Choosing The Best ELD For Your Business

There are two primary distinctions when it comes to selecting your Electronic Logging Device (ELD) solution: traditional On Board Computers; and Mobile On Board Computers.

Traditional On Board Computers (OBCs)

These are the solutions which have traditionally been installed on a truck or bus’s dashboard. There will be a basic display providing the driver with hours of service (HOS) information such as their hours driven, hours recorded, and hours remaining. This data is then transmitted to the control center, or dispatch, so that the HOS data can be assessed, monitored, and acted upon.

A basic OBC will stop there. However, OBCs are often used as a Fleet Management Solution which may incorporate aspects such as driver behavior and fleet management reporting, allowing for valuable ROI. Traditional OBCs transfer the data wirelessly using GPS and satellite technology, and thus provide near real-time information. They are the most common system we see in the US.

Mobile On Board Computers

Mobile OBCs work in much the same way as traditional OBCs with one crucial difference: they utilize smart technology and mobile data communications. This significantly reduces the cost of using OBCs and puts them in to the reach of much smaller fleets.

These systems are typically easier to install as they don’t require hard-wiring, again minimizing the set-up costs. Furthermore, they can have extended functionality, as they aren’t restricted to one dashboard. They can be used across multiple vehicles, and for important additional functionality such as Proof of Delivery signing and recording, and communications outside of the cab confines.

Good investment

The more economical ELD options will still bring additional benefits for those with less complicated needs, such as tracking hours and routes.

However, the ELDs which represent the best ROI will have certain key features which go beyond basic GPS tracking.

Other benefits of ELD solutions include driver behavior monitoring (such as recording vehicle idling to reduce fuel usage) and other fuel reducing functions; routing and dispatching functionality; simplification of International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) reporting; and driver communications.

The key features you want to look for are:

On Board Navigation

Fuel is one of a fleet-based business’s main overheads. With long-haul trucks traveling vast distances, it is essential to optimize routes in order to minimize fuel expenditure. This is not just about identifying the shortest routes, but also planning routes which avoid fuel-thirsty driving such as traffic which involves excessive idling and stop-start behavior.

Driver Behavior Management

The best ELDs allow you to monitor driver performance, optimizing fuel consumption, increasing safety, and reducing your carbon footprint. Just look at the data: aggressive driving reduces fuel efficiency by 10-40%; idling for more than one-minute wastes fuel in cost terms and for every 5 mph over 50 mph you pay an additional $0.17 per gallon on gas. By monitoring driver behavior and feeding that information back to the driver, and using it to target training, you can save money. Excellent ELDs can assess driver behavior in terms of speeding, harsh braking, idling, and more.

International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Reporting

Automating the IFTA reporting process will reduce human error as well as saving time and resources. Fleet-based businesses frequently find their obligations under the IFTA to be an administrative nightmare. ELDs can vastly reduce this burden, as well as minimize the threat of IFTA auditing and subsequent fines.

The above are what we consider to be the basics of a good ELD, even though they go beyond the legal necessities.

All will reduce inefficiencies and increase productivity, as well as ensure compliance.

Getting the Best ELD for Your Business

Knowing what to look for, and what is required of you, will be important as you take steps to become compliant with ELD regulations.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We are here to help you choose the
best system for your business in terms of productivity, efficiency, and compliance with the law.

About Handsfree Group

Here at the Handsfree Group we have helped transport, logistics, and fleet service clients improve the way their employees drive, communicate, and promote safety, while significantly reducing their vehicle running costs.

Our expert team does this by supplying and installing the latest market-leading vehicle technology innovations, through our nationwide USA operations.

Given this experience we know, precisely, how to tailor vehicle communication, safety, and security solutions on a case-by-case basis.

FleetGuardian® – Prevent Distracted Driving

The Statistics

9 people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of road traffic accidents involving a distracted driver, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  

Driving is a daily activity for many and before the arrival of mobile phones, people would concentrate solely on the job at hand – driving.  Now, there are 3,287 deaths each day due to fatal car crashes and on average, 9 of these daily fatalities are related to distracted driving. The sad thing is that these deaths are all preventable.

 

Safeguard Your Fleet

Distracted driving is a complex issue within today’s society, affecting drivers across all age groups and all vehicle types. Approximately 660,000 drivers use their cell phones while driving during daylight hours, creating a large potential for crashes and fatalities. For companies who run fleets of vehicles this is a major concern.

Handsfree Group have the solution. They have just become the authorized reseller for FleetGuardian® in North America.

FleetGuardian® prevents manual and visual mobile phone distractions while driving with its secure safety box, where drivers place their cell phone out of sight and reach resulting in, no texting, no holding, no reaching, no dialling – actions which all create avoidable risk. All are banned for commercial motor vehicle drivers under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

 

Enhanced Safety for the Connected Driver

FleetGuardian® is built for the driver who needs to stay connected, and companies that are serious about safety.  

With FleetGuardian® you’ll be able to gain insight into driver mobile usage compliance. Set the goal, monitor progress, and identify both at risk and high performing drivers. FleetGuardian® delivers the power to set safety goals and identify risk through real-time driver behavior data whilst providing accurate transportation intelligence to mitigate driver risk for your company resulting in fewer costly accidents.

 

Stay Connected In Compliance

FleetGuardian® offer a bundled solution which includes a powerful Bluetooth® speakerphone, enabling drivers to answer and reject calls with simple voice commands. Keep driver workflow in compliance with all federal and state regulations with the one-button dialing feature, while the driver’s mobile phone stays out of sight and reach. Productivity doesn’t need to come at the expense of safety. Let FleetGuardian® and Handsfree Group standardize mobile communications for your entire fleet.

 

Stay connected. Stay in compliance. Stay safe while driving.

For more information on FleetGuardian® and to arrange a demo, contact Handsfree Group today.

Electric Vehicles, We Have Always Been Ready

EV’s

The electric vehicle market is experiencing record sales. The list of EV manufacturers is growing and the future of the automobile is looking to be one powered purely by electric.

As we are encouraged to start the transition to all electric vehicles, what does this mean for the future of vehicle technology?  The message from Handsfree Group is “we have always been ready”.

 

The Technology

Like with any new vehicle, no matter what is powering and turning the wheels, the technology that helps us to drive, communicate, stay safe and protect our vehicle is a high priority for most when looking to make that all important purchase.

Handsfree Group have a wealth of experience in fitting a wide range of vehicle technology solutions to EV’s that further improve the driving experience.

 

Size Does Matter

When a vehicle is purely electric, its fundamental to ensure all parts are lightweight and low current draw to ensure you get the best battery performance. Handsfree Group have a proven vehicle technology portfolio that takes all these aspects into consideration.

 

Safety

Handsfree Group have a specific range of products for Electric Vehicles, a lot of which are open cab.

For example:

  • Waterproof interior & exterior cameras.
  • Sunlight readable monitors to give better open cab visibility.
  • White noise directional motor alarms

 

Battery Management from Datalive Telematics

Handsfree Group’s Datalive division offers an EV Battery Management suite with the following features:

EV Battery Levels

  • Remotely monitor real time battery charge levels.

EV Charge Times

  • Insight to vehicles that are ready to go, or charge time remaining.

EV Battery Condition

  • View battery conditions and closely monitor units nearing end of life.

EV Battery Performance

  • Visibility of overall battery performance with end of life alerts

 

Security

Vehicle theft and the loss of valuable cargo can be disruptive for any business. It’s common knowledge that EV’s are expensive, therefore being at a high risk of theft. Handsfree Group can install a range of products that effectively deters criminals, whatever their intentions.

Datalive Tracking solutions for EV’s:

SVR (Stolen Vehicle Recovery)

  • Datalive telematics tracks a vehicle’s whereabouts so it can be recovered quickly.

Protect EV Battery theft

  • Datalive telematics can be integrated into the vehicle battery. Sudden power loss is instantly detected and alerted.

Ghost Immobiliser

  • Anti-Hijack protection so the vehicle can only be driven for a certain short distance without the driver’s key.

 

If you already own, or are thinking of purchasing a fleet of, Electric Vehicles and you would like more information on the products and services Handsfree Group can offer to improve communication, safety and security for you and your fleet, please contact us to arrange a meeting and full demonstration.

Connected products for the new Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Connected Vehicle Products

In one of our previous blogs from the UK, (New Mercedes Sprinter Van is coming…and Handsfree Group are ready for it!) we outlined the products that will even further enhance the driving experience of the new Mercedes Sprinter.  We also have a full range of connected products available from Handsfree Group for the new vans.

Datalive your new Sprinter vans

Datalive helps fleet managers improve the efficiency, protection and safety of their drivers and vehicles, while significantly improving their fleets green credentials.

We give customers the intelligence needed to optimise their fleet performance, by customising our modular vehicle data solutions to meet their exact requirements. Our experience ranges from designing fully integrated telematics solutions to basic single feature systems.

 

Datalive Telematics

Our versatile Datalive telematics solutions are modular. Our specialist team build custom systems for our customers, that meet a companies exact requirements – so we are fully prepared for the new Mercedes Sprinter fleets.

Datalive Telematics Solutions:

Live Tracking
  • improving customer response and delivery times with better MPG, improved green credentials, increased productivity and more responsible drivers, whilst eliminating unauthorised vehicle usage and reducing insurance premiums.
Geofence
  • Our team of specialists help fleet managers enhance security, improve utilisation, increase efficiency and support compliance, by setting up geofences.
Driver ID
  • Get visibility of exactly who is driving any given vehicle and their precise location. Optimise your resources, while maintaining your duty of care by using Datalive Driver ID.
Reporting
  • Reduce fuel consumption and operating costs by configuring multi-dimensional custom reports on several vehicle and driver performance aspects, through the Datalive Performance & integration reporting suite.
Remote Safety
  • Protect the welfare of vulnerable or lone workers while ensuring goods are being transported safely and correctly. Datalive monitors all driver activity and critical vehicle data. Fleet managers can easily analyse real-time or historical vehicle information.
Communication
  • Deliver timely information to drivers in an efficient, responsible and legally compliant way. Working together, Datalive telematics and in-vehicle onboard diagnostics can report highly accurate information about the performance of your drivers, vehicles and their engines.
Efficiency Reporting
  • Maximise the efficiency of any driver and vehicle over a specified timeframe, by using the Datalive Telematics customisable reporting suite.
Driver behaviour
  • Manage risk, and fulfil your ‘duty of care’ obligations for drivers. The Datalive driver behaviour module scores driving style and identifies those people driving efficiently.
  • Monitor aggressive or defensive driver styles of individuals or group with applied risk scoring.
  • Datalive driver behaviour provides you with the information you need to target training precisely where it is required, as well as reward and encourage safe driving.

Datalive – Fleet Management Tools

Fleet Management Tools from Datalive helps operators diagnose and report any issues that may impact transport efficiency, by checking vehicle compliance and recording critical fleet management information

Comprising of an extensive app and configurable I.T solution, Fleet Management Tools effectively helps fleet managers perform the audits and checks necessary to ensure a safe and optimised operation.

Datalive’s fleet management system includes defect reporting, vehicle check, fleet check and depot audits.

Fleet Management Tools Solutions:

Defect report tool
  • App on Android and IOS to help fleet operators keep on top of vehicle technology and equipment. Defects on vehicles are often overlooked because it can be timely to report a problem or defect. This app makes it simple.
Vehicle check tool app
  • Designed to eliminate paperwork. Now fleet managers can be sure that all vehicles are checked on a daily basis. Safety and damage checks set daily and alerted if not completed. The app will not allow a user to move to another vehicle until a full 360 degree check has been completed.
Vehicle check audit tool
  • Designed for fleet managers, engineers and auditors. The App is similar to the Vehicle Check Tool, however it means any vehicle can be checked across the whole fleet and is specifically used to report on anomalies.
Depot audit tool
  • Vehicle maintenance is integral to an efficient transport operation, it’s important to check regularly that all the tools are in the right place.
  • Within the Vehicle Audit Checking, there is an additional tool for auditing the depot. This tool is an interactive electronic list of check items to inspect within the depot.

 

Get in touch to demo Datalive today!

 

SmartWitness – Video Telematics

It goes without saying that vehicles come a close second to property in being the most expensive purchases an individual or business will make, so we should invest in protecting them.  Protection of our vehicles, and ourselves, is becoming increasingly necessary although largely ignored, until recently.

 

The SmartWitness Solution

SmartWitness were the pioneers in creating the first commercial grade dash camera and are now recognized by Industry authorities as being the “partner of strength” in the field of in-vehicle CCTV and digital recording. SmartWitness have been providing in-vehicle cameras to fleet operators and private individuals since 2007. Today, SmartWitness are responsible for the protection of over 250,000 vehicles around the world covering in excess of 35 million miles every day.

 

Competitive Benefits

With products available for all types of vehicles, ranging from trucks, school buses and cars, the installation of a SmartWitness system offers Fleet Managers:

  • Proven Reduction of Accident Frequency
  • Proven Reduction to Loss Ratios
  • Improved Driving Behavior, Increased Fuel Economy
  • Defend Against Driving Offense Allegations
  • Mitigation of Whiplash/Personal Injury Claims
  • Added Security & Theft Deterrent
  • Increased Speed of Claim Resolution
  • Possible Reduction in Insurance Premiums

Award Winning

SmartWitness is a world leading designer, manufacturer, and supplier of in-vehicle cameras, recorders, and software, and here are a few reasons why:

  • HD Evidence Captured – High-Definition cameras capture crystal clear images of the interior & exterior the vehicle.
  • GPS Location Recorded – Built-in GPS provides vehicle location, driving route, vehicle speed, & heading information.
  • Network Connected – Cellular connectivity provides real-time images, live location, and on-demand HD video upload.
  • Event & Driver Analysis – Detailed telemetry data enables accurate scoring for driver coaching purposes and reducing claims.

 

Business, Fleet and Driver Protection

SmartWitness keeps an eye and ear on valuable assets – the driver, the vehicle and the cargo.  It does this whilst also recording crucial evidence from any road events. SmartWitness benefits all parties involved in road accidents – Drivers, Insurers and Employers.

SmartWitness doesn’t just rely on design and software to produce accurate results, technology is sourced from industry leaders such as Bosch and Sony.

SmartWitness systems are designed to be automated and tamper-resistant. Recorded data is protected by the vehicle integration technology & securely locked hardware and therefore maintains integrity and is at low risk of theft or manipulation.

 

Testimonial

“The SmartWitness camera has been nothing short of outstanding for our business. We finally have a reliable and affordable camera system, in our fleet of almost 100 vehicles, that we use regularly for quality control purposes. I am also very impressed with the variety of options available in these systems. From their sales team, to the finished product and customer support, every aspect of this company has been outstanding and a pleasure to work with.”

 Joseph Manganelli,
Advantage Transit Group

 

If you would like further information on this product or would like to arrange a demonstration, please contact us.

Handsfree Group offer safety solution for transporters of Moffetts

Maneuvering with Moffetts Onboard

If you’re a driver of a truck transporting a Moffett (truck-mounted forklift), you will already know the daily struggles – the main one being you need to reverse park your truck and then off-load your Moffett, safely… It’s challenging to see behind you from the driver’s cab, so how do you know if there is enough space?

The Moffett invention in the mid 1980’s was revolutionary and where would the distribution industry be without it?  30+ years later, vehicle technology has advanced massively and Handsfree Group are pleased to say there is a range of technology solutions available, that help in maneuvering and reversing with Moffetts onboard.

  

The Challenges

Safety is paramount in the world of distribution, transporting a Moffett safely requires great skill and concentration and can sometimes be extremely challenging.

Rear and side visibility are essential when maneuvering a truck and even more so when the truck is transporting a Moffett. Drivers face handling blind spots when doing so, hampering the operation of parking the truck whilst also leaving enough space to offload the Moffett safely.  

Without any technology to assist with this operation, the driver can waste valuable time by having to exit the truck cab to check the surroundings and then having to get back in the cab to finish their maneuver – and sometimes this can be necessary more than once.

 

The Solution

Handsfree Group’s award winning engineer team, which offers nationwide MECP compliant installation coverage across North America, are able to supply and fit a dedicated backup camera system to the Moffett itself, to reduce the challenge of blind spots to the rear of the truck. A system extension option of side cameras can be integrated into the same cab mounted monitor, for further improved visibility.  

The system includes a weatherproof quick disconnect allowing the driver to quickly and efficiently connect and disconnect the camera mounted on the Moffett to the monitor in the cab of the truck.  

By having this system installed, risk of accident and/or injury is mitigated immensely for the driver, the vehicle and any pedestrians within close proximity to the truck.

 

Contact Handsfree Group today and start the journey to improved Moffett transportation safety.

 

We’ll leave you with a little bit of Moffett History…

Moffett Engineering Limited started business in the 1940’s by developing products for the local agricultural market and in the mid 1980’s they created a revolution in the transport industry with the invention of the truck-mounted forklift, a three wheel drive machine that can be carried on almost any truck or trailer without the loss of load space, achieving significantly faster and more cost effective deliveries than ever.

The company became part of Cargotec in 2000 and today the truck-mounted forklifts are branded as Hiab Moffett and are the global market leader.

blank-it …Safety in Motion

Providing mobile workforces with access to technologies such as GPS and wireless broadband delivers ‘real-time’ efficiency and can give an edge over competitors.  Therefore, the installation of computers in vehicles is becoming increasingly common, however, this also brings responsibilities and challenges that must be addressed to satisfy legal requirements and to protect a business and its employees.

The Blank-it Solution

Blank-it provides an easy, safe and legally compliant way of managing in-vehicle computer displays and helps to reduce ‘driver distraction’ by acting as a “sentry”, preventing screen access when appropriate.

Designed to meet today’s strict regulations for computer installations in vehicles, Blank-it is the best solution for in-vehicle display management for a fleet of any size.

Blank-it helps to ensure vehicles comply with the ever-increasing levels of ‘driver distraction’ legislation and assists in improving employee health and safety.

Motion Sensor Technology

Once Blank-it is installed and activated, it will lock the screen display, preventing or restricting use of the computer whilst the vehicle is in motion. For ‘warehouse’ type situations (e.g. Forklift trucks) Blank-it’s cable solution is ideal. For use on the road, the unique Motion Sensor technology is perfect as it offers a more accurate, reliable and independent method of monitoring vehicle movement.

Competitive differentiators

  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Award winning Road Safety solution (Winners of the “2014 Australian Road Safety Innovation Award”)
  • Nominated apps
  • Passenger viewing option
  • Voice command option
  • Keyboard and mouse disabler
  • Privacy screen (Police requirement)
  • Temporary override (Police requirement)
  • Roll-over detection and notification
  • GPS failsafe and override (tamper-proof)
  • Not solely reliant on GPS signals
  • Does not affect the vehicle warranty

Revolutionary

Blank-it leads the world in ‘Display Management’ and here are a few reasons why:

Unique Technology:

  • Blank-it uses unique (patent pending) Motion Sensor technology to provide reliability, flexibility and portability in monitoring vehicle movement.

Access to ‘nominated’ programs:

  • Blank-it allows a configurable list of programs to be accessible (such as navigation aids, reversing camera displays or dispatch / scheduling systems).

Flexibility:

  • Blank-it is easily installed without requiring vehicle modifications and happily accommodates laptop mounting systems and ‘swing-away’ brackets.

Business, Fleet and Driver Protection

Blank-it enables the driver to create a list of ‘allowable’ programs whilst immobilising all other computer options when the vehicle is in motion.

By limiting the functionality of computers whilst the vehicle is moving, Blank-it helps reduce visual distractions, improving driver safety and potentially reducing costs associated with accidents.

The Blank-it distracted driver solution can help prepare a fleet for existing and future regulations relating to use of display equipment within commercial vehicles, and at the same time help to improve driver safety.

Blank-it is an easy to install, vehicle independent, self-contained and flexible solution to the problems associated with in-vehicle computer use and will help address distracted driver legislation.
If you would like further information on this product or would like to arrange a demonstration, please contact us.

ContiPressureCheck™ Tire Monitoring System

Handsfree Group To Install ContiPressureCheck™ Tire Monitoring System With Continental

Ensuring Driver Safety

Continental is committed to delivering the Lowest Overall Driving Cost for fleets while prioritizing the safety of their drivers. Continental’s performance-leading commercial vehicle tires and tire monitoring solutions help fleets become safer, more efficient and more connected.

Handsfree Group also shares the same values as Continental, viewing driver safety with the utmost importance. Handsfree Group always listens and acts accordingly to their customers’ needs. Their highly experienced staff and MECP-approved installers work hard to supply and install the best vehicle technology, ensuring optimum fleet safety.

With these two safety-aware companies having such similarities, it is no surprise they have come together to help with their shared goal of securing vehicle safety for all.

New Partnerships & MECP Approval

Both Continental and Handsfree Group are incredibly excited about their new collaboration and what this could mean for the transport industry.

Handsfree Group is the first certified installer appointed by Continental to fit their new ContiPressureCheck™ Tire Pressure Monitoring System into commercial vehicles and fleets.

All Handsfree Group installers have attained MECP certification, to give their customers the confidence that all work is completed by professionals who uphold the top industry standards.

The MECP program certifies technicians on the installation techniques, recommended practices and important functionality of automotive information technology, entertainment, navigation, safety and security systems.

This ensures all Handsfree Group installers are able to provide the optimum quality standards required in the professional installations ofContiPressureCheck™.

40% Of Incidents Due To Underinflated Tires

An under-inflated tire can cause serious issues. It can highly impact vehicle running costs through increased fuel consumption, costs of breakdowns and reduction in tread life. It also increases driver safety issues, such as poor vehicle handling, increased stopping distances and enhances many other risks for accidents.

Poor driving safety is directly linked to the condition of the tires. In fact, approximately 40% of all sudden tire breakdowns are due to underinflated tires. If your commercial vehicle tires are underinflated by 10 psi, it will reduce fuel economy by 1% and release a correspondingly higher amount of carbon dioxide emissions. This can be alleviated by installing and using ContiPressureCheck™.

Continental’s innovative system can lower carbon dioxide emissions, reduce fuel consumption and help eliminate this frequent cause of accidents by swiftly alerting the driver on any tire underinflation or high temperature issues that occur.

ContiPressureCheck Tire Monitoring System

ContiPressureCheck™ tire monitoring visualizes underinflation and can be customised to your precise needs. The system offers In Cab Features, Additional Receivers, Telematic Options, Back Office Support and Hand Held Tools for an easy to use experience.

An intelligent tire means an intelligent fleet. The system provides vehicles with a Continental driver’s display, which provides a bird’s eye view and also integrates with various third party Telematics System.

The system has been successfully installed into numerous vehicles, including trucks, vans, city buses, specialty vehicles and off road/construction trucks.

Improve Fleet Safety

You can enjoy the best tire and vehicle safety today. Handsfree Group is successfully installing Continental’s ContiPressureCheck™ Tire Pressure Monitoring System nationwide across North America. They offer excellent personalized services whether you are looking for single or fleet installations.

Contact Handsfree Group today and make a step towards ultimate driver and tire safety.

Handsfree Group Open New U.S Office

Missouri Expansion

EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS

Due to continued growth and commitment to serve customers within the transport, logistics and fleet service sectors, Handsfree Group are proud to announce they have moved their U.S operation and team into new offices in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Over the last few years Handsfree Group has successfully delivered an excellent experience to clients by providing products and installations into cutting edge SME’s and multi-million pound global organisations that are looking for the best in vehicle technology and installation.

Handsfree Group will continue to evolve and search for future projects, while maintaining their assured service, the new move will only benefit their progression further.

U.S OFFICE POTENTIAL

Opening the new Missouri office will allow Handsfree Group to provide exceptional coverage to clients nationwide, and will strengthen current and future projects across North America.

The new move enables Handsfree Group to fully enhance their U.S presence which will build upon strategic plans for continued growth. The extra space, systems and equipment will enable the team to exceed potential, and maintain their strong reputation in the Automotive sector.

QUOTE

“We were fortunate to find such a nice and well-served space. Our new state of the art office provides the perfect environment to continue helping clients improve the way their employees drive, communicate and promote safety. We really wanted to limit the impact that relocation could have on our clients and our employees. Our new location and enhanced operational efficiencies will help us continue to grow and develop to keep pace with our clients’ needs, allowing us to provide exceptional value and superior service along the way,” said Paul Sarris, Sales and Marketing Director of Handsfree Group.

OUR NEW CHESTERFIELD OFFICE DETAILS ARE:

Handsfree Group

18173 Edison Avenue

Suite A

Chesterfield

MO 63005