The timing was impeccable for this well-written article. I used it at my meeting—and it generated a lot of questions. Great Work Jason.
—Mary Cecilia MacPhee, Senior Inside Account Manager,
The timing was impeccable for this well-written article. I used it at my meeting—and it generated a lot of questions. Great Work Jason.
—Mary Cecilia MacPhee, Senior Inside Account Manager,
Photo courtesy National Food Corporation
Based in Everett, Washington, National Food is an egg and egg products production and distribution company. To economize its egg delivery service, its transportation department also offers for hire truckload and LTL (less than load) transportation services of refrigerated and dry freight to other food companies throughout the Pacific Northwest. “In doing this, often if not always, we transport a variety of products that are being delivered alongside our products”, said David Harbour, Transportation Projects Manager at National Food.
Because of this diversity of product that National Food transports, the temperature monitoring solution David’s team picked isn’t used as advertised. At Webtech Wireless, we promote temperature monitoring as a solution that enables fleet managers to know through real-time alerts if temperature thresholds in trucks and trailers are being reached. While this is valuable information for National Food, they’ve opted out of the real-time alerts and focused instead on the benefits of reporting.
How National Food does it
For National Food, it’s all about reporting. “We have less need to know what’s going on in real-time than to have the reporting capabilities after the fact”, said David. And after-the-fact reporting is how National Food saves thousands of dollars in otherwise lost revenue. A shipment can run around $40,000 to $50,000, and I can think of at least three instances where temperature reporting saved us a lot of money. If a client claims that a shipment was spoiled, we can produce reports that show it didn’t happen on our watch”, said David adding, “It saved our bacon.”
Looking Forward to the New WT2250
“We already have three WT2250 Locators installed and plan to upgrade 28 trucks with the WT2250s as well”, said David. He mentioned some of the new features he’s looking forward to having with the new WT2250 Locators. “The WT2250 Locator sends a temperature report with every record, so in addition to the GPS location information, I know what temperatures my reefer trucks are recording”, said David. He goes on to mention the rugged build of the new WT2250s, “The antenna is built in, so there’s no separate accessory and one less fail point”.
With configurable timed reporting intervals and detailed reports show temperature history and readings exceeding thresholds, David and National Food have much to look forward to as they continue to deliver eggs and other food products to their customers—efficiently and cost effectively.
“My thoughts on your playing were that it was animated and seemed to move in time to the natural rhythms of the human body. I envisioned the cadence of people walking in procession and the dance like curves of people moving against gravity and characters. This kind of phrasing relates to breathing rather than the metronome. I see someone running full out in tall grass. Everything became visual to me. Beautiful playing Jason!”
—Davida Kidd, Artist/Professor Visual Arts, University of the Fraser Valley
My randonneur ride to Victoria with my friend Todd was scotched, because Todd had has bicycle stolen today. For me, and without a doubt for Todd, this is a real bummer. My sense of discouragement about humanity is profound. Todd’s a good person; he doesn’t deserve to have his bicycle stolen.
Perhaps it’s also why this video inspires all the more. Michal Maroši, a Czech downhill competitive cyclist showed me how to get over discouragement mighty fast. After a devastating early-race fall, he dared something wild—and won!
There are a lot of advice givers out there quick to tell us how important it is to overcome adversity, but quick thinking Maroši showed what it looks like. Next time adversity rears its head—and it will again—I’ll remember Michal and Ride the Wall ! ! !
It’s August, the air conditioning is turned up full blast, and all you can think about is… “I hope my snow plows will be ready when the first winter storm hits”. More likely, you’re thinking about a cool drink by the lake, but while you’re not thinking about winter, InterFleet is. Because, as sure as death and taxes, winter is coming.
“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.”
? Sinclair Lewis, writer, thinker, Nobel laureate
Shouldn’t This Just Work?
Some people mistakenly assume that AVL technology doesn’t need to be checked after a summer of dormancy. “It should just work”, they say. That perception sometimes carries over to vehicles that have had their plow blades removed for summer work and even had their locators removed.
Even if a vehicle sits idle in the yard for six months of summer, you want the assurance that once the first snow storm hits, its AVL capabilities are ready to go. Statistically speaking, the bulk of accident claims are made against municipalities around the time of the first storm of the year, more so than later when drivers are re-acclimatized to winter conditions. If equipment isn’t ready, you can’t use the AVL data to defend against mistaken (or false) claims. Your winter operations department is on the defensive.
Get Your Fleet Ready for the Storm
According to James Dai, Manager of Winter Light Up, having your AVL components checked early produces significant gains. “After we completed the Winter Light Up service for five customers with a total of 199 snow plows, there were only two service tickets. In comparison, for customers who did not sign up for the WLU program, we received five service tickets for ten plows at one municipality, and six service requests from another municipality with over 15 plows. One city only discovered that ten of its winter maintenance vehicles had not even been reporting its controller data—until February!”
Given those kinds of statistics it’s no wonder field managers who’ve learned the value of using the Winter Light Up program well before winter arrives, endorse if fully. “Whatever you’re charging, it’s well worth it”, said Jim Kettle, Technical Specialist at City of Mississauga, Ontario.
Winter Light Up
Winter Light Up is a program from InterFleet that’s designed to ensure your winter operations are running smoothly before Old Man Winter arrives. InterFleet offers experienced project managers, project coordinators, solution engineers, and certified technicians to ensure your fleet is on-time and ready. By having our Winter Light Up team analyze the technical details of your existing fleet, you are assured that your units have the right configuration files and the accuracy and details of your advanced reports are verified. This gives you the data you need to respond immediately to events as they unfold.
We ensure your spreader controllers, plow sensors, and temperature sensors are working and all locators are reporting as they should, so you get a thorough audit of your winter fleet’s AVL readiness. Let’s manage winter together so you can focus on storm fighting, not your AVL system.
For more information about the InterFleet Winter Light Up program, contact your account manager or call
+1 (877) 434-4844 (Option 2).
Last week was my birthday and, in the spirit of simplicity, I sent out a single invite through Facebook to my nearest and dearest friends to drop by my place for drinks.
Several drinks into the evening, somebody said “Play us something on the tarógató” and the crowd chanted “Jason, Jason, Jason”. Last year, I had a tarógató hand made for me in Budapest. A tarógató is a Hungarian form of clarinet with a melancholy sound somewhere between an English horn and a soprano saxophone (nothing like a clarinet).
My background is classical music (although I’ve been exploring improvised types such as jazz, blues, and Balkan music in the last few years), so playing spontaneously isn’t something I’m accustomed to. Nonetheless, I had several little ditties to play along with stories of their origins:
It’s music performance the way I like it best—warm, intimate, and in the company of friends. There was much cat calling and hilarity too, especially around how Henry VIII could find time to write music whilst chopping off the heads of his wives. “He didn’t chop their heads off himself—someone else did that. That’s how he had time to write music”, one of my friends said.
I was happy that I had a few tunes that I could play (and stories about them) on a moment’s notice. Later, I got thinking about how great it would be to have other “party pieces” ready that describe who I am and what I do. If anyone asks me about what I do as a marketing/technical writer, I should have a story to tell him or her.
Last year, I wrote a winning award application for Webtech Wireless. The fallout from that was a stream of related documents and the CEO saying, “Now, we can now call ourselves an award-winning software company”.
Now, I have a handy one-pager to share about how I helped Webtech Wireless win its first-ever technology award.
I spent the month of July this year in Paris. In summer, Paris is very exciting with the Fête de la Bastille parade, the Bal des Pompiers, the Tour de France, and many other festivals all happening simultaneously. The city crackles with excitement. Yet with two thousand years of history, what is a little missing in the summer sun are Paris’s subtler sides.
I have a deep love for the quietude and timelessness of Medieval thought. I’ve always admired the multi-panel manuscript Les Très Riches Heures du Duc du Berry for its depiction of simple life…and that blue, blue sky that seems to bear witness to a timelessness now so rare. Part of the book depicts everyday life throughout the year (it’s a book of hours afterall). What I never knew was that in the October panel, the castle is a real one and that it still exists—in part. It is the original Louvre.
Over the centuries this old castle, with its many ardoise turrets, was gradually erased and replaced by successive regimes bent on modernizing it and putting their stamp on it. But in 1989 when excavations were made to build the Carrousel du Louvre (the pyramid), the original Louvre was rediscovered.
One bright and hot day, I followed the self-guided tour that takes you down to the foundations and origins of the Louvre. On the walking tour, you can now walk through the original moat and the substructure of the walls and donjon (keep). There’s nothing much else remaining, just simple stonework, yet my eyes set these stones high against that azure Medieval sky. And stared.
Upstairs, the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and a thousand other art treasures awaited, and yet I stood mesmerized by these unadorned stones. It’s not what you’re looking at so much as what it evokes.
There’s probably nothing sadder than a small child crying over an ice cream cone that melted before he or she could finish it. In the grow-up world, it’s a different kind of sad for a fleet manager to lose an entire truck load of frozen ice cream on route to market—it’s an expensive sad.
Depending on the types of vehicles you’re using and your temperature monitoring needs, Webtech Wireless offers two distinct solutions: The WT7000H+ Locator for straight trucks, and the WT2250 Locator for trailers. With either, this sets you apart from your competition by enabling you to monitor the contents of your shipments on route to ensure that they travel within the required temperature specifications.
“There was a night and day difference after Quadrant was deployed at National Foods. Quadrant is a full fleet solution with multiple areas where it can help.”
—Kevin Bookey, Transportation Manager, National Foods
A Texas-based frozen food distributor, which prides itself in its premium best-selling ice creams, approached us in 2011 to monitor the location, temperature, and door open/close of its mixed fleet of ice cream trucks. Starting with a pilot program installed on eight vehicles, we were able to help them not only reduce content spoilage and monitor its straight trucks and trailers, but having real-time visibility into its vehicles also helped prevent cargo theft as well. By trying out the solution as a pilot, the company was able to certify success before rolling it out to all trucks in the fleet. Webtech Wireless then worked with certified installers to bring fleet GPS tracking to monitor its ice cream for the entire fleet.
Here’s what this frozen food distributor chose:
Fully certified and calibrated temperature probes ruggedized to provide sensitivity and accuracy to be aware of critical temperature swings that could ruin product.
Quadrant Manager Mobile for iPhone, iPad, and Android gave their fleet managers the same mobility to check temperatures and vehicle locations while they themselves are on the road.
Temperature reports set with unique location-based profiles (geofences) enabled fleet managers to identify temperature ranges and distinct thresholds for daily operations and weekend storage.
Automated driver logs, which perfect for fleets that operate in multiple states or jurisdictions. Our award-winning fleet management Quadrant solution supports automated driver logs, ensuring compliancy with the latest HOS (Hours of Service) regulations.
Whether you need to update an older temperature monitoring solution or step up to a GPS fleet tracking solution for the first time, you can expect to reduce unnecessary spoilage and save costs with a Webtech Wireless solution that truly fits your needs.
Contact us today. Don’t let your ice cream melt. Call +1 (866) 287 0135 (Option 2) to discuss your fleet challenges and how our GPS/AVL solutions can help you today.
Image courtesy White House blog
There isn’t a person in the transportation sector who doesn’t want to see a brighter future for his or her families and loved ones, but how much will the new US Climate Change Action Plan unveiled this month affect the livelihoods or workers in this sector?
In a speech delivered this month at Georgetown University, President Obama described his Climate Action Plan:
According to the Plan, “Heavy-duty vehicles are currently the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions within the transportation sector.”
Image courtesy The President’s Climate Action Plan, 2013
We can help you today achieve the twin goals of reduced emissions and increased savings, like we have for these customers:
Webtech Wireless Telematics for the Planet provides a way for you to structure vehicle certification around measurable parameters based on organizational targets or environmental standards. Working with agencies such as Cascade Sierra, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach replaced many of their older drayage vehicles (renowned for their pollution) and, using our Quadrant solution to measure idling, dramatically reduced the amount of idle time. As of 2010, there was 50% less elemental carbon—an indicator of diesel particulate matter. Cascade Sierra Solutions uses US government loans and grants to help fleet managers improve their fleet performance.
Idling Controls – Lower idling times by up to 90%. Long-haul trucks can save $8,000 per truck per year (averaging 1,800 hours idling per year)
CalVans relies on some of its capital and operating funding from federal investment through grants. With Webtech Wireless reporting, CalVans is able to provide a cleaner alternative to commuter driving through vanpooling over single-car commuting. Through Webtech Wireless MDTs, CalVans is able to provide detailed reports that show the distance traveled, time durations of rides, and the number of riders (one of the key metrics to show how much vanpools reduce single-occupant vehicles on municipal roadways).
Speed Limits – Reduce fuel use, saving you money, and CO2—and improve safety—by monitoring excessive speeds.
For the transportation sector, the future is clear: the key to growth is fuel efficiency. People want it; the government wants it; and (if the mounting evidence of climate change is taken as an indicator), the planet wants it too.
Our customers know the challenge of deploying the infrastructure needed for a successful GPS/AVL deployment. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has been a leader in using telematics to improve its fleet performance, increase fuel efficiency, while keeping everyone who uses its fleet accountable. The Commonwealth is now leading the way in new highway infrastructure development. But first, a little background on this critical US infrastructure is in order.
The US Interstate system accounts for just 1.2 percent of U.S. highway miles, but at 47,000 miles, it carries 24.2 percent of all highway traffic. Since it was inaugurated during the Eisenhower administration in 1956, it’s been hard pressed to match maintenance and upgrades with the forces of wear and tear. Daily life and businesses are inconvenienced by highway construction, but that’s nothing compared with how inconvenienced people feel if a bridge fails or a route has to be shut down? Consider the long line ups on the I-5 following the recent collapse of the bridge over the Skagit river in Washington to know what inconvenience is.
According to the US Department of Transportation’s FHWA (Federal Highway Administration), “The movement of freight dominates trucking activity and is a significant component of highway traffic. Three-fourths of VMT by trucks larger than pickups and vans is for carrying freight, with much of the rest being for empty back-hauls or serving construction and utilities. Single-unit and combination trucks accounted for every fourth vehicle on almost 28,000 miles of the NHS in 2007, and 6,000 of those miles carried more than 8,500 trucks on an average day.” In other words, the US economy relies heavily on the smooth movement of freight along its interstate highways. While the bill to repair aging infrastructure may seem astronomical ($688 billion at last count), the cost to the economy of not maintaining it is much higher.
As part of the grants program for new technologies, the Federal government is deploying an ambitious program to help states improve safety and reduce congestion using new technologies. For example, on June 4, 2013, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood awarded more than $16 million to 14 innovative highway and bridge projects in 13 states (and the District of Columbia) designed “to improve safety, create jobs and enhance the quality of transportation infrastructure”.
The FHWA’s Highways for LIFE (HfL) grants “encourage the use of innovative technologies and practices on America’s roads and bridges, such as accelerated bridge construction, cutting-edge building materials and advanced methods for construction project management. FHWA received 29 applications requesting more than $43 million.”
Governor Steve Beshear, of The Commonwealth of Kentucky recently launched the ground breaking ceremony for the $1.3 billion Downtown Crossing project over the Ohio River. The states of Indiana and Kentucky are working together to build the bridge between the cities of Jeffersonville and Louisville. “These bridges link more than just two banks of this historic river,” Beshear said. “They connect people. They create possibilities. They keep commerce flowing and jobs growing. They preserve our way of life and they promise a better tomorrow.”
Like Governor Beshear, we want to create a better tomorrow by automating fleets with our GPS/AVL solutions.