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Hours Of Service Rule Change LIVE Q&A Recap

Ahead of the FMCSA’s Hours of Service Rule Change on September 29th, we wanted to answer your questions. We received lots of questions on the rule change by email, and social channels. ORBCOMM’s ELD expert Scott Stofer answered your questions live via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 

On LinkedIn, John asks “What will be changing in the HOS laws?”

Scott says: Thanks for your question John, that’s why we’re all here today! In short, the rule changes will impact the Adverse Driving Condition Exception, the Short-haul Exception, Sleeper Berth Provision and the 30-minute Break. We’ve done a thorough breakdown of the rules on the blog.

“Do I need a minimum number of hours driven for split sleeper to become available, some places take about 4 hours to load?”

Scott says: There is no driving limit specified for starting a split, let me explain here:

“How do these rules come into effect? Who decides them?”

Scott says: In brief, the rule changes are proposed by the FMCSA, based on review of current circumstances along with general input form the industry. Once they are proposed they are put up for review and comment by the public. After the comment and review period the feedback is considered, and any final revisions are submitted for approval. Once approved they are given an effective date and recorded in the federal registry. The publication in the federal registry make the regulation changes official. 

“Can I receive information on the configuration of adverse driving conditions? Will the TomToms have to be hard restarted on the 29th? What about units who are on the road driving during the upgrade? Also, when are the upgrades to FleetManager taking place?”

Scott says: Thanks for your question Rick. So, all changes in-cab and FleetManager will become available on midnight of the 28th and 29th and will not require a restart. For the Adverse Driving Conditions option, it will be available as a sub-status option once they select a status change after midnight. 

Russell asks via email: “Question about the 7/3 split. A driver said if he drives to the customer then is off for 3 hours that it won’t count against his 14. Is that correct?”

Scott says: Hi Russell, if the three hours is one segment of a spilt sleeper berth which also includes a segment of seven consecutive hours, then neither the three hours or the seven hours will count against the 14-Hour driving window. 

Adam asks this via email… “Can they continue to stay on the split breaks? Meaning can they take a 3-hour break, then a 7 when needed, then a 3 again…. never taking a full 10?” 

Scott says: Thanks Adam, Good question. The regulation as published prohibits “leaping-frogging” split sleeper berth time. The rule states:  
(ii) Sleeper berth. A driver may accumulate the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty by taking not more than two periods of either sleeper berth time or a combination of off-duty time and sleeper berth time… 
This ensures the drivers can’t link split segments and ensures that they have to get a total of 10 hours of rest. 

Mike asks via email: 📧“My question is in regards to adverse driving conditions. Is there a weekly requirement or limit on how often adverse driving extension can be used?” 

Scott says: Hi Mike, there is no specified limit on how many times. Just that when used that the use is in conjunction with an Adverse Driving Condition that meets the criteria set out within the Adverse Driving definition. An Adverse Driving Condition is not an exception, so having multiples in a week under normal circumstances is rare.  Thanks for your question! 

Rick asks via email: “Does this apply to the US only or Canada too?” 

Scott says: The changes only affect HOS in the United States. These HOS changes do not apply to Hour of Service Regulations in Canada. Let me talk about this a bit more on video.
For more on our work toward Canadian ELD compliance, visit our website here.  

Edgar asks via email: 📧“Based on the new rule, the sleeper berth requirements allow drivers to take the required 10 hours off duty in two periods, provided one off duty, whether in or out of the sleeper berth, is at least 2 hours long and the other is of at least seven consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. The revision also provides that neither period, when paired together, counts against the 14-hour driving window. 
What if my driver starts a new shift, drives 5 hours, then goes to sleeper berth for 8 consecutive hours, then he drives another 5 hours and then goes to OFF Duty (based on the regulation, he needs at least two hours, but what if he stays OFF duty for 10 hours, basically, completes his shift right there, will he be in compliance? 
Based on my interpretation of the language used in the rule (at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and at least 2 hours off duty (combined minimum of 10 hours) my driver’s log should be in compliance with the new regulations. But I want your expert opinion on that matter. 

Scott says: Hi Edgar, thanks for such an in-depth question. If he goes in for 10 Hours in OFF-Duty he needs to ensure that the vehicle isn’t rolling. 
Under that scenario, if the vehicle is rolling, he can only be in Off-Duty for up to 3 hours. (that is the time limit that the driver can be in the seat and handling paperwork personal affairs etc.) When they hit the 3 Hour mark that would put them at 8 Hours in Sleeper and 3 in Off duty for 11 Hours. The next 7 would not count toward a valid reset since he is Rolling and in Off Duty, not Sleeper. So, the clock would pause for 8 and 3 but everything after in Off duty is not compliant for a valid rest break. 
If the vehicle wasn’t rolling at the 3 Hour Mark and stayed stationary while he was off duty for the full 10 Hours, then it would be valid daily reset.
If the second segment of 10 Hours was in the sleeper berth it would be a full 10-hour rest at the end of the second segment and the clock would start once he exited the sleeper berth 10 Hours 1 min since he got the full 10 Consecutive. 

Tee-Tom asks via Twitter: Several organizations have filed a court petition to invalidate the new HOS rules. Do you think there will be an attempt by either or both sides to delay implementation? (That has happened previously.) 

Scott says: Hey Tom, there is always the possibility but under the circumstances, nothing leads us to believe it will at this point.

Next is an online question: When you complete your second split period, will that give a fresh 14-hour clock?

Scott says: When you complete your second split period it will give you a fresh 14-hours starting at the end of the first sleeper berth period. 

Another Question we received online: Can I take the 3 hours first and then the 7 hours next, or does it have to be 7 hours first and then three?

Scott says: This is a short one! The split can be taken in any order. 

From Daniel on our Facebook page: If a driver takes a 3-hour break, then a 4-hour break, then later takes a 7-hour break, will break will be calculated with the 7 hours? The 3 or the 4? Is it the 1st qualifying break or the most recent break before the 7-hour break? 

Scott says: Hi Daniel, thanks for joining in today. The Split should be based on the 4 and 7 the 3 wouldn’t count as a valid off duty period once the 4 hour period is taken. Since the Split is built on 2 qualifying segments one short period would get nullified. 

Here’s a question we got on email. Can I receive information on the configuration of adverse driving conditions? Will the TomTom’s have to be hard restarted on the 29th?  What about units who are on the road driving during the upgrade? Also, when are the upgrades to FleetManager taking place?

Scott says: All changes in-cab and FleetManager will become available on midnight of the 28th and 29th and will not require a restart. For adverse Driving Conditions, the option will be available as a sub-status option once the selects a status change after midnight. 

Todd asks via email: “Can a driver use time at a customer for the split.  An example would be the driver arrives at the customer at 0700 checks in, gets dock assignment, this takes 30 minutes. The driver then has to wait in the truck for 3 hours in sleeper berth waiting for the trailer to be loaded. During this time the driver is sleeping or reading a book. Will that time pause/extend the 14-hour rule for 3 additional hours later in the day?” 

Scott says: Why don’t I answer this one by video?

Adam asks via email: “If an off-duty period of 2.5 hours is taken will it extend the 14 clock for 2.5 hours, or is it just whole increments 2 hours or 3 hours?  
Charmane asks via email: “It is my understanding that drivers can use any combination as long as a minimum of 7 hours are spent in SB and at least 2 hours spent off-duty (either in or outside of the SB). Both periods must add up to 10 hours.  Is this correct?” 

Scott says: I think I can address both of these questions here: It would extend it for 2.5 Hours’ time is tracked to the minute so you should get your 2.5 hours. As long as the minimum time and the total of the 2 split segments is at least 10 Hours any partial hours above the minimum would count and be available to the driver. 

Alan asks via email: “Does ORBCOMM have everything in order (to support the new HOS rule changes)?  

Scott says: Yes, we have all the changes in place, and they will go into effect on Sept 29th at 12:01AM. 

Colette chatted in via our website asking “Does the 30-minute break happen during the first 8 hours, or has to be taken after the first 8 hours?  I need to know between what hours do they take it in.” 

Scott says: Excellent question Collette. I’m going to answer this one with a video.

If you’ve got any further questions on the Hours of Service Rule Change, feel free to ask in the comments below or email us: eld@orbcomm.com.

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

HOS Rule Change: Live Q&A Rewind

With the FMCSA introducing its change to HOS regulations on September 29, I hosted a Live Q&A to answer the many questions we received on the subject. You can see the full thread of the Q&A in sequence below.

We’ve also produced a handy HOS Rule Change Visor Card to help make this rule change easier for drivers and fleet managers alike. If you have any questions not answered below, post it in the Comments below or reach out to me directly at eld@orbcomm.com.

Read more ›
Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends

HOS Rule Changes: Educate Drivers with this New Visor Card

The HOS Rule Changes are only 10 days away; will your drivers know what to do when the rules kick in on September 29?

To help make this rule change easier for drivers and fleet managers alike, ORBCOMM has developed this visor card aimed at drivers. It’s available to print, download on your cellphone, share by email or mobile. We want to ensure the safety and compliance of the entire transportation community. Feel free to share with any drivers, employees or partners who may find it useful.

(Download and Print Visor Card) (Download Mobile Version)

The FMCSA will implement four major updates to Hours of Service rules for commercial drivers on September 29. The visor card includes information on these rule changes that impact:

  • The 30-minute Break Rule
  • The Sleeper Berth Provision
  • Adverse Driving Condition Exception
  • Short-haul Exception

Live Q & A

If you’ve got more questions, you should join our live Q&A about the rule changes. Join our ELD expert Scott Stofer on Thursday, September 24, at 3pm EDT. He’ll be answering your questions live.

Live Q&A: HOS Rule Change
Thursday, September 24, 3p.m. EDT
Attend on Your Platform of Choice:

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , ,

Queen Transportation & Logistics Profile

Since 2006, the family-owned Queen Transportation & Logistics has been focused on providing shippers with trucking and logistics services they can always trust, notes Daniel Queen, vice president. “Our customers appreciate our ‘whatever-it-takes’ spirit and our expertise in meeting their transportation needs,” Queen says. “What really sets us apart from the competition, however, is the quality of our well-trained drivers and the reliability of our highly advanced equipment.” 

Based in Hickory, N.C., Queen Transportation provides long, medium and short-haul, local, intrastate and interstate services. “Shippers call on us for a single, dependable source of freight transportation,” Queen says. “Being an asset-based carrier, we are better able to manage capacity requirements and equipment demands with immediate access to trucks, trailers and drivers, and handle their changing needs.”  

Currently, Queen Transportation fields 60 company-owned Freightliner Cascadia sleeper and day cab tractors and 175 53-ft. dry vans, including new Great Dane Champion composite plate models. Along with having flexibility to handle a range of freight, Queen relates, safety is a major consideration when spec’ing trucks for the fleet.  

“We continuously invest in the newest safety systems,” Queen reports. “Our latest power units have the Detroit Assurance suite with standard features like Active Brake Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, and automatic wipers and headlamps, as well as Active Lane Assist and Lane Departure Protection options.” 

Queen Transportation’s focus on drivers is also evident in tractor amenities it specs, the ongoing training it provides and its job offerings. For example, drivers opting for shorter haul, regular local routes can choose their own home time.  

“Along with competitive pay and benefits,” Queen says, “one of the big things we started is a quarterly and annual safety bonus program. In addition, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made sure our drivers have masks and hand sanitizer. Overall, we constantly do whatever we can stay ahead of driver needs and keep them safe.” 

Focused on Technology  

Driver satisfaction was also a large part of Queen Transportation’s decision in 2019 to equip its entire fleet with ORBCOMM in-cab systems and to begin using the company’s management software. Today, several driver-focused telematics solutions are now in use by the fleet.  

With ORBCOMM’s FleetManager web platform, Queen Transportation is automating hours of service calculations. The in-cab solution uses GPS tracking for HOS and ELD compliance, which Queen says is more efficient for drivers. 

“With a previous tablet-based solution, our drivers had ongoing connectivity issues that often forced them to resort to using paper logs,” Queen relates. “The time-consuming process was impacting their productivity and led to retention concerns. But with the ORBCOMM ELD, which is more intuitive and easier to use, we’ve removed a large frustration for them. 

“We’re also using ORBCOMM’s integration with the Drivewyze PreClear Weigh Station Bypass solution so our drivers do not always need to stop at scales,” Queen continues. “We didn’t fully understand until we implemented it how much easier it was going to make our drivers’ lives. ORBCOMM’s solution is also helping us improve safety by providing live, onboard driver performance scoring that helps correct unsafe driving behaviors and reduce accidents and violations.”  

With Queen Transportation’s previous system, reliability and delays in data updates also led to customer service issues and back-end inefficiencies. The lack of accurate, timely data and integrated information also limited the effective use of the fleet’s enterprise management system. 

“Now, we can use the ORBCOMM solution to enhance efficiency through increased visibility and auditing,” Queen says. “In particular, we’re benefitting from an integration that links ORBCOMM’s FleetManager to our McLeod Software transportation management system and workflow application.  

“It also improves communication, which enhances customer service,” Queen continues. “With vastly improved GPS tracking data on exact vehicle locations, we can work with customers to streamline operations at facilities, including determining where there is excessive detention time. That enhances their operations and our fleet’s operational productivity.” 

The capability to collect data from vehicle engine, brake and other systems is also giving Queen Transportation access to valuable analytics and timely reporting. Including data from the carrier’s Blue Tree trailer tracking systems, the information speeds up the service capabilities of the fleet’s technicians, which Queen notes lowers the carrier’s maintenance costs. 

Measurable Savings  

Overall, Queen Transportation is realizing measurable savings and improvements with ORBCOMM solutions. “The technologies we’ve adopted have already led to an estimated $25,000 in Hours of Service compliance and administrative time savings, and within two years we expect to realize a full return on investment in their technology in improved efficiency and performance,” Queen reports.  

For Queen, the company’s expertise, equipment, technologies and drivers offer shippers a level of reliability and an ability to rise to any challenge. “We’re committed to getting the job done right 100% of the time because we are dedicated to quality and constant improvement,” he concludes. “By staying ahead of challenges, we’re prepared to handle all the needs and the headaches that go with modern commercial transportation.” 

This article previously appeared in Fleet Equipment Magazine.

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , , ,

Farmers Reap the Benefit of Efficient Agricultural Irrigation Using Satellite

“Our solution provides farmers with the peace of mind that their machinery is in excellent working order, and that it is being monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” – Ponce CEO José Robetto. 

To help farmers ease the problems of irrigation issues, Ponce developed a monitoring system that saves money, time and effort, while preserving water. Powered by ORBCOMM’s IsatData Pro Satellite Network, connected to the OGi modem, the system allows real-time monitoring of irrigation equipment, helping to monitor and reduce the environmental impact of farming, while reducing costs. Download the Case Study now to read more.  

Ponce is an Argentinian IoT company specializing in agricultural efficiency. It helps farmers throughout Latin America to reduce costs, time, effort and preserve water through its irrigation solutions. The solution combines early detection of machine failure with accurate crop irrigation data. Working with some of the leading agricultural growers in Latin America, including La Guía, it has developed – with the help of ORBCOMM satellite technology – a sophisticated solution for farmers to mitigate against the environmental impact of farming.  

Innovating Connections 

For years, many of the world’s farmers have relied on labor-intensive failure detection of their equipment; sending someone out to inspect equipment. Often this equipment is in very remote areas, requiring long or numerous trips. Farmers could make several trips a day to check on equipment. With Ponce’s system, farmers can now be notified of equipment failures as they occur, rather than discovering them during inspections, sometimes several hours too late.  

Devices Delivering Data 

The system’s devices on irrigation equipment allow for real-time alerts to farmers. Monitoring water pressure, machine pressure and other parameters, the data is passed to the OGi modem, which connects via satellite to Ponce’s data cloud. The solution allows for rapid data transmission in very remote areas, including if an abnormality occurs.  

Cost Savings as Standard 

Farmers in this case study reported substantial savings in production costs as a result of working with the Ponce solution. With longer equipment uptime, lower operational costs and better crop management, farmers are reaping the broad benefits of the Ponce solution and ORBCOMM’s technology.  

Today, Ponce is helping farmers all over Latin America to reduce wastewater but also to make further valuable savings in other areas; fewer field inspection trips, lower energy consumption and reduced operating costs.  

To learn more, download the case study or schedule a demo today. 

Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends

Hours of Service Rule Change: What Your Fleet Needs to Know

The @FMCSA #HOS rule change comes into effect on Sep. 29. Have questions on what it means for your fleet? Post it below…

Posted by ORBCOMM on Thursday, September 17, 2020

ELD compliance demoThe FMCSA is introducing a change to HOS regulations to give drivers greater flexibility without impacting safety. The rule changes impact: the 30-minute break rule, split-sleeper berth provision, adverse driving condition exception, short-haul exception and comes into effect on September 29, 2020. The rule change comes after the agency reviewed the results of more than 8,000 public comments from industry stakeholders. “The reforms will improve safety on America’s roadways and strengthen the nation’s motor carrier industry,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen. 

We spoke to ORBCOMM’s Scott Stofer, Director of Safety and Compliance, Fleet, who outlines the changes to come and how they will impact fleets and drivers in the real world.

What change will we see in the 30-Minute Break Requirement and how will it impact drivers and fleets?

There are a couple of changes coming into effect at midnight on September 28th. The 30-minute break rule has more options now. It can be taken with any status but driving.

The eight-hour timer is going to shift. It changes from starting when the driver comes on-duty for the day after a reset to starting the first time a driver starts driving for the day. The driver will be able to go on-duty, work in the yard, do training or admin work, but the clock that dictates the break, will not start until the wheels start turning for the day. The first time the driver goes into drive, the timer starts and within eight hours they will have to take their break.

There will also be some extra flexibility in the duty status that can be used during the break time. Previously, for a break, a driver had to use off-duty status. This change to the 30-minute break rule gives drivers more flexibility for their non-driving work. Now, for instance, if drivers are waiting at a location to pick up, the rule change will allow an on-duty not driving status to count towards a break.

What change will we see in the Adverse Driving Condition Rule and how will it impact drivers and fleets?

The change in the adverse driving condition rule gives drivers a lot more flexibility. The regulation will now give a full two hours of driving time regardless if they are at the end of the driving window or not. Previously, if a driver was up against their 14-hour driving window limit, they could only go as far as that 14-hour window would allow. With the new changes, it gives a full two hours, regardless of how much time is left on the 14-hour daily limit, as long as they qualify under adverse driving conditions rules.

The rule change normalizes the hours. The driver gets the two hours they might need. If they find themselves facing a qualified adverse driving situation, they can drive two hours to get to a safe haven, the yard, or wherever necessary under the circumstances. It will simplify management; it’ll simplify things for the driver.

What about the short-haul exception?

Drivers will have a bit more leeway with this rule update and better management of their hours. Essentially, two things are changing. Before, there was a 100-mile radius around the terminal. The driver stays within the hundred miles; no need to worry about Record of Duty Status (RODS). Now the FMCSA is expanding that out to 150 air miles. Each driver will get an extra 50 miles before they must maintain RODS.

The rule also provides for two extra hours of driving time. The previous rule stated that the truck had to return to the home terminal within 12 hours, now it’s extended to 14 hours.

How about the sleeper berth provision?

Previously, if the driver split the sleeper berth, it was two segments of at least eight and two hours to get a ten-hour break. They got the first segment of either eight or two, that pauses the 14-hour clock. The second segment, once complete, would give the driver their 10-hour break but the new 14-hour driving window would start at the end of the first segment.

Under the new regulation, the FMCSA has simplified it. They said we are not going to say one segment is going to count, while the other does not. From September 29, when the driver uses the sleeper berth and splits it, it will be between two periods; allowing a choice, for example, a split of eight and two hours, or seven and three hours, to make a total of 10 hours. Under the new regulation, the entire sleeper berth time will pause the clock. The 14-hour driving window restarts after the first break (as long as they get the full 10 hours) but now the driving clock pauses for both breaks. It’s easier to manage and the driver and carrier get a few hours back.

Are there any steps that fleets can take to make this easier on drivers?

There certainly is an educational aspect of it, especially for the short-haul, 30-min break and sleeper berth rules, to make drivers aware of the new updates. Let’s take the sleeper berth example. The drivers must understand the new limits and how it will impact them. They will be used to having that second period of two hours and the clock not stopping. It’s to their benefit, but there’s also a need to educate drivers that it’s coming so they can be prepared on the 29th.

For adverse driving conditions, companies will need to evaluate their procedures and decide how they want to activate it. The implementation is based on their method of operation. We are working with all our fleet customers on this now, in the lead-up to this change.

Is ORBCOMM ready for this update?

We have already been in development on this for some time. ORBCOMM is prepped and ready for the rollout of the new HOS rules. We will have all the changes in place, including the adverse driving conditions, which is a new option that we are introducing since the switch to ELD. The updates will happen automatically, apart from the adverse driving rule. For this, there will be an option within the system to configure adverse driving conditions if they so choose.

It will all be available at midnight on September 28. Anyone operating will pick up the change and move forward from the 29. We are working with our account management and sales team along with our customers to enable that, as per their policies and procedures.

Do you think there’ll be any further changes to the rules/regulations like this in the future?

I don’t think there’ll be any major changes like this for a while. This will need time to settle. If there is any further rule change down the line, ORBCOMM is fully committed. We are a committed ELD supplier and we’re already working on Canadian ELD. We’re here for the long haul.

The FCMA’s final rule includes the four key revisions to the existing HOS rules. These are:  

  1. The sleeper berth provision allows drivers to split their 10-hour off-duty period in different ways (e.g., 7/3, 8/2, 7.5/2.5), provided one off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least 2 hours long, and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. The periods must add up to 10 hours, and when used together, neither time period counts against the maximum 14-hour driving window.
  2. The 30-minute break requirement can now be satisfied by an on-duty, not driving break (in addition to an off-duty break). The requirement for property-carrying drivers is applicable in situations where a driver has driven for a period of eight hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. A modification to the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split the required 10 hours of duty into two periods. This can be an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither period will count against a driver’s 14-hour driving window.  
  3. The adverse driving conditions exception is extending the duty day by two hours when adverse driving conditions are encountered. This is in addition to the extra two hours of driving time already allowed.
  4. This change applies for both property (14-hour driving window) and passenger (15-hour on-duty limit) motor carriers.  The short-haul exception maximum allowable workday is changing from 12 to 14 hours, and the distance the driver may operate is extending from a 100 air-mile radius to a 150 air-mile radius.

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , , , ,

A Giant Leap Forward for Maritime IoT

We are proud to be a part of the recently announced partnership with AAC Clyde Space AB and SAAB AB that is ushering in a new era in maritime communications through the development of the next generation of a space-based very high frequency (VHF) Data Exchange System (VDES). As the maritime industry embraces digitalization, we expect a greater emphasis on secure data exchange and ship to shore communication—and we look forward to facilitating this shift in operations through our technology in conjunction with our partners.

As long-term providers of automatic identification system (AIS) solutions and a touchpoint for space-based maritime data, we at ORBCOMM relish the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits that the significantly increased bandwidth that VDES will offer not just our maritime customers but the supply chain as a whole.

With up to 32 times more bandwidth than currently offered by AIS and two-way communication, the ground-breaking new system is the next natural step for satellite technology and will allow users to completely rethink the way they manage their fleets. VDES bridges the gap between ship and shore in a way that the industry has been crying out for.

An Open Playing Field for Maritime Innovation

One of the changes we are most excited about is how innovators now have an open playing field to craft interesting technical solutions specifically for the maritime world without having to scale back their imaginations to match the limited accessibility. The sky is literally the limit once these new satellites come into play and we are keen to work with newcomers and support existing companies with bringing their visions to life so that they can propel this industry forward.

We have already seen how our AIS data is used not just for real-time vessel and asset tracking, but also as a baseline from which interesting insights can be drawn about the global fleet. A good example is a recent article by maritime expert and Navigate PR director Bill Lines, who used our partner Marine Traffic’s data in conjunction with information from the Baltic Exchange to create a snapshot of tanker operating expenses.  

Looking to the Future

We already know that VDES can be integrated with existing vessel systems and we are keen to see how ship operators, managers and equipment manufacturers will use this data highway to improve navigation, boost safety, enforce regulations, reduce emissions via fuel consumption, and improve onboard decision making by delivering data-driven insight.

Work on the project begins next month when AAC Clyde Space will begin manufacturing the satellite that will boast a VDES payload from Saab. We expect to complete the in-orbit VDES capability demonstration of the first EPIC 3U satellite in the first quarter 2023 and are happy to say that ORBCOMM customers can expect to receive AIS data from the new satellite and so will benefit from the project as it comes online.

As a larger constellation of VDES satellites is contemplated, we look forward to being the conduit for better-quality data in larger quantities. Our considerable IoT experience puts us in a prime position to reap the benefits of the technology as it evolves, and we are excited to work with our partners and guide them on the best path to maximize the benefits of using VDES technology.

To learn more about the project, we encourage you to watch this video, which features Greg Flessate, ORBCOMM Senior Vice President and General Manager for Government, AIS and Business Operations, as well as AAC Clyde Space Chief Executive Officer Luis Gomes and Saab’s Christer Fuglesang being interviewed by Rachel Carroll, President and Managing Partner at Edison.

Posted in 3. Maritime / AIS Tagged with: , ,

Webinar: Join Transportation Experts to Re-Evaluate the Supply Chain

We’re looking forward to adding our voice on the future of transportation to the upcoming Expert Webinar Panel: Re-Evaluating the Supply Chain. 

Facilitated by Berkeley Innovation X-labs, the expert panel will answer questions on where transportation and trucking are going, how the industry is innovating, how it should innovate and how the role of the supply chain is evolving during these uncertain, pandemic times.  

The webinar will take place on Thursday, September 3, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (Pacific Time.) It’s a must-attend event for supply chain, transportation, logistics and trucking industry professionals.  

ORBCOMM’s Ashish Chona, SVP, IoT Transportation Intelligence, will join the panel at Berkeley Innovation Sutardja Centre for Entrepreneurship & Technology, along with representatives from Gartner, Project 44, PINC and UC Berkeley. They will be taking a deep dive into what lies ahead for one of the biggest industries in the country. The logistics industry in the U.S. is worth close to two trillion dollars, while trucking moves 71% of all freight and delivers nearly 6% of full-time jobs. 

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

The Importance of Real-Time for In-cab Voice Coaching

Go beyond ELD compliance: true real time voice coaching for your service fleet. In-cab device with logo.

When it comes to making a substantial improvement in the safety and operational performance of drivers, real-time feedback makes all the difference. Unfortunately, many in-cab telematics solutions throw this term around quite loosely. When an at-risk driving event occurs, these solutions might register the event as it happens, but there’s often a delay between the incident and when the driver is notified, sometimes lasting several minutes. In this time gap, a driver may not recall the incident, particularly if the at-risk maneuver was subtle, such as lane drifting or speeding. This decreases the likelihood of the driver acknowledging the poor behavior and making the appropriate behavioral change. If drivers are to improve upon their errors, they need to be made aware of them as they occur.

Words Matter

The way real-time notifications are delivered makes a drastic difference in how successful they are. Beeping alarms are common in the industry, but they don’t indicate the specific infraction. Real-time in-cab voice coaching is far better, as it notifies the driver of the at-risk behavior they’re committing. Being told exactly what you need to improve at the moment you are undeniably performing an at-risk maneuver is the surest way to increase driver awareness and encourage safety behind the wheel. We’ve measured an average of 75% improvement in at-risk driving within the first two months of activation based on ten years of customer data.

Hands holding onto a steering wheel of a large truck looking out on the road.

Safety Assurance

The primary benefit of real-time voice feedback is the level of safety assurance it provides, both for drivers and those around them. Pairing the immediacy of real-time notifications with the clarity of voice feedback influences a driver’s ability to appropriately react when they commit at-risk maneuvers, potentially avoiding crashes that can harm people, damage property and negatively affect business reputation.

Tipping the Scale

Poor driver performance is often attributed to competency problems, but most drivers commit at-risk behavior, so it’s unlikely to be strictly related to driving ability. In my experience, a major influencer of at-risk behavior is operational pressure, such as being short on time. A driver’s work environment can greatly affect their decision-making behind the wheel, encouraging them to choose expediency over safety. Having an in-cab device that provides voice feedback the moment this decision is being made can tip the scale and lead them in the right direction.

Using the Data

An effective fleet safety solution shouldn’t be judged only on the immediacy of driver feedback, but also how the information is used by fleet operators, and how fast. The quicker input is turned into actionable data, the quicker change can occur. With an advanced, comprehensive platform, fleet managers can learn about driving incidents as they occur, identify trends in their organizations and execute corrective measures accordingly. Supervisors can identify areas of improvement for further coaching that will help improve their fleet’s safety. With a real-time voice feedback solution, drivers are respectfully held accountable for their actions.

Our Solution

ORBCOMM’s fleet safety solution puts drivers at the forefront. It detects unsafe driver behavior and uses real-time voice mentoring to encourage safer driving, help prevent crashes and avoid costly legal consequences. Using the best-in-class technology, our hardware, platform and supporting services are easy to implement, easy to manage, and deliver immediate positive results for fleets of all sizes. With dangerous maneuver detection, clear real-time feedback, and accurate data collection and retention, fleets can create a healthy environment of consistent driver feedback that promotes change and further enhances efficiency.

Looking for more? Read our latest checklist, 7 Things to Look For in an Oil & Gas In-Vehicle Monitoring System.

Posted in 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities Tagged with: , , ,

Fleet Safety and Compliance: Why Voice Coaching is Vital for Sand Revolution

“Every week prior to implementation, one of our trucks seemed to be involved in a crash, and this has almost entirely stopped.” David Woods, Fleet Team Leader at Sand Revolution.

Go beyond ELD compliance: true real time voice coaching for your service fleet. In-cab device with logo.

The Permian-basin based company works with ORBCOMM telematics, using voice coaching, HOS data and telematics to improve fleet safety, ensure compliance and reduce operational costs. Download the full case study to find out more.

Sand Revolution’s 300 tractors operate within the rugged conditions of the Permian Basin delivering sand trucks, silos and conveyor belts. They work with some of the largest fracking service companies, oil and gas operators, and proppant distributors in North America.

In 2017, the company found its previous telematics solution to be lacking, and the team was struggling to manage compliance as its drivers didn’t have the know-how to consistently manage their logs. Even more troubling were the safety risks. The rate of weekly accidents wasn’t decreasing, because drivers weren’t being informed of dangerous behavior. In the search for a new telematics system, the company saw a huge value in the robust telematics and driver coaching that the ORBCOMM system offers.

Commercial truck on the road
Fleet Safety and Compliance: Why Voice Coaching is Vital for Sand Revolution

Voicing Concerns

For Sand Revolution, the voice coaching built into ORBCOMM’s solution is invaluable. Drivers receive instant feedback in the event of a dangerous driving event, such as harsh braking, sharp turns or speeding. It helps to identify and correct poor driving habits instantly. This has made a huge difference to Sand Revolution’s fleet safety record. “We are not 100% crash-free just yet, but the device providing feedback to drivers, such as the speed-by-street mentoring, is helping reduce their speed, allowing them more time to read the road and react appropriately,” said David Woods.

As well as working to encourage safe driver behavior, the fleet stays in check for compliance with the FMCSA’s HOS rules thanks to ORBCOMM’s ELD. The in-cab devices maintain accurate records and let the drivers know when to expect their next break, the end-of-shift and any other information they need to complete their day’s work.

Next-level Data Reporting

Another positive result for the company is the insight available through reports generated by the platform. With the ORBCOMM system, vehicle data is pulled into customizable reports that can be shared with drivers. This illustrates where and when a hazardous driving event happened and who was involved, leading to further training. By focusing on the reports, the Sand Revolution team is able to uncover inefficient areas that they can improve on. “Our focus at this time is looking at the data on a daily basis and turning that information into action to help and support the continuous improvement of our operations,” says Woods.

Praise for the Team

Working with the ORBCOMM team was a differentiator for Sand Revolution. The team remained onsite throughout the implementation process and continues to provide hands-on assistance. Woods says this level of support has been a big help: “with a single call I can access the right people, from account management to sales support. I love that I don’t have to make several calls to address issues.”

Today, Sand Revolution is comfortable in the knowledge that it is compliant, it is improving its safety record and is continuing to increase operational efficiencies, thanks to ORBCOMM.

To learn more, download the case study or schedule a demo today.

Posted in 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities Tagged with: , , ,

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