Thursday, March 31, 2011

LTL Haulage And Logistics Group Save Money On Maintenance

Shares Hit the High Spots as Group Improves Efficiency
Shipping News Feature

US - Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL), the North Carolina based less than truckload (LTL) haulage group seems to be on a particular high at the moment. Shares in the group have seen a steady rise peaking this week at $34.77, a one year high. The group, which also offers drayage and international container freight forwarding options, seem to have a grounded approach to advancing the business, even during a period of austerity.

ODFL are currently continuing with a programme of installing a telemetric system which increases efficiency and has the capability of reducing downtime and repair costs on the company’s 5,700 tractor units. By using a management system supplied by PeopleNet any fault in the unit is detected and advised to the management company. PeopleNet immediately appraise FleetNet America who interpret the data and contact the driver, advising him on a course of action.

The use of fleet management systems such as this is undoubtedly cost effective when large commercial vehicle fleets are involved. Tom Newby, the Director of ODFL’s field maintenance team confirmed that he had witnessed the potential savings before the system was even properly up and running, saying:

“While we were testing the system, just a few days before we went live, we saved the $20,000-plus cost of a catastrophic engine failure. FleetNet received a fault code from PeopleNet indicating low oil pressure. A FleetNet maintenance representative called the driver and instructed him to pull over and park. As a result, we incurred minor repair costs, compared to the engine failure that would have occurred if attention to the problem had been deferred until the driver returned to the terminal for diagnosis.

“The fault code gives FleetNet a better idea of what’s needed. The last thing we want to do is have a technician dispatched to the truck, only to learn that it can’t be fixed at roadside and will need a tow. It’s all about better visibility and analysis that will keep our maintenance costs and vehicle/driver downtime in check.”