Sunday 21st July 2019

IoT data improves vehicles’ performance and drivers’ safety

Published on March 11th, 2019

Maverick Transportation is one of the largest flatbed transportation companies in the US and has used IoT to comply with safety regulation, cut costs and retain drivers.

In its Top Ten Data & Analytics Technology Trends for 2019, analyst firm, Gartner, predicts that the two of the top trends will be augmented analytics. It defines them as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, and continuous intelligence, combined with current and historical data of live business operations, and analysed in real time to help decision making and/or automate decisions.

Gartner predicts that “By 2022, more than half of major new business systems will incorporate continuous intelligence that uses real-time context data to improve decisions.”

Maverick Transportation ahead of that curve. It is one of the largest flatbed transportation companies in the US with headquarters offices in Little Rock, Arkansas. The company operates more than 1,200 vehicles that specialise in hauling steel, glass, machinery and building materials across the US and Canada. The privately-held company has been in business for 30 years.

Sensors everywhere

Maverick trailers are fitted with sensors that monitor fuel, braking and doors and continually transmit data to managers overseeing the fleet. A Driver Scorecard in the drivers’ cabs gives drivers data about their miles per gallon, mileage per day and safety performance.

Maverick’s fleet managers rely on Information Builders’ WebFOCUS dashboards to monitor the safety of the fleet, “Managers use a dashboard to supervise about 50 drivers. The dashboard has multiple tabs to help managers monitor a tremendous influx of information, continually transmitted from the drivers and their vehicles – everything from vehicle breakdowns, to hard-braking incidents, to route and location updates,” Wayne Brown, vice president of IT at Maverick Transportation comments.

“Analytics are very important for monitoring driver safety and performance”, explains Brown. “Our drivers are our assets. In the past, it would have required ten different programs and screens to convey real-time information about these drivers. Now fleet managers can glance at a single dashboard to know where drivers are and what they are doing. WebFOCUS consolidates the information so they don’t have to go looking for it,” he adds.

Complying with safety regulation

Peter Walker Credit: Professional Images

These metric reports also help Maverick to comply with US government regulations. In 2010, the US Department of Transportation released new compliance, safety, and accountability requirements to reduce commercial motor vehicle crashes, fatalities, and injuries on the nation’s highways. The CSA2010 legislation makes driver safety scorecards more important than ever.

“The US government measures every trucking company’s safety performance,” says Brown. “WebFOCUS helps us foresee how safe a driver will be. This helps us meet requirements.”

With so many trucks to maintain, vehicle maintenance can get very costly, especially with tighter emissions standards. WebFOCUS tracks the cost of maintaining all the trucks in the fleet and supplies predictive maintenance models that help fleet managers to forecast maintenance costs, manage budgets, and predict upcoming repairs.

Careful, ongoing monitoring is also responsible for Maverick’s retention of its drivers. In an industry that suffers a turnover rate as high as 140%, Maverick averages a 60% turnover rate. “We have one of the best driver retention rates in the industry,” Brown emphasises.

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