Trucker Tools, which provides shipment visibility, carrier capacity management, and predictive freight-matching solutions for the transportation industry, announced feature and function improvements for the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, and the introduction of Smart Capacity for truckers and small fleets.
Launched in 2013, the mobile app has been downloaded by more than 500,000 truckers. With 16 planning and information resource tools, the app is deployed by truckers and small fleet operators to simplify and streamline many tasks involved in the day to day planning and operation of their trucks. Last month, Trucker Tools also reached another milestone, surpassing 100,000 carriers active on the network.
“Response from the driver community to the Trucker Tools Mobile App has been tremendous, and we continue to see rising adoption,” said Prasad Gollapalli, founder and CEO of Trucker Tools. “This round of upgrades reflects feedback from truckers and small fleet operators for continued improvement in our time-saving, all-in-one app that gives them accurate, reliable information, and easy-to-use tools to better plan and manage the business of operating a truck.”
How it works
For drivers, they access the Smart Capacity tools through the Trucker Tools mobile app on their GPS-enabled smart-phone or tablet. As the driver is en-route with a current load, the application searches new loads that are available and in proximity to the driver’s delivery destination.
The driver can then view multiple loads from various brokers, presented in ranking order with best on top. The driver then selects the load best suited for the current location and preferred future route.
The app incorporates driver-selected lane, broker and load preferences, as well as specific business rules and algorithms to locate, present and rank optimum premium available loads. The application also has a “quick match” feature which pushes to the driver nearby “last-minute” loads available within 24 hours.
Small fleet dispatchers use the tools in similar fashion, selecting and matching optimal loads for their drivers in multiple trucks. The entire workflow and communication process is conducted over Trucker Tools’ confidential, private network and via the smart-phone based mobile driver app.
“The old ways of truckers calling brokers for loads or scrolling through stale, obsolete data on load boards or spreadsheets are gone,” said Gollapalli.
He added that truckers and small fleets benefit from increased lane density, capacity utilization, and more efficient operations, improving profitability through reduced downtime and higher quality loads.
Mobile app features
- Route-planning and fuel optimization. Route planning received improvements in function, resource access, and user interface to provide more flexibility, ease of use, and complete results. Drivers use the route planning and fuel optimizer to set up turn-by-turn directions identifying the most cost-efficient route to destination. The app projects estimated fuel economy based on route, and recommends optimal, lowest price refueling stops along the route, taking advantage of real-time fuel pricing updated hourly. This feature of the app also links to weather and traffic sites and incorporates potential weather or traffic impacts into route planning, alternate route recommendations, and updated ETAs.
- Truck stop, rest area and service locator. Based on the identified route, the app finds and displays to the driver accurate truck stop and rest area information, and projects time to arrival at each location, as well as parking spaces. This feature of the app also enables the driver to search for and identify other amenities, such as truck servicing locations, truck dealerships, collision repair, weigh scales and truck washes, Wal-Mart store locations and other useful driver resources. Upgraded data sources were incorporated and process changes implemented to provide faster and more complete results.
- Load track. Utilizing a smart-phone’s GPS capability, provides fully automated shipment tracking along the route and updated, real-time ETAs including provisions for traffic and weather impacts. Improvements were made to maps and route displays, as well as automated processes to notify shippers and dispatchers of ETA updates and changes. This feature is a significant time-saver for drivers as it eliminates “check calls” where drivers manually call in with travel updates. Shippers also can call up an individual truck and view a map with the trucker’s selected route, real-time GPS-updated progress to destination, and potential delays – similar to point-to-point route displays on Google Maps.
- Document Scanning. The mobile app’s document scanning tool allows the trucker to take a picture of the bill of lading and, upon delivery and signature by the consignee, send a secured, confidential image to the shipper or broker. Improvements were made in overall functionality and usability. Built with fraud prevention features and transmitted over a private, confidential network, brokers receive a trusted, reliable document image from the Trucker Tools mobile app. This feature eliminates manual processing steps and speeds payment to the trucker.
Gollapalli noted that a key distinction of the mobile app was the ability to do lane-specific route search and planning. “This is a key productivity advantage for the trucker that simplifies and speeds the process of finding and selecting the optimum route.”
Smart Capacity for truckers and small fleets introduced
Last fall, Trucker Tools introduced Smart Capacity for brokers. A cloud-based application suite integrated with major TMS software providers, Smart Capacity streamlines how brokers operate, utilizing a next-generation, predictive freight-matching, and capacity connectivity platform. Manual work of the broker to find and match available trucks with loads is dramatically reduced.
Visibility to timely, reliable capacity, accuracy, and quality of load-matches are improved. The result is higher broker productivity and enhanced revenues through compressed “book to load” time, and faster, more efficient workflow. With Smart Capacity, a process that once took up to 30 broker phone calls, now takes five or less.
This week Trucker Tools introduced Smart Capacity for truckers and small fleets. The application suite mirrors and replicates much of the core predictive capacity and freight-matching functionality provided to brokers but is designed specifically for the needs of owner-operators, and small-fleet dispatchers. Small fleets of 10 trucks or less make up some 80 percent of truckload market capacity.
“We are bringing the power, convenience, accuracy and efficiency of predictive, digital load-matching to the fingertips of drivers and small fleet dispatchers,” said Gollapalli.