Smart Fleet = Smart Government Webinar

Smart Fleet = Smart Government

Smart Fleet = Smart Government Webinar

Learn how you can maximize government telematics data in our exclusive Smart Fleet = Smart Government webinar on November 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST.

Smarter Fleets = Value

Finding increasing value in the data you are collecting is a tough job, especially in today’s uncertain economic climate. As health, EMS, and public safety spending increase and tax revenues decrease, Government fleet managers are being asked to do more with less, and without sacrificing safety and compliance. Telematics is an amazing tool to analyze your operations, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, all while ensuring that safety and compliance are maintained at the highest levels.

Smarter Fleets = Insight

Learn more about tracking compliance and levels of service for your Public Works fleet, strategies that will help blaze a path forward to your electrification goals and how telematics goes beyond its traditional use as a fleet management tool to optimize smart transportation and Vision Zero initiatives.

Learn how to manage mixed fleets and assets including Public Works to:

  • Track compliance and levels of service
  • Monitor material usage
  • Maintain core services citizens depend on

Build an electrification strategy tailored to your specific fleet’s needs:

  • See how an EV Suitability Assessment can blaze a path forward to your future electric fleet
  • Identify crucial EV specific data collection and use

Hear how data can be transformed into actionable smart city insights to:

  • Understand local transportation patterns, traffic safety and road conditions
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Justify investments in digital infrastructure

Presented by Chris Jackson, AVP, Government Business Development, Public Works and Smart Cities at GEOTAB

Chris Jackson

Meet the Presenter

Having begun his career in the Government industry over 20 years ago with the 407 Express Toll Route; Chris has always been involved in telematics by leading several successful intelligent transportation system projects, which involved early adoption stages of telematics at the turn of the century. He transitioned quickly from being within a Government agency using telematics, to being part of the telematics vendor community working with Government groups across North America in successful implementations of their telematics needs; ranging from small municipalities, to large City, Provincial, and State agencies.

MyGeotab Version 2003 – First Look at What’s New

Geotab Version 2003 First Look

As we have come to expect, when a new version of Geotab is released there are always a lot of questions. We just got our first look at MyGeotab version 2003 and want to share an advance look at what is coming soon. By turning on “Feature Preview” in your Geotab account settings, you will see some changes sooner. To turn the preview on, click on your username in the Geotab UI, then click options. Scroll about halfway down the page to UI Settings and click the on button for Feature Preview. Don’t forget to scroll back to the top of the page and save your new setting.


With this release of MyGeotab, Internet Explorer 10 is no longer supported!

Before we get started, please take note that as of this release of MyGeotab (version 2003), there is no longer support for Internet Explorer 10. This notice follows the Microsoft announcement which ended support for Internet Explorer 10 and older, earlier this year.

What’s New in MyGeotab?

First, this list of enhancements in MyGeotab 2003 is a long one. Even better, this release is jam packed with simple but powerful changes that will make the administrator’s job faster and easier. The changes made also provide more options for filtering to access information more quickly. So… here we go!

Easy Device Upgrade Requests in MyGeotab v2003

ProPlus Customers that have devices eligible for free upgrade will have the option to make the request through the UI. Eligible devices will be highlighted in MyGeotab and Fleetistics will be notified when the request is made. If you would like to review the great benefits ProPlus offers, contact us and get protected against network changes.

Consolidated Messaging (Feature Preview)

New threaded views provide conversation-style messages with simple-to-use input controls such as adding links and canned replies. Ultimately this give messaging the look, feel, and familiarity of an email app. Messages can be sent to devices so that anyone driving the vehicle can see them, or to users for more private communication.

Moreover, unread messages display in tab titles for easy detection, and as shortcuts under Notifications on the main title bar. Messages are searchable by date and filters to find desired messages more quickly.

New Groups Filter Functionality

In MyGeotab version 2003 the group filter isolates vehicles in more than one group. Perhaps you want to see only the dump trucks at a particular branch location. This feature change filters to only the vehicles that are assigned to both groups when you select multiple groups. In a future release you will be able to choose “AND” or “OR” based on whether you want to see vehicles in eother group or only in both groups.

Sustainability Rules Section added in MyGeotab 2003

To reflect the new Sustainability Pillar introduced at Connect 2020, idling rules are moved to this new section along with a variety of new EV specific rules. The new default rules include Low Charge, Entering and Exiting Charging Location, and EV Done Charging.

Privacy Settings for Exception Notifications

In System Settings a new tab has been added for Privacy settings. You will now be able to exclude information that may be considered sensitive from the notifications sent by your system.

New Zone Filtering

In MyGeotab 2003 sones can be filtered to only active zones. Simple but powerful.

DTC Codes Displayed in List View

Another big improvement is the addition of DTC codes to the Engine Faults displayed in MyGeotab. In the past you had to download a report to see the DTC codes. We think this one is a huge win.

Time Zone Reminder Message

Last on our list for this update is the one that makes you wonder why we weren’t asking for it all along. If the time zone on your computer is different than the time zone set in your user options, you will see a message alerting you to the difference. Again, so simple, but powerful.

Be watching for our next post on the 2003 release of GeotabDrive.

Smart City Innovations

Smart City Innovations

Smart City Technology is All Around Us

Smart City Technology is surfacing all over the United States. To most of us, smart city is a broad term used to describe how technology will make things better in the future, but it is hard to come up with a quick example of how technology actually makes a city smarter.

Smart 50 Awards in partnership with Smart Cities Connect honors the 50 most transformative smart projects each year. Among 2020 award recipients are several projects that rely upon GPS tracking and telematics. With that in mind, we have picked three of the 50 award winning projects to share with and inspire our readers. The official summaries of those winning projects follow.

San Jose Smart City

Smart City San Jose, CA

Emergency Response Times Improved

San Jose transformed traditional emergency vehicle preemption through a multi-domain solution expanding Central Traffic Management, integrating real-time CAD, and connecting vehicle presence. The results: response times fell by 24 seconds per trip benefiting life and safety; reduced accidents for first responders; and over $1.5 million in higher reimbursements.

After failing to meet mandated response times, the City of San Jose sought methods to improve response times. Traditional means to improve response times was through the further deployment of emergency vehicle preemption hardware to allow emergency vehicles faster passage to their destinations. In late 2016, emergency vehicle preemption equipment had been deployed at approximately one-third (or 336) of the city’s signalized intersections. Because this system required hardware installation at each intersection signal, system expansion and ongoing maintenance was too costly– at a rate of approximately 15 intersections per year, and an average cost of $15,000 per intersection and total cost of $9 million.

The City of San Jose made the decision to take a new approach to providing emergency vehicle preemption that leverages existing infrastructure and software systems already in use and eliminating the need for costly new hardware installation and maintenance. Creating a solution that is geo-aware, route in advance, real-time, and fast to deploy protects the lives and safety of residents, protects first responders from high in-transit accident rates, and provides the City with significantly higher revenue in the form of reimbursements.

Response times fell by 24 seconds per trip, preserving life and safety for residents Pre-cleared intersections reduce accidents for first responders in transit -Meeting response thresholds enables over $1.5 million in higher reimbursements from County partners -Solution saves the community 90% of the cost of traditional emergency preemption.

Pittsburgh Smart City

Smart City Pittsburgh, PA

Trash Collection Improvements

Sensors embedded within Pittsburgh’s trash receptacles measure the fill level of each container and transmit that information to the people responsible for servicing them. Waste collection process is made more efficient by only picking up containers above a certain fill level (e.g. 80%), saving money, time, and reducing environmental impact.
The project improves the efficiency of the waste collection process by measuring and reporting the fill level of every container, and then dispatching the collectors to only the containers which actually require collection. Pittsburgh sought to remove inefficiency within their trash pickup operation while reducing their carbon footprint and promoting costs savings. With the Relay system, they were able to maintain an accurate inventory of the locations and fill levels of more than 1,300 smart containers throughout the city.

The data gave them confidence in the decision to consolidate all of their containers into a centralized litter division, and also to reduce the staff responsible solely for picking up trash from 25 crew members down to 9. The 16 additional staff members have time to work on other tasks, which had been de-prioritized with the focus on trash collection. By picking up only the containers reaching 75% or 90% full, the city is saving money on truck drivers, laborers, fuel costs, equipment costs, and depreciation costs from the reduced wear and tear on collection trucks. Drastically cutting the amount of time these trucks are on the road also dramatically reduces the city’s environmental impact.

Streets are cleaner (less litter), containers are no longer overflowing, heavy diesel trucks are taken off the road (reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic delays to nearby drivers), taxpayer dollars are not going towards unnecessary trash collection, deferred public works responsibilities can have freed-up resources refocused on them.
Washington DC Smart City

Smart City Washington DC

Public Transit Improvements

Luminator Technology Group (Luminator) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) partnered to install digital displays across the metro area to provide passenger information, including real-time arrival and departure times. The agency improved rider information and gained operational efficiencies through centrally managed updates.
In an effort to further connect the Washington D.C. metro area to real-time information, this implementation across the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) service area resulted in increased and improved access to key route information, with WMATA seamlessly updating displays and real-time data from a single location. By eliminating the need to manually update paper signs, the project brought mutual benefits to riders and the agency. Riders have access to real-time information incorporating any delays or closures, meanwhile, WMATA has decreased labor costs associated with manual changes of paper signage. With Luminator’s involvement in WMATA’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the transit agency is able to provide information that increases the intelligence and efficiency of the solution, making stations brighter and easier-to-navigate. Luminator is also increasing efficiency throughout the system enabling future expansion.
WMATA currently has 400 of Luminator’s digital passenger information systems installed across its service area and will add another 400 over the next five years. With Luminator’s support, WMATA is improving and advancing these displays to meet the needs of approximately 120 million annual bus riders.

Congratulations to the Smart 50 Award Winners.

We congratulate all of the winners and look forward to participating with our City and County Government clients to welcome the future with Smart City initiatives. To learn more about the Smart 50 Awards visit

FMCSA Revisions to HOS Rules – Drivers and Dispatchers Respond

FMCSA Coming Revisions to HOS on 9/29/20

For quite some time we have been hearing about revisions to the HOS rules intended to provide more flexibility for drivers. At long last, several are slated to be implemented the end of next month. We reached out to some of our current clients to get their take on the coming rule changes, and the response was quite positive.

What are the coming FMCSA revisions?

  • The on-duty limits for short-haul operations will increase from 12 to 14 hours and from 100 air-miles to 150.
  • The adverse driving provision will extend the driving window two hours if the driver encounters adverse driving conditions. In the final rule, the definition of adverse driving was modified so that the exception may be applied based on the driver’s (in addition to the dispatcher’s) knowledge of the conditions after being dispatched.
  • In addition to splits of 10/0 and 8/2, drivers will be allowed a split-sleeper option of 7/3. Also, the qualifying period doesn’t count against the 14-hour window.
  • The 30-minute break provision will be modified to require the break after eight hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.
Happy Trucker

What are drivers and dispatchers saying?

They all sound like positive changes that will be helpful to drivers and dispatchers.
Scott Olson

Maier's transportation and Warehousing

I really like the changes to the 30 minute break provision. Now I won’t have to take a break after sitting at a terminal waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

Mike Zeug

Driver, Maier's Transportation and Warehousing

Most Outspoken Response

One of our clients was dead set against ELD from the beginning. He expected it to be a royal pain with drivers unwilling to embrace the new technology, and he fought it kicking and screaming, but in the end, had to comply. After implementing and using ELD for some time, his response was utterly shocking. Monty now agrees that ELD implementation is a good thing, and that it simplifies the driver’s record keeping saving time and frustration.

Regarding the FMCSA coming revisions to HOS Rules,

It should have been done a long time ago. It moves us from making political sense to using common sense. Most important are the sleeper berth changes. It allows a driver to make better use of unanticipated situations, for instance if the highway traffic is backed up he can pull off at a rest stop to take 3 hours sleeper berth time. Since it does not count against his 14 hour window, he can make up his lost travel time after the traffic clears.

Monty Hack

Fleet Manager - Safety Director, JS Weipz

OOIDA’s Response

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association expressed support for the final rule by filing formal comments. They say the new rules will accomplish FMCSA’s intended goal of providing drivers with more flexibility and control over their own schedules.

Driver Feedback to Create Positive Change

Using Feedback to Create Positive Change is Nothing New

From our perspective, that is what fleet tracking is for. Using feedback to create positive change in fleets and drivers is what we are all about. Feedback from devices changes driving habits. It has evolved from simple beeping when exceptions are triggered, to spoken coaching prompts using hardware, artificial intelligence, and integrated apps. In the same way, using feedback from employees is a great way to create positive change in your organization.

Using Feedback to Create Positive Change

Feedback is Critical to Improving Performance

You can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broken. Just as your GPS tracking system tells you where the fleet needs attention, constructive driver feedback points out what areas in your business need attention. In the old days, a suggestion box was enough. In today’s environment that is just not enough. With so many complex procedures and processes in place, employee feedback is critical.

Management that listens to what employees are saying continually improves how business gets done. As an example, we recently looked at our own order processing. We noticed a checklist that we created for every order duplicated information that was already in our new order notification emails. We did it just because that it how order processing had always been done. Certainly the notification email in place of the checklist to initiate order processing will streamline the process and save us all time.

Encouraging Constructive Feedback

Ultimately, drivers need to feel that their feedback is wanted and welcomed. Encouraging employee feedback based on specific goals is one way to get them to open up. Another good way to start is to ask for suggestions. Simple surveys or a form for employees to respond after a review can begin to create a culture where drivers feel their views and suggestions are valued. Similarly incentives for the best suggestions often encourage a dialogue.

Once the feedback begins, don’t take criticism personally. Without a doubt you need to know what things look like from the employee perspective to be an effective manager. For that reason you must be willing to receive criticism with an open mind. As an example, employees may say they are being faulted for speeding events they can’t avoid and feel management is too hard on them for it. They could be right. You can’t legitimately fault an employee for speeding or for not completing all of his stops on a route that cannot be reasonably completed at the posted speed limit.

It may be time for your organization to consider a routing and scheduling application to better plan and optimize your routes. With route optimization you can also save on fuel and maintenance while providing improved customer service. Ask us about our free assessment tool that can analyze your current routes and project your return on investment.

Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback

Certainly we are not the experts on this subject, but there is a lot of good information to be found on the web. We have shared a few of them below.

“Receiving Constructive Feedback From Your Employees”

Recently published on Impraise blog. It has a lot of good suggestions on how to encourage employees to open up and respond in a way that keeps the feedback coming.

“Feedback is Critical to Improving Performance”

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) serves as the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government. They have also posted on the subject.

Roadrunner Freight Featured on American Trucker

Most interesting to our readers are probably the results achieved by Roadrunner Freight. Roadrunner intentionally solicited and is making changes based on driver feedback in an effort to eliminate turnover and increase driver retention. This prompted what they call a major cultural overhaul. You can read all about it here on American Trucker.