Simplifying an Extremely Complicated Fleet Management Operation with GPS Fleet Tracking
”If we didn’t have ClearPathGPS tracking our assets, we would definitely lose trailers.Blake MerrellFlorida Division Manager
If you think your company has difficulty with fleet management, you should see what the team at Merrell Bros. has to juggle every day.
The company specializes in processing, recycling, transporting, and disposing of biosolids for cities, agricultural businesses, and industrial facilities across the country. But that’s not even the half of what makes the Merrell Bros. fleet management operation so tricky. They’ve also got a few unique challenges:
- Many of the company’s trucks and trailers have to travel to specific areas within citrus groves and large farms—which often have no road signs or street addresses and don’t show any detail on Google Maps.
- Merrell Bros. serves many of Florida’s city governments and other customers all over the state—and asset tracking across such a vast territory is extremely difficult.
- The company’s fleet includes not only trucks but also more than 150 trailers, roll-off boxes, and other transportation units—and these assets also need to be tracked.
“If we didn’t have ClearPathGPS tracking our assets, we would definitely lose trailers,” says Blake Merrell, who heads Merrell Bros.’ Florida fleet management operations, the company’s largest division. But making it easy for Blake’s team to keep tabs on the company’s assets is just one of many benefits Merrell Bros. is enjoying thanks to ClearPathGPS. Here are some other reasons Blake is thrilled they decided to roll out our service.
The many benefits of GPS tracking
1. “It saves us so much time and back-and-forth communication.”
“In South Florida, the groves are huge,” Blake explains, “and getting our drivers to the right spot used to mean one of our employees had to talk a driver step by step through a grove, saying things like, ‘Drive passed three ditches, then turn right, and you’ll see a tree stump. Go left…’”
“But now we’ve set up stationary, solar-powered GPS trackers at these sites, so our drivers can just pull up the app and head straight there—without needing any guidance from us. That has saved us so many hours of our team’s time.”
2. “It’s helping us to better maintain our vehicles and even our trailers.”
“Another advantage of these trackers is that they help us keep track of which vehicles are due for maintenance,” Blake says. “I’ll get a message from ClearPathGPS saying that a truck is due for an oil change next week. Then, thanks to the Fleetio integration with ClearPathGPS, we’ll set an appointment for the service, and the fleet management system will automatically send that truck’s driver a text saying he’s scheduled for an oil change on this day next week, and here’s the address.”
“This even works for our trailers and other storage and transportation units. Those assets need maintenance, too, and so ClearPathGPS helps us track miles, so we know when it’s time to check a trailer for things like the health of their tires, airlines, lights, that sort of thing. That’s helping us get a better return on these assets.”
3. “It even helps us quickly repair our own vehicles.”
Finally, Blake also uses the ClearPathGPS system to direct Merrell Bros.’ mechanics to vehicles suffering some sort of trouble, so they can get those drivers back on the road quickly.
“We have our own mobile mechanics,” Blake explains. “But in the past, if a driver called us to say he was having trouble with his truck, I’d have figure out which mechanic was closest—and that was tricky all by itself because we’re so spread out—and then guide him to the truck.
“But thanks to ClearPathGPS and the Fleetio integration, now when that driver calls me I can see through the fleet management app where he is and which truck he’s talking about. So I just open an issue in Fleetio, which alerts the appropriate mobile mechanic, and I step aside and let the mechanic and driver find each other and get the truck working again. I can’t tell you how much more quickly and cost-effectively this is letting us solve our vehicle issues!”