How To Start A Trucking Business- Complete Checklist

The trucking business is one of the major industries of the USA. It is responsible for transporting more than 70% of goods all over the country, which is worth more than $791.7 billion.

It is a profitable business. And that is why there are over 500,000 trucking companies currently operating in the USA. According to a report, an owner-operator can easily make $2,000-$5,000 per week depending on the type of freight and the number of trucks they own. 

Do you also want to share the profits by starting your journey as a truck business owner but don’t know where to start? If yes, then check out this detailed checklist. We have covered everything, starting from deciding the name of your business to fulfilling legal requirements. 

Why Should You Start Your Trucking Business?

Trucking is an essential part of the US economy. A big part of our country’s GDP comes from this industry. It is the one business that is recession-proof as there will always be a need for this industry to transport goods and services across the country. 

But if still there is a doubt in your mind about whether you should take a risk and leave your job to form a trucking business, then here are a few reasons to encourage you: 

  • You can start your own trucking company with one or more trucks. You don’t need to invest more to start earning profit. 
  • You can also increase your profit by establishing your contacts with your clients and finding more loads. 
  • With proper planning and strategy, you can improve your profit margin. 
  • The success of your business depends on how you will manage the operation. 
  • Several tools are available in the market to help you streamline various business processes and boost productivity. 

Cost Associated With Trucking Business

You need to invest a little to start a business. But if you are not aware of the cost associated with starting your trucking company, here is a glance for you:

  • Documentation and registration: $500
  • IRP plate: $900-$1,500
  • Taxes for heavy-duty vehicles: $500-$3,000
  • Additional State Tax: $500
  • Salary of the employees: $40,000
  • Purchasing a truck: $15,000-$175,000
  • UCR: $96-$206
  • BOC-3 form: $20-$40
  • USDoT and Motor Carrier Authority Number: $300
  • SCAC: $72
  • Insurance: $10,000 per truck
  • Endorsement of CDL: $2,000-$8,000

Complete Checklist- (How To Start Your Trucking Business)

Start With Proper Planning 

Everything begins with a proper plan. And therefore, before you start brainstorming different operations, have a clear picture of your business. 

Before you start anything, make sure you have decided the name of your business, target market, and rate. 

Name

Deciding the name of your business is a crucial process. It will be how your clients will remember your organization in the future. Additionally, look for a name that reflects the character or your business value. 

You have to make sure that no other company uses the same name as you decide. For this, you can search the USPTO trademark database. 

Target Market

After the name, you need to have a clear picture of your target market. There are several industries and market options for you out there. But you have to be specific about your niche. It will help you find better freight and tie-up with larger firms. 

Rates Per Mile

The next part of planning your trucking business is to determine the rate you will be charging your customers. You have to choose a rate that is profitable for you as well as sound for your clients.

Business Plan

A proper business plan can guide you through different stages of your business. You can use it as a road map to structure, operate, and create strategies. 

There are two types of the business plan that you can make:

  • Traditional plan
  • Lean start-up plan

The traditional one is a detailed and comprehensive plan. But it is a time-consuming task. So if you want a flexible option, you can go with a lean start-up plan. 

It is a flexible business plan that is relatively simple and highly adaptive to changes. 

A business plan should include these elements:

  • Key partnerships (suppliers, manufacturers, contractors)
  • Key activities (how your business is different from others)
  • Key resource (your assets)
  • Value proposition (your unique value proposition)
  • Customer relationship (how customers will interact with you and your business)
  • Customer segments (your target customers)
  • Channels (how you will communicate to your customers)
  • Cost structure (your cost optimization strategies)
  • Revenue streams (list ways your company will earn money)

Financing 

You need a heavy initial investment to start your own trucking business. So you can either seek investors or get a business loan to fulfill your financial demands. 

Based on your business structure, you can also consider selling your equity to get investments. Funding is more advantageous than loans as you don’t have to pay them back. But share the ownership and profits with the investors.

But if you don’t want to share your business with others, you can check with banks or credit unions for loans. If you are a start-up, then a credit union can be an easier choice for you. Many large banks ask for two years of operating history. 

You can find different business loan options in the USA that can help you to kick-start your trucking business. 

SBA Loans

SBA loans are popular types of loans as they charge low-interest rates and have generous repayment terms. But it is not easy to get a loan because you will need a good credit history, credit score, and lengthy paperwork. 

Commercial Truck Financing

Another great alternative is commercial truck financing. You will have to provide the quote to the lender, and they will pay you the amount you need to purchase equipment. You can repair that over a fixed period with interest. 

Small Business Term Loans

You can also choose small business term loans. These are relatively easier to get because they have easier processes and lower credit requirements. The only drawback is that you will have to pay a little higher interest rates than the SBA loans. 

Business Bank Account

You will need a business bank account to do financial transactions. It will also help you apply for a license, permit taxes, etc. Immediately starting with it can help you get a good business credit score. It will help you to get loans and funds easily in the future. 

Legal Registration

There are several legal requirements that a new owner-operator has to fulfill. Let us list them one by one:

Business Structure

The next step includes determining the legal structure of your business. There are four options for you:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Corporation
  • Limited liability corporation
  • Partnership

Some suggest that sole proprietorship is the cheapest and easiest way for you to fill in tax details. Others believe that LLC is more efficient than it. 

Additionally, LLC allows you to shift liability while retaining your assets. 

CDL

Whether you are going to drive your trucks or hire drivers, you need a CDL. To get that, you have to undergo an extensive background check, training, written exam, driving test, etc. 

And if you are planning to hire more drivers, make sure to look for their CDL. 

US DoT And MC Number

If you want to operate in the state, you need USDoT and MC numbers. 

The USDoT number is used to track your safety and compliance records. And the Motor Carrier authority numbers, also known as an operating authority, determine your company type and classifies the cargo you ship. 

You can get both numbers by registering your business with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). While you can get your numbers, the FMCSA has the authority to review them. The administration will give you ten days to look at any contests against your application. 

2290 Tax Form for Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Regulation

If your truck weighs more than or equal to 55,000 pounds, you fall under the purview of the federal heavy highway vehicle use tax. You will have to complete and file 2290 Tax forms with the IRS annually to pay taxes. 

IFTA

The IFTA agreement ensures uniform reporting of fuel consumption by trucks operating across the USA. The rule allows you to have a single fuel license to file quarterly for fuel tax returns. You need to have an IFTA decal that has to be renewed annually.

BOC-3

If you want your business to work interstate and even beyond the national borders, you will need to get an interstate operating authority. For this, you will have to fill BOC-3 form with the FMCSA. Then the administration will provide you with a process agent that will help you deal with legal cases. 

“Process Agents- they are the person who will legally represent you when someone files a case against your organization in the court. Your company needs a process agent in every state where you operate. They will also help you to complete your BOC-3 paperwork.”

Standard Carrier Alpha Code

If you plan to haul goods for the military, government, international, and intermodal, you need to get a SCAC code. You can acquire this from the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. 

UCR

The next thing you have to do is complete your unified carrier registration. This system confirms that a motor carrier has active insurance coverage in the state where it operates. You can register your UCR by using USDoT and MC numbers. 

IRP

To operate in all states of the USA and even in some provinces of Canada, you need an international registration plan (IRP) plate on your vehicle. You can acquire this from your local DoT. You will also have to pay annual fees to renew it.

Assets 

Now that you have fulfilled your legal requirements, you need to start with acquiring your assets. 

Truck

You cannot start a tracking business without a truck. But buying a vehicle is not as easy as it seems. You have to consider various things to land on the correct choice for your firm. 

  • First of all, choose the ideal truck for your business. Make sure to consider your business type, target market, etc., before you come up with an answer. 
  • Next, make sure to double-check the cost of trucks from different vendors. 
  • Also, try to negotiate with the seller to find the best price for your truck.
How to start a trucking business
Source: Connecteam
  • If you don’t have any budget constraints, it is always better to go with a quality vehicle. It will ask for heavy investment initially but would benefit in the long run.
  • If you are thinking of purchasing a second-hand vehicle, then ensure to observe it before you choose it.  

You can also own a truck in different types of leasing options:

Operators – in this type of leasing option, you own the vehicle – full time. And you are responsible for paying taxes, seeking permits, and scheduling maintenance. But once the lease term is over, you have to turn in the vehicle. 

Lease- purchase – in this type of leasing option, drivers can get their trucks right away but have to pay interest. 

Terminal rental adjustment clause- for this, you have to give the downpayment initially. After the lease period, you can either pay the remaining balance or let the leasing company sell the vehicle and get your profit share. 

ELD

FMCSA has made the use of ELD compulsory for all commercial owner-operators. So if you fall under the jurisdiction of the ELD rule, you need to get an ELD for your vehicle. It will help you comply with the existing rules and avoid ELD violations

If you want an affordable yet powerful solution, you can purchase it from Matrack. 

Matrack Inc is a reputable vendor in the industry. 

Insurance

You also need insurance covers to operate your business. It protects your company from emergencies and absorbs financial losses. 

You will have to purchase different insurances, including:

  • Insurance for primary liability
  • Insurance for cargo
  • Motor insurance
  • Insurance for drivers
  • Insurance for accidents of passenger

Employees

Unless you are the sole owner-operator of your trucking business, you need to hire some employees. 

Identify Who You Need To Hire

First of all, you need to know what positions you have to fill. You have to employees including: 

  • Driver
  • Manager 
  • Secretary 
  • Logistics coordinator 
  • Dispatch Operator

Find Employees

You can hire employees by posting jobs in advertisements on different job portals. Or employ a recruitment agency. 

While hiring, you need to verify their background and qualifications. You need to ensure that the drivers have their CDL and clean driving record. 

Market Your Company

After successfully opening a trucking business, you need to adopt different marketing strategies to ensure TD income flow. 

Some of them are listed below:

  • You can create a professional website with information about your business and the services you offer.
  • You can use memorable logos and brochures to market the service you offer.
  • You can use online load boards to find loads. 

Employing Right Tools

Managing a business becomes easy when you have the correct tools at your departure. 

Several tools can help you to streamline various business processes and boost productivity. Let’s discuss them one by one. 

GPS Tracker

GPS tracker is one of the most essential tools you need to have in your fleet. It allows you to get real-time location updates of your trucks. It can help you streamline route management, improve safety, and increase customer satisfaction. 

Fleet Management Software

If you have more than two trucks in your fleet, you should consider getting fleet management software. It stores data in a cloud-based platform and makes it easy for you to analyze trucking patterns. With the help of its artificial intelligence and machine learning capacity, it can help you make difficult decisions. It also reduces your workload by streamlining every aspect of your fleet operations. 

Freight Factoring Service

Freight factory service can help you maintain continuous cash flow in your fleet. 

While clients often pay their bills, small business operators can’t wait for 80-90 days to get cash. They need immediate money to operate. And that is where fleet factoring service can help you. 

The company can exchange the bill for cash for a nominal fee, and you can resume your activities. 

Fuel Card

Fuel Expenses are a big part of any fleet budget. With the increasing fuel prices and growing demands, you have to take advantage of fuel cards. 

A fuel card can help you to get discounts on your fuel purchases. Additionally, some can also offer you rebates on truck stops and maintenance. 

Matrack Inc- The Best Solution For Your Problems

Matrack Inc offers various solutions and services to make your trucking journey easy. It is a leading provider of GPS and asset tracking solutions owing to its affordable prices, cutting-edge technology, and outstanding customer service. 

Here are some highlights of Matrack for you to prove our claims:-

  • Affordable and straightforward solutions.
  • No long-term contract
  • No activation or hidden fees
  • Increase your revenue by $10,000 with the Matrack dispatch service
  • Rescue your fuel expense by 10-15% with the Matrack fuel card
  • Get discounts on your insurance premium with Matrack’s auto-insurer network
  • Maintain continuous cash flow in your fleet with Matrack’s non-recourse freight factoring service. 

Do you want to know more? Click on the link or email us at support.gps@matrackinc.com. Or simply, give us a call at 855-658-7225! 

9 Best Fuel Cards For Truck Owners In 2022

Fuel cards are payment cards that can help you get discounts on your petrol or diesel purchases from a network of fuel stations. They are gaining popularity in recent years and are now synonymously known as savings cards. Why? 

  • Firstly, because the fuel prices are constantly going up.
  • Secondly, no trucking business can survive without proper fuel management plans. 

When a huge chunk of your budget, regardless of the size of your fleet, goes into fuel purchases, you need to optimally use it to increase your profit margin. One way is to go for a fuel card from a reputable company with a strong network of fuel stations. 

Matrack as a comprehensive Fleet Management Solution provider offers a premium Fuel Card service for all our clients. In this article, we have compiled a list of fuel cards, including ours, to give you a broader bunch of options from you to choose from.  

What Are Fuel Cards? 

Fuel cards are the tool that any truck owner needs to maintain a cash flow. These cards function like a credit card, where you can make the necessary fuel purchase through the card, and get 60-90 extra days to come up with the cash to repay the bill. From owner-operators and small fleets, a fuel card is the means to keep the business afloat. 

Based on price point, fuel cards are categorized into – 

  • Fixed price fuel cards
  • Pump price fuel cards

In Fixed-price fuel cards, the fuel rate is determined for the whole week. And you are informed a week ahead. So if you expect a rise in fuel prices in the upcoming days, you can refill at lower prices. 

On the other hand, with Pump price fuel cards, you will be charged according to the price displayed on the pump. One of the primary benefits of it- it is widely expected by major fueling stations. 

You can use the fuel cards to pay for fuel while fueling at fuel stations. It is the best alternative to cash, credit, or debit cards as it allows you to purchase petrol or diesel under the current fuel cost. 

Apart from fuels, few companies also allow you to buy additional items such as toll payments or similar expenses like lubricants, car washes, etc. 

Fuel cards are the best way to monitor and control the fuel consumption in your fleet. It allows you to streamline several related operations such as tracking fuel purchases in real-time, setting spending limits, auditing expenses, automated IFTA reports, etc. 

Fuel cards are beneficial for everyone regardless of the fleet size. Whether you are an owner-operator, individual truck driver, or fleet manager of 1000 vehicles, you can use fuel cards to boost your profits.

In simple words, if you are looking forward to saving money on fuel expenses, fuel cards are just right for you. 

Things to Consider Before Choosing A Fuel Card Vendor

While a fuel card is the best way to optimize the fuel expenses in your fleet, do you know some fuel stations may not accept your fuel card? And not all the fuel card companies give you uniform discounts. It widely depends on the agreement between them and the fueling location. 

Because of this, it becomes significant for you to choose the best fuel card for your business. You have to consider different factors such as fleet size, location, type of vehicle, and others while looking for an ideal fuel card for your business. You can read more about it on in our complete guide on choosing the right fuel card

Let us take a look at them one by one: 

Location

You need to know where you can use a fuel card. As already mentioned above, some fuel cards will only work in a particular region or at certain fuel stations. 

If you are a local or small feet operator that runs in a particular area choosing a branded or fleet fuel card with a limited operating territory can be a cost-effective choice. 

On the other hand, if you are a fleet manager of a large and nationwide operating fleet, a more universally accepted card with higher fees would be an ideal choice. 

Discounts

The second thing you need to consider while choosing a fuel card for your fleet is discounts. 

Fuel card providers offer you different types of discounts. We can broadly categorize them into two parts: point-of-sale and rebate model.

Point-of-sale discounts reduced the fuel cost at the time of purchase. The company immediately provides the amount to the fuel card company, which reverts it to the fuel station. 

On the other hand, in the rebate model, the fleet receives the fuel receipts for the total amount of fuel purchased at the end of the month. 

Controls

One of the biggest benefits of a fuel card is better to control. They give you the power to control the card users, impose purchase limits, and reduce the overall potential of internal fraud. And therefore, you have to look for a fuel card provider that provides you advanced control over the fuel cards of your fleet. 

Connectivity

An ideal fuel card would help you to monitor and optimize fuel expenses. 

You should look for a fuel car provider that integrates with the robust fleet management software to provide you with a clear and well-rounded picture of your fleet and assets. It should include price per gallon, location, driver, odometer reading, etc. You can use these data to optimize calculations such as cost per mile, asset utilization, fuel economy, and so on. 

How Do Trucking Fuel Cards Work?

Fuel cars are similar to credit or debit cards, but you can only use them for fuel purchases or trucking-related products and services. 

It is simple to use a fuel card for fuel purchases. At the fuel pump:- you need to swipe the card, follow the instructions, fill the fuel tank, and take the receipts with you. 

Depending on the company and fuel card you choose, you will be charged accordingly. 

For example, some merchants offer point-of-sale, while others provide a rebate model. 

Some rebate models may look confusing and not beneficial, but both methods are equally effective.

Benefits Of A Fuel Card For Your Trucking Business

Fuel cards are an excellent way for tracking companies to optimize their fuel consumption and enjoy other related services. Here are some main benefits of fuel cards:

Significant Fuel Savings

Fuel is one of the biggest operational costs of a trucking business irrelevant of its size. Every year they have to spend a large sum of their profit on fuel purchases. 

A fuel card can help you buy petrol or diesel from a range of fuel stations at a discounted price. It can help you save a few cents of every gallon-which becomes a thousand dollars saving everywhere.

Convenient For Drivers

Fuel cards are an easy and convenient way to complete fuel transactions. It cut down chaos or the risk of carrying colossal cash or credit cards. 

Every day, a truck driver has to go through the hassle of withdrawing cash to pay for fuel bills and then wait in line for receipts. Time is precious, but unfortunately, drivers have to spend hours on fuel purchases every day. Another difficulty is keeping receipts safe to submit later. 

A fuel card can help you save your and your drivers time by eliminating the above process. A driver can stop by the fuel station, complete the transaction from the fuel card and proceed with their journey. On the other hand, relevant data related to fuel purchases are automatically recorded in the cloud storage.

Saves Yourself From Frauds And Thefts

It is a hundred times safer to carry a fuel card on your journey rather than cash or credit cards. It can minimize the chances of theft and assaults. 

Additionally, you can set limits on fuel purchases for each driver and thus, help you to protect the business from fraudulent fuel transactions. 

Better Control 

Fuel cards provide you with better control over your fleet and employees. Several fuel card companies allow setting limits on fuel purchases, transaction limits, and even limits on regional usage. You can avoid unnecessary and unauthorized fuel consumption. 

Automated IFTA Reports

Fuel cards automatically track and generate automated IFTA tax reports for you. You can download them via your online account and submit them for IFTA tax auditing

Additional Services

Apart from fuel discounts, several fuel cards also provide additional services. For example, you can use them to pay for several related expenses such as repair, maintenance, lodging, boarding, etc.  

9 Best Fuel Cards For Truck Owners In 2022

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to LIST the best products in the market, and not to review or rank them. All the products listed here have several unique features catering to a wide range of customer requirements.

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Wex Fleet Card

At a glance

  • Accepted by 95% of US fuel stations. 
  • It is valid at over 45,000 service locations. 
  • Automatic accounting
  • Detailed and custom reports
  • Advanced spending controls
  • Exclusive discounts on fuel, tires, hotels, and many more. 

The WEX Fleet Card is the fastest way to grow your business with huge savings. It helps you automate fuel expense tracking, set employee pending controls, purchase alerts, and many other benefits. 

The best part of this fuel card is that it is accepted at 95% of the US fuel stations, so you won’t have to worry about looking for the exact fuel stations to refill the tank. 

The WEX fleet cards can give you better security and control over each transaction. Additionally, it can provide you with accurate and automated accounting reports, so you don’t have to waste your time on documentation. 

Some of the key highlights of this fleet card are: accepted by all major fuel stations and 45,000 service locations, accurate accounting, advance spending controls, exclusive discounts, etc.

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Fuelman Fuel Card 

At a glance

  • Cost controls
  • Reporting and tracking
  • Maintenance manager
  • Fuel rebates
  • Real-time alerts

Fuelman fuel card is a smart choice for you as it provides flexibility, freedom, and maximum control over your business. It can help you to avoid fraud and misuse with customizable fuel controls. 

It allows you to get fuel rebates at several gas stations across the USA. It offers a maintenance manager to help you track, schedule, approve and pay for maintenance.

The company has the best offers for you according to your business. So whether you are a small trucking business operator or a big fleet manager, you need to check out this one. 

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EFS Fuel Card

At a glance

  • Accepted at 12,000+ truck stops across America
  • Superior authorization and fraud prevention tools
  • Real-time online account
  • Fuel tax report
  • Up to 15 cents savings per gallon. 

If you are a small business operator that works in a specific location in the country, you can choose this fuel card. While it does not provide national coverage like its competitors, it offers something that makes it worthy of being considered. It can help you save at least 15 cents per gallon from more than 2200 EDGE Discount stores. 

Additionally, it does not have any monthly charges or transaction fees on the fuel purchases.

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Shell Fleet Navigator Card

At a glance

  • Accepted by more than 95% of fueling stations
  • Earn rebates up to 5 cents per gallon
  • Full control over spendings
  • Cancel lost or stolen cards in real-time

Shell Fleet Navigator card offers coverage for over 95% of the USA fueling stations. It covers almost every state of the USA, so you can operate your business without convenience. It offers you rebates up to 6 cents per gallon. But if you buy a higher volume of fuel, you can increase your savings. 

It can help you to set controls on the fuel transaction. So you can set limits on who, when, and how many purchases are made in your fleet. It also helps you avoid misuse and reduce the risk of fraud by providing individual driver IDs and purchase controls. If there are lost or stolen cards, you can cancel them in real-time. 

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Exxon Mobile Business Fleet Card

At a glance

  • Accepted at over 12,000 Exxon and Mobil stations. 
  • Valid at 700+ commercial fueling stations
  • Save up to 1-6 cents per gallon

Another promising fuel card on our list is the Exxon Mobile business fleet card. It is accepted by more than 95% of gas stations nationwide, so your drivers will not struggle to refill the fuel. And hence it will reduce vehicle idling by a considerable amount. 

Whether you want premium or regular gas at a commercial diesel location or a convenience store, you can choose any as the fuel card is accepted by 1200 stations and 700 + commercial fueling stations. You can save up to 1 to 6 cents per gallon. But it can exceed as the amount of fuel is increased. 

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BP Business Solution Mastercard

At a glance

  • Save up to 6 cents with volume-based rebates
  • Create and organize reports
  • Monitor after-hours purchases and daily transaction
  • Fuel at anywhere where Mastercard is accepted

BP Business Solution Mastercard is a perfect option for medium to large fleets. You can use this fuel card at almost any fuel station that accepts Mastercard payment. 

It comes with a $10 monthly fee, but you can waive it by buying more than 5,000 gallons of fuel per month. You can also use your cards to enjoy discounts on maintenance services too. 

It can help you earn up to 6 cents per gallon, but you can increase it by buying a higher volume of fuels. 

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Comdata Fleet Card

At a glance

  • $0 card transaction fees
  • Accepted at over 15,000 locations national
  • Savings up to 65% on tires and retreads at over 3,000 locations
  • Additional cash prices at different fueling stations

Comdata fleet card offers you fuel rebates, expense management, compliance, and many more in one place. Whether you are a truck driver or a fleet manager of a hundred vehicles, the company tries to make things easier. 

Some of its notable features are $0 transaction fees, additional discounts on different locations, nationwide acceptance at over 15000 locations, 24/7 driver support and online account management, etc. The Comdata fleet card helps you get around 65% off on tires and retreads at over 3,000 locations. 

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Pilot Fleet Card

At a glance

  1. Accepted at Pilot, Flying J, and One9 fuel stops.
  2. Win up to 3% cashback 
  3. Additional loyalty programs discount
  4. Maintain cash flow in your business with the factoring solution

The pilot fleet card, also known as the Axle fleet card, is different from its competitors. It doesn’t offer you direct savings on each gallon of gas but provides you 3% of cashback. Apart from it, you can also receive extensive loyalty programs at some fuel stations. 

You can also get discounts on maintenance, lodging, document scanning, tax services, etc. It is accepted by more than 2000 stations, including Pilot Flying J, Sapp Bros, Casey’s, etc. There is no issue with the contract or any yearly card fees. 

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RTS Fuel Card

At a glance

  • Save an average of 25 cents per gallon
  • Accepted by more than 2000 fueling stations
  • No annual fees or contracts
  • Integrated RTS Pro mobile app

Do you want to save more than thousands of dollars per year? If yes, then here is a perfect fuel card for you- an RTS fuel card. It claims to help you save 25 cents per gallon at over 2,000 fuel stations. 

You can also maintain cash flow and keep your business moving with the help of factoring solutions along with RTS financial help. You can enjoy back-office support, different financial tools, and fuel bundles. 

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Conclusion

Fuel cards are a smart way to optimize and control your fuel expenses. When the fuel prices are constantly rising, take a wise decision by choosing the best fuel card vendor for your fleet. 

A Buyers’ Guide To GPS Truck Tracking

A GPS tracker for trucks is an advanced location-tracking device that assists drivers, owner-operators, and fleet managers in getting the real-time locations of their vehicles. From securing your assets to increasing your productivity, truck GPS trackers are advantageous in many different ways.

For a truck or a fleet owner and manager, using a GPS truck tracking system would allow locating your trucks at any given time. Moreover, you can also analyze the data like driving speed, routes taken, distance traveled, estimated arrival time, etc.

As someone in the trucking business who wants to invest in GPS tracking solutions, you are at the right spot. We have created this comprehensive guide with tips that will assist you in selecting the right GPS truck tracking solution.

What is a GPS Truck Tracking Device & How Does It Work?

Initially created for military use, GPS technology gradually became available for public use, making it easy to track people, vehicles, assets, etc. GPS tracker for trucks allows you to know the precise location of your trucks in real-time. The application of location data is vast in the transportation industry. It facilitates and simplifies several operations while streamlining different sectors of a business.

A comprehensive GPS Fleet tracking solution offers intelligent insights into the entire business, thereby offering owners and managers a chance to focus on areas that need improvement. It allows your business to optimize the utility of your available resources to enhance productivity, ensure a profitable ROI, and increase client trust.

The GPS (Global Positioning System) consists of a network of satellites that orbit above our planet. A GPS tracking device uses the signals from at least four of these satellites to evaluate the location. The GPS device then sends this data to the platform or application, accessible on any android or iOS device. 

Advantages of GPS Truck Tracking

Fuel Management

A cost-efficient GPS tracking solution comes with fuel usage reporting. It provides you with the data regarding your fuel consumption so you can improve your performance. You can learn to streamline routes, maintain the engine, encourage better driving, etc., and adopt these practices to minimize fuel consumption. 

Time Management

Knowing the real-time location of your resources can help in various functions. You can allot jobs to the available trucks. You can assign two or three hauls to the same vehicles with proper route planning. You can minimize the time your resources – trucks and drivers – spend idling, either at the traffic or clients’ loading dock. For enhanced customer experience, you can also share an ETA with your clients. All in all, with a good GPS truck tracker, you can manage your time efficiently and get more done in less time. 

Monitor And Improve Driving Behavior

A GPS tracker with smart alerts lets you know about your drivers’ speeding, harsh braking, rash driving, etc. This way, you can guide your driver for better driving habits and eventually improve your CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores.

Vehicle Safety

As the advanced GPS tracker comes with the anti-theft alert, you can protect your vehicles or the loaded trucks when an unauthorized person tries to enter. Also, with the help of a GPS tracker, it is easy to find your truck’s location if you forget where you parked it.

Drivers’ Safety

A GPS tracker not only aids the safety of your loaded trucks but also helps you in safeguarding your drivers. Your driver can immediately contact you in case of emergencies through a GPS tracker. All they need to do is press the SOS button, and you will get a notification. In such cases, you can get help for them in no time.

Assist In Customer Satisfaction

One of the major factors for a successful trucking business is its ability to satisfy its clients. If you use advanced tracking solutions for trucks, it may assist in providing better services to your clients. You can stay punctual, provide quick deliveries, and find their accurate locations. You would also comply with FMCSA rules which improves your reputation for your future deals.

Things To Consider Before Buying A GPS Tracker For A Truck

Pricing

One of the most crucial factors for choosing a tracking device for trucks is its price. The device should come with all the necessary features that aid in fleet management at a cost that matches your budget. It is streets ahead if it is available at a lower monthly subscription than its contenders. Moreover, it would be a great choice if it offers you an extended warranty at a reasonable price.

Size

The size of a tracker depends on your usage. However, if you want to track your vehicles discreetly, a small-size tracker would go well. A mini GPS tracker can fit in any small space. You can use a trouser pocket, glove-box, seat cover pocket, etc., to hide the tracker. The mini GPS tracker also assists you in hidden tracking, especially when you want to use it for anti-theft or theft recovery purposes. The offenders should not know that a tracking device is attached to the trucks so you can catch them hassle-free.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery, ask yourself these questions before choosing a GPS tracker for your trucks:

  • How many hours/days does the battery work?
  • How long does it take to charge that GPS tracker?
  • Does it come with an internal or external battery?
  • Would you need a spare battery for your average journey?

If a GPS tracker fulfills all these requisites according to your needs, opt for that tracker. 

No doubt, a GPS tracker for trucks should have a long-lasting battery. It should at least work for 14 days. However, a hard-wired tracking device is one of the options if you do not require it apart from tracking your trucks.

Alerts

A GPS tracker with an intuitive alerting system can be a great utility. If you find a tracker that can send you alerts on reckless driving, harsh braking, driving at odd hours, engine status, crossing Geofence, and fuel consumption reports, it is an ideal GPS tracker for your trucks.

The advanced GPS trackers also come with an option of “aggressive tracking” or “SOS alert” that helps your drivers to send an alert to you or the 911 service in case of emergencies. Look for this valuable feature before you consider choosing a tracker.

Installation

What does a cost-effective device mean to you? A device that doesn’t require much of your money and works efficiently. Most GPS trackers are only costly because they require you to incur extra installation charges. Get yourself a GPS tracker that is easy to set up, so you do not need any expertise for installing it. Even if it is a hard-wired GPS tracker, it should attach to your vehicle without any extra cost.

Companion App

An efficient GPS tracker provides you with rich features and a user-friendly application to operate them. The companion app for the GPS tracker should be compatible with all types of smartphones, tablets, and PC.

It should be available for both Android and iOS users. Moreover, it would be a better option if the app came with custom mapping. The companies with a mapping system design it according to their app’s functions, and the maps are way more effective for the users.

Strong And Water-Resistant

A GPS tracker for trucks should be a sturdy and waterproof device. You never know in what conditions, weather, or place your trucks need to travel. You may want to attach the tracker to an unsafe area. For instance, if you mount your GPS tracker under your automobile, it would face a lot of crashes, splashes, wear & tear, or collisions. Look for a GPS tracker that can survive in any of these conditions.

Accessories

A GPS tracker brand marks its presence in the market by providing better goods and services than others. What is the point of buying a tracker that does not provide you with the minimum accessories such as vehicle mounting hooks, cables, cases, pouches, etc.? If you find a tracker that comes with all the necessary accessories along with it, you should go for it.

Coverage

Look for a tracking device that covers a larger area or works in many countries or at least functions in the areas where you manage your fleets. Most trackers come with limited coverage. Those are not good for your long-haul trucking business.

Warranty And Tech Support

If you are looking for a tracking solution that assists your business for a long duration, you should find a tracker that offers you a long-term warranty. Like any other electronic gadget, a GPS tracker is prone to bugs and damages. A long-term guarantee also comes in handy when your device is too old to work, and the company takes the responsibility to replace/repair it. A good brand may even exchange your device with a new one. Likewise, the brand with efficient tech support would always solve your problems with the product.

If you opt for a company that offers unparalleled post-sale services, impressive tech support, and a long-term warranty, you can save yourself from trouble and useless expenses.

In Conclusion

Truck drivers or fleet managers can benefit from truck GPS trackers as they work to build a better and more efficient business. They can improve their speed and productivity by choosing the best trackers available in the market. Matrack GPS tracker is one of the best trackers for trucks available in the market. It provides you with data regarding real-time location, driving behavior, tracking logs, maintenance reports, and a lot more. Matrack is ideal for Truck GPS tracking as it provides a plethora of features at an affordable price.

How do truck fleet management solutions improve operational efficiency? [A guide]

Truck Fleet management solution is all it takes for trucking companies to make the journey between staying operational to growing profitably. Moreover, one of the most important resources – the trucks – be it medium or heavy-duty trucks, are expensive and need to be maintained and utilized to make the most of them. Even for light-duty fleet vehicles these system can be of great help. With a fully functional, monitored, and managed fleet, you can make boost the performance of your business operations in no time, and also grow financially.

A good truck fleet management solution will offer you a whole lot more than simply tracking the location of your assets – it will give you a bird-eye view of all operational verticals, and help you improve the weaker parts of it. In addition to giving you unbridled access to an abundance of useful and relevant data, a good truck fleet management system will help you take care of the basic needs of your operation, and allow you to focus on growing your business.

Why do you need a truck fleet management solution?

The answer is surprisingly straightforward. If you have more than two trucks in your fleet and want to ensure that they are being used with optimum capacity, you need a truck fleet management solution. But if this doesn’t convince you, then let’s take a look at this list below, and even if one of these strikes close to home, you know what you need.

  • You want to make the most of your resources- trucks and drivers
  • You want to comply with regulations and rules
  • You want to secure your trucks, drivers, and the load they carry
  • You want to elongate the life of your trucks
  • You want to create a safer work environment for your drivers
  • You want to save money – on fuel, insurance, maintenance, fines
  • You want more profits
  • You want to grow your business

Now you might think, that a GPS tracking solution or an Electronic Logging Device will help you achieve some of the aforementioned goals. However, a truck fleet management solution includes GPS tracking, ELD, along with a host of value-inducing features that help you take your business up a notch. 

Choosing the right vendor for your trucking fleet

Once you have decided to go for a comprehensive fleet management solution for your trucks, the next step is to find the one that can accommodate your needs. Given the role of the transportation industry and truck fleets in keeping a country’s economy intact, the industry for fleet management services is huge. Several vendors offer a variety of solutions and products, catering to every small need of a truck fleet manager, no matter the size of the fleet.

Interestingly, if you have already identified the areas of your fleet that need improvement, and zeroed in on the amount of financial commitment you can make, half the job is already done. Based on these requirements, you can easily shortlist the truck fleet, management vendor.

To further narrow down the list, you can consider the following aspects:

Cost of device and subscription terms

Some vendors offer a great deal on truck GPS tracking devices; however, the monthly subscription is something you must look out for. Several vendors also offer low monthly subscriptions but may require you to sign a longer-term (at least 3 years) contract. Although a long-term contract might sound attractive, it actually binds you to make continual payments for assets, in this case, trucks, that you may no longer own after a year of such contract. It is better to look for vendors like Matrack Inc. that offer complete freedom with their pay-as-you-go subscription.

Features

When it comes to features, there are two ways to go. You can either opt for a full-stacked fleet management solution or go for a custom-made one. Most truck fleet management services are designed to offer a wholesome experience. They include basic tracking needs to complicated fuel tax reports. Although getting a broad spectrum and fully loaded solution sounds good, it may just complicate things for you. Nevertheless, whichever option you choose will depend on one thing – its cost.

Device specification

Fleets of trucks carry their load through various kinds of terrain and have to witness some really harsh weather conditions. So, if you are really going to put the responsibility of the safety of your medium or heavy-duty trucks on small-sized GPS trackers or GPS-enabled ELDs, they must be able to withstand similar conditions. Opting for a weatherproof and rust-proof, sturdy tracking device that offers unceasing 4G/5G connectivity and has a long battery life, along with a good backup is advisable.

Safety features

A comprehensive truck fleet management solution must have some top-quality safety features like real-time tracking, immediate alerts, safe-zone notification, tow alerts, unsafe driving alerts, and more. Several vendors also include dashcam in their service package that not only allows the fleet managers to keep a tab on their drivers’ driving behavior and adherence to regulations but also offer appropriate evidence of responsibility in case of accidents.

Economical

It’s a given that fleet management solutions allow you to efficiently manage your trucks and other assets. However, one of the biggest advantages is economizing your operations – which means you can get done more without having to pay anything extra. Also, with route optimization, reducing idle time, regular maintenance alerts, and minimizing fuel consumption, truck fleet management will help you in reducing operating costs and improve profitability.

Customer Satisfaction

This is again two-fold. One is the experience you give your customers with timely updates and added safety of their assets. And the second is the customer support your fleet management vendor offers. Now, the transport industry never sleeps. You never know when you might need tech support for device failure or aggressive tracking activation for lost or stolen trucks, or roadside assistance for broken down vehicles. So, you need a fleet management service provider that is awake with you – 24/7.

Matrack Truck Fleet Management Solution

Matrack is a well-known name in the fleet industry. Matrack solutions are simple and easy to use and come with an effective platform to monitor trucks, drivers, and other valuable assets. Truck fleets and drivers can access accurate and vital intelligence and reports to boost their performance, safety, efficiency, as well as customer satisfaction.

Here is what you get with Matrack Truck Fleet Management Solution:

The Hardware

Matrack’s expertise lies in their own-manufactured devices – wired and wireless GPS trackers, FMCSA-approved ELD, dashcams, and more. The devices are designed to be convenient and hassle-free; once installed you do not have to worry about them at all. All the GPS trackers and ELDs have excellent durability, long battery life, and are tamper-free. Also, one of the reasons that make Matrack devices popular amongst fleet enthusiasts is their affordable cost – the devices are manufactured by the vendor, thereby eliminating the middleman and extra costs.

The Platform

Matrack’s Platform is no less than a wizard or a genie, granting all your fleet management wishes with a click. You can access the platform either through the website or through the app on the device of your choice. It can also be integrated with Alexa. One neat feature – voice-enabled status change, which makes it easier for drivers to make changes effortlessly.

The AI-integrated platform is where you can access all the data that the hardware devices collect. You can create groups and sub-groups and also delegate authority to access data accordingly. The platform also allows you to track your trucks, check the mileage, driver’s HoS, fuel usage, estimated time of arrival, and more – all in real-time.

How does the Matrack truck fleet hardware and platform help you?

Equipped with all these data, you can easily locate your resources, and allot their jobs accordingly. You can track the idle time or the extra time is taken (wasted!) in the loading /unloading docks, and optimize the route to get the most out of a driver’s allotted and approved working hours.

Through Geofence, you can ensure that your trucks are traveling on the predetermined route and there is no unauthorized use of your truck. You can also automatically set up a virtual fence around accident-prone zones or towing yards, and get notified whenever your truck is in these areas. You can ask the drivers to be vigilant, to safeguard them.

Real-time location tracking has proved to be an unparallel tool for fleet managers. The application of this data is vast and has helped transform several businesses. For truck fleet managers, knowing where the truck is at all times allows them to allot jobs, reroute in case of unforeseen events, send proximity alerts to clients, and most importantly send help to the drivers in case of emergencies. If in any unfortunate circumstance, the truck is lost, stolen, or meets with an accident, fleet managers can take quick action and minimize the loss. Matrack offers Roadside assistance and Aggressive tracking precisely for tackling these problems.

In Matrack Truck Fleet Management Solution, the hardware and the platform work in tandem – once collecting the data, and the other creating insights and reports that are useful to streamline operations. For example, based on engine running time, mileage traveled, and driving reports, fleet managers can create a proper maintenance schedule for the trucks, and avoid recurrent expensive wear and tear costs.

Fleet managers can also set up alerts for unsafe driving such as hard braking, traffic rule violations, speed limit violations. Based on this, they can train and motivate the drivers to adhere to best driving practices for their and trucks’ safety.

One another important aspect of current truck fleet management is compliance. The FMCSA and DoT have stringent rules for Hours of Service and levy heavy fines for non-compliance. Matrack’s truck fleet management comes with GPS-enabled ELD, which is approved by the FMCSA. The ELD is accurate, tamper-proof, and collects data automatically, leaving no room for error.

Matrack Truck Fleet Management – Add-on Services

When Matrack says that its truck fleet management is comprehensive, they really mean it. Along with real-time GPS tracking, ELD, integrated platform, and asset and trailer management, fleet managers also get access to various additional services.

PostOnce Load Boards

An exclusive service for all Matrack clients, the PostOnce load board service helps you partner with relevant loads/jobs, ensuring that your truck’s capacity is used to the fullest. Instead of looking for jobs and loads all over the internet or through your connections, you can simply post your requirement and preferences on the PostOnce load board, and get matched with the perfect partner.

Weigh Station Bypass

Get automated, hands-free notifications and weigh-station bypass clearance to save time, fuel, and money with the Matrack truck fleet management solution.  With this additional service, you can automatically support and help improve the safety of the entire community of truckers.

Matrack offers a TWO-IN-ONE solution

Want to save on fuel? Matrack has the best way to manage fuel and maintenance expenses for your business vehicles with Amex Cashflow Fuel Card. With no hidden fees, this card’s TWO-IN-ONE solution supplements your business cash flow in several ways. With this solution, you can get flexible cash flow with 60-day repayment without any interest, as well as a longer repayment option with zero cost, thereby replacing the need for factoring. This solution helps you eliminate 3-10% factoring fees. And the best part is that the more you use this card, the more spending limit you get, without affecting your credit score.

Matrack Oil Change

Matrack also has a door-step oil change facility. As soon as your fleet solution intimates you about required maintenance, you can get an oil change from Matrack, wherever you are.

Why Choose Matrack Truck Fleet Management Solution?

As discussed above, Matrack covers a wide range of truck fleet management needs and offers solutions for everything you need to manage your truck fleet and drivers, while ensuring complete compliance and safety. Apart from the devices and the platform, Matrack also offers lucrative deals and affordable services. Let’s take a look:

Enterprise Solution

Matrack assures 99.99% uptime in truck fleet operations and connects and simplifies operations to improve accuracy, reduce operating costs, increase productivity and provide unparalleled vehicular data.

Free Demo

You can try any of the Matrack products for FREE for a month and pay only when you are completely satisfied.

No Contract

Matrack does not believe in binding its clients in unnecessary long-term contracts. You can choose the duration for which you want to use their products and services, and pay only for what you get. You can easily deactivate or reactivate any of their services through their web portal and application. There are no other activation, deactivation, or hidden charges involved.

Lowest subscription

Matrack is one of the most affordable truck fleet management solution providers in the industry. The lowest fleet solution subscription starts at only $7/per month.

Lifetime Warranty

Matrack manufactures all its products. The devices are carefully crafted to be strong and reliable. This is why all Matrack products come with a lifetime warranty.

30-day moneyback guarantee

Matrack offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee in the case for any reason you no longer need the device and subscription. However, this is applicable only for the first 30-days of activation of service.

Easy Installation

All Matrack devices are Easy to Install and do not require any expert help. In case you do need any support, there are several tutorials and guides available on their portal.

4G & Wi-Fi Connectivity

Matrack devices are compatible with all 4G and Wi-fi connections, thereby ensuring continual connection and data availability.

24/7 Customer support

Matrack has a dedicated team of tech experts who are available round the clock through various channels. You can email them, call them, and even have a chat through the chatbot. Matrack is extremely keen on providing excellent customer support and maintains long relationships with all its users. Contact anytime, anywhere.

With the Matrack truck fleet management solution, you get to streamline your fleet operations, simplify compliance, and improve customer service. Matrack gives you real-time vehicle tracking and performance data, thereby giving you greater visibility over your entire truck fleet operation all in one place. You can easily locate assets, trucks, drivers, trailers, equipment, and optimize dispatch routes for smooth workflows. From efficiently organizing operations to maximizing the availability of resources, Matrack’s truck fleet solutions can boost your business productivity and profitability.

5 Best ELD Devices in Canada- ELD Canada

ELD Canada- The Best ELD Devices in Canada

“All Canadian commercial motor vehicles must now have an electronic logging device (ELD).”

Yes, you heard it right; ELDs need to be fit into Canadian fleets of all sizes by June 12, 2021.

If you’re a Canadian trucker who drives heavy, this is how you can keep your commercial fleet running without a dent.

The wise decision taken by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport to mandate electronic logging devices(ELD), is an attempt to keep the roads safe from increasing mishaps.

In 2019, Transport Canadian transport introduced final regulations to the federal law, which safeguards the best interests of truckers and other drivers on the road. It warrants them to drive in a secure domain by keeping a check on-duty status record. The law is believed to change the lives of roughly 3 million drivers by abstaining them from bumpy rides.

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matrack eld device

Matrack ELD is the best electronic logging device available in Canada in 2021 because of its numerous features. It’s a smart ELD with GPS –enabled real time location tracking, Bluetooth compatibility, voice-based ELD status changes and more. Some of the other amazing features include:

  • Lowest monthly fee of 14.95/month
  • Free Device
  • NO CONTRACTS
  • FMCSA and DOT compliance
  • Automated and accurate HoS logs
  • Easy DOT log transfer on inspections
  • Geo-Fencing
  • Accurate travel logs
  • Idle time tracking
  • Real time safety management and risk alerts
  • Automated reporting
  • Accident reporting

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The guidelines come precisely under the law known as The Canada ELD mandate.

What exactly is the Canada ELD mandate?

The ELD mandate is one of the most significant developments in the transportation industry, which otherwise was in the shackles of a mismanaged system.

This trucking law affirms the obligatory use of automated recording devices onboard all Canadian vehicles. Clearly, the ELD mandate emphasizes using electronic logging devices to count hours of service (HOS).

ELD devices are connected to the commercial engine control module. They bind commercial drivers to drive within a specific daily limit by tracking down the driver’s time on the steering wheel. These tamper-resistant devices collect an accurate record of a driver’s working hours.

ELD mandate will forever replace the system of manual data entry. The conventional use of a preceding recorder called an Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD) will be deemed subsidiary very soon. ELD technology reassures sustainable use as it promises to collect data in a standardized format.

What does the government want to achieve with the ELD mandate?

The government has implied that all Canadian motor vehicles should complete a certified ELD device installation before the compliance date.

Safety of the Drivers

Being a commercial driver is a full-time job. Attending long transportation journeys can be pretty tedious for people at the driver’s seat, who constantly drive from scratch. Recent studies have shown that fatigue is a vital factor that eliminates attention.

Unfortunately, the graph of street and highway accidents is increasing day by day. Careless driving may prove fatal and can cost a life.

Easy Administration

ELDs are a preventive measure that improves drivers’ quality of life and helps make the administration more manageable. Drivers who violate the regulations can easily be checked and acted upon by checking their service records. Overworked drivers can finally be put to rest by the simplest means.

The implementation of ELDs is an empowering step by the government, which only aims to track businesses and transportation across their territory.

Forgery and data loss was serious threats faced by the management. Since ELDs are to be lodged electronically, analytical and dishonest use will also be held punishable. CSA points will be delivered to you permanently in your record every time records are crossed.

Increased Sales

The mandate will initiate goods transfer and product exchange between multiple businesses. It was reported that around 30,000 trucks are traveling between Canada and the USA every day. The USA is currently up to date with its ELD laws, which means that Canada needs to upgrade at its earliest to have maximum profits.

How do Canadian ELDs define the hours of service?

The ELD mandate law was set to check a driver’s hours of service(HOS) by reporting the data into an electronic device instead of adding manual data entry. As of now, the Canadian HOS laws have set 13 consecutive driving hours, 14 hours of combined driving and on-duty time, 16 hours elapsed time in a single shift.

This set of timings ensure a proper rest of 8 consecutive off-duty hours. Back in time, the Canadian HOS laws were malleable and could entertain the grandfather clause. With the formation of the ELD Canada mandate, it has now become compulsory to comply with the hours of service.

Enforcement authorities are employed to render all Canadian commercial motor vehicles out of the service if they fail to meet the requirements.

This is how an ELD works.

ELD locates your current status. Whether you’re On-duty, Off-duty, or Not Driving, an ELD knows everything.

An ELD device sets an automatic record of crucial figures and elements at a specific interval. A few such features are date, location, engine runtime. and distance traveled.

Hence, the ELDs, when attached to an engine, records data based on whether the engine is running, the duration for which the automobile is operated, and the distance covered during a journey.

The list also includes the driver’s ID, motor carrier, and vehicle number. It is essential to know that an ELDs works on software. Fleet drivers must be up to date with ELD software since it needs to be compatible with their fleet management software(FMS). The ELD manufacturer provides this fleet management software.

The Government of Canada makes it compulsory for Canada’s ELD providers to have a third-party certification before they prepare their catalog. ELDs that have been tested and certified by an accredited certification body can only be put on sale.

Read more: 11 Underrated ELD Benefits that go beyond Mandates and Compliance

5 Best ELD Providers in Canada 2021

Now that you have to choose, here is a list that might be of some help.

The products on our list are not only FMCSA approved but market-ready too. Our ratings are based on customer opinion, usability, adaptability level, cost-effectiveness. We aim to offer a complete package with the below listing.

1. Matrack ELD- the best overall ELD

Matrack ELD

The Matrack ELD is voted as the best electronic logging device currently in the market. It is famous for its reliable set of functions and easy operation.

Optimum results are delivered with the help of a smooth, responsive application. You can install this ELD device quite effortlessly, owing to its robust design and unbreakable hardware.

The manufacturer makes a note to provide the best services at a minimum subscription cost.

One can blindly go by this ELD, as it ticks all points in the FMCSA checklist.

The app provides a user-friendly experience. You can run the app on almost any UI, whether it’s the Apple or Android device. Customer support and satisfaction are a massive deal in the world of Matrack ELD solutions. It is available at a pocket-friendly price of  $14.95 a month.

You won’t be charged a convenience fee during any transaction. The hassle-free subscription can be canceled anytime, but I guess you would hardly do so, for the provider guarantees a lifetime warranty on all its logging devices. The fleet management solution helps you to manage and record all your data in a simple space.

The readings are entirely accurate. Using this device, you can avoid any possible problems. You can even manage your fuel consumption to start a profit-generating cycle. The best part about this ELD is the voice-enabled interface, making it even easier to denote block transfers and accident reports.

Pros

  1. FMCSA and DOT policy and smooth log transfer, in case of any inspection. 
  2. The ELD offers Geofencing and accurate travel log provision which gives accurate information, at any instant.
  3. Risk elevators and safety management protocols are strong enough to prevent any accident.
  4. Complete track of fuel cycle helps to save a lot of money.
  5. Backups are easy to restore and retrieve, whenever needed. The voice-enabled user interface provides ease of use. 

Cons

  1. Due to Geofencing and tracking, some people feel it is harmful to their privacy.
  2. Fleet managers and every worker involved in the transportation needs to be up to date with the functions. It requires a lot of learning.

2. GPS Trackit ELD- Easy Installation

GPS Trackit ELD

GPSTrackit ELD offers easy installation of their ELD device, which works sincerely to be a good choice for owner-operators who do not want to be involved in a contract.

A simple plug-in-play can turn on your hardware which can then be compiled with the software application. The app can be easily downloaded on any device you like.

It’s a return on investment for those small-size fleet owners who want to first examine the functions of their ELDs before they sign into a long-term contract. The monthly subscription is priced at $ 25.95 onwards. GPS tracker will be highly beneficial to all the truck owners who travel frequently and often find themselves in theft-prone areas.

Along with transmission and report storing facilities, these ELDs alert you to curb violations, thus saving time and life.

Pros

  1. By using the GPS track it e-logs you can save an enormous amount of time since you are always backed by honest results. 
  2. The mechanism of action of this particular ELD, helps you to stay on track and avoid any violations which can put you at risk. This ELD can track the status of any vehicle on which it is installed. 
  3. Phone service, customer service, and training is quite welcoming

Cons

  1. They run system maintenance setups at 3 am, at which local drivers have started their daily journey.
  2. You have to keep power consumption at bay, every time.

3. KeepTruckin ELD device

KeepTruckin ELD device

Keep trucking ELD is evolving every day to sustain itself as a premier driving innovator. This cloud company has climbed up its way into the top hundred in the Forbes list. The company produces some reliable products that have a standard FMCSA mark. The ELD devices come at a modest price, as the company aims to create cost-effective products concerning state laws.

Just like this ELD, its other contemporaries keep trucking electronic logging devices of monthly subscription pricing. The core feature includes optimum fuel monitoring, safety alerts, and auto records. KeepTruckin’s ELDs can set time alerts based on your preferences.

Also, geofencing technology helps you be cautious on the road.

The manufacturer does not charge any upfront price and offers you the whole deal in the installment of $35 a month. Yes, these ELDs operate on a contract. Customer service is always available at any time of the day. The hardware is easy to install and will last almost a lifetime. There are so many reasons to go for this deal, but it’s the brand value that sets it apart from others.

Pros

  1. Easy setup and easiest replacement service. The device is compatible with every kind of vehicles such as a van, box- truck, tractor, truck, or light-duty vehicle.
  2. You can have all data and information at your fingertips as log retrieval is simple and stress-free.
  3. The ELD always complies with the FMCSA changes.
  4. Customer support is powerful and timely.

Cons

  1. Some people have reported trouble with the software and specific features like the odometer. It is important to know that these setbacks can be handled.
  2. Reports are difficult to combine to generate a full report.

4. Gorilla Safety ELD

Gorilla Safety ELD

Gorilla Safety ELDs primarily provide a document management system in its list of operative features. It is often found that fresh models are constantly evolving with the latest technology. Gorilla Safety is a new service provider, which promises to deliver some fantastic pieces to operate in the fleet management industry.

The company makes a note to follow the latest law of ELD mandate, and even the products are up to date with FMCSA regulation. The app, which comes along with the service, switches on document tracking mode while you are in the driver’s seat.

The category sections or scrolls all the relevant information targeted to the truck, its driver, and even the company. Cool features like easy driver mechanic communication, location sharing, E-log mobile app, and the website makes Gorilla safety a premium name among ELD providers in Canada.

Pros

  1. The document management system is excellent. 4 subdivisions help to maintain uniformity. They are ELD Company Dossiers, Truck Dossiers, Patent Dossiers, and

Driver’s Qualification Dossiers.

  1. This ELD helps to maintain a good CSA score, which is based on vehicle compliance, safety, and accountability.
  2. It can track the status of any vehicle on which it is installed. Thus, the ELD is extremely useful in accident investigations. Users can protect themselves from unfortunate lawsuits, especially when they are not at fault. 

Cons

  1. This is a very good ELD but not the best. There are some unique and extremely important features like engine fault codes, which are missing.
  2. Some users recorded incorrect calculations. However, this problem can be avoided by little changes in the software.

5. EROAD Ehubo ELD

EROAD Ehubo ELD

Broad Ehubo ELD comes under the category of an essential budget-friendly ELD device. With the back of the FMCSA mark, this device can record accurate results. Its resilient hardware assures robust use.

The manufacturer considers customer support and timely reporting as a matter of grave importance. The ELD offers lots of extensive features on the table. You can actively go for a plan that meets your budget since the pricing falls between the range of $30-60.

You do not need to pay any extra hardware charges apart from a primary setup fee of $35. The device is easy to install and align due to its compact and single-in vehicle design. The geolocation feature holds a significant value to the drivers. The screen provides mileage count and even considers displaying fuel information. You can save a lot of money by investing in this basic ELD.

Pros

  1. The cellular coverage of the product is excellent, works accurately even in the remotest of places.
  2. Driver behavior can be regulated by regulating functions like speed, driver routes.
  3. Easy to use and understand.
  4. Provision of a free trial.
  5. IFTA reports and single-vehicle units.

Cons

  1. Lacks a non-regulated driving mode.
  2. Customer Service cannot always match up.
  3. Costs can be overwhelming to some.

Conclusion

It’s advisable to go for an ELD that you can resonate with, after all, it’s a matter of safety. It’s always better to choose an ELD that passes all the standardized tests and contains the necessary features, as the ELD mandate is here for a really long weekend.

Track The Move! Get Added Security And Save Big With Matrack GPS Trackers

Every year, about 30 million Americans relocate, of which close to 55% of people hire services of professional packers and movers. Whether they need to move into a different area in the same city, or to another state, most people look for a moving company that is reliable as well as affordable. So how does the moving company gets all the packages from one point to another on time and safely?

The answer is GPS technology. It has been in public use for over two and a half decades. However, the search for avenues for its utility is ongoing. GPS trackers can transmit real-time location, and the application of this information has proved beneficial to several industries, including the moving businesses. According to research, through the implementation of GPS tracking software, several businesses increased their profitability by up to 12 percent. But it is achieved only through a reliable and comprehensive GPS tracking solution that not only allows monitoring of your workforce but offers you data-rich insights enabling you to make necessary arrangements and streamline the business operations for enhanced productivity.

“Moving Industry generates a revenue of over $86 billion every year!”

How Matrack GPS tracking solution helps your moving business?

Matrack Incorporation is now a popular GPS tracking solutions provider in the industry with years of experience under our belt. What sets us apart is the quality of our products and services, offered at a very affordable price. Moreover, with the range of features our solution has, you will practically be saving more than you spend. If there is something you need to track, no matter how small or big, we have the right solution for you. 

For a packing and moving industry, the mobility of the workforce is the backbone of its operations. The knowledge of where your employees and vehicles form the foundation of the success of your business. An efficient time and location tracking GPS-enabled software like Matrack’s can provide moving companies with an effective system that supports delivering goods from one place to another while following strict timelines.

 “The moving industry employs 122,600 people. Their combined annual payroll comes out to around $3.6 billion.”

Moving companies undertake more than a few projects every day. Matrack tracking solution comes with the in-built GPS location monitoring feature which provides an intelligent and intuitive way of aligning the business objectives of a moving company with that of their customers. That’s why GPS and time tracking are indispensable for packing and moving company. Here is how GPS tracking amplifies the effectiveness of your business: 

  • Productivity: On an average day, a moving company handles several projects. It is therefore very crucial to know the working status of your employees and vehicles. The real-time location tracking offers you better visibility of your employees and vehicles, thereby giving you vital information on which vehicle is available for a new project and which are out on the field, making it easier to allot jobs accordingly. The app also helps in effectively keeping a tab on all the projects that you are working on simultaneously, and allows you to do prioritize. This information comes in handy, especially for small-sized moving companies that have limited resources. With the Matrack app, you can optimize the route of travel and delivery, taking into account the traffic, fuel usage, and distance to be traveled, thereby executing them efficiently. The app also notifies you of any unscheduled stops and delay in or failed deliveries. As the data is automatically recorded and cannot be altered or edited, it helps in determining accountability. As in most of these companies, employees get paid according to the number of hours worked, Matrack tracking solution app takes care of recording accurate data in the timesheets and helps you manage better.
  • Time-saving and cost-effectiveness: A comprehensive GPS solution does more than merely providing the location. It gathers pieces of important information, which if interpreted effectively can save a lot of time as well as money on various operational verticals. For example, fuel is one of the top expenses in any logistics and transport company. Matrack GPS tracking solution helps in finding the shorter and best route to your destination, records bad and unsafe driving behavior, idle time tracking, engine diagnostic, and more. All these data can be used to make informed decisions and save about 14-15 % of fuel expenses. Another advantage of a GPS solution by Matrack is having a maintenance schedule. Vehicle and engine diagnostic records determine when and which auto-part needs to be repaired or replaced, and the manager or driver gets notified of the same. Keeping your vehicles in their best form avoids unnecessary delays caused by the sudden breakdown and also saves on future repair costs.
  • Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is a huge part of ensuring the success of your business. Most people look for a moving company that can deliver their goods from one location to another without any damage, on time. Another aspect that your customers will look into is affordability. As already discussed, the implementation of a reliable GPS solution by Matrack can bring down your operational costs by 12%. With fuel and maintenance costs reduced, you can offer your services at a competitive rate. Another important feature that Matrack solution offers is the alerts and notifications for predetermined events. This allows you to share the location of the delivery vehicle and the estimated time of arrival with the customer. Keeping them in the loop and informed of the location of their assets adds to their satisfaction, and ensures positive feedback.
  • Insurance: As a moving company, you are in the business of taking care of the assets of others. You have drivers, employees, and vehicles that are also vulnerable to situations beyond your control. That’s why insurance is another top expense for moving companies. Most moving companies prefer an insurance policy that provides a complete cover for their assets, employees, their clients, and the goods they haul. However, such insurance cover comes with huge premiums. Matrack’s GPS tracking solution is recognized by several insurance providers and implementation of the same acts as an indication of your commitment towards safety. With our GPS solution, you can get a discounted insurance premium and save more.

“The average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime!”

Why choose a Matrack GPS tracking solution?

The GPS tracking solution market is huge and very competitive. Several providers offer great solutions to their customers. But what sets Matrack apart is the availability of a wide range of features at an amazingly affordable price. This is because Matrack’s vision and customer requirements are the same – the features you need at the cost you want! However, an affordable solution doesn’t mean subpar quality, especially when Matrack is involved. All our solutions – devices and software – are products of thorough research and top-notch materials. Our solutions are intelligent and intuitive, yet simple and easy to use. If you still need a little help in choosing us, here is why:

  • Reliable device: Matrack has several compact, discreet and sturdy devices like MA Asset Classic and MA-OBD Classic Plug-in that can be attached to your delivery vehicle and assets easily without needing any expert help. These devices are designed to withstand harsh conditions and function perfectly at all times. All our devices are certified and transmit accurate location. Our devices also come with rechargeable long-life batteries leaving you worry-free. We also offer solar-powered devices.
  • Compliance: Matrack also offers GPS-enabled ELD tracking devices like MA-ELD Classic that are FMCSA-approved and help you in strict adherence with DoT Hours of Service rules. The device can sense whether a commercial motor vehicle is in driving status or not; and as per FMCSA rule, the device will automatically consider the vehicle to be in moving status if the speed threshold of 5mph is crossed. Another important feature of MA-ELD Classic is that enables the digital transfer of records to DoT security official, thereby making the process efficient, effective, and tamper-free.
  • Accessibility: The Matrack app dashboard gives a quick and precise view of key parameters like mileage, idle time, speeding, and more to improve cost-efficiency and productivity. It provides detailed reports and travel logs that include information like date, time, location, engine hours, and the number of miles traveled. Faster access to these reports on the same screen makes it easier to monitor the overall performance and make changes to get improved results. We also have a voice-enabled logbook application that is a time-efficient option for the drivers and other employees.
  • Maintenance and training: For a moving company, it is vital to have their drivers and vehicles in the topmost conditions. One requires constant and in-time maintenance, while the other needs proper training. Matrack’s GPS tracking solution records mileage and engine hours, which help in creating a maintenance and training schedule. It also generates reminders for an oil change, tire inspection, or change that is sent through automated emails or messages to any device of your choice. It also records and sends alerts for pre-set events like speeding, hard braking, and other unsafe driving behavior. This data can help in creating a driver training and assessment module to ensure safe and proper driving.
  • Accident and Violations: Moving companies have several external factors that cannot be controlled by anyone. Breakdowns and accidents do not happen with any warning, nor do any thefts or damage. When the drivers are on the road, it is difficult to keep track of every activity. Our GPS tracking solution can identify an emergency and notify you of the same, assisting you in taking immediate and necessary action, potentially lowering the amount of loss. With instant action, you can minimize the damage to your vehicle, client’s assets as well as get the required medical attention for your driver.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Our devices also help in creating better routes, monitor and reduce idle time, and while tracking driving behavior. As fuel is one of the most costly and recurring expenses, and this data can be used to minimize fuel usage and increase the efficiency of entire fleet operations. The device can also be used to set an alarm for low fuel levels, and record all fuel transactions, assisting in the calculation and filing of IFTA fuel tax.
  • Geofencing: Geofencing is a location-based service that sends alerts whenever a pre-set virtual boundary around a geographical location, is entered into or exited from. It helps moving companies to assure that the vehicles follow their assigned route. This feature also allows in curbing unauthorized use of your delivery vehicle.
  • Comprehensive FMS: Our Fleet Management System caters to every need that a moving company manager or owner can have. It is all-inclusive, compliant with every applicable law, user-friendly, and completely innovative. It can be accessed by the owner, manager as well as drivers and other employees, subject to their clearance. Authorized users can filter data according to date, location and time, and even driver identification. The application helps in the calculation of taxes and helps in observing regulatory laws to avoid fines. When used effectively, the device as well as the application can eventually assist in increasing the ROI with maximum utilization of available resources.
  • Installation and Pricing:  All our devices and solutions are designed to bring the best of modern technology, at an affordable price. The device in itself is compact and can be installed in three easy steps. Once you have the device, you need to locate the OBD port beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side and connect the device to the diagnostic port. Once the device is connected and has Bluetooth connectivity, it is ready to use. You can download the software application for the device from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. All our products and services are competitively priced and come with the lowest monthly subscription. You do not need to sign any contract and discontinue our services at any time. Our products also come with a lifetime warranty.

Moving companies help in relocation and transport assets locally, domestically, or internationally. It is very competitive, and several businesses are offering better and innovative services at a reasonable cost. A comprehensive GPS tracking solution allows them to synchronize and streamline their moving trucks, other commercial vehicles, and their operational functions with the ultimate objective of improving the productivity of each move, reducing costs, providing real-time tracking, ensuring safety and security, and adhering to local, state, and national transportation guidelines. 

Matrack incorporation’s goals perfectly align with the goals of your moving company – to provide our clients with safety and security without burning a hole in their pockets. Our solution helps in simplifying the complexities of workforce management and allows efficient control over their workforce and logistics. We strive to make our technology easy to use while being the most competent and indispensable tool for you. We believe in offering our customers the solution they need, along with complete technical and expert support from our service team. Our experienced support staff is available for any queries around the clock, 365 days a year.

Want to know more? Contact us for more information.

Why Are Matrack GPS Trackers Crucial For These Industries?

The GPS tracking system is on the verge of growth due to the increased number of missing cases and equipment theft. Experts also forecast that the CAGR for the GPS tracker market till 2024 will be 15%. Heavy-duty industries like engineering, manufacturing, and logistics are sure to reap the benefits from it. 

Why is the demand for Matrack GPS trackers gaining significance now?

Knowing the vehicle’s exact location and the driver and the car’s condition becomes real information that can transform a business. Here’s why Matrack GPS tracking devices are known to be an essential gadget for a business enterprise:

  1. Reduces fuel costs – the information you get from Matrack location trackers can help the company have efficient reporting, routing, and reducing fuel costs. Over time, a few bucks saved on a trip can contribute to a tidy sum. 
  2. Improves vehicle health – with real-time updates from the Matrack vehicle trackers, companies can better control their vehicle functioning and not be surprised by sudden breakdowns and damages. As a company, you can have a timely service for your vehicles and improve the functionality, ensuring longevity and better performance. 
  3. Control driver behavior – the Matrack fleet trackers will help the company get updated information on vehicle driver behavior. Whether the driver is taking unnecessary breaks or not following the traffic rules, the fleet manager can know it simultaneously. It also becomes easy for fleet managers to give their drivers better training practices for better productivity and performance by reducing road crashes and negligent driving. The Matrack ELD is one such effective solution for keeping track of your driver’s driving work hours and pattern. 
  4. Positive impact on insurance premiums – when there are fewer accidents, there is a direct impact on the insurance premium.
  5. Recover lost vehicles – with the right GPS tracking solution like Matrack, the fleet owners can be fully updated with the vehicle’s whereabouts in case of theft. The misuse of the vehicle can be avoided to a great extent. 
  6. Reduces paperwork and documentation – gone are those days of hours of reporting and paper works. Simultaneously, the Matrack GPS trackers help in easy reporting of dispatch and delivery of goods automatically, so that the manual work is significantly reduced. 

So, it’s evident that these benefits make sense to buy a GPS tracker. That’s why business enterprises, be it small or large-scale, anchorage the GPS tracking technology. 

Top Industries where the use of Matrack GPS tracking is crucial

Any businesses into the shipment of their goods and services can integrate the GPS tracking technology into their everyday operations with ease to boost productivity and minimize cost. Following are some of the top industries where the use of GPS tracking has become more significant and crucial:

  1. Courier/delivery service – the most important among all is the courier industry, where the shipment takes place in bulk and in massive numbers. Courier and delivery service companies are the top to use these GPS trackers of Matrack. With useful GPS trackers, parcel tracking has been easier like never before with transparency in the data reporting for both the fleet manager and the customer. This is updated as and when there is a change in the delivery cycle or parcel’s position.
  2. Logistics – the second most important industry that comes to use GPS tracking solutions for their products is the logistics companies. A logistics company with large fleets has to keep track of every vehicle and every driver at all times. This is not possible through phone calls and messages and paperwork. Thanks to the Matrack real-time tracking solutions that communication and updating of the fleet can be readily reported to the fleet manager. 
  3. Construction industry – the growth and development of a state lie in its successful construction projects. The types of equipment used for construction are high-priced and have a high risk of theft. Trucks, power tools, on-site essentials may be a target for thieves. Matrack GPS trackers for the construction industry ensure drivers carrying loads from one site to another are not wasting time taking unsafe routes. Knowing that the tracking and surveillance are in place, drivers and other staff can be clear from their side while reporting to the fleet department and officials. 
  4. Hotels and catering services – the food delivery industry has grown to its biggest boom, with the home delivery and catering segment bringing an increased demand and convenience to customers. The foodservice market uses GPS tracking technology to deliver timely food and service to their customer and to ensure that their driver is punctual in his work. This also lets the company provide training for their underperforming drivers. 
  5. Educational institutions – there has been a steady rise in the number of missing cases. The disturbing fact is that half of the missing cases are of school children. With rising concerns for student safety, parents have started using GPS trackers of Matrack to communicate and know that their kids are safe. The Matrack advanced GPS trackers can send alerts to parents about delays and other concerns. Even schools and colleges use GPS tracking devices to monitor their bus movements without using phone calls and parents’ messages. 
  6. Emergency sector: Whether it’s an ambulance, fire, or police service, GPS tracking gadgets are used in full-fledge for smarter routing in crowded cities. With more features inbuilt into these location trackers, you can easily track the drivers and their behavior. 
  7. Pharmaceuticals and medical industry – though the logistics industry integrates these sectors, it is imperative to mention them separately as they have their own unique needs and requirements. For instance, a shipment carrying medicines of high value can render the entire medicine-batch go missing or useless if not delivered at the right destination.  
  8. Public transport industry – public transportation means like buses, trains, and taxis have a strict schedule. Customers plan their days and activities by booking these public transportation modes. And when it comes to public transportation, the hurdles of passing the traffic jam is enormous. When a taxi is supposed to drop their client at 5 pm, the road’s heavy traffic and blocks can result in a delayed drop off at 6 or 6.30 pm. But with the help of Matrack GPS tracking solution, the taxi companies can have a better interaction with their customers and thus eliminate the need to contact the operator for an update about their vehicle’s location. The cab service providers, like Uber, employ GPS trackers to provide a real-time update on their vehicle’s location. They have also set the trend to standardize the cab service industry with these advanced GPS tracking solutions. 

The Matrack list of GPS trackers include:

  • Vehicle trackers
  • Asset and trailer trackers
  • ELD

The Matrack list of GPS tracking solutions include:

The Matrack ELD logbook is an electronic logbook device that is DOT compliant and listed in FMCSA’s ELD approval list. The voice-based ELD logbook provides a voice-over feature to update the status easily. The Matrack ELD provides time-to-time updates about loading and unloading procedures from start to end with real-time reporting to fleet managers. 

Features of Matrack ELD logbook

  • ELD compliant
  • DOT log transfer – ensures safe transfer of digital files to the security officer
  • HOS logs – this helps the fleet manager to know whether the vehicle is in a driving or non-driving status. When a commercial motor vehicle moves faster than 5mph, the ELD will automatically be prompted to consider the vehicle as in driving status.
  • Geo-fencing – you can create customized zones so that if your vehicle enters/ exits a restricted area, you will be informed right at the moment.
  • Idle-time tracking: Once the vehicle’s speed comes to 0mph and remains at that same speed for three consecutive seconds, then the Matrack ELD will report the vehicle to be in non-driving status.
  • Real-time alerts – the Matrack ELD and GPS tracking solutions provide real-time data with unlimited alerts sent directly to your mobile phone or email. You will know the precise location of the driver and vehicle. 
  • Accident reporting – the Matrack GPS tracking solution lets you instantly get notified of your trailer accidents. The instant notifications with detailed report will be sent to your email or smartphone.

Apart from these industries mentioned above, the Matrack vehicle tracking devices are used in mining, fisheries, and cab/car rental service companies. They use these GPS trackers for their shipment/vehicle tracking. The cab service providers and vehicle rental companies use GPS trackers for tracking their fleets, driver behavior, functioning, and safety of the vehicle and passenger. This clearly defines that the GPS tracking system has numerous benefits for the companies and industries. 

Even individual customers prefer buying Matrack GPS tracking devices to keep track of their teen’s driving behavior or keep an eye on their children. Every industry has its customized GPS solutions available. The smart move is to understand how these tracking solutions can solve challenges faced by a particular industry or company that can help build reliable data solutions. 

COVID-19 Disruption Continues to Affect Freight, Rates

The economies and nations are yet to recover from the sudden loss due to the global pandemic of Covid-19. And adding to the slow recovery phase, some countries have started their unlock strategy by which the companies witnessed an unusual demand for goods. The impact of Covid-19 on the freight industry is quite visible across the world, showing a downward trend. The Government announced the shutdown, and the trucking industry came to a near standstill except for essential goods’ transportation.

The logistics chains are going through unusual massive losses from the Covid-19 effect. The disruption is both from the demand and supply side—the industrial sector, which was already in a slow-growth pre-pandemic but has now seen a drastic downfall post-pandemic. The production and manufacturing activities are down by 8% from February and the shipment of durable goods by 6%. Since the Chinese economy is highly powered in the global economy, the epidemic has a broader impact on international supply chains.

The trucking industry has to face significant shipping constraints amidst the global pandemic as there has been a high demand for goods from high hotspot areas. Regarding crew and passenger health, difficulty with crew changes, or the staff refuses to go to an affected area. There have also been extended delays in subsequent ports, with cargoes being left unloaded or discharged. Adding to this, one of the most significant indicators of the disruption of Covid-19 in the supply chain industry is the inventory to sales ratio. Stocks relative to sales in retail showed the lowest figures in June by a long shot. The shutdown of factories and workforce scarcity to re-stuff cargo and drivers to operate trucks for cargo evacuation has derailed the trucking industry’s smooth trade functioning. The low inventory figures put pressure on the movement of daily goods like how to stuff into the retail arena and how to restock. The result is a cumulative loss of $9 trillion to the world’s global GDP, and the world trade has witnessed a decline of 32%. The ports have seen a fall in traffic with a delayed turnaround time of 12-14 days, previously just three days.

As estimated, the significant share of truck drivers has gone to their native places, and there’s a lot of restrictions on inter-state and Intra-state movement. This has also triggered a spike in freight rates.  Increased costs and panicked customers create a significant problem in the freight transportation and logistics market, says Susan Beardslee, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. Global air cargo volumes were down by 9% in the last month. New restrictions on passenger travel from Europe and the United States have further affected the air cargo capacity. All of this adds to the already current decreases due to the China- U.S tariff tensions.

Covid-19 disruption in shipping rates and operations

  • In 2020, the spot market has been on a wild ride – says Avery Vise, Vise President of Trucking. During the quarantine days of demand and panic buying, the groceries, toilet paper, and similar essential items were high for a brief period. Then things fell apart in April. Loads were down with rates going down nearly 25% in the April-mid.  One of the reasons why spot rates are currently high is that the capacity is now tight. The full sing operation of drivers hasn’t started yet. Other contributing factors include:
  • Freight carriers are slow to bring back their drivers because of uncertainty about whether the current surge in demand will continue or not.
  • With Federal assistance such as extra payments during unemployment, stimulus checks, PPP loans, some drivers feel less pressure to get back to work amidst this critical pandemic period.
  • The new drug and alcohol clearinghouse that has come into effect in January shows that about 29,000 drivers have been tested positive or refused to attend tests through July.
  • Considering the social distancing and COVID-19 safety measures, the Commercial Vehicle Training Alliance saw 40% fewer commercial driver’s licenses issued this year. This implies that there will be fewer drivers coming into the market this year.
  • Amidst the global Coronavirus pandemic, some temporary and permanent retirements as older drivers do not take up the risk to continue the job.
  • The existing drivers are calling out for double payment due to the risk involved.

Effect of COVID-19 disruptions on truck drivers

  • Commercial truck drivers are exempt from the non-essential business closures and were requested to stay-at-home implemented by most states.
  • Truck drivers have reported long wait times at pickup and delivery points due to shortage of on-site personnel ad busier receiving schedules.
  • Truck drivers are less willing to take loads to supply at hotspot areas causing spot market and hoc rates to climb.
  • Amenities like food, water and restroom are becoming a challenge for truck drivers, especially, when they are at interstate shipment.
  • There has been a massive volume drop in the lanes that have freight trailers.
  • Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight cannot be held in destination terminals due to limited space, resulting in extra fees. Hence many LTL carriers are returning freight less than one day after a load cannot be shipped to a closed facility.

What can transportation companies do to keep their goods moving to the market?

Accepting this new normal and working with the existing workforce using the following short-term action plans can help trucking companies control the situation:

  • Activate emergency plans – activate your emergency transportation and logistics response techniques. With disaster control towers and emergency response teams, you can handle the unforeseen emergencies like Covid-19 and its impact on the trucking business.
  • Communicate with carriers – talk with your transportation and logistics providers to analyse their situations and understand the potential impacts of your supply chain, if any. Maintaining a daily or weekly communication with the carriers ensures an updated status of the changing circumstances.
  • Stay informed on Federal and State regulations – during these uneven crises, the Federal and State develop laws that impact the trucking industry. These include travel restrictions and national emergency declarations.
  • Consider fleet strategies – assess alternative fleet strategies to cope with the driver and truck shortage. You can select alternative fleet strategies that provide additional capacity to your truck fleet.
  • Embrace new technologies that drive automation – due to changing needs, the urge to have an automated system can simplify the tasks more cost-efficiently. Transportation plays a vital role in customer service. There’s a series of processes that embrace new logistics technologies that include the right place, right time delivery, and non-defective product delivery. This will enable customer-centric requirements of anywhere reporting at anytime reporting. Thanks to Matrack GPS tracking devices, the freight manager knows whether the driver and assets are safe.
  • Enhance distribution capabilities – avoid complicated distribution channels and establish quick alternative fulfilment models. This includes investment in real-time GPS tracking solutions and electronic logging devices that save hours of IFTA tax filing time.

That being said, shippers need to evaluate options and model changes across various transportation modes to avoid delays, interruptions, and significant price hike. Both retailers and manufacturers need to develop prioritization plans for customers that meet with the set limits. Systems integration in line with the advanced tracking systems should be implemented wherever possible. This includes ERP, TMS (Transportation Management System), WMS (Warehouse Management System), and predictive analytics and scenario modelling.

Why choose Matrack for your changing logistics needs?

With the cutting-edge technology providing customer satisfaction, Matrack has been the leading provider of GPS fleet and asset tracking solutions for the past 12 years. Serving the industry by providing advanced tracking solutions for both individuals and businesses, Matrack holds a reputed brand in the fleet tracking industry. Whether your fleet size is small or big, the Matrack trailer tracking devices help assess where your vehicle is and when they require maintenance. When your fleet and driver are beyond your ability to see, the Matrack real-time monitoring devices let you know what is happening. You can also be assured of your driver’s and cargo safety. Thanks to the Matrack dispatch solution that provides real-time visibility into mobile applications, the fleet manager can guarantee that everything is fine and functioning properly.

Benefits of buying Matrack trackers for your fleet

  • All Matrack devices are waterproof and weatherproof
  • Tamper-resistant
  • 1-year warranty
  • email and SMS alerts
  • Speedy asset recovery in case of theft or vehicle breakdown
  • Aggressive tracking mode to find the lost cargo in case of any emergency
  • Dedicated 24/7 technical support in the back-end process
  • Roadside assistance provides the shortest and traffic-less route.

The Matrack ELD is another technologically advanced system solution for trucking companies to facilitate accurate reporting and efficient streamlining of business reports. The Matrack ELD is an electronic logging device that is easy to install and use by the driver. This FMCSA approved DOT compliant electronic logging device is Bluetooth compatible and features voice-recognition for making status changes. The loading and unloading procedures from start to end, the fleet companies can keep track of their freight operations, thereby strategizing alternate plans for unforeseen continencies.

FMCSA Extends Regulatory Waiver For Drivers Responding To COVID-19 Emergencies

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the emergency declaration no: 2020-002 through Dec.31.2020. FMCSA grants regulatory waiver that applies to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP)holders and other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The Declaration was issued late Friday and is the first multi-month extension of the HOS exemption since the order was initiated in March. The five previous extensions lasted until the following month with the last set to expire on September 14. 

FMCSA is continuing to extend the regulatory waiver because of the presidential Declaration about national emergency and is needed to support the direct emergency assistance for some supply chains. The extension addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and also provides necessary relief from federal regulations for motor carriers and drivers.

Who is applicable for FMCSA’s extended regulatory waiver?

  • Interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders
  • Interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs)  

The exemption gives drivers and carriers regulatory relief and flexibility to move certain products and cargo in support of joined efforts related to Covid-19. According to FMCSA, this exemption applies to the shipment of the following supplies:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment required for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community spread of COVID-19. These include masks, gloves, soap, sanitizers and disinfectants. 
  • Food, paper products and other groceries that are essential for emergency restocking of distribution centres or stores. 

This FMCSA extension is not applicable for routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration. 

The employer’s role

Employers must continue to select drivers at the required rate of 50% of their average number of driver positions for controlled substances and 10% for random alcohol testing during the calendar year 2020. If a test is unable to be completed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the motor carrier must maintain written documentation of the specific reasons for non-compliance. 

For instance, employers should document closures or restricted use of testing facilities or the unavailability of testing personnel. Besides, employers should also register actions taken to identify alternative testing sites or other testing resources. 

Similarly, employers who are unable to ensure the dates for administering random controlled substances and alcohol tests are spread reasonably throughout the year should document the specific reasons why they did not meet this requirement. 

Emergency declaration details – restrictions and limitations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had set an Emergency Declaration in response to the Coronavirus pandemic to ease out the pressure building on fleet companies and truckers that directly assist the current situation.

By execution of this extension to Emergency Declaration 2020-002, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to a national emergency are not granted emergency relief from FMCSA. They must continue to comply with the FMCSA’s following regulations and conditions:

  • Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts for COVID-19 outbreaks are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations. 
  • This includes transportation and immediate needs for relief items, including medical supplies, food for emergency restocking and persons necessary for providing medical or emergency services. 
  • If a driver informs his motor carrier company that they require immediate rest, then the driver must be permitted at least ten consecutive hours off duty. 
  • Operation of a CMV while a driver’s ability to drive is impaired or likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness or any other cause making it unsafe for the driver to begin or continue operating the commercial motor vehicle. 
  • The motor carrier or fleet companies shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. 
  • Prohibitions relating to texting while driving and using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. 
  • A motor carrier whose driver is involved in a crash while driving under this emergency declaration must report any recordable crash within five business days, by phone or in writing to the FMCSA Division Office where the motor carrier is domiciled. The carrier must report the time, date, location, vehicle ID and a brief description of the crash. 
  • The direct assistance relief is terminated when a driver or CMV is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not related to emergency relief efforts of COVID-19. Or, when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or CMV to another location to begin operations in commerce. 
  • This waiver does not apply to medical examiner’s certificates issued initially for less than 90 days. 
  • Lastly, FMCSA reserves the right to revoke this waiver for driver’s involvement in crashes, motor carrier’s failure to report accidents and driver’s failure to comply with the restriction of this waiver. 

The driver doesn’t have to carry the Declaration in the vehicle with them while driving. However, it is recommended that the drivers and carriers keep a copy of the Declaration, which is easily accessible. It must also be noted that the FMCSA Emergency Declaration does not provide relief from Canadian HOS regulations. When a driver is moving from emergency support efforts to normal operations, a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and regular operation equalling to 14 hours. 

Restrictions and conditions of the regulatory waiver

This waiver covers states, CDL holders, CLP holders and interstate non-CDL CMV drivers for the period starting at 12:00 am on October 1, 2020, through 11:59 pm on December 31, 2020.

  • The waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver’s license or permit has expired before March 1, 2020
  • The waiver becomes void to a non-domiciled CLP or CDL holder if the non-domiciled driver’s legal presence is invalid.
  • This waiver is not eligible for a CDL or CLP holder if the driver’s privileges have been suspended or withdrawn for traffic offences. 
  • Drivers who are claiming relief from this waiver must have proof of a valid medical certificate and any required medical variance following the periods of eligibility set forth above. They should also carry a xerox of their expired medical certificates. 
  • New drivers who have never obtained medical certification cannot cover under this waiver. This is also applicable for drivers who cannot produce evidence of a prior medical accreditation under the periods of eligibility mentioned above.
  • FMCSA’s regulatory waiver does not apply to medical examiner’s certificates that are originally issued for less than 90 days. 

As a fleet owner or manager, it is crucial to follow the FMCSA rules and regulations that continue to change to adapt to the pandemic situation. As a result, the agency encourages drivers to obtain their renewed licenses and medical certificates and also encourages SDLAs to bring their operations back to normal as soon as practicable, in respect with all applicable Federal, State and Local laws and guidance before December 31, 2020. 

Matrack in response to the FMCSA extension

Concerning the FMCSA regulation and extension, Matrack as a fleet company follows all the requirements, violation warnings, laws and rules. “Constant changes in the FMCSA regulations are bound to be part of the pandemic situation. We promise to keep our customers updated” says Cam Smith, VP at Matrack. You can also check the latest updates on asset and fleet tracking news at Matrack. The Matrack GPS trackers are one among those best-in-class trackers available for tracking your valuable assets and fleet. 

Young drivers To Get Training For Interstate Commercial Driving Through FMCSA’s New Pilot Program

On September 4th 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a historical proposal that would bring several economic benefits to the transportation industry as well as create enormous job opportunities. FMCSA proposed and asked for public comments on its new pilot program that would allow drivers under the age of 21 (18, 19 and 20 year olds) to operate CMV for interstate commerce.

The decision has been enthusiastically welcomed by the American Trucking Association, Truckload Carriers Association and others. David Heller, vice president of TCS said that they “will be submitting comments in support of the proposed pilot program, as it represents yet another opportunity for our industry to highlight the safe driving practices and accident reduction technology that professional truck drivers use on our roads today. This pilot program should provide meaningful data regarding the driving force of our industry that adds to the already tremendous support to further examine allowing younger drivers, ages 18-20, to operate on our highways.”

Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO also voiced his support and commended Trump administration for moving ahead with the new pilot program. He said, “This is a significant step toward improving safety on our nation’s roads, setting a standard for these drivers that is well beyond what 49 states currently require. This is an amazing block of talent with unlimited potential. If our freedom can be defended from tyranny around the world by our men in women in uniform, many well below the age of 21, then it’s quite clear that we can train that same group how to safely and responsibly cross state lines in a commercial vehicle.”

Proposal Timeline:

2018 July – FMCSA introduced a pilot program open to current and former military personnel between the ages of 18 and 20. Eligible drivers must have undergone specified heavy-vehicle driver training while in service and be sponsored by a participating motor carrier.

2019 February – The DRIVE-Safe Act or Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act was reintroduced in House of Senate. It proposed to lower the age requirement for interstate drivers to 18 as long as drivers under the age of 21 are participating in an apprenticeship program that includes separate 120-hour and 280-hour probationary periods, during which younger drivers would operate CMVs under the supervision of an experienced driver and must achieve specific performance benchmarks before advancing.

2019, May – FMCSA published a Federal Register notice requesting public comments on a possible new pilot program to allow drivers aged 18, 19, and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The May 2019 notice asked specific questions regarding training; qualifications; driving limitations; operational and participation requirements; insurance; research and data; and vehicle safety systems that should be considered in developing a second pilot program for younger drivers.

2020 September – FMCSA Proposes New Under-21 Commercial Driver Pilot Program

What is in the proposal?

In the Federal Register notice, the FMCSA requests public comments on a new pilot program that would allow younger drivers to operate in interstate commerce. The pilot program is open for drivers to participate if they fall within two categories:

  • Young drivers between18- to 20-year-old with commercial driver’s license (CDL) having experience in operating CMVs in interstate commerce while taking part in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period under an apprenticeship program established by an employer; or
  • Young drivers between 19- and 20-year-old with CDL having experience in operating CMVs in intrastate commerce for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles. Keeping their safety in mind, the study group drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles.

In the Unites States, currently, 18-20 year old CDL holders are allowed to operate commercial motor vehicle within the borders of the state in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Under-21 drivers in these states can operate CMVs in intrastate commerce if they hold a commercial driving licence. 

The FMCSA’s new proposal also ensures the safety of the drivers. FMCSA’s Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck said, “This action will allow the Agency to carefully examine the safety, feasibility, and possible economic benefits of allowing 18 to 20-year-old drivers to operate in interstate commerce. Safety is always FMCSA’s top priority, so we encourage drivers, motor carriers, and interested citizens to review this proposed new pilot program and share their thoughts and opinions.”

Benefits of the proposal:

The proposal has amassed significant support as it seeks to solve several problems at once. Here is how the transportation industry will benefit from this program:

  • The program would provide new opportunities for young people to enter the labour force and strengthen the economy.
  • In the past decade or so, there has always been a shortage of drivers in the transportation and fleet industry. With many old drivers thinking of retiring due to the pandemic, recruiting younger and new drivers will bridge the gap, allowing the industry to operate at full potential.
  • Instructing safety standards and responsibility at a young age ensures better driving behaviour, creating a better-prepared and much safer driver.

The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) also came forward to show their support to the program. In a statement, they said, “the program would provide a path to bring needed younger drivers safely into the industry as aging drivers retire and growing online purchasing increases long-term freight demand. The trucking industry is a good paying career choice for America’s emerging workforce. Training programs like this are critical game changers for not only developing a highly skilled workforce but also creating pathways to financial stability— without the need to incur college debt.”

The opposition:

When the FMCSA first came up with the idea of new pilot program for younger drivers, it was met with severe opposition from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. According to them, younger drivers lack overall experience and are less safe behind the wheel than more seasoned colleagues, and hence should not be allowed interstate commercial travel. “Launching this pilot program would go against FMCSA’s goal of improving highway safety,” OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer said in the release. “The agency should not be used as a tool for large motor carriers to expand their driver pool instead of fixing the problems that have led to their extremely high turnover rates. If highway safety is the priority, the age should go up, not down. Instead of efforts to entice the least experienced, the focus should be hiring and retaining the most experienced drivers, not expanding the funnel or driver churn.”

Voicing the same apprehension, International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said, “The program is of grave concern to those who use the roadways as their workplace.  It could potentially jeopardizing the safety of all road users.”

To read more about the proposal, click here.

As a part of fleet industry, Matrack Inc. believes that the program will definitely create a better drivers, thereby ensuring safety on the road. We support the new pilot program as it lines up with our vision – to make commercial interstate driving safer, a vision we inculcate while designing our GPS tracking, ELD and other Fleet management products and services. The safety of your vehicle, assets and your drivers is given the utmost priority through the best and latest of technology. We create GPD and ELD solutions that are practical, smart and seamless. We also offer 24/7 tech support to all our clients.

For more updates on FMCSA’s new pilot program for under-21 CDL drivers, follow this page.


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