1. Home
  2. Resources
  3. Blog Posts

How Branch Out Tree Care Runs a Successful Business with ClearPathGPS and its Fleetio Integration

We depend on our vehicles to make this business go. With ClearPathGPS—and particularly the data it feeds into our Fleetio account—we know we’re always on top of vehicle maintenance, avoiding costly downtime, and keeping our customers happy.

Chris Newton Owner, Branch Out Tree Care

Customer Quick Insights

Chris Newton, the owner of Branch Out Tree Care, shares several examples of how connecting ClearPathGPS and Fleetio helps make his fast-growing service business run more smoothly and cost-effectively than ever.

Branch Out Tree Care: Growing Organically Since 2007

When Chris and Deviena Newton launched Branch Out Tree Care in Santa Barbara, California, the husband-and-wife team started with only one truck, a few pieces of basic equipment, and a passion for trees.

But that passion, and the couple’s incredible work ethic, set the company apart from its competitors. Today, Branch Out Tree Care is a thriving business with a growing crew of tree-service experts serving many commercial and residential clients across Santa Barbara County. The company’s single-truck fleet has also grown to accommodate a wide range of businesses – and now includes multiple pickups, dump trucks, a bucket truck with an aerial lift, trailers, and high-end field equipment such as brush chippers and more – all of which is being tracked by ClearPathGPS.

Industry: Tree Trimming and Removal   
Serving: Santa Barbara County
Needs: Keeping track of crew, assets, and maintenance
Solution: Real-time GPS fleet tracking with Fleetio integration
Q: Before we discuss your ClearPathGPS-Fleetio integration, can you tell us what using ClearPathGPS as a standalone app has done for your business?

We had ClearPathGPS for years before we integrated it into our Fleetio account, and it has helped us improve our operations in a lot of ways.

As our business grew, we expanded our service territory, and that meant adding vehicles and field equipment. Being able to keep track of all those assets all the time—literally being able to pop open the ClearPathGPS mobile app and know immediately where everyone was—has helped us run our business more efficiently.

It helps us send the right crews to the right jobs, keep clients informed about when to expect a crew to arrive, and make sure our payroll accurately reflects time worked. Our ClearPathGPS data has even helped in situations when clients had a billing question or dispute about our crew’s time on site.

Q: Speaking of disputes, you mentioned using GPS data as evidence in a disputed incident. Tell us about that.

Our office received a call from a neighbor of one of our clients. He claimed our crew had knocked down a phone or cable line on his block. The aerial lifts attached to some of our vehicles make them very tall. It’s understandable that if this person had ever seen our crews near his house, he might have assumed we were responsible. And if we couldn’t prove otherwise, that could’ve created some major trouble for our business.

Thankfully, though, we could prove otherwise. We pulled the ClearPathGPS reports on all our vehicles, and we were able to show that none of our trucks were near that client’s neighborhood during the time in question. That’s another reason it’s great to have ClearPathGPS. We’ve built this entire business on a reputation for professionalism and trust. Having this data at our fingertips gives us a lot of peace of mind. We know we’re protecting our company’s reputation every day.

Oh, and I should also mention, even if that story had gone the other way, having these ClearPathGPS reports still would’ve been very helpful. By figuring out who was responsible, we could then investigate on our own. We could find out what happened—and why the crew hadn’t reported the incident to us. I also think that because they know we’re tracking their vehicles’ whereabouts throughout the day, our crews would know there’d be no point in not coming to us in the first place.

Q: Okay, let’s talk about your ClearPathGPS- Fleetio integration. How are you using the apps together?

We use Fleetio for fleet maintenance, ClearPathGPS for vehicle and asset tracking. But when we combined the capabilities of these two apps, it created something so much more valuable for our operations. I’ll give you three examples.

The first is proactive vehicle maintenance. We have records of all our vehicles in our Fleetio account. One of the many things ClearPathGPS tracks is vehicle mileage. ClearPathGPS feeds that mileage data into Fleetio on a regular basis. When a vehicle is approaching time for an oil change, tire rotation, or some other standard maintenance milestone, Fleetio automatically sends us an alert to schedule an appointment. That’s helping us keep our trucks on the road, avoid downtime, and get more ROI and longer life from our fleet.

Another valuable use of the integration is alerting us about vehicle fault codes. ClearPathGPS monitors our vehicles’ engines and other systems for those DTC or fault codes that signal something could be wrong with the vehicle. With the integration, ClearPathGPS immediately sends those notices into our Fleetio account, and Fleetio passes them onto us. This helps us deal more quickly with a vehicle issue, rather than having to wait for the driver to notice the light on the dashboard—or worse, for the truck to have a breakdown that takes it out of commission for a longer and more expensive repair.

The third example is tracking and syncing our company’s fuel card usage. We use Fleetio to monitor our crews’ use of fuel cards while they’re out in the field. That’s useful. But when we sync that information with the ClearPathGPS real-time location data, now we know if someone is using our fuel card at a gas station that doesn’t match the location of our vehicles. That’s a game-changer!

Q: Before we let you go… any other cool uses you’ve found for ClearPathGPS?

Yes! We’ve found that using the geozone tool in ClearPathGPS really helps us strengthen our relationships with our partners. 

For example, our vehicles gather up a lot of wood chips, which we offload at different sites. I’ve gone into the ClearPathGPS app and drawn geozones around these locations. Now, as soon as one of our drivers enters one of these sites, ClearPathGPS gets the alert that the vehicle has crossed into that geozone. Then the app automatically sends a text to the property owners, letting them know we’ve arrived. When my driver leaves, ClearPathGPS again texts the owners to say we’ve exited the site.

It’s great to have this capability, to give our partners real-time updates on what we’re doing. It helps us show them we’re respecting their property—and that only improves our relationship and reputation.

ClearPathGPS + Fleetio Having the Right Operational Tools is Key to Getting the Best Results

We appreciate Branch Out Tree Care for walking us through your ClearPathGPS-Fleetio integration, and the other ways our GPS fleet tracking service is improving their operations. The ability to leverage the two back-end tools to control maintenance costs, improve and better manage fleet visibility is helping Branch Out Tree Care run a more efficient and profitable business. 

At ClearPathGPS, we are focused on helping our customers improve their operations and bottomline. Our top-rated GPS fleet tracking solutions provide real-time data insights and tools needed to more effectively manage the vehicles, people, and assets businesses send into the field everyday. Can ClearPathGPS help your operations get better results? Let’s find out – request a demo or contact us today.

Chris Newton, the owner of Branch Out Tree Care, shares…