1. Optimize your routes
When you know the volume and weight inside your trailer, you can ensure you are utilizing every cubic foot and every available pound. That could mean sending a driver to a nearby route for an extra pickup that would’ve sat and not been delivered on time.
Especially among LTL carriers, you can maximize the cube or the gross of a given trailer if you have that information available. But Vise is quick to point out that just because you have space, you still need your routes to make economic sense. “Re-routing drivers can require a lot of effort. “It’s a very dynamic system. Trucking has a very butterfly effect to it.”
“Many fleets have expressed interest in this kind of re-routing flexibility,” adds Jiddou. “If there’s a trailer that’s running in the area with the capacity to pick up an additional load, it just makes sense.The alternative is to send a second truck, driver and trailer. Making sure every trailer is full is a no-brainer.”
2. Get trailers where they're needed
When you know where your trailers are, you can get them dropped at the facilities where they’re needed, rather than sitting unused. Along with keeping those trailers ready to go and moving, Vise points out that trailer data can help fleets recapture lost revenue from detention issues. Like when a drop-and-hook trailer that’s supposed to be at a customer location, isn’t.
"With all the disruption out there, the lost opportunity for fleets is not only associated with not using the asset efficiently, but also in recovering the cost when you’re not able to use those assets at all,” says Vise. “Having knowledge of how long that trailer is not available to you, and being able to recover that from your customers, that's a key element in an environment like right now because of the backlogs.”Visibility also means no more sending drivers to manually walk lots looking for their trailer, or mistakenly directing a driver to the wrong yard or customer location.
3. Keep the wheels turning
And when you know it’s time to rotate the tires or service the brakes because of mileage, you can take care of these small maintenance issues before they become bigger ones that strand a very unhappy driver on the side of the road.
The ROI on trailer telematics might not be immediately obvious. But the information at your fingertips and how you use it can save your fleet money by keeping your drivers happy and keeping your equipment in top shape.
“Drivers are increasingly difficult to find, so retention is key,” says Vieth. “The challenge is to keep them as productive as possible, which will make them as happy as possible. If you lose a driver because his brakes seized up, the cost to replace that driver could probably cover the costs of installing telematics on 10 or 15 trucks.”
For more information on Road Ready trailer telematics solutions, visit RRTELEMATICS.COM.