Adkison Towing Company has been providing towing services to Jacksonville, Florida motorists since 1998. The company’s fleet of 16 flatbed tow trucks, wheel lift trucks (quick pick) and heavy wreckers is running hard – supported by a 24 hour dispatch center that is always on/always available to field customer calls for towing assistance.
For most fleets, fleet tracking can be simplified down to two key things: knowing the location of drivers and vehicles, and dispatching jobs. Towing business operators, however, have extra needs. They need to ensure that power take off (PTO) engagement correlates to the number of jobs dispatched to a truck. They also need to monitor a driver/vehicle’s movements in detail. And of course, they want to know if their drivers are operating responsibly on the road, how their vehicles are performing, and if their business is running with optimum efficiency.
Like most towing businesses, Adkison Towing understands that technology now plays a significant role in running their business. To run the core business, Adkison uses Tow123 (powered by ADD), a web-based tow management platform offering digital dispatch and comprehensive lot management capabilities. Tow123 integrates with physical GPS units installed within 11 of Adkison’s towing vehicles, offering two-way, real-time communication between the dispatch team issuing job orders, and the driver and vehicle.
Adkison Towing became a TomTom Telematics customer in May 2014. The move to the TomTom WEBFLEET SaaS solution provided Adkison with a much stronger solution offering near real-time GPS tracking, comprehensive telematics, driver coaching and robust reports and analytics.
Using the combination of TomTom WEBFLEET and Tow123, we are able to track the location of our trucks every 10 seconds, and everything is time stamped, explains Marshall.
The integration with the Tow123 towing dispatch system, gives Marshall all the information he needs, presented in one screen. Because I can send and receive calls and quickly see where drivers are, I went from 55 calls a day to 100-120 calls a day without any extra office personnel, says Marshall. In our business, time is money. We literally may have 20 seconds to take a phone call. So any extra steps we can avoid, helps to keep the business efficient and productive.
TomTom WEBFLEET also helps Marshall monitor the overall health of his fleet. Using TomTom WEBFLEET and OptiDrive 360, I can track key information from fuel consumption, to detailed driving behavior that goes beyond location including: harsh braking, harsh steering, idling, engine diagnostic alerts, separate idling from standstill, to monitor a guy’s gear shifting, and to see if he’s maintaining a constant speed or coasting. These factors all impact vehicle maintenance and can contribute to fuel consumption (or savings).
Within the cab Marshall uses TomTom WEBFLEET’s OptiDrive 360, which provides his drivers with direct feedback during and after a trip to encourage responsible and safe driving behaviors. It’s working great and is standard in our vehicles. It allows our drivers to focus on the job at hand, and there’s no dispute. If the system detects harsh braking, or over-idling it is there to remind the driver right away. We don’t feel like we’re having to hang over their shoulder all the time acting like the bad guy.
As a business owner, Marshall wants to manage his fleet in detail. TomTom goes above and beyond in that regard. I know how trucks are operating, whether they are on time, and if they are meeting objectives for the day. We can see when the PTO (Power Take Off) has been placed in operation showing a vehicle is being loaded or unloaded, which keeps our drivers honest at all times. He also points out that he can readily access this information from his iPhone. I can be anywhere in the world, and know where my drivers are and what’s going on with my business.
The historical information gathered within TomTom WEBFLEET also helps Marshall defend his business and his drivers’ reputation. If the business receives a compliant about a driver, he can quickly validate speeding, locations, and operations of equipment on the truck. The ability to defend our business and drivers with accurate information logged in TomTom WEBFEET alone is worth the investment in the fleet tracking solution.
With TomTom WEBFLEET, I have finally found a system that helps my business be as productive as possible. Every day is different for us. But having more complete visibility allows my office and I to adapt more easily in order to hit our efficiency goals.