Why Telematics for Tank Trucks Are a Must

Apr 24, 2024

The high stakes of tanker trucking

In the tanker business, the stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to safety. Transporting liquid cargo like fuels and chemicals requires careful control to prevent spills or leaks. Safety protocols must be followed closely to ensure stability and avoid accidents. Telematics for tank trucks is a technology to help address this requirement.

Naturally, ensuring timely arrivals is just as important. Imagine the added value of having a technology that could help manage all these demands.

Here’s the good news: such technology exists. Telematics solutions for tank trucks offer real-time insights into truck location, fuel consumption, and driving practices by collecting data and making it readily available. With access to this data, you can:

  • Ensure your trucks use the most efficient routes for their cargo.
  • Reduce operating costs by planning fuel-efficient itineraries.
  • Coach drivers to drive safely to avoid sloshing
  • Ensure your cargo arrives on time.

Such valuable information transforms how you manage your fleet, elevating both safety and efficiency.

Tank truck safety solution by ISAAC

Our mission is to simplify trucking. We talk to fleets every day to understand their needs and concerns. This makes ISAAC a top choice for tank truck telematics in North America.

Reducing costs by removing operational inefficiencies, such as slow communication between back-office staff and drivers on the road and too much time spent on menial tasks, are just a few of the concerns we’ve heard. You want to invest more time in things of real value to your operations and keep your drivers happy, so they stay with your fleet. Safety is, of course, a primary concern.

In response to these requirements, we’ve developed features to streamline your operations. The result? Your sleepless nights could be a thing of the past, thanks to ISAAC Instruments Fleet Management solutions.

Safety and compliance

Beyond the standard compliance regulations, we know that tanker fleets must comply with stringent regulations due to the hazardous nature of their cargo. Protecting your cargo means protecting your fleet’s reputation—a complex undertaking for sure.

But with the right technology, you can manage compliance proactively and efficiently—we call it smart compliance. With our easy-to-use ELDs and telematics for tank trucks, drivers can fill out their electronic logbooks and perform vehicle inspections with just a few clicks.

To ensure HOS compliance, drivers receive HOS warnings directly on the tablet, while compliance managers receive notifications when a driver is in violation. Mechanical defects signaled by drivers during vehicle inspections are communicated instantly to your maintenance team with all the relevant information, to ensure your trucks are in optimal condition on the road and significantly reduce vehicle downtime.

Lastly, inspections are a breeze with the ISAAC tablet: drivers can hand it directly to authorities for roadside inspections or easily send them reports.

Technician using ISAAC's rugged tablet for real-time diagnostics on a tank truck's engine, ensuring peak performance and safety.

Let’s take a concrete example. Quality Carriers, North America’s largest liquid chemical carrier network, switched to ISAAC, as their previous telematics provider didn’t meet their expectations. They needed technology that was not only reliable but could also meet their high standards for safety and efficiency, considering the number of tanker trucks they manage every day.

ISAAC delivered, by reducing equipment failures and improving the driver interface, thus minimizing downtime and compliance issues. This change has allowed Quality Carriers to maintain a stellar CSA rating, which is crucial for their operations and customer relations.

Route optimization with telematics for tank trucks

Knowing the exact location of your trucks is crucial, especially when transporting hazardous cargo. Thanks to real-time data, fleets can have constant visibility of their trucks. Tank carriers can track routes and quickly see if tankers go off course, helping them act as required.

A fleet can use the data collected by ISAAC within its Trucking Management System (TMS). In fact, many TMSs can suggest optimized routes for tanker trucks. This feature enhances safety and compliance and also minimizes fuel consumption. In turn, you can reduce risks, cut costs during route planning, and maximize supply chain visibility for tank trucks.

And it gets better: at ISAAC, we take route optimization a step further. Our system lets you push routing profiles directly to a driver’s trip planning based on specific load information from your TMS, thanks to our CoPilot integration. For instance, while a dry van fleet might transport non-hazardous cargo most of the time, hazmat loads that require special handling can be automatically identified and routed differently to stay on designated routes.

This routing integration prevents drivers from mistakenly taking restricted roads, which could lead to compliance violations, safety issues, and operational delays. This ensures deliveries are both safe and on time.

Driver satisfaction and retention

Imagine this: your driver is eager to start their route on a chilly winter morning. Unpleasant surprise: they find their Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is unresponsive due to the cold. This is not uncommon with consumer-grade tablets, and it can work against tank truck driver retention. Extreme temperatures and other trucking realities—such as accidental drops or driving distractions caused by apps like YouTube or Facebook—can all cause downtime and create safety hazards.

We engineered ISAAC’s tablets to address the realities of trucking and foster safety. With a broad operating temperature range, our devices work in extreme cold and heat and are built rugged to withstand shocks. They also do away with non-essential apps that create driver distraction while allowing for the seamless integration of helpful trucking apps. To maximize safety even further, the tablet locks while driving. Drivers hauling a tank full of liquid need to stay focused, and our solution helps them do just that.

Truck driver interacting with an ISAAC Instruments tablet in snowy conditions, showing the device's durability and reliability.

Fleets equipped with ISAAC’s solution report significantly higher driver satisfaction, which helps boost tank truck driver retention. In an industry where driver shortage is a real problem, that is a significant benefit. For instance, Quality Carriers saw tablet failure rates plummet below 5% when they switched to ISAAC, something unheard of in the history of the fleet.

Don Benoit, Vice President of Operations at Quality Carriers, attests to the effectiveness of their new solution: “Quality Carriers was searching for an in-cab solution that could harness all available technology to best optimize our most critical resource, our drivers’ time. The ISAAC solution puts technology’s most valuable capabilities at the fingertips of all our QC drivers, optimizing their time and enhancing their experience.”

Corey Cox from the Tandet Group of Companies echoes the sentiment: “I can tell you that we have had drivers leave and actually come back because of ISAAC.”

Cost efficiency and return on investment

Adopting eco-driving practices not only saves you fuel but also enhances fleet safety—a correlation that a comprehensive study from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation has proven.

Our clients have experienced substantial benefits through the ISAAC Coach, our innovative real-time driver coaching solution. This system has been instrumental in reducing hard braking, collisions, and sharp turns. Any improvement in the ISAAC Coach score leads to substantial cost savings in fuel consumption and potential legal expenses.

Moreover, this fuel-efficient, eco-friendly coaching promotes sustainable tank truck operations because it reduces emissions and establishes a new standard of excellence and commitment to safety in the industry.

Telematics for tank trucks, tailor-made for tanker fleets

Finding the right technology for tank truck fleets—an industry held to stringent regulations and with particular needs—is challenging.

At ISAAC, simplifying trucking for every fleet is our mission. We are proud to offer a solution that not only facilitates tank truck compliance, but also improves operations, increases driver happiness and generates cost savings. Most importantly, it helps tanker fleets increase fleet safety by helping drivers avoid sloshing with smoother driving.

By choosing ISAAC’s telematics solution, tank fleet carriers can confidently steer their companies toward a more profitable and sustainable future, securing a long-term leadership position in the market.

About the author

Melanie Simard

Vice-President, Safety, Compliance and Technical Support

Melanie Simard is Vice-President, Safety, Compliance and Technical Support at ISAAC. She brings these three groups together to ensure ISAAC clients receive best-in-class service and support, and to demystify all questions relating to regulatory compliance. She is passionate about this last subject, and well attuned to the kind of support ISAAC users need, as she was on that side of the equation before joining ISAAC. With over 20 years in the trucking industry, her field experience as a driver, dispatcher, compliance manager—not to mention an ISAAC user—the trucking DNA she brings to the table is a valuable asset to both ISAAC and its clients.

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