Pollywog Transport Keeps Drivers Safer, More Productive with Trimble eDriver Logs
DOT citations for log violation cause high rate of driver-out-of-service.
PeopleNet eDriver Logs® in addition to Automated Fuel Tax, Automated Workflow and Vehicle Management
To have a customer base with many Fortune 500 firms is rare for a trucking firm the size of Pollywog Transport. There are tall orders to fill for providing reliable, efficient customer service. Having built the Pollywog fleet to 33 power units and 90 trailers for refrigerated and dry commodity operations, President Steve Teeple shares the secrets of his company’s indisputable success: “It’s pretty simple—first and foremost customer service, living up to my word, treating people the way I want to be treated and containing costs, which helps us and our customers.”
Pollywog delivers on all fronts by equipping the entire fleet with PeopleNet’s onboard communications devices that provide tracking, automated dispatch, electronic driver logs, automated fuel tax reporting and real-time performance tracking. Teeple notes, “I don’t understand how anybody can run a trucking company without PeopleNet. This technology is a must-have for hands-on management.”
“In just under two year, we’ve brought our driver out of service down to 35%.”
-Steve Teeple, President
Since the beginning
Pollywog actually grew up with PeopleNet. Teeple explains, “I found PeopleNet when we won our first million-dollar contract in the 90s; the customer insisted on satellite tracking. Since then, I’ve been on PeopleNet’s Product Advisory Council, contributing product needs and design ideas and alpha and beta testing of new technology. We helped develop and test just about every PeopleNet innovation, including eDriver Logs, Automated Fuel Tax, Automated Workflow and Vehicle Management. We’ve come a long way since our early days when routes were posted on walls and hours in books.”
Teeple has and continues to be one of the early adopters of PeopleNet technology. “Every product leads to greater productivity,” he says. “For example, Automated Fuel Tax delivered us 100 percent ROI by diverting our fulltime fuel tax person into a billing role. That move alone sped up our receivables processing and helps us get paid faster. She no longer works for the government.”
A fly in the ointment
Fear of driver protest at a time when there was a shortage of drivers kept Teeple from taking advantage of PeopleNet’s electronic log system. “It was a costly mistake. This is a failsafe product designed perfectly by a team of trucking firms, the DOT and PeopleNet.”
The fly in the ointment was a 2006 DOT audit that cited Pollywog for driver errors in logging their hours. Since the vast majority of drivers prepare their logs at the end of the day, they can forget about crossing time zones and fuel-stop locations.
Teeple admits, “An ISS inspection uncovered the log- violation blip that catapulted us to 90 percent driver out-of- service (OSS). Needless to say, we made the decision to turn on eDriver Logs in every truck. And in just under two years, we’ve brought our OOS down to 35 percent, with a steady progression and incremental improvements along the way.
Over a few months, Pollywog trained its drivers in groups of five beginning with its most experienced, so they could positively influence the rest. Was driver acceptance as tough as Teeple originally thought? “Not at all,” he admits. “Some of our veterans who we thought would never accept eDriver Logs actually were thrilled with it after about 30 days. Once they got the hang of it, they saw how much easier life was going to be with our new electronic log system. Fifty percent of the feedback went something like, ‘I really like it now, we don’t have to worry about crossing the scales.’
“Without DOT scrutiny, driver productivity increased 30 percent. Better safety track record reduced our liability and physical damage insurance by 20 percent after the first year and an additional 10 percent after the following year (excludes cargo). Our rates are lower than other comparable Florida-based firms. It all adds up to greater profitability.”