ELD Mandate Update: FMCSA Announces ELD Violation Severity Weights

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e-log solutionThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced the violation severity weights that apply to CSA scores as a result of ELD violations. The figures show the exact score that will impact carrier safety scores in the Safety Measurement System since the start of the ELD deadline on April 1.

The FMCSA posted the details on the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) website earlier this month. The body that governs road safety across North America says that the violation scores only apply after April 1, when the hard deadline kicked in. There is no retroactive application of these points.

With this update, the severity weighting now ranges from seven points for failing to provide supporting documents in the driver’s possession upon requests, to one point for failing to manually add location description, failing to maintain ELD user’s manual or instruction sheet. The violation severity weight for operating a CMV while ill or fatigued is 10.

The full list of violation severity weight is here and detailed below: Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: ,

Heavy Equipment Telematics: Driving Growth Through Technology

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As we pack our bags and get ready for INTERMAT 2018 in Paris, it’s a good time to take a step back and think about the wider challenges that the heavy equipment industry will be discussing at the exhibition.

FleetEdgeAt first glance, the industry trends look healthy. Average annual growth in the global construction market is set to reach an estimated US$17.5 trillion by 2030. This brings with it many opportunities but also a host of challenges for heavy equipment OEMs, fleet owners and rental companies. In every region of the world, the construction industry needs to deliver on ambitious and far-reaching development objectives – increasing urbanisation, the expansion of city regions, energy infrastructure and environmental protection.

In addition to these pressures, competition remains fierce and margins can be thin. In this competitive environment, targets are ambitious and there is a need to deliver quality – of equipment, of project management and, above all, of service. For example, some industry participants are talking about their ambitious “Triple Zero” target – zero emissions, zero downtime and zero accidents.

Delivering visibility, reducing costs

A revolution is happening in productivity and technology that is affecting all areas of our lives, and the heavy equipment sector is no exception. Telematics can help industry participants to deliver on their goals by enabling benefits in three core areas:

  1. Gaining full visibility of their assets to prevent loss or theft;
  2. Driving revenue growth by maximising asset utilisation, and;
  3. Providing the data to enable preventive maintenance, which can help avoid equipment unexpectedly (and expensively) breaking down.

heavy equipment rental marketHow does telematics deliver these benefits exactly? Satellite IoT technology can now deliver complete visibility of industrial assets operating in remote areas, allowing for remote monitoring and control of fixed assets. For example, the technology can create mining vehicle reports that include engine run hours, utilisation reports, engine data and tyre monitoring. Telematics can even help device owners detect when brake performance is deteriorating, helping companies to stick to their “zero accidents” pledges.

These reports can help fleet owners and other industry participants to put in place predictive maintenance systems, where insight gained from analysis of existing data can be integrated into a service programme to help predict the failure of a particular heavy equipment part. This allows repairs to take place before a breakdown happens, thereby avoiding lost revenue. The analysis can also look in more detail at utilisation and identify, as an example, if drivers are pushing their machines too hard or overloading them, which could create safety issues. Data produced by equipment telematics can also benefit the environment by reducing fuel consumed by idling equipment and making sure work is being done as efficiently as possible, identifying drivers who are wasting fuel (supporting the “zero emissions” aim).

construction equipment big data

Predictive Maintenance, based on predictive analytics, detects possible failures ahead of time to take corrective action at the right time, to avoid unscheduled maintenance and unplanned downtime.


Data analytics: A new paradigm for the heavy equipment industry

Data analytics has more to offer than just preventive maintenance. Greater productivity and better utilisation of assets is a compelling proposition for all participants in the supply chain. Our mission, and the mission of our customers, is to find information patterns that will improve their workflows and business models, delivering valuable return on investment. For example, telematics data can lead to more accurate job costing and estimates, allowing industry participants to submit more competitive bids and avoid unwelcome surprises further down the line.

This helps to explain why, in addition to the growth forecast in the construction industry, a new market report forecasts that the global telematics in heavy equipment market is expected to reach a value of US$6.5 billion by 2025. The market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 15.1% during the forecast period from 2017 to 2025. ORBCOMM intends to be at the forefront of that growth.

Heavy equipment solutions that deliver insight and control

ORBCOMM will be showcasing a number of developments at INTERMAT, including an enhanced fleet management solution for the heavy equipment industry that includes additional features and functionality for its asset tracking device and FleetEdge web platform. We have a wide range of market leading cellular and satellite modems and devices that delivers unique visibility and actionable data. Come to Hall 5A Stand L 057 to find out more from our team, or check out our website.

Our heavy equipment management technology stands out for three reasons:

  • It has been built by a team that understands the heavy equipment industry and can develop products that are hardwired to work according to the needs of the industry.
  • We produce technology that is easy to customise or rebrand and which can work specifically for OEMs, by allowing them to control how much information they share with fleets or rental companies.
  • In a complex and fast-moving industry, we understand the need for simplicity, creating simple interfaces that are easy to customise.

Heavy equipment solution

This is all backed up by a technical, commercial and operational team that is available wherever and whenever you need us.

If you are attending Intermat, be sure to schedule a meeting with us (we still have a handful of slots left) or drop by Hall 5A Stand L 057 to discuss the latest technologies that can help the heavy equipment sector drive increased visibility and greater efficiencies. You can also get a sneak preview of some of our latest satellite and cellular devices, developed specifically for the sector.

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment Tagged with: , , , ,

Tachograph Rules: What European Drivers and Hauliers Need to Know

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live tachograph data“How long can drivers legally work in a day?”

“What vehicles require a tachograph?”

“What are tachograph regulations? What are tacho breaks?”

These are just some of the Google search terms used around tacho and tachographs. It shows that while HAU drivers and hauliers may well be familiar with the broad tachograph legislation, there are plenty of nuances and country differentiations to consider.

tachograph trends

Image via Google Trends, worldwide search for “Tachograph” over 12 months.

Although European and International tachograph regulations have been in place for decades, new entrants to the trucking market and even veterans still have questions. Here we take a closer look at the regulations across the EU and how international and domestic rules work hand-in-hand.

European Tachograph Rules Combining Domestic and International Rules

tachograph rules in truckingThe EU regulations underpin truck safety campaigns and rules at a national level.

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) have a defined set of base rules that govern working hours. These rules govern the working hours and outline daily and fortnightly driving times as well as rest breaks. The objectives of the rules include improving road safety by reducing driver fatigue, avoiding competitive driving and improve working conditions for drivers within the EU.

The common rules of Regulation (EC) no. 561/2006 cover driving times for road haulage and passenger vehicles. It encompasses international and national journeys, over long and short distances, employees and self-employed and drivers for their own account and for hire and reward.

The rules are measured using a tachograph. Tachographs collect driving time, speed and distance and are used to make sure drivers and employers follow the drivers’ hours rules.

The rules that apply to drivers in the EU include:

These rules are part of an international and national effort in creating awareness and ensuring a continued road safety emphasis across the region. In addition to European rules, many EU countries have their own national rules and campaigns.

Adhering to two sets of tachograph rules can be complex, as drivers and carriers need to negotiate both. For example:

  • (EC) 165/2014 is a requirement for digital tachographs in vehicles over three-point-five tonnes total weight, including the trailer.
  • (EC) 561/2006 defines rules for drivers of vehicles which fall under 165/2014 regarding Shift-, Work-, Drive- and Rest-time.
  • 2003/88/EC non-enforceable EU Working Time Directive.
  • All members of the EU must incorporate the directive into their national legislation. This can lead to several different interpretations being enforced across the EU. 2002/15/EC takes precedence over relevant provisions of the basic Directive 2003/88/EC on working time because it contains more specific provisions.

The main EU rules on drivers’ hours state maximum driving hours of:

  • Nine hours in a day; this can be exceeded – up to 10 hours – twice in a week.
  • 56 hours of driving in one week.
  • 90 hours over any consecutive two-week period.

The tachograph rules also govern rest breaks and obligations of drivers who must take:

  • At least 45 minutes of a break for every four and a half hours of driving. This can be a single 45-minute break, or a single 15-minute break and a 30-minute break.
  • An unbroken rest period of 45 hours each week.
  • At least one 45-hour rest and on 24-hour rest in any two-week period.
  • A weekly rest after six consecutive 24-hour work periods.

How Do Tacho Rules Differ Across Europe?

Here’s a look at how the legislation differs in some European regions:

Tachograph Regulations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland

The Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG) carries out inspections onsite and at the roadside. These are in cooperation with transport authorities and the police to ensure compliance with national and international legislation and regulations.

The rules specific to Germany include:

  • FPersG / FPersV transforms the above EU legislation and regulation into binding German law. National legislation might be stricter than the EU basis.
  • 2003/88/EC non-enforceable EU Working Time Directive. All members of the EU have to incorporate the directive into their national legislation. This leads to several different interpretations being enforced across the EU.
  • ArbZG (21a) German law which incorporates 2003/88/EC. 21a is specifically addressing workers which fall under (EC) 561/2006.

France Drivers’ Hours Rules

In France, as with other EU countries, there are two key areas of legislation: EU Directives and National French Laws. French rules are unique and complex for several reasons including:

  • Drivers’ wages must be based on the hours read from the tachograph.
  • There are additional rules, such as the principle of service time.
  • “Availability time” is strictly counted as work which impacts on potential working hours and drive time capacity.

French law contains further regulations around labour rules, night hours, overtime and travel expenses:

  • g. Work time, Decree 83-40 “Short distance driver “, “Parcel services driver”.
  • g. French “Aubry II” Law of February 1st, 2000.

Driver’s Hours Rules in Great Britain

In Great Britain, it remains to be seen what part Brexit will play on national legislation. However, one thing is likely: a continuing focus on keeping roads as safe as possible. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) sets the rules on Great Britain’s (GB) drivers’ hours and tachographs for goods vehicles in GB. Within Great Britain, either UK domestic or EU rules apply.

Drivers are obliged to use a tachograph if the vehicle comes under EU or AETR rules.

Great Britain’s driving limit includes the following:

  • No more than 10 hours in a day on a public road. No more than 10 hours a day off-road if it’s outside of duty time.
  • Drivers cannot be on duty for more than 11 hours in any working day.
  • Drivers must follow GM domestic rules of 10 hours in a day. If driving in the EU, a driver must follow all EU driving limits.
tachograph application

ORBCOMM’s FleetManager enhances compliance with tachograph rules and working time legislation, and improves driver performance, fleet safety, efficiency and productivity.

Tachograph Rules Beyond the EU

For journeys outside the EU, where the countries are signatories to the AETR, drivers are subject to AETR rules. For journeys that are partly in the EU and partly in countries that are neither in the EU nor AETR signatories, EU rules apply to the journey portion in the EU. Countries outside either the EU or AETR are likely to have their own regulations around driving hours that should be adhered to.

The Future of Tachograph Beyond 2018

In January 2018, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre released the European’s 60 Stories for the 60th Anniversary, a document that gives a timeline and a story that is deemed of relevance to EU citizens. JRC Senior Scientist Jean-Pierre Nordvik said: “Safer transport involves hidden technologies as well as fancy driver aids.”

While not everyone will agree with the description of a tachograph in that way, it’s clear that the digital tachograph is a fundamental element in enforcing European social legislation for professional truck drivers” and is now deployed in more than 50 countries.

There are a lot of elements to understand for drivers, hauliers and anyone associated with tachographs. The elements increase as borders come into play and pan-European transportation increases.

As reliance on technology increases, tachographs continue to change and innovate. Smart tachographs are the next phase of evolution and will be mandatory by June 15, 2019.  The new generation will feature advanced digital technologies, like satellite position and short-range communications, automatic reading of journey times and deliver remote access.

Hauliers can rely on ORBCOMM’s Tachograph solution to ensure up-to-date compliance with national and international legislation. To learn more, contact us at  



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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

The Future of Industrial IoT, Satellite M2M and Telematics

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Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA) Member Interview | John Stolte: Executive VP of Technology and Operations, ORBCOMM & MSUA Board Treasurer

Catherine Melquist (President, MSUA):  It was great seeing you at MSUA’s awards luncheon during SATELLITE18 and I appreciate you taking time for a Mobility News interview. 

Let’s start by first talking about you.  As a senior leader at ORBCOMM, what part of the business do you focus on and what industry changes are having the greatest impact on what you do? 

John StolteJohn:  I lead ORBCOMM’s Technology & Operations group, including the development, launch and operation of ORBCOMM’s second generation satellite constellation as well as ground infrastructure development and support, customer access portals and corporate-wide information systems. I think that the proliferation of IoT technology and solutions across a diversity of new vertical markets, geographies and applications along with a greater focus on services offers many opportunities for ORBCOMM to continue to take the lead in developing disruptive industrial IoT technology – from devices to applications to analytics. In addition, customers are looking for seamless access to network connectivity. They simply want to use the best network or combination of networks to meet their requirements for geographic coverage, regulatory authorizations, the fastest service, and the largest message payloads. ORBCOMM offers the most comprehensive offering of network services, including three satellite networks and seven terrestrial networks for global message delivery to meet all of our customers’ needs.

Catherine:  Thinking now from the company’s perspective, how does ORBCOMM view the changing marketplace and what does it mean to your business overall? 

John:  ORBCOMM began as a pioneer in M2M communication technology over 25 years ago. Long before the Internet of Things became a common term, we were connecting enterprise assets. Today, we offer the broadest array of industrial IoT solutions from individual components to full end-to-end solutions and have more than two million subscribers on our networks. We believe this not only reflects the overall global growth in IoT adoption but also ORBCOMM’s expanded market penetration and widening geographic reach in this space.  As a technology leader and innovator, we continue to be inspired by the changing marketplace and the global adoption of IoT and are committed to developing best-in-class solutions that transform how our customers operate their business and stay connected to their assets.

Catherine:  Thinking about IoT, what customer markets do you target and what are their typical use cases?

John: ORBCOMM is focused on providing solutions that connect businesses to their assets to deliver increased visibility and operational efficiency. We have a diverse customer base including premier OEMs, solutions customers and channel partners spanning transportation, supply chain, warehousing and inventory, heavy equipment, maritime, natural resources and government. Typical use cases range from freight transportation monitoring, cold chain compliance and refrigerated asset monitoring to fleet management, driver safety, and cargo security systems. We shipped an astounding 336,000 devices in 2017 and have completed some of our largest deployments to date for world-class industry leaders such as JB Hunt, Oshkosh/JLG and AT&T in support of the United States Postal Service.

Catherine:  Do you see these use cases evolving and data usage increasing?  If yes, how so?

John:  Once our customers see the level of data and insights they can access through our IoT solutions, they are always looking for more data.  Many of our customers will start off with a need for simple tracking and location capabilities for their assets but will quickly take advantage of a wide range of value-added services and analytics that enable monitoring of fuel consumption, temperature, driver safety, and much more.

Catherine:  Do you see a convergence between telecom and satellite?  How about for ORBCOMM solutions? 

John:  We’ve already experienced a merging of terrestrial and satellite communications.  Many of our current solutions are dual-mode, which provides terrestrial and LEO/GEO satellite services when not in terrestrial coverage, enabling the best of both worlds in cost-effective and reliable fleet management and industrial asset tracking. Plus, all of our network services are managed in one place through our versatile ORBCOMMconnect service delivery platform…  

Read the full interview at 

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 2. Heavy Equipment, 3. Maritime / AIS, 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities, 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

Easy Wins in RFID: Avoiding the “Science Project” Scenario

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RFID has a lot of potential and promise, yet comes with considerable hype and unrealistic expectations that often cloud easy wins and attainable ROI. This key is finding value in the low-hanging fruit that simple, effective RFID solutions offer, and avoiding the pitfalls and complexity that turn simple implementations into never-ending science projects.

We’re looking forward to discussing this and other hot topics at RFID Journal LIVE! in Orlando from Apr. 10-12. Visitors will learn how scalable software solutions can reduce the time, cost and complexity of deploying enterprise-class RFID and Internet of Things (IoT) asset tracking applications.

RFID Journal LIVE!
April 10-12
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL
ORBCOMM Booth 915
Exhibitor Spotlight SessionWed., Apr.11, 1pm, Presentation Theater:
Easy Wins in RFID: Avoiding the “Science Project” Scenario
Christian Huff, ORBCOMM
Director, RFID Application Sales


Visit ORBCOMM at Booth 915 of RFID Journal LIVE!

Visit us at Booth 915 to learn how to:

Enhance Asset Intelligence
Optimize operations and manage risk with asset information on condition, location and environment.

Connect the Supply Chain
Enterprise-class RFID-based tracking, monitoring and inventory solutions for complete visibility and enhanced efficiency.

Track, Monitor and Manage Anything
Asset visibility solutions for transportation, healthcare, aerospace, defense, manufacturing, and more.

Reduce Time and Complexity in Developing RFID/IoT Solutions
Flexible, modular, single-vendor solutions that are device- and network-agnostic: RFID, BLE, barcode, Wi-Fi, GPS, RTLS, cellular and satellite.

Going to be there? We’d love to meet with you. Schedule a Meeting here.

To learn how ORBCOMM’s RFID software solutions can seamlessly connect people, processes, data and things, schedule a demo at

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: ,

ELD Hard Deadline Kicks in April 1

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e-log solutionApril 1, 2018 is a date that has been on the minds of truck drivers and carriers across North America. It’s the day that the ELD ‘hard deadline’ is due to kick in.  

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate says that a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RoDS) must be recorded electronically, as opposed to traditional paper logbooks. It came into effect in December 2017 and ‘soft’ enforcement to date has been limited to citations.  

All that is set to change on April 1, 2018. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) director Joe DeLorenzo says that drivers who are not in compliance with ELD rules after that date could potentially be placed out-of-service during a roadside inspection.

Speaking at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show, DeLorenzo indicated that drivers will be subject to 10 hours out-of-service enforcement if found to be without an ELD or grandfathered AOBRD, in accordance with CVSA criteria AOBRDs (Automatic on-board recording devices) installed before December 18 have been grandfathered and can be used until December 2019.

If a driver is stopped for a roadside inspection, officials can enforce the following: 

  • A driver without an ELD can be placed out-of-service.
  • In accordance with the CVSA criteria, the driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours.
  • Drivers can travel to their next scheduled stop, to facilitate compliance, but they cannot be dispatched again without an ELD.
  • If the driver is dispatched again, the driver and carrier will be subject to further enforcement action.

DeLorenzo confirmed that carriers can be cited for a variety of ELD violations; however, the only out-of-service violation will be a failure to have a device.  

In the event of an ELD malfunctioning, the rule says that drivers have eight days to use paper logs and they will not be placed out-of-service for driving without a record of duty status. The core, existing, hours-of-service rules and exceptions will continue as usual and previous compliance rules still stand.  

Another element of the hard deadline that will come into effect on April 1 has to do with the Safety Management Systems that feeds into CSA scores. During the soft deadline, it was regarded as a “no points situation”. 

Ray Martinez, the new FMCSA Administrator announced at the recent Truckload Carriers Association event that violations of ELD compliance will impact CSA scores after April 1.

ELD device  

ELD Phase-In

The FMCSA’s April deadline marks the end of a transitionary period. This is phase two of a four-year period from compliance phase-in date to the full compliance phase.  

Although the mandate became official in December of last year, the period up to April 1, 2018 has been a transitionary period to offer drivers, carriers and enforcement officials time to train and consider any practical implications involved. Recent figures show that ELD compliance is at 96% since the introduction of the rule in December.  

From December 16, 2019, all drivers who are subject to the rule must have an FMCSA registered ELD.  

AOBRDs or ELDs? 

eld complianceThe FMCSA has also recently updated its stance on AOBRDs. It has released guidance that will extend the usage of AOBRDs from the April deadline. Fleets using AOBRDs in advance of the mandate can continue to use them on any truck in the fleet, including any extra trucks that will extend the size of the fleet. This is a change to previous iterations which said that any truck that would expand a fleet size would require an ELD.  

For carriers who are ready to transition from AOBRDs to ELDs, now is the time. Find out about the most scalable, open, future-proofed e-Log solution today from ORBCOMM. Learn more and request a demo here 

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: ,

Refrigerated Transport: 7 Keys to Preventing Rejected Loads

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FSMA complianceFleets of all sizes in the U.S. have seen plenty of change in recent years, not least where food transportation is concerned. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) introduced seven major rules for its implementation that apply to the growing, harvesting and transportation of food. The Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to protect foods from farm to table by keeping them safe from contamination during transportation and this rule is set to impact smaller carriers in April 2018.

The Sanitary Transportation rule governs and regulates the transportation of food and applies to shippers and carriers. It establishes regulations for vehicles and transportation equipment used for food products, how the food is transported, the training of personnel and clear maintenance of records.

On April 6, 2017, larger fleets were obliged to comply with the rule; it kicks in one year later for smaller fleets. Smaller fleets are defined as businesses “…other than motor carriers who are not also shippers and/or receivers employing fewer than 500 persons and motor carriers having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts” and ” have to comply two years after the publication of the final rule.” The date for small fleet FSMA compliance is April 6, 2018.  

The Problem of Rejected Loads

Whether it is hauling bananas or fresh strawberries across state lines or the delivery of fresh flowers going to a market under deadline, there will always be a demand for fresh products. As a result, there will always be a demand for refrigerated trucks and trailers to safely transport them.  

Transporting a blend of refrigerated and dry goods, or refrigerated only creates plenty of advantages for carriers, creating versatility in the types of cargo that can be moved. However, while the hauling of fresh produce delivers gains, reefer management can bring its own set of challenges. And for smaller fleets, these challenges will be highlighted further with the extension of the FSMA rule.

To avoid a load being subject to possible action by the FDA and the possibility of getting rejected, fleets can use technology to keep a close eye on some on their cold or chilled cargo.

As well as FSMA regulations, rejected loads are impactful across the entire business. They can hurt carriers in many ways:  

  • Compensation: The carrier will have to repay the shipper.
  • Disposal: The carrier must get rid of the spoiled cargo.
  • “Empty miles”: Trucks may need to be taken to a washout facility which adds additional costs and contributes to ‘empty miles.’
  • Increasing costs: Drivers still need to be paid and insurance premiums can climb if a claim is paid.
  • Customer relations: Reputation with a customer is built slowly but it can be lost by a single spoilt load.

Optimizing the journey that cargo takes in refrigerated trailers ensures compliance with FSMA rules and reduces the risks of rejected loads.

Here are seven key issues to address to ensure FSMA compliance and help your cargo reach its destination safely:  

1.  Avoiding Hot Loads 

Industry experts agree that as much as 32% of all cargo is loaded at the wrong temperature. This is often due to poor loading practices, where produce is left sitting at a loading dock for a long time. The driver starts to travel with no idea the cargo is at the wrong temperature.  

The Sanitary Transportation rule covers a number of specific areas. One of its elements is time/temperature control. This ensures continuing temperature maintenance during the operation and covers pre-cooling, loading and unloading. Transporting a load at the wrong temperature – “a hot load” – puts compliance and financial pressure on carriers. The risk of a load spoiling is higher if the temperature of the cargo is incorrect. Loads can be rejected on-delivery which results in compensation payouts and can impact on insurance premiums and inspections by officials can result in fines or even jail time.  

Using Advanced Temperature Monitoring prevents “hot loads” by detecting a problem within 30 minutes of its occurrence. Automatic notifications go directly to the carrier who can work on rectifying the situation. 

2.  Equipment Failure 

It is a fact of life; sometimes equipment can break down. It’s the same with refrigeration units. If a reefer unit fails, the potential of your entire shipment or order can fail.  

In the event of a breakdown, knowing about it is as good as being able to fix it. Installing Active Alarms will help to combat the damages caused by reefer equipment failure. These signal directly to the back office in the event of a malfunction. The dispatcher can look at addressing the issue and advise the driver who can remedy the situation from where they are.  

3. Driver Error 

Modern refrigeration units can have over 200 alarm codes. That is 200 potential problems that can threaten assets.  Even if a driver did spend hours each day reviewing information booklets, they probably still wouldn’t be familiar with every make and model of reefer unit available. Drivers already carry a lot of responsibility, staying safe and timely on the roads, without studying manuals for reefer units.  

Automatic Error Detection prevents driver error. Continuous reports send status information to the back office who can track and identify any problems. Human error can play a part in the transportation process. A driver, for example, could change a set-point to -2.0°F instead of –20.0°F. This could be disastrous for the cargo inside, making the entire load unusable. This will be identified in reports to the back office through Automatic Error Detection. 

4. Late Notification 

Timing is key for temperature-sensitive cargo like fruit, vegetables, or pharmaceutical products. Saving a load after the fact is one thing but being able to rectify the situation before the problem occurs is another entirely. Carriers need to be able to identify issues before they crop up. Real-time data with immediate notifications help to stop hot loads in their tracks.  

Real-time cargo temperature monitoring can give early warnings of any issues. These solutions are configurable to the type of cargo and carriers can set variations based on the tolerance level of the produce. Notifications are instant for ‘out-of-range’ temperature conditions with comprehensive reporting of sensors. It removes the responsibility from the driver who has little visibility of the controller when on the move. Four hours could go by before a driver inspects the trailer.  

temperature management system

5. Immediate Proof on Delivery 

If something does go wrong, the driver or carrier is usually the first one to get the blame. If things do go wrong, carriers need evidence to back up the conditions of the transported cargo. Compliance, auditing and documentation are vital for each refrigerated unit.  

If a temperature query occurs, temperature monitoring solutions provide proof of in-transit monitoring and consistent vehicle updates. The information instantly delivers to the shipper or receiver to avoid extra costs or possible disruption.  

6. Regulatory Compliance 

The FSMA rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food is already in place for larger fleets. It will come into effect on April 6, 2018, for smaller fleets. Larger fleets are already complying with the regulations thanks to clear documentation and monitoring. Regulations on this theme are only set to increase and become more stringent to ensure clear audit trails in the event of a problem.

Fleets can ensure compliance by improving procedures, implementing the correct monitoring technology and training drivers in temperature management and records for each shipment. This ensures cargo is protected in real-time with an audit trail to prove it.  

7. Lack of Control from Head Office 

New regulations can introduce complex systems and procedures. There are enough distractions for drivers on the road, without having to worry about fixing an accidental defrost. This is when remote, two-way control can and does save the day.  

Temperature management systems allow approved users two-way reefer unit control in the event of a problem. Remote control features include switching the reefer on/off, defrost initiation, clearing alarms or changing the mode of operation from any location at any time.  

Addressing the Problem 

Training, development and outreach are high on the list of the FDA’s priorities around FSMA enforcemtn. However, the agency is continuing with inspections and maintains its ability to take enforcement action 

On a practical level, if a load is rejected at delivery, there are a number of steps to go through. The carrier will need to find a way to dispose of the produce or find a new home for it. It should be removed from the truck.  

Once the cargo is unloaded or warehoused, claims adjusters and carriers can then work to sell the product on if possible. They can identify buyers who may be interested in purchasing. If it can be sold, this can offset financial losses.  A call to the insurance company is a wise idea too.   =

If the cargo cannot be salvaged, there are other ways of disposing of it. Instead of it ending up in dumpsters, there are charities that will still take some cargo, especially if it is rejected for aesthetic reasons such as torn packaging.   

Companies hauling food, plants, pharmaceutical products or even animals face complex decisions on a daily basis. Reefer transportation requires careful planning, consistent monitoring and clear documentation. The right technology helps to ensure FSMA compliance and can be the difference in a load getting rejected or not. 

Whether for a truck, dry van, reefer or mixed fleets, ORBCOMM provides the total visibility needed to allow fleet managers to optimize fleet safety and utilization, reduce costs, ensure compliance and more. That’s why top trucking companies trust us for reliable, cost-effective, easy-to-use tracking, monitoring and control. To learn more, schedule a demo or contact us at; 1-800-ORBCOMM (or outside the US at +1-703-433-6329). 

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Discover the Future of Connected Transportation at TCA 2018

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This week we’re at the Truckload Carriers Association 2018 Annual Convention, where we’ll be showcasing what is now the industry’s most complete fleet management solution covering virtually every asset class—trucks, dry and tank trailer, refrigerated vehicles, containers and railcars.

Going to be at the show? Be sure to visit ORBCOMM Booth 33 to see for yourself the advantages of managing your entire fleet under one smart, integrated platform:

  • Improve utilization, protect cargo and increase profitability
  • Gain complete visibility of trucks, trailers, chassis, containers and more
  • Get ELD compliant and transition from AOBRDs with e-logs drivers love
  • Enhance driver safety, satisfaction, performance and retention
  • Connect your cold chain and ensure FSMA compliance

TCA 2018 Annual Convention
When: March 25 – 28, 2018
Where: Kissimmee, FL
ORBCOMM Booth 33

Going to be at the show? We’d love to meet with you — schedule a meeting here:

Schedule Meeting

Here’s just a sampling of the new fleet management innovations you’ll be able to see up close at ORBCOMM Booth 33 of TCA 2018:

Introducing FleetManager: The Next Generation of Fleet Management Software

FleetManager is ORBCOMM’s cloud-based fleet analytics platform (new to our portfolio as part of our acquisition of Blue Tree Systems last year), optimized to work with our truck, trailer, reefer and container monitoring devices to deliver advanced reporting and analytics for the entire fleet on one single platform.

Improve ELD/HOS compliance, driver performance, fleet safety, operational and fuel efficiency, and more. Use Garmin and TomTom in-cab devices for an ELD solution that drivers love to use. Plus, gain access to powerful features like media manager and in-cab scanning that let drivers spend less time on admin and more time driving.

Fleet Manager

GT 1100: New Security Cable and Temperature Probe Make the Award-Winning Solar-Powered Device Even More Versatile

ORBCOMM’s award-winning GT 1100 now supports a security cable that can be used for intrusion detection applications, sending alerts when the cable is open/cut. A wireless temperature probe (TS 300) is also now available for the GT 1100 as an economical cold chain solution. This enables simple monitoring of cargo area or pallet temperature.

trailer tracking device with security cable

Be sure to follow #2018TCA and @ORBCOMM_Inc on twitter for the latest from the show floor. For those we won’t see at TCA 2018, please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss connected assets and fleet telematics.

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Telematics Tackling Driver Detention and Other Trucking Challenges in the U.S. and Europe

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Free e-Book: Distracted DrivingEuropean trucking companies are benefiting financially from increased demand and tighter capacity, with freight rates hitting a 10-year high, says a recent report from The Journal of Commerce. The picture is the same in the USA, where “the economy is vibrant and producing freight growth across all sectors” with “fleets scrambling to add capacity and ordering large numbers of trucks and trailers,” according to industry analyst FTR Transportation Intelligence.

This is good news for the bottom line of an industry that has traditionally operated on slim margins. But the financial upside is tempered by a growing threat, and it’s not going away any time soon, warn experts. Driver shortages in Europe and the USA are reaching unprecedented levels, with an ageing workforce on both sides of the pond that’s simply not getting replenished with young entrants.

France faces a current shortage of around 20,000 drivers, says the JOC article, while the UK needs 55,000 more. In a report issued last October, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello warned the US trucking industry could be short 50,000 drivers going into 2018. The report says that US trucking will need to hire around 90,000 new drivers per year on average over the next decade to replace retiring drivers and keep pace with projected industry growth.

Countering trucking’s negative public image, paying drivers more and improving driver treatment along the supply chain are among the responses needed, says ATA.  Ironically, hours of service (HOS) rules in both Europe and the USA, and the new Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate in the U.S., while adding to the current capacity crunch, may also help foster a climate for change. Read more ›

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Cold Chain Monitoring Helps Transports EON Deliver the Brightest Bulbs

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Transports EON, a French fleet specializing in the transportation of bulbs, flowers and plants needed a complete solution for visibility of its assets. It turned to Blue Tree Systems, an ORBCOMM Company for its refrigerated truck and trailer solution to improve visibility and efficiency, maximize trailer usage, and minimize the risk of accidents.  

The family-run business already had substantial experience with telematics and knew that it required a unified technology all on one platform to manage its fleet of semi-trailers. After an initial meeting at SITL 2017, and extensive further research, Transports EON decided on the ruggedized hardware and robust and in-depth software delivered by Blue Tree Systems, an ORBCOMM Company 

(Read about Transports EON and ORBCOMM’s Blue Tree Systems in French via Transportissimo.) 

The Company  Read more ›

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ORBCOMM is a single source provider of multi-network connectivity, leading edge devices and powerful applications for industries including transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas, maritime and government.
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