NASHVILLE -- In-cab document scanning and transmission has been combined with advanced dispatch software to expand capabilities and speed payment of drivers and owner-operators, according to Eric Bauer, iGlobal LLC’s president, during an announcement at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

The iGlobal fleet management system is enhanced by a partnership with McLeod software, so customers can get automated position updates, two-way text messaging with canned and customizable forms, real-time driver log status, and automatic arrival and departure updates.

Billing and payroll documents are scanned and transmitted with iGlobal’s device, and payment for a delivered load can be made by Friday of the following week.

One user is Paramount Freight Systems. “The iGlobal system has been key in our ability to grow and retain our owner-operator fleet,” said Trent Dye, Paramount’s director of operations. “Their in-cab scanning system provides an easy way for the contractors to send their critical billing and payroll documents.

“The two-way messaging gives us the ability to communicate their weekly settlements during the week, allowing enough time so they can message back and notify us of anything that might have been left out. Now with iGlobal’s integration to McLeod’s dispatch and document imaging system, which we use in the back office, the accuracy and timeliness will only improve.”

The scanner-transmitter/receiver is inside a metal box that is attached to a pedestal, strapped to the passenger seat, or bolted on the floor next to the driver’s seat. The device is rugged and can survive drops and constant road vibrations. It’s assembled from mostly American parts at three locations in the U.S.

Data and messages are transmitted and received via cell phone signals, so no wi-fi signal is needed. An optional CB radio-like microphone also acts as a speaker.

Beta testing has shown that the integration allows customers to better manage load transit progress and estimated time of arrival, as well as out-of-route and driver detention occurrences, said Robin Hamlin, a project manager for McLeod. Knowledge of a driver’s hours of service status lets customers use the driver feasibility in McLeod’s Loadmaster program to improve load assignments and maximize driver productivity.

Paramount supplies the in-cab devices to its owner-operators for a monthly fee, Bauer said. Cost for one ranges from $799 for a volume deal to $1,499 to an individual. The monthly fee might be $30 for scanning.

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