In the concrete production business, time is crucial. Once raw materials or the mix enters a truck, drivers must move quickly and carefully to ensure the load does not set. Producers must have processes in place to keep operations running smoothly and ensure projects are completed on schedule. Fortunately, they can achieve the goal of running an efficient business by implementing a GPS fleet tracking solution.
|Fleet Dispatch includes a drag-and-drop Job Schedule Board that accelerates and simplifies other time-consuming methods of assigning jobs. With a Garmin personal navigation device or the NexTraq Connect mobile app, users can: increase productivity by providing drivers daily itineraries and routes; improve safety by reducing driver distraction with voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions; and, save time by pinpointing the most direct route or changing routes to avoid traffic job.
By utilizing a solution such as NexTraq, business managers can see exactly where vehicles and employees are and where they are headed. Dispatch is a key feature to seek out when selecting GPS fleet tracking technology. Comprehensive dispatch capabilities and data are beneficial to employees both in the office and the field, providing real-time, actionable information regarding routes, traffic and driver safety. NexTraq Fleet Dispatch offers all of these features, allowing managers to schedule jobs, dispatch information to vehicles and send messages to and from workers in the field. From the driver’s perspective, Fleet Dispatch shows the employee’s job list and job information; offers voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions; and, allows for a job status to be updated in real time.
ROUTE OPTIMIZATION, SCHEDULING
Construction delays, traffic, and congestion can throw off a business’ schedule for an entire workday. When drivers are transporting concrete, it is vital that they are equipped with the most efficient route possible to get from point A to point B. ClearPath optimized routing is an easy-to-use feature in NexTraq that takes locations and stops in a driver’s itinerary and orders them to create the shortest route.
If a delay pops up, it is important employees have other route options available. Via the GPS fleet tracking solution, dispatchers at the home office can quickly send optimized routes to a driver’s in-vehicle Garmin device or mobile device. Mixer drivers can then follow voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions to maneuver around road delays, helping them travel to job sites on time.
In addition, having an efficient job-scheduling process is important when operating a business that requires employees to be in the field, on job sites and on the go. NexTraq offers an intuitive Job Schedule Board, which provides simple drag-and-drop scheduling and employee assignments. As an added benefit for dispatchers, such a solution allows for all scheduled jobs to appear on one screen. Dispatchers can see the status of all current jobs and view employee availability for any incoming jobs. This saves the dispatcher time and improves scheduling accuracy.
NAVIGATION DEVICES, MOBILE APPS
From a driver’s perspective, a solution that automatically pushes job schedules, routes and detailed job information to an in-vehicle personal navigation device or a mobile device is key. With NexTraq’s Fleet Dispatch, drivers can view these updates instantly on a Garmin PND or with the NexTraq Connect app directly on their smartphones or tablets. By having these updates readily available, drivers save time trying to figure out where they should be going. Additionally, they can quickly and easily update job status, helping to keep dispatchers informed of activity in the field.
As an added benefit to drivers, mobile applications such as NexTraq Connect, can improve communication as workers can automatically assign themselves to vehicles, report maintenance issues, and update odometer readings. Employees can also record start, break and end work times via the mobile app, improving managers’ insights into operations.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, distracted driving is a factor in 25 to 30 percent of all traffic crashes. Employees in ready mixed concrete production are often driving to and from sites, spending a great deal of time operating a vehicle. As they are often on the go, a GPS fleet tracking solution that automatically pushes optimized routes and gives voice-guided turn-by-turn directions, keeps drivers’ eyes on the road and reduces the chances that they will be involved in an accident.
Concrete producers can use a GPS fleet tracking solution, specifically dispatching features, to increase communication and improve operations. In addition, businesses that implement fleet tracking typically realized return on investment in as little as one month. Companies will find that productivity is increased, as employees are able to get more work done in a day thanks to optimized routes and improved job scheduling, while also improving employee safety.
Daniel Valentin is director of Marketing at Atlanta-based NexTraq, whose Fleet Dispatch, Fleet Metrics, and NexTraq Connect applications deliver real-time data needed to optimize trucking operations. — NexTraq, Atlanta, 800/358-6178 or 678/762-6804; www.nextraq.com