Dedicated owner-operator fleet offers voluntary MobileMax usage program and minimal monthly fees.
GeoLogic Solutions, the transportation industry’s leading provider of multi-mode mobile communications and tracking systems, announced that Arkansas-based Fikes Truck Line is extending its contract and purchasing additional MobileMax’ Multi-Mode communications and tracking systems for use by the carrier’s dedicated owner-operators. The recent addition of units is in direct response to the growing number of independent drivers requesting the advanced technology.
“Our use of the MobileMax system is somewhat unique in that we are an all owner-operator fleet, and the program is completely voluntary,” said Jerry Davis, vice president of safety and insurance at Fikes, and one of the first contractors to lease on with the company in 1981. “In the last year, a growing number of our contractors have been adopting the system because it enhances their productivity and efficiency. By the end of this year, we’ll have installed about 280 of the GeoLogic systems for our owner-operators, and we expect that number to continue to grow.”
Fikes contracts directly with GeoLogic Solutions for MobileMax hardware and monthly service charges and then supplies the systems to its dedicated owner-operators for a nominal weekly fee. “Once the driver realizes it will cost less than an average monthly cell phone bill, provide them with guaranteed coast-to-coast coverage, offer the ability to email family and friends and greatly improve their overall productivity, they readily sign on for the service,” explained Davis, whose trucking background gives him a unique ability to relate to the role owner-operators play in the operation and to help them understand how they and the company can benefit from on-board communications and tracking systems.
Using the MobileMax system, Fikes designed an after-hours dispatching system that gives drivers access to information about nearby available loads even when dispatchers are off duty. “Simply picking up one of these after-hour loads can easily pay the driver’s entire year’s worth of MobileMax usage fees,” stated Davis.
“Another advantage we discuss with our contractors,” Davis added, “is the fuel savings they can realize by running fewer empty miles and picking up more revenue-producing miles. In addition, since we have integrated MobileMax directly with our dispatch, routing and mapping system, we can give the drivers detailed directions with the shortest, most cost-effective routes.”
In addition to providing a service to its drivers, Fikes believes the MobileMax system has also greatly improved the company’s operations, customer service and its overall bottom line. By eliminating check calls, for example, not only is the company’s phone bill reduced, the entire process from order entry to delivery is faster as well. “By integrating directly with our fuel tax service provider and giving them exact location data, they automatically generate mileage and state-line crossing reports and calculate fuel tax payments,” said Jim Honea, director of operations. “We can also use the data it supplies to calculate loading and unloading times and use that information to negotiate better rates with shippers.
“One of the biggest benefits of MobileMax,” continued Honea, “is the ability to locate our trucks and communicate with drivers immediately. Our freight coordinators use the system to monitor each truck’s location hourly to ensure we’re on schedule and can reach the driver instantly should there be a problem. And with the multi-mode communications we know there is never a break in coverage.”