TransAm Trucking saves over $500,000 a year using R:Com

Olathe, Kansas, US: Refrigerated truckload carrier, TransAm is saving over $500,000 per year in measurable costs, and considerably more in other expenses, with the R:Com Fleet Management Solution from Blue Tree Systems.

TransAm operates 1,400 tractors and 2,400 refrigerated trailers from terminals in the Kansas City and Dallas, Texas areas. Russ McElliott, president, TransAm Trucking says the system’s ability to provide truck specific routes with turn-by-turn directions alone has generated $500,000 per year in savings.

“Fuel and administrative costs are down, and our communication expenses have dropped by more than half,” he says.

The solution is also cutting cargo claims. “The R:Com In-cab Solutions for our trucks have paid for themselves in slightly over a year and the Temperature Management Solutions for our trailers paid for themselves in less than a year” McElliott says.

For tractors, TransAm required a system that would monitor driver performance and vehicle location, communicate engine and operational data, provide turn-by-turn directions and manage electronic logs. Trailer needs included real-time data for refrigeration unit faults and return air and discharge temperature reporting at five-minute intervals while loads were in transit, as well as trailer door openings.

Deploying a reliable, user-friendly system was required by TransAm Trucking to address food safety issues that were increasingly at the forefront of concerns for shippers. The desired solution would provide real-time refrigeration unit status for monitoring loads, so the carrier could better protect perishable cargo and guarantee its arrival in excellent condition, and provide in-transit temperature data. TransAm chose R:Com for its entire fleet of 1,400 tractors and 2,400 refrigerated trailers.

The trailer fleet was outfitted over 60 days, and installations of the company’s tractors will be completed by the end of 2011. Included are more than 1,000 new Kenworth models that are replacing older units in the fleet. On those vehicles, the manufacturer prepares new trucks on the assembly line for the installation of R:Com systems. This preparation includes wiring vehicles with compatible harnesses and installation of R:Com antennas, followed by testing. The factory preperation greatly simplifies final installation of the R:Com system, which is performed by TransAm technicians.

On tractors, TransAm uses R:Com to deliver vehicle tracking, driver messaging, satellite navigation, electronic logs and manifests, and for driver monitoring. On the fleet’s trailers, R:Com systems are providing proof of temperature during transportation to shippers and receivers, trailer tracking, real-time temperature monitoring and alarm reporting, fuel level and maintenance reporting and reefer data downloading.TransAm hosts the R:Com server solution in-house. The systems’ tractor and trailer applications are fully integrated with the carrier’s enterprise management software.

Using truck specific routes with turn by turn directions generated by the R:Com Fleet Management Solution is expected to save TransAm Trucking $550,000 per year by eliminating a high percentage of claims caused by preventable accidents. Other savings include lower fuel costs resulting from the ability to use data in the system to educate drivers about performance improving practices, such as lowering speed and reducing idle time.

With the R:Com Fleet Management Solution, TransAm Trucking is eliminating cargo claims related to mechanical or driver errors. Live temperature data provided every 5 minutes by the system, which triggers exception reports for any refrigeration unit more than three degrees out of its specified range, has completely cut temperature rejection claims by the receivers. These savings have paid for the new trailer systems in the TransAm fleet in less than one year.

“We chose the R:Com Fleet Management Solution from Blue Tree Systems for its advanced features and reliability. The trailer system’s integration with our refrigeration units was superior to anything else on the market. It has allowed us to be 100 percent proactive in monitoring precise cargo temperatures and in becoming the first reefer carrier in the US to provide reports to receivers of perishable goods showing temperatures of their laods every 5 minutes while in transit.

“Our experience with R:Com on our trailers made the decision to choose the system for tractors even more compelling. R:Com is the only system that met all of our criteria in a single package and in our opinion, Blue Tree Systems is the clear industry leader,” McElliott says.