One solution that flows through the company
Smart compliance is all about taking proactive steps today to prevent bad things from happening tomorrow. That is a key message from Melanie Simard, ISAAC’s director of compliance, client service & technical support. She appeared on a recent webinar hosted by ISAAC and the Truckload Carriers Association, with two fleet executives to discuss the benefits of smart compliance tools.
Receiving real-time alerts for any compliance issues and minimizing paperwork has been “refreshing,” said Brian Turner, director of safety and compliance for Carolina Freightways. These benefits extend to both drivers and back-office staffers, said Turner, whose 200-truck fleet is based in Eden, N.C.
For Equipment Express, the biggest benefit of switching to ISAAC was having “one solution that flows right through the company,” said Brian Sillett, safety and compliance manager. By linking drivers with other critical departments through technology, it has improved overall communications and efficiency for the specialized hauler based in Ontario, Canada.
Worry-free HOS compliance
Back when Turner was a professional truck driver, he would need to stop multiple times through the day to keep his paper logbook up to date. Of course, electronic logging devices (ELDs) have eliminated those steps. However, the ISAAC solution goes further, assisting drivers throughout the workday and saving time with an automated workflow.
Drivers can be confident the ISAAC solution is always accurately recording their duty status. They also receive electronic warnings when they are approaching mandated rest breaks, further ensuring HOS compliance. At the same time, back office can receive automatic reports that provide visibility on personal conveyance usage and emerging driver trends across the fleet. That helps safety officials determine if any additional training might be needed, according to Turner.
Better trip planning
Smart compliance also translates into better trip management. That includes ensuring compliance with different HOS regulations as drivers cross the U.S.–Canada border, according to Sillett.
Since many of Equipment Express’ loads do not fit into traditional commercial vehicle parking spaces, the fleet leans on technology to balance available hours with the challenge of finding a safe place to stop. Likewise, some specialized hauling permits demand travel only in daylight hours. With sunrise and sunset times varying so greatly over the course of a calendar year across North America, this adds an extra layer of planning complexity for the fleet to ensure compliance.
Reducing vehicle downtime
If a vehicle fails a roadside inspection or a driver discovers a problem during a pre- or post-trip inspection, maintenance and dispatch are immediately notified. Likewise, the ISAAC solution provides a function allowing drivers to declare an en route defect, should a problem arise on the highway.
In each of these cases, faster planning for corrective action means drivers can get back on the road with less downtime. The rugged ISAAC tablet allows drivers to take photos during an inspection of a tractor-trailer and transmit them to the home office. That helps maintenance staff better understand the issue in real time.
These visuals are particularly crucial for Equipment Express, since not every technician or service facility is able to handle the unique needs of its specialized equipment. Likewise, these shipments can present additional cargo securement challenges. So, drivers can take photos and communicate any concerns they may have in order to ensure a safe and secure delivery.
Both Turner and Sillett also spoke of the importance of using a Smart Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR). The technology provides drivers a list of items to inspect. It can be a predetermined list based on the specific regulation or a customized list of items to check. The DVIR is filed electronically, and when a driver reports a defect, a real-time alert is sent to the fleet manager and other key personnel.
About the author
VP Public Relations, ISAAC Instruments
Neil Abt, Vice President of Public Relations at ISAAC Instruments, is a veteran journalist with over 25 years of reporting experience, including 20 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics and Fleet Owner. Neil is based out of Portland, Oregon.