Fleets say coaching app improves MPG and driver health


In the process of complying with the ELD mandate, many fleets have invested in new mobile technology that supports a wide range of present and future needs.

Amid the current driver shortage, a panel of fleet managers said on July 8 that using a real-time driver coaching app included in their ELD system has improved fuel efficiency, security and retention.

Real-time driver coaching is increasingly common, with many ELD and telematics systems now having cameras, computer algorithms and software capable of instantly detecting and alerting drivers of sub-behavior and risks. performing, such as distraction.

The Fleet Leadership Panel participated in a webinar hosted by the Truckload Carriers Association sponsored by ISAAC Instruments.

Put a coach in the cabin

When CNTL was looking for an ELD platform, Derek Gaston, supervisor of trucking operations for the trucking subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway (CN), said the company wanted “a state-of-the-art system” for safety and security. conformity.

When evaluating an ISAAC platform, “we saw the potential of live driving coaching,” he continued. “It was definitely a bonus within the reach of our product and corporate goals.”

ISAAC has a live coaching feature that gives drivers instant feedback on their fueling behaviors such as throttle entry, gear shifting, and cruise control use. It also monitors security behavior and has a camera system that records critical security events.

While driving, the ISAAC Driver Coach provides instant feedback on fuel-efficient driving behaviors.In total, the ISAAC platform monitors more than 40 vehicle entrances at a rate of 100 times per second and gives the driver intuitive feedback, said Jean-Sébastien Bouchard, co-founder and executive vice president of sales at ISAAC Instruments.

Tucker Freight Lines, a dry pickup truck and flatbed transporter based in Dubuque, Iowa, has been using ISAAC for about two years.

“The Driver Coach app works really well with the driver,” said Cody McClain, director of safety and human resources for Tucker Freight. “Talking to the drivers is the main thing they like. “

Drivers know what they need to do to improve, he explained. To this end, McClain attributes an overall increase in fleet mpg of 1.0 to the use of ISAAC’s Driver Coach. With an improvement of 1.0 mpg, drivers save about $ 200 per week in fuel. Both hire-purchase contractors and owner-operators deposit those savings in the bank and, over the course of a year, save up to $ 10,000, he said.

“[$10,000] is a huge number, and it may seem like such a big goal, ”McClain said. ISAAC’s driver scoring system allows drivers to track their progress towards their fuel economy goals on a daily basis, he explained.

Streamline administration

Tucker Freight Lines uses ISAAC driver scores as the basis of an incentive plan to reward company and contractor drivers for their positive contribution to fleet safety and energy efficiency goals, among others areas.

Deryk Gillespie, vice president of information technology and innovation for Trimac (CCJ Top 250, # 63), one of the largest tanker carriers in North America with more than 2,000 trucks, a said the company used weekly driver scores to qualify its employees. and entrepreneurs for the raffles.

The Driver Coach feature took away the administrative headaches of tracking and reporting driver data and interviewing drivers about their performance over the phone or bringing them to the office, Gillespie said. “It’s proactive and a lot easier to administer,” he said.

Trimac initially installed the platform in around 200 trucks and did not use Driver Coach for almost a year. During this period, the platform established a baseline for MPG. Since implementing Driver Coach, Trimac has seen fuel efficiency improvements of around 7-10% compared to the same trucks, drivers and routes. Fleet-wide savings are lower, between 2 and 3 percent, due to wide variation in operating conditions.

The three fleet leaders also praised a feature that allows them to remotely view the screens that operators see on their tablets to aid in training. “It saved our lives,” McClain said. “It contributed to our retention numbers more than anything else. “

When drivers try to explain something that’s going on inside or outside the cab, CTNL’s Derek Gaston said office fleet managers can see exactly what drivers mean when they turn on a camera in the tablet and show the office a live video feed. “It is a game-changer for us,” he said.

Deryk Gillespie of Trimac mentioned the company’s progress in efficiency with the Electronic Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report (eDVIR), a third-party document scanning application, and giving drivers electronic access to company documents.

“We are virtually paperless on the back office side,” he said.

Gillespie said third-party apps can be installed on the ISAAC platform and locked while the vehicle is in motion for safety reasons. “I have no doubts that this is where the future of the industry has to go,” he said.

All fleet leaders agreed that real-time driver coaching also reduces stress on the job when drivers have information to hone their skills.

“I really think it helps a driver’s health if they follow the coach,” Gaston said.

Cody McClain of Tucker Freight Lines recalled a conversation he had with a driver who had dramatically improved his driving score, mainly by taming his penchant for speed. The driver, McClain said, told him that “when I come home at the end of the week my wife likes me better. I am in a better mood and less stressed.

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