There’s a trend picking up speed in the dump truck and construction industry. More and more dump truck fleet owners are turning to technology. And they’re not just blindly jumping on the proverbial bandwagon.
No, they’re joining the ranks of trucking industry tech users for a lot of good reasons. After hearing all the success stories from their colleagues and watching them gain a competitive edge in the local market, more and more fleet owners are investigating technology solutions for their trucks. For many of them, the conclusion is that digital solutions are popular because they’re unquestionably good for business.
The right technology can make a difference of sliced bread proportions in your dump truck operations. We’ve managed to narrow the list down to these top five ways that technology that help you manage operations of your dump trucks:
Makes dispatching and communication more efficient
Eliminates manual tasks
Streamlines invoice processing
Reduces trucking and back office costs
The management technology we’re talking about is focused on trucking logistics for organizations that use dump trucks as an integral part of their daily operations. It is cloud-based and comprehensive--giving dump truck fleet owners the flexibility to handle much of their work from the office, sitting in the cab of a truck, at a jobsite or at their kid’s soccer game.
Get a Big Picture View of Your Fleet
As part of a trucking logistics platform, GPS tracking provides valuable real-time information on the whereabouts of each vehicle in your dump truck fleet. Without a clear big picture view in real-time, budgets and timelines are threatened.
But when your dispatcher can see the precise location of your trucks, they can control--and eliminate--many of the problems that typically plague operations and cause inefficiencies and delays.
One of the problems that can pop up multiple times a day is the need to reroute drivers. It’s important to be able to get the word out to everyone who will be impacted by changing conditions, whether the need comes from a customer’s change order, severe weather, road work, congestion, or new information from either the job site, quarry or plant.
Without fleet management technology any of these factors could throw things off schedule because it can take too long for the relevant information to get to the parties that need it. For example, a road along the usual route is suddenly closed.
No one is likely to know this until a hauler has to turn around and call the dispatcher. Hopefully, the dispatcher gets the information in time to intervene and reroute other dump trucks and haulers before they are also delayed.
By adding geofences to your technology tool belt, you can get another layer of visibility. Geofences are virtual boundaries that you set up around certain areas. Along with GPS tracking, the geofences can let you know if your haulers are speeding, taking unapproved coffee breaks or making unauthorized side trips--all of which end up costing you.
There’s the increased possibility of accidents and higher insurance, paying for time you shouldn’t have to, fuel waste and the wear and tear on your vehicles.
GPS tracking provides more than just real-time visibility of your trucks. Each route driven is time stamped and documented. So not only will you have accurate reliable data for route optimization, cycle time analytics and decision making, you’ll have historical data that’s easily accessible if a dispute with a customer or hauler ever arises.
Dispatching and Communicating is a Snap
Digital dispatching with a centralized communications system is truly transformational. Imagine creating a schedule without using a white board and spreadsheets and then filling it without having to make endless phone calls or send strings of texts. What used to be a tedious, frustrating job riddled with manual tasks is streamlined and can be completed in minutes.
You gain efficiency in more ways than simply reducing the time it takes to create a schedule. Being able to plan days or weeks out also boosts efficiency.
Using trucking logistics technology makes it possible for you to implement this best practice on a more regular basis. Dispatchers can also stagger arrival times to prevent bottlenecks which waste time and fuel.
In addition, bulk reordering for long-term projects is taken care of in a few clicks and reassignments and change orders are a breeze when everyone is connected through the same platform.
The centralized communication system within a logistics solution keeps everyone in the loop. At first glance it may not seem like this feature is all that much better than a smartphone. But just ask the dispatchers and haulers who use digital solutions.
Dump truck dispatchers appreciate the fact that they can quickly include helpful details about each load--the pay rate, material, special instructions--through customized fields. And how quickly they can communicate changes to either an individual or a group with the confidence that their messages have been organized in a way for optimum usefulness. Haulers like being able to easily find the info they need without having to scroll back through way too many text messages.
Another perk? Many logistics solutions offer a mobile optimized version so your dispatcher can work from virtually anywhere.
Drivers Ditch the Manual Processes
Scheduling and dispatching aren’t the only tasks that become “hands-off” when you implement a trucking logistics platform. Haulers who are used to keeping up with a bunch of paper tickets and turning them in at the end of the day, glady trade that task in for digital tickets, or etickets.
Etickets keep the haulers inside their trucks so they’re safer and more efficient. They simply upload their load slips throughout the day. Just this one change often means that haulers can deliver more loads in a day--increasing your productivity while also allowing them to earn more.
Traditional timesheets go by the wayside too. With a digital solution in place, haulers will punch in and out digitally which provides accurate documentation of their hours instead of the traditional rounding. This more efficient way of tracking time can save you now from overpaying and save you down the road as more state DOTs start requiring eTickets. You’ll be one step ahead.
No Pain, All Gain with Automatic Invoicing
How would you like to have more control and less risk when it comes to the way you process invoices? Think about all the disruptions you currently deal with. Invoices that come in late. Invoices with incomplete data. Invoices that go missing.
All these circumstances mean someone in your back office has to spend valuable time hunting down the information, delaying when the invoice can be sent out--and when you get paid.
And then there are the times that a project has been paid for but when the missing info is finally recovered it shows you owe the hauler. You really can’t go back to the end customer and ask for them to cover it. Don’t forget about times when you’ve been double-billed too.
Each of these problems can be eliminated when you use a digital solution. The data collected from etickets and digital time cards is stored and then used to automatically generate invoices and consolidate them. Automatically generated invoices go out at the end of the week which means you and your haulers get paid faster. That’s a win-win for everyone.
Tap into Trucking and Back Office Savings
You’ve probably read between the lines and realized that all this increased efficiency must translate into very real savings in time and dollars. The savings aren’t limited to only a couple of areas of your operations either.
Dispatchers who use a fleet management platform are known to increase their productivity by up to 40%. While they’re more efficiently performing their tasks, they keep haulers out of situations which could increase your fuel costs like idling in line at a plant.
Typically, the paperwork for hauling can take up to 30% of the back office team’s time. But because the back office is not having to batch and sort or hunt down missing tickets, they can gain 30 minutes per week per driver. On average that’s a savings of 728 hours per year.
The savings that come with leveraging a fleet technology solution mean you can use your back office team to perform more value-added tasks. Either way, the time savings have a positive impact on your bottom line.
A Bonus Reason to Leverage a Fleet Management Solution :
Improve asset Utilization with Trux
Everyone would agree that it’s basic good business to get the most use out of the assets you own. That’s easier said than done if you’re trying to increase your asset utilization ratio without the help of technology.
Using a trucking logistics platform enables you to leverage your dump trucks to the fullest. The data it collects will help you identify revenue-generating opportunities. Every minute your trucks are sitting in the yard or making deadhead trips is a minute they could be earning for you.
You can improve asset utilization through smarter dispatching and route optimization. You can improve it by taking on more projects. But turning to a marketplace is also a great alternative that’s simple and carries little risk.
Here’s how it works. Instead of having a truck parked for a portion of the day (or overnight), you login to Trux which is the nation’s largest dump truck marketplace.
Find a job in your area that needs the kind of dump trucks you have and hire it out. If you’ve ever hired third-party haulers before, it’s like that but in reverse.
That’s it. The top five reasons (plus a bonus) for turning to technology to make light work of your heavy lifting.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into these benefits and the specific features of the Trux platform, consider setting up a demo or a talk with one of our dump truck logistics experts. We’re always ready to help.
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