At Combined Transport, Inc., a specialized hauler with operations across the country, no two days ever look the same. Whether their drivers are transporting large panes of glass for windows, dental x-ray film, rocket equipment, massive wire coils or wind tower sections (just to name a few!), this fleet understands just how important freight visibility is to their valued customers.
With a fleet of about 500 active units including a group of owner-operators, Combined Transport uses a transportation management system (TMS) for dispatch that was built in-house. They also used Trimble’s PeopleNet in-cab solution for many years prior to the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and made the switch to Trimble’s ELD solution to meet the deadline.
Because their in-house TMS was customized to their operations, Combined Transport was looking for a fleet management solution for back-office staff that could integrate with, and provide value to their existing system. They needed a solution that not only provided functionality and value to their current operations, but also could grow with them as their needs changed.
Trimble Fleet Manager provided this value, along with a high level of customer service and responsiveness via Combined Transport’s customer success manager.
“We have an awesome customer success manager who takes care of us and gets all of our needs taken care of,” says Nic Davidson, Technical Services for Combined Transport. “The amount of responsiveness I receive from Trimble staff is incredible, and everyone at Trimble listens to us very well.”
Trimble Fleet Manager gives back-office staff the ability to see the status and location of individual units within a fleet, drilling down into details such as what type of in-cab device is running in the truck, a driver’s hours of service (HOS), safety and compliance information, and much more. Staff can also securely communicate with individual drivers or groups on the road.
“Trimble Fleet Manager makes it easy to dive into the fine details and easily identify where the truck is, what it’s doing and what a driver’s log looks like,” Davidson explains. “The ease of access to information is really important not only to me as a developer and programmer, but also for back-office staff who need access to it.”
Davidson says that the user interface is very intuitive and easy to use, making it a breeze for new staff to understand and learn how to use.
“Typically, we would only put a fleet management system in front of our support staff and call center staff, but because Trimble Fleet Manager is so intuitive, we’ve been putting it in front of dispatchers as well,” he says.
Furthermore, the fact that Trimble Fleet Manager is web-based allows staff to access the solution anytime, from anywhere – which is particularly important for Combined Transport staff who have the need to work remotely or outside of normal office hours.
Davidson says the biggest “win” he’s seen from Trimble Fleet Manager is its robust reporting capabilities.
“The ease of reporting is really great,” Davidson adds. “It only takes a few clicks to see a report on how many hours your drivers have, for example. It’s so simple to access the information you need in a very fast manner – and then make decisions based on that information.”
Davidson adds that his favorite feature is the report scheduling tool – he can set the parameters to have a report automatically pulled and sent to himself or other members of his team at any time of day. This allows him to create efficiencies by, for example, having a report sent to the night shift team, who can then use that information to get things ready for the day shift team.
Overall, Davidson says he is excited about how easy Trimble Fleet Manager is to implement and use throughout Combined Transport’s operations.
“When you put Trimble Fleet Manager in front of a user, the usability is leaps and bounds better than any other solutions I’ve tested. I’ve had drivers tell me they prefer to use Trimble solutions for this reason. And the amount of time it takes to get the integration working is trivial and is very easy to get going.”
“Trimble Fleet Manager has everything I could ever want – it loads quickly, the user interface is intuitive, and the fact that it’s available online means I can still access everything from home.”
– Nic Davidson, Technical Services, Combined Transport