D&H Transportation: Cutting costs with ELD and weigh station bypasses
Published on November 25, 2021
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D&H Transportation needed to combine its use of PrePass weigh station bypass service with its Geotab on-board telematics and electronic logging device (ELD) system. The PrePass weigh station bypass app easily integrates with D&H Transportation’s existing Geotab ELD and fleet management platform.
For D&H Transportation, implementation is simple and easy to manage. With a single log-in, drivers sign into their electronic logging device and PrePass app. Even better, the PrePass app frees D&H from having to manage an inventory of transponders.
The Challenge: Maintaining an efficient fleet
As the current safety specialist and a former driver at Yuba City, California based D&H Transportation, Dave Butcher oversees a diverse fleet of about two dozen trucks.
One part of the fleet serves as an interstate operation moving flatbed freight. The other part operates as an intrastate division, transporting bulk materials. Butcher manages the safe operation of D&H tractors, drivers and nearly 200 trailers of many different types. On top of that, he also helps out moving equipment in the yard, and fills in as a driver on last-minute hauls.
Wearing so many hats for a complex operation means both Butcher and D&H have to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
The Solution: Streamlining operations
One way D&H Transportation stays on track is with the Geotab Drive application and Geotab GO fleet tracking devices, paired with a tablet in the fleet’s trucks. In addition to using Geotab for electronic logging device (ELD) capabilities, the fleet uses Geotab products in a variety of other ways.
“The Geotab GO device gives us a lot of maintenance data on the trucks. This includes diagnostic faults that the onboard computer will throw so our mechanic can look at them here in the office. We can then determine if it’s important enough to bring the driver back in or if it can wait until they get back from their run,” Butcher said.
Geotab helps D&H streamline operations in other ways as well, including International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting. Prior to installing Geotab, it would take D&H a week to go through all the driver paperwork, and keep track of the mileage. This was a very labor-intensive and lengthy process, but not anymore.
“Now, with Geotab, we can do the IFTA mileage quarterly report in five minutes, so it's a huge labor savings on that part,” said Butcher.
Getting more for the money
But D&H Transportation had other reasons for choosing Geotab as a technology provider, according to Butcher. Geotab had the right price point even with its advantages and capabilities, and the provider received high marks from drivers, especially when it came to the ELD.
Because of D&H’s increasing use of in-cab technology with Geotab, the company recently switched from PrePass transponders for driver weigh station bypass alerts to the PrePass app on its Geotab-powered in-cab telematics system.
“My drivers love it. There haven’t been any complaints,” said Butcher. He also noted that drivers like the convenience of signing in once with Geotab, which logs them into the PrePass app automatically.
And as important as it is for such an integration to run smoothly, Butcher said, the time and money savings that the PrePass app brings are even more important. He pointed out that a weigh station stop may take five to ten minutes, and when drivers have to do this two, three or even more times per day, the time off the road can add up.
The Results: Increased operations and lowered fuel costs
During a recent eight and half month period, D&H received a little more than 300 weigh station bypasses using PrePass. Based on a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) calculation, each weigh station bypass saves an average of five minutes and more than $8 in fuel costs – for qualified carriers with PrePass, this translates into big savings.
For D&H trucks and drivers, this meant more time on the road, which translated to more than 1,500 minutes or 25 hours additional driving time. The fleet also saved at least $2,400 in fuel costs from bypassing weigh stations during this period.
In addition to time and fuel savings, Butcher said, D&H benefits from having alerts displayed in the truck cab. He said drivers can quickly and easily see or hear bypass notifications, similar to a transponder, allowing them to keep their attention on the road ahead.
“Drivers feel a little bit more comfortable being able to glance over and see they are going to be able to bypass a weigh station,” Butcher said. “The sooner the driver can determine whether they need to slow down and pull in or continue at their current speed, the better. It all helps improve safety for our drivers and others on the highway.”
While saving time, money and fuel, plus improving safety for drivers, is important to Butcher, the PrePass app ultimately helps D&H Transportation keep its deliveries on time while helping with driver retention and recruitment.
From the Fleet Manager
“As for recruiting drivers, PrePass is one of the enticements, or carrots, we use along with having Geotab for hours of service logging and being a family-owned business.” — Dave Butcher, Safety Specialist at D&H Transportation.
D&H Transportation Inc.
Interstate, flatbed freight/intrastate, bulk freight
Types of vehicles:
Tractors and trailers
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