Do dump truck dispatch apps create efficiency? The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, they absolutely do.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty of how dump truck dispatch services can help you improve efficiency, let’s review the evolution of dump truck software within its bigger context.
Why Aren’t There More Dump Truck Dispatch Apps?
There aren’t a whole lot of dump truck apps to choose from because the construction industry, as a whole, has lagged behind other industries when it comes to adopting digital solutions. In fact, according to a McKinsey Global Institute Industry Digitization Index, out of 22 sectors examined, construction ranked second from the last, landing only above agriculture and hunting. The index analyzed and compared the amount of digitization in three areas: assets, usage and labor.
Industries that were identified as leaders in digitization showed higher levels of spending on computers, software, telecommunications equipment and data storage. Their digital usage was measured by electronic payments, social technologies, digital marketing and management of back-office functions and customer relationships. For the third category, labor, the index looked at digital spending on workers and how much work was digitized.
As the construction industry began to play catch up, dispatch solutions for long-haul trucking slowly started emerging. As the product selection grew, many of these platforms were fitted with some additional tools for managing other aspects of fleet management.
However, if you were in the short-haul or vocational trucking industry, you either did without digital help or made do with solutions that weren’t built to manage dump truck loads and other challenges of your daily operations.
Two Guiding Principles to Gaining Efficiency with Dump Truck Software
Anxious to ride the digital wave, some dump truck fleet owners purchased technology meant for the long-haulers. At first glance, it made sense. After all, many of the needs are the same. Both need to communicate in real-time with drivers, track various activities, dispatch drivers and get usable data for better decision-making.
But it didn’t take long for the short-haulers to realize the solutions couldn’t solve for a heavy portion of their workload: handling last-minute changes, reordering shifts for long-term projects and finding third-party haulers when they needed them.
The first key to creating efficiency with software is to make sure it’s designed specifically for your type of business.
After you’ve done your research and settled on a solution that fits your needs, then you must use it. Obviously, right? But it’s actually more common than you’d think for companies to make the leap, get all excited about their new dump truck app and expect all the potential benefits--increased efficiency, productivity, safety and more--to simply happen.
For the expected results to manifest, you must use the digital tool in combination with strategic thinking to create new business models, products and better operations and customer engagement policies. For example, your dump truck software enables you to see in real-time that a driver will be late for a pick up due to heavy traffic. But it’s up to the user to react and reroute the driver to make up for lost time--that’s how you gain efficiency.
That efficiency is powered by the software which connects humans to get the job done. Dump truck loads will be dispatched all day long; however, the dump truck dispatch app makes it much faster and less frustrating for the human being who’s ultimately in control.
The second key to increasing efficiency with dump truck dispatch services is simply to put it to use.
How Do Dump Truck Dispatch Apps Make Your Operations More Efficient?
1. Take-It-With-You Technology
One of the primary ways dump truck dispatch services can boost your efficiency is on the mobile side of things. Many solutions now offer a mobile app. From anywhere and at any time, you can access everything you need to get your work done through the application.
This feature was particularly helpful during the recent stay-at-home situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the powers that be decided construction was an essential industry, construction professionals scrambled to figure out how to do their jobs without going in to an office.
The tasks of creating a schedule and dispatching the right number and kind of trucks was tricky enough using traditional paper-reliant processes and when COVID-19 forced dispatchers out of the office they were at a serious deficit - even if they had an office at home to use they didn’t have the vast information available in the dispatch office. But for the lucky dispatchers who already enjoyed the benefits of digitized dump truck dispatch services, the job was significantly easier. Really no different from being at the office because the app is designed to give users all the functionality they need to schedule and dispatch remotely.
Now as things continue to swing back towards normalcy, a mobile feature may not be a necessity per se, but as a tool to increase efficiency, it’s hard to beat. In the office or on the go, dispatchers can stay on top of the schedule, assign drivers, react to changes and bulk reorder.
2. Dispatch with a Few Clicks and No Calls
Dump truck dispatch apps replace paper processes and phone calls with electronic ones. That in itself is a huge move up on the efficiency scale. When all the shifts can be assigned to either internal or third-party haulers with a few clicks instead of phone calls or texts, that’s getting more done in less time--and that’s the definition of efficient.
Every time a dispatcher has to make a change, it can impact the overall schedule and requires communicating the changes to all the parties involved. With a digital solution in place, what could take a better part of an hour is done in minutes. Not only will the dispatcher be able to instantly communicate to individuals or multiple haulers at the same time, they’ll know the message was received, eliminating the need for follow up calls.
3. No Paper. That’s the eTicket
Anyone who’s ever stood by and watched a driver rummage through his cab to find a ticket, or more importantly, missed out on a full payment because the ticket was never found, will appreciate the switch to digital load slips or eTickets.
A dump truck dispatch app digitally collects the ticket for each load, eliminating the need to collect paper slips and batch at the end of the day. The data from each load ticket can then be automatically captured to pay haulers and create (and consolidate) invoices to be sent to your customers.
Digital ticketing creates efficiency out in the field, in the back office and with regards to compliance issues with evolving new state DOT regulations.
4. Track Your Efficiency in Real-Time
Keeping tabs on your dump trucks, whether they’re part of your own fleet or through a hired hauler, leads to efficiency because you’ll have access to valuable cycle time analytics.
You’ll be able to see all trucks on the clock with time-stamped routes. View each truck’s location and relative speed, current traffic conditions and load status. By monitoring cycle time at the plant, in transit, at the jobsite and round trip, you’ll have data to reveal trends and show where time is being wasted.
An added benefit is that drivers tend to focus and do their jobs more responsibly when they know their performance is being documented. Besides encouraging more efficient use of time for each trip from your drivers, you’ll also learn more quickly which drivers you want to work with in the future.
5. Keep Your Dump Trucks Loaded and Working
With a digitized schedule, you’ll be able to quickly see gaps in your schedule. Paired with the ability to immediately communicate changes, you can fill those holes with more work, improving your asset utilization ratio. Dump truck dispatch apps help you eliminate deadhead and ensure that the trucks you have out on the road are earning enough to cover your costs.
Have you ever thought how great it would be if there were a way for you to proactively look for work for your trucks--you know the ones that are sitting empty in the yard? Or some efficient way to fill up your dump truck load ticket books? Something like an Uber for trucking?
Well, there is. Although TRUX is making a name for itself in dump truck logistics as an all-in-one dispatch solution, we started out as a marketplace--the Uber for dump trucks. We’re still the nation’s largest network of technology-enabled dump trucks, giving you access to over 20,000 approved haulers to make sure your project stays on schedule.
Trux. The Down to Earth Dump Truck Dispatch App
Some dump truck dispatch services are actually solutions that were originally built for long-haul trucking. Then the developers tacked on a few features and promoted them as products for short-haulers.
That’s not the Trux story. Our platform was built from the ground up--by pros with deep industry knowledge--as a solution for the specific requirements of the dump truck business.
Here’s how TRUX measures up to create efficiency:
✔ Mobile technology--Work from the office, the jobsite or the soccer field.
✔ Dispatch with ease--Simplify the process with our app’s drag and drop technology.
✔ Digital ticketing--Streamline ticket management and invoice creation.
✔ Real-time tracking--Optimize your trucks’ time and performance on the road.
✔ Asset utilization--Fill gaps in your schedule or find extra work to keep your trucks working.
Want to learn more about notching up your efficiency? Schedule a demo with one of our logistics experts today.
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