Computerisation : a necessary condition of success
Farm Trans's major activities consist of chilled and frozen goods transport and the transport of organic raw materials such as potatoes and cereals all over central and western Europe, as far as Poland and the United Kingdom. The investment in the CarCube fits in with Farm Trans's policy to keep investing and innovating in the field of computerisation.
“We had the CarCube fitted in 5 trucks, as an experiment. They've never been removed. I soon saw that we could make money with this onboard computer,” explains Bos. “If our drivers can do 3 % fewer kilometres thanks to the truck navigation in the CarCube, that will save around 5000 to 6000 kilometres a year. That means that I can recoup the investment in new onboard computers within 6 months.” Bos: “As the haulier I have little influence on the rates - those are determined by the market. What I do have influence over is our own cost price. That means that I try to strip everything out of it in order to keep the cost price as low as possible. IT plays a hugely important role in this.
Farm Trans is driving fewer kilometres, more economically
"Thanks to the truck navigation in the CarCube, I can recoup the investment in new onboard computers within six months.”
Saving on fuel and telephone costs
The impetus for the search for a new onboard computer was the big discrepancy between TLNplanner and the navigation system used by the existing onboard computer. Like so many haulage companies, Farm Trans bases its rates on, among other things, the number of kilometres calculated by the TLNplanner. However, on actual costing it would appear that the drivers were in fact driving up to 10 % more kilometres and therefore incurring additional costs. The CarCube from Trimble offered a solution. It contains a navigation system designed specifically for trucks. The drivers now cover far fewer kilometres and save fuel.
The Farm Trans drivers use not only CarCube's truck navigation, but also the driving style assistant. Based on, among other things, acceleration, braking behaviour and rpm, the CarCube gives each driver a score for his driving behaviour.
“Our existing onboard computer used a universal navigation system with two settings: shortest route or quickest route. If drivers chose the shortest route, they often got stuck on narrow country roads. If they chose the quickest route, they would be making huge detours,” says Bos. “We can see the results in the office as well. For example, if a driver leaves his engine running for more than five minutes whilst stationary, we can talk to him about it straight away. Each month we print out the results, and then, together with the drivers with the five lowest scores, we try to improve their driving behaviour. I reckon that we have saved about 3% on fuel costs this year, as a result,” says Bos happily. Farm Trans also uses the hands-free call module in the CarCube now. “The advantage of that is that we can monitor call behaviour from the office. That means that for each driver we save hundreds of euros every year in communication costs,” says Bos.
Onboard document scanning
Farm Trans has discovered many more advantages of the new onboard computer. An example is the realtime data communication between the onboard computers and the office in Moerdijk. By the end of each day Farm Trans has all the information for that day and Bos can request reports on the journeys that have been made.
Farm Trans also uses realtime data communication to transmit the consignment notes and weigh slips. A handy document scanner has been installed in the cabs for that purpose. As soon as the driver inputs ‘end of unloading instruction’, the onboard computer automatically asks him to scan in the consignment note and weigh slip.
“The documents are automatically scanned at our office and added to the correct file in our transport management system Mitoz. As soon as the file is complete, an e-mail with the scanned documents attached is sent to our client. That saves a lot of work in the office. In addition, our client can then invoice his customer directly.”
- The onboard computers are integrated with Mitoz, the Farm Trans transport management system (TMS) developed by I-TeQ. This is the first time that both systems have been integrated with each other.
- To calculate the spending on drivers' wages Farm Trans has implemented the TripLog system from LogicWay, on Trimble's recommendation. Bos says that he is really happy with this salary management system.
“Previously, we would spend 10 to 15 hours - for each business unit - checking everyone's hours. Thanks to the software from LogicWay it now takes us 2 hours at most. One of the advantages is that our planners can now view the estimated time of arrival calculated by the onboard computer. That generates a lot of calm in the office,” according to Bos, who says that the collaboration between Trimble and I-TeQ has run immaculately.
Bos particularly appreciates Trimble's enthusiasm for meeting the special wishes of Farm Trans quickly.
“With a standard system we are a standard carrier. We want to be more than that. Thanks to CarCube and Mitoz, our transport management system, we are now pulling ahead. For the time being no-one is going to take that lead away from us.”
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|Number of employees||
200 tractor units
transport of chilled and frozen goods and organic raw materials
Central and western Europe including Poland and the United Kingdom