Trimble’s MPG Guarantee Program Drives Huge Fuel Cost Savings for P&S Transport
In the face of uncontrollable fuel prices, improve fuel efficiency
PeopleNet MPG Guarantee Program
P&S Transport is a for-hire, specialty flat-bed carrier that has grown from 20 to 260 trucks since its start in 2004. Its dual-sourced power units and Freightliner and Peterbilt chassis primarily haul steel pipe for gas lines and sewers, steel, and other building products in 48 states. Although Vice President Scott Smith credits P&S’ “wonderful customers and great drivers” for its growth, company management has also leveraged technology to improve operational efficiency. In fact, all 220 company trucks have PeopleNet onboard computing equipment.
P&S didn’t grow without astute management. So when fuel costs spiked at over $4.00 per gallon last summer, Scott admits that he pressured his drivers for better results. And when he heard about PeopleNet’s MPG Guarantee Program, he was eager to learn more. “Our PeopleNet Professional Services representative’s level of knowledge about fuel efficiency and the trucking industry was very impressive. Plus, the fact that there’s a guarantee—a rare find in any industry—made it a no- brainer.”
The road to results that exceed expectations
PeopleNet’s Jim Coffren had a steeper hill to climb with P&S Transport’s MPG Guarantee Program since the company had already saved a million dollars conducting its own initiative. However, with more than 25 years of experience on both sides of the industry—truck manufacturing and fleet management—Jim assured Scott that if the program didn’t more than pay for itself, there would be no charge.
In the first week, PeopleNet had uncovered opportunities for additional savings, and the following week had helped P&S’ team build a prioritized plan for realizing those savings. The dollar-saving results were astounding: after just two weeks, $35,000; in the first month, $70,000; at 45 days, $105,000. By the 70th day of the program when P&S received PeopleNet’s first invoice for the program, the escalated savings had paid for the entire program plus an additional $100,000 for the down payment on new software. There were additional soft cost savings that weren’t tracked, such as eliminated miles on trucks, vehicle depreciation and lower maintenance costs.
“Achieving ROI in about a month far exceeded our expectations.”
-Scott Smith, Vice President
Revolutionized management decision making
“PeopleNet showed us the bigger picture, which involved more than the raw speed and idling time data. There were less evident factors that impact fuel economy, including routing, maintenance, customers, drivers and trucks. We’re grateful to PeopleNet for removing our blinders and recognizing that a third-party professional can bring a fresh perspective to the table.”
This new perspective is a departure from how fleets are typically managed. A majority of managers use the fleet’s average truck performance as the benchmark for comparing and assessing each truck’s performance. Having been in the trenches of the trucking industry in both manufacturing and fleet management, Jim explains the MPG Guarantee Program difference. “We turn years of historical performance information in our database upside down and inside out to literally customize an expectation for each truck. And the information is delivered in a format designed to make it easy to manage to the expectations for each truck instead of managing to the fleet average.”
PeopleNet not only documented the hard savings expected from the program, but also educated P&S’ team about how to “hear the story” from the numbers—how to interpret and analyze the data.
The information arrives weekly so P&S management doesn’t wait for a monthly or quarterly P/L reports to see what was happening. “After all,” Scott notes, “You can’t recoup burned fuel. Now we can identify issues the week they begin to impact fuel mileage. That’s far sooner than before we started the program. We can see which parts of the organization to approach and which questions to ask.” As a result, P&S Transport determined that 10 trucks were not meeting expectations and sold them.
This one decision alone saved the company over $12,000 per month.
P&S wasted no time acclimating their 300 drivers to the program through surveys and conference calls. In just seven days, they understood their role in making the program successful. “They enjoy the recognition and rewards our program provides,” Scott says. “Competition seems to agree with them.”
The bottom line
PeopleNet’s MPG Guarantee Program has saved fleets $2,000-10,000 per truck and improved fuel economy by 5-15 percent during the first full year of a focused fuel management program. In some cases, it has even doubled a firm’s profitability. “Customers frequently tell us that PeopleNet’s not just a technology company and that we really understand the decisions fleet managers make on a daily basis,” Jim explains. “To us, that’s a real compliment.”