NTB Driver Care Program, Safety and Efficiency Boosted by Trimble
Ensure safe, efficient on-time delivery
PeopleNet eDriver Logs®, Vehicle Management, Speed Monitoring, In-Cab Navigation and In-Cab Training
NTB has a strong philosophy regarding the value of their drivers. They understand that drivers are the company’s mobile ambassadors and have been a key factor in their success and extensive growth since 1974. NTB’s Driver Relations group keeps drivers in the loop every day about important events, and acts a conduit for driver communications to and from other areas of the company.
Safety and efficiency are critical to the good health of any trucking company, but can sometimes be tested as many of NTB’s customers have stringent requirements for on-time delivery, some as high as 99.8 percent. NTB’s automated, computer-optimized dispatching program considers driver’s hours, home dates, and other factors that help drivers achieve success safely and efficiently.
According to ITS Vice President Daniel Wood, PeopleNet technology is an integral part of the system that has allowed NTB to grow and be profitable.
“We installed PeopleNet in 2003 to increase our efficiency. We saw a trend beginning to develop that indicated companies preferred transportation partners with mobile communications in their vehicles.”
-Dan Wood, ITS Vice President of NTB
Driving safely, efficiently
The PeopleNet system has afforded NTB positive growth, allowing drivers and dispatch to work by exception rather than trying to catch issues by examining individual loads. Wood explains that exception management is a key strategy in keeping NTB running lean. “PeopleNet reports and alarms tell us when the thresholds we’ve set are exceeded. When the system reports discrepancies in speed, fuel consumption, shifting habits, distances traveled, and unnecessary idling, it’s our job to take action. The system helps us to be proactive in identifying issues early on, so we can make drivers aware of any unsafe—and potentially costly—behaviors and train them accordingly.”
NTB’s safety department also receives the daily Speed Monitoring reports from PeopleNet. “We are able to manage the major factors contributing to our drivers’ safety and vehicle fuel efficiency,” Dan explains. “The dramatic improvement we’ve seen in our CSA score tells us that our system is working and we’re doing our job. We are determined to keep this top of mind to meet CSA requirements.”
PeopleNet is a big part of NTB’s Driver Care program, which focuses on keeping drivers safe. eDriver Logs is integrated with their dispatch system and provides frequent location updates for moving vehicles.
Wood explains that electronic logs give drivers a better quality of life while on the road. “First, the system keeps them to a 14-hour schedule. No one has a perfect memory, and it’s easy to forget to log hours when focusing on the road. Crossing time zones further complicates logging. Secondly, since our drivers are paid for miles driven, they have less administrative work to take up their time. We’re also able to schedule drivers more accurately, so we can accommodate our peak times and keep our service levels high.”
Another facet of the Driver Care program is In-Cab Training provided through PeopleNet by ITI Pro-TREAD. Drivers have the option to access training modules through their PeopleNet BLU® In-Cab PCs or through the Internet via computers in their homes or at the terminal. Drivers can train during down times or even delays. This flexibility has eliminated trying to schedule drivers to come in on a non- driving day to keep their training up to date.
Routing for safety and efficiency
“Retailers are often located in congested traffic areas, and drivers don’t always know where delivery docks are,” says Wood. “Rather than arrive at the wrong entrance for delivery or pick-up and risk having to cross a parking lot, where most truck accidents occur, our drivers recognize that following the In-Cab Navigation routes provided by Maptuit NaviGo is safer and saves them time. That means more money in their pockets.”
Wood discusses an example of how NaviGo can be programmed for optimizing safety. “Instead of using the most direct route from our Tipp City terminal to the highway, we reset the In-Cab Navigation system to minimize left turns and avoid an uphill entrance ramp. Now the route includes only one left turn and a downhill highway entrance ramp. The addition of a few extra blocks has made the route much safer. Our ability to reprogram routes also helps our drivers with temporary road closures and detours.”