Even so, the cost over time is much more stable. The Department of Energy states charging an electric car costs about half as much as fueling an ICE vehicle. When it comes to the cost to power EV vs. ICE vehicles, EV wins hands down.

Cost to Maintain EV vs ICE

EV Saves Money

We have covered purchase price and power comparisons so let’s focus on the maintenance side. ICE vehicles require replacing parts that go bad over time. Electric motors only have one moving part while an engine in a traditional vehicle contains dozens. The ongoing maintenance with an ICE vehicle such as oil, fan belts, head gaskets, cylinder heads, spark plugs, etc. are not required to be maintained in an EV. EVs also use regenerative braking technology that extends the life of brakes on electric cars. Needless to say, there is some necessary upkeep required with an EV such as replacing windshields, wipers, suspensions and tire rotations. Overall the cost to maintain an EV over the lifetime of the vehicle is much lower.

There are additional considerations with an EV such as charging requirements. A home charger that can provide 30 miles of range an hour costs about $600.00 but again there are rebates available. Working together as a whole to reduce transportation costs would allow utilities to allow parked EVs to deliver power to the grid and provide owners with a monetary return. This allows owners to make money from their vehicles and boost the grid’s reliability and resilience. Another benefit from this is power onto the grid would allow more flexibility during peak demand times for less cost. The bottom line is balancing the supply and demand of electricity with EVs could result in avoiding costly upgrades.

Range Anxiety

Of course, we can’t forget about range anxiety. Range anxiety is the feeling of drivers not wanting to be stranded without access to charging facilities. This is huge in the commercial sector as typically vehicles are driving much more than 15,000 a year and many over long distances. This doesn’t mean that some vehicles can’t be transitioned into EVs or even a Plug-In Hybrid vehicle (PHEV).

Environmental Impact

On the surface, EVs appear to be more carbon-friendly, but are they really? The electricity being generated is typically being created by coal-burning power plants in the US. The raw materials, such as Cobalt, used to make the battery cells are mined from places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many countries do not practice eco-friendly mining and put nature and people at risk. Battery materials are then shipped around the world on diesel-powered ships.  After a battery bank is exhausted in a vehicle, it has to be disposed of properly or yet another environmental hazard is created. So when trying to do the right thing, you have to be committed to the reasons for wanting to invest in EVs.

If you want to save money, you will likely do that. If you want to save the environment, that does not seem likely in the current energy environment. By investing in EV, you are generating demand that will ultimately drive down costs in various aspects of the supply chain and may eventually lead to a carbon reduction.

Your Bottom Line

Electric Vehicle ChargerThe overall assessment based on rolling cost per mile, taking into account the cost of ownership, EVs are shown to be less expensive than ICE vehicles. However, EVs are not for everyone, both in the private and commercial space. Analysis can be done based on driving behavior, rolling cost per mile, location etc. to determine whether an EV could be a right fit. Contact us today for your personalized EV fleet analysis.

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Social Distance With High Productivity

Social Distancing, the New Normal

Businesses should always put any slow time encountered to good use.  This is even more important  as social distancing becomes our temporary reality.  Today, restaurants are limited to delivery and pick up.  Retail businesses limit the number of people that can be gathered at once.  As a result, businesses that serve those sectors can find themselves with some time to invest.

What are some things you can do now that will help you come back even stronger when this is all over? It’s a great time to research technologies of interest that you just have not had time  or reason to take a serious look at before.

Assessing Current Operations, a Good Place to Start

Did you know that Fleetistics assesses routes?  Our Route Optimization Assessment Tool analyzes your routes as they are being driven now, and evaluates the impact that an optimized route of the same stops has. The report considers routes as driven compared to the same order of stops optimized for the shortest distance, and finally, re-ordered for the most efficient order of stops and shortest distance. Ultimately this data is charted to evaluate miles, time, and fuel usage. There is even an interactive chart and map that allows you to dig into the individual route details.

Efficient routing and scheduling is a major difference between companies that just do OK and companies that thrive. Without hard data, many managers just don’t realize how much routes impact profitability.  Money is left on the table when routes are left up to the driver or best guessed using brainpower alone. Even more, small changes in a route that may seem insignificant can save significant amounts of fuel and man-hours.

Route Optimization Tool

 

 

In the example above for just one vehicle, $24 was saved in one day. Add to that, 30 minutes of labor cost or time to complete another job, and you can see this adds up to some significant dollars even in a small fleet. Call 855-300-0527 to schedule a route optimization assessment for your fleet today!

Expand Work From Home Capabilities

Maintaining social distance is forcing many companies to embrace telecommuting.  Working remotely is not a new idea. Many companies are well prepared to leave their offices and telecommute. Sure, there are some challenges, but we are adaptable.

If you are a Windows 10 user working from home, learn to use the task view icon on the taskbar. It is a good substitute for having multiple monitors. If you don’t have windows 10, try holding the windows key and pressing tab to get to task view. It displays all your open windows on one screen so you can navigate between them faster.

Need help getting setup to work remotely?  Our IT company, IGTech365 can help you implement Microsoft Office 365 with Teams. Work anywhere, at any time, from a smart phone, laptop or desktop. Being seamlessly mobile is a strategic requirement to be able to always assist your customers.

Implementing Change in the Mobile Workforce

Mobile forms apps quickly generate custom forms.  They work hand in hand with your fleet GPS Tracking bringing vehicle location and form data together.  These easy to use forms apps are a great tool to remind field workers of all the new steps they must take to stay safe.  Also, steps are recorded as completed creating a clear record and chain of custody.  Most important, electronic forms are easily modified as safety guidance changes.Electronic Forms

Used this way, mobile forms apps assure adherence to social distance protocols and evolving procedures needed to adhere to today’s guidelines.  Certainly processes will remain in a state of change, so being able to adapt quickly is critical.

Look for New Opportunity

Certainly there is good news we can focus on.  As a business operating a fleet, remember fuel cost is down, delivery and the need for more of it is up, and road traffic is low.  What assets and skills do you have available that can be put to work in our new temporary environment?  We hear amazing stories of companies re-purposing their products and vehicles to do what is most needed now.

  • Restaurant suppliers shifted to supplying grocery stores when their shelves were empty.
  • Auto makers are building respirators.
  • Clothing companies are producing face masks and gowns.
  • Commercial delivery fleets are assisting in moving emergency supplies to hospitals.

The more we focus on the positives, the stronger we will all come out of this.

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