Service Transport Company
Trimble eDriver Logs Boosts Safety, Compliance, Driver Earnings and Reduces Costs
Improve fleet safety and compliance
PeopleNet eDriver Logs®, Vehicle Management, Reporting, and In-Cab Navigation
When Kevin “Skip” Parker joined Service Transport (STC) in January 2008 as Safety Director and Responsible Care® Coordinator, he inherited the company’s unwavering commitment to the chemical industry’s issues related to health, safety and the environment. Parker also inherited a way to help the company measure up to their mobile communications commitment—PeopleNet.
Moving eDriver Logs to the front burner
Although STC installed PeopleNet Driver Terminals in all of its trucks in 2002, the system was being used primarily for messaging, leaving eDriver Logs simmering on the back burner. Soon after Parker arrived on the scene, he initiated what he calls “a three- and four-tiered program”—a gradual process of familiarizing drivers with the system and training them in several groups at each terminal—beginning with six hand-selected drivers to test a training plan.
Slow and steady wins drivers over
“Our training program needed to work for drivers of different ages and levels of technical knowledge,” Parker explained. He met with each driver privately for a 30-minute demonstration of the basic login and logout. During subsequent group meetings, details about using eDriver Logs were slowly reviewed.
When drivers completed the course, they began working with eDriver Logs while they kept paper logs for anywhere from 7-30 days. Parker said, “It was important to the success of the implementation that they felt comfortable with the system. We expected driver resistance, so the last thing we wanted to do was shove the electronic system down their throats. On the other hand, we didn’t sugar coat our intention to make eDriver Logs part of the job; we simply gave them time to warm up to and learn the system.”
Despite the slow introduction, many drivers expressed concern that electronic logs would delay deliveries, cost the company business as a result, and would prevent them from driving as many hours. “In fact, 30-40 percent of the drivers shared their fear that the truck would automatically turn off when the vehicle reached the 11-, 14- or 70-hour legal limit,” said Parker. “Of course, that was based on rumor, not fact, and was dispelled as more drivers were trained. Actually, driver feedback about our phase-in process was quite favorable, especially from those who were most resistant. So even though it took 18 months to have all of our drivers using electronic logs, they really love it.”
Cost savings, more drive time
No wonder some of Parker’s toughest resisters who threatened to quit came around. Only three drivers left the company. “My promise to the drivers that they would be a better resource to themselves and more productive for the company is now real,” Parker proclaims.
“Our drivers and STC will make more money this year because of eDriver Logs. We’re saving over $2,000 per month in outside auditing fees, in addition to the cost and environmental impact of paper. The drivers gained two to three additional hours of paid drive time each week because of the elimination of quarter-hour increments, so it’s a win- win all the way around.”
“eDriver Logs also helped us clear a DOT compliance audit in June that impressed the auditor in record keeping availability through the PeopleNet Fleet Manager. The auditor had difficulty in believing that drivers could not change “Form & Manner” of the log but eventually accepted that this was truly a system that the driver could not tamper with.”
-Kevin Parker, Safety Director and Responsible Care® Coordinator, Service Transport
More wins with performance data
STC expects more out of their trucks than ever before, replacing them on a three-to four-year rotating schedule. “We must know what’s going on from a maintenance standpoint and be able to track fuel performance,” says Parker. “PeopleNet Vehicle Management data provides us with information that is critical for monitoring safety as well as costs. We want to keep our units fuel efficient, and the data helps us identify engine-related problems early on to minimize their impact on operations. Our lease operators also appreciate us sharing this information with them to help them operate their business profitably.”
The integration between PeopleNet data and the TMW system generates reports on driver performance that the back office, safety department and terminal operations review. This information is the heart of STC’s driver reward program, and helps identify driving mistakes that the company provides specific training to correct.
The reward system and seniority determine which drivers get behind the wheel of STC’s new trucks. “It’s a real badge of honor,” says Parker. “Essentially, when we give a driver a truck, it’s theirs for housing their personal belongings. Newer trucks are usually used on the road for longer hauls.”
STC plans to have Automated Workflow (formerly PACOS®) running by first quarter 2011. To keep costly out-of-route miles at bay, the company uses In-Cab Navigation on its PeopleNet Driver Terminal units and BLU® In-Cab PCs. This service will continue to be installed in STC’s new trucks throughout their truck-retirement program over the next two to three years.
STC has grown to $60,000,000 since 1965 when they began operating as an intrastate carrier of petroleum, petroleum products, (including petrochemicals) and waste liquids. Along the way, the company added waste transportation and expanded to become a 48- state non-radial common contract carrier, as well as a customs-bonded carrier into all of Canada. Its 300 tractors and 425 trailers serve 500-plus customers throughout the U.S. and Canada from 24/7 terminals in Houston and St. Gabriel. STC’s other terminals are located in Beaumont, TX, Corpus Christi, TX and Mobile, AL.
eDriver Logs is part of STC’s commitment to instill in all employees the proper attitude towards injury and accident prevention. The implementation reflected the company’s commitment to cooperation and interaction between management, supervisors, and employees to eliminate injuries and accidents and continue to achieve an excellent safety record.