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Is Your Fleet Road Ready?

Learn about the role telematics play in ensuring fleets are road-ready.

Episode 147: Monitoring your fleet and getting actionable data in real-time is essential to improving productivity and safety while driving down operational costs. Without the right tools this is a difficult thing to achieve, so is your fleet road ready?  

My guest today is Nada Jiddou, the Executive Vice President at Road Ready Telematics a Clarience Technologies company. 

Guest Website: RRTelematics.com

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keep trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per- mile. Monitoring your fleet and getting actionable data in real time is essential to improving productivity and safety while driving down operational costs. Without the right tools this is a difficult thing to achieve. So the big question is, is your fleet road ready? My guest today is Nada Jiddou who is the Executive Vice President at Road Ready Telematics, a Clarience Technologies company, Nada, welcome to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. So glad to have you here.

Nada Jiddou:

Thanks Jamie. Nice to be here.

Jamie Irvine:

So I’m excited to talk to you about your solution in the past. How did fleets monitor their commercial trailers? And why was that problematic?

Nada Jiddou:

If you look at the history of telematics and monitoring, as any business, we have seen that evolve over the years. Starting with manual monitoring, because fleets needed to know that their trailers or their devices and assets were in production and operational, and that they were gaining the most out of them. So a lot of it was human-centric, they had log books and we would have people walking the yard, checking tires, checking cargo and making certain things are flowing through properly. And then that evolved to some of the monitoring systems that we see today over the years.

However, what I’ve seen happen is that in some cases the technology was maybe ahead of its time, a little bit. In where there wasn’t that common understanding or a comprehensive solution that will allow the fleets to easily adopt the technology. So what we’ve seen is maybe a slow adoption curve. However, we have seen that take momentum with the expansion of IOT and other capabilities from mobile and so on. And then also the demand for technology by the consumer. And then also a factor that feeds into that is the familiarity as more and more updates of the skill sets and the technology. And as our world around us become more technology savvy. We see a lot more demand now and adoption of technology to help fleets monitor their systems and assets.

Jamie Irvine:

And certainly before the pandemic, if there was any resistance at all to some of this technology, once the pandemic hit and everything had to go remote, it forced a lot of people to say, okay, well, I guess we need to start looking at our different options. I wanna read you a quote from your Bold Thinking, Bright Future video. “Today transportation requires a new kind of vision where tech providers, trailer manufacturers, and fleets all work together.” So what role does Road Ready Telematics play in that vision?

Nada Jiddou:

And thank you for reading, that was one of my favorite parts of our vision statement and we truly believe it. We do believe that the trailer itself plays an integral role of that comprehensive view of the fleet operation. It is our belief that the fleets are able to generate revenue through moving goods from point A to point B. And they have to do that in the most efficient manner and have the ability to provide that information and the status of that movement on an ongoing basis. That happens through a trailer, that is the asset that generates revenue, productivity for the fleet. So we do believe that that sits in the nucleus of that comprehensive view of the fleet management, then taking that and moving it and connecting it to the cab, connecting it to the TMS system, connecting that holistically to the ERP system ultimately, then you do have that end-to-end view of the entire supply chain that the fleet operators are using and their customers are using.

So ultimately what we look at it is that you start with the smart trailer or that comprehensive visibility of that trailer, including its state of health, including its load conditions and so on so forth, then that integrated with the other parts of the fleet to create that smart fleet, which then when you plug it in into the entire supply chain, it provides you that digital smart enabled supply chain that the consumer is demanding these days. Where the shipper and the receiver are looking for that information at their fingertip. And therefore we do believe that Road Ready can provide that nucleus plug into that overall view in order to enable that visibility.

Jamie Irvine:

I love the expression, ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’. And it seems to me like what you are really enabling fleets to do is to measure this in a more specific way to get real-time data. And this is driving the uptime and productivity of fleets. So fleets get a massive benefit out of getting this increased visibility and maintaining that visibility, wherever that unit goes.

Nada Jiddou:

Certainly. And it’s even more than that, right? It takes away the human element that is so prone to some maybe errors or lack of availability of resources as what we’re experiencing right now and enables that fleet operator, fleet owner, to be able to have that information at their fingertips without delay, without reliant on massive manpower to gather it and also to be a lot more comprehensive as well. In that we’re reading the smart devices that are on that trailer rather than relying on maybe visual inspection.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, speaking of that, where do you see things headed with autonomous vehicles where there’ll be even less human interaction?

Nada Jiddou:

That’s a really good question. And honestly, a central question in our strategy when we think of telematics and connectivity of smart trailers, to just think about it for a second. When you look at autonomous driving, like you said, you’re taking out that human interaction, you don’t have a physical, visual or touch interaction with the fleet asset, whether it’s the tractor or the trailer. Therefore you become a hundred percent reliant on the sensory devices and the smart devices and the data that you are gathering real-time and over time from those assets. We do believe that in order for autonomous to become a reality, all of the fleet assets, the mobile fleet assets, must become smart, be able to provide that real-time data in order to control the action of the device or the asset on the road. A perfect example of that is when we talk about load. The load status in a trailer or in a moving machine, I mean, we have to look at the autonomous and see what they look like, right? Are we gonna have a tractor and a trailer? Are we gonna have one big unit? Are we gonna have some of the newer ones that we’re seeing the cab is, you know, a lot smaller than the existing cab.

So in that configuration, every piece of that equipment has to talk to each other. So the, when you look at the load state, for instance, and the load distribution in that cabin, then you could refactor or reconfigure the other parameters within the moving machine in order to adjust for that loading state and actually prompt the computer or the electronics on that vehicle in order to direct it as to how to handle a turn for instance, and how to handle stop, how much distance should you have to stop, and how do you react in order to protect the load and to protect the surrounding occupants or other vehicles or other assets that are in the yard or on the road, many, many things that are coming up at us, uh, for autonomous and even for electrification, have a reliant, a direct correlation to the intelligence of the sensors and the devices that we have on these. I’m gonna call them machines going forward because it becomes not just a cab and a trailer. It becomes a moving object at that point in time.

Jamie Irvine:

We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high quality fuel injection for heavy duty applications? Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability. Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket.

We’re back from our break. And before the break, we were talking about the role that Road Ready Telematics is playing in assisting fleets to achieve their goals, increasing uptime and productivity. One of the things that is a big issue is predictive maintenance. And this impacts both the repair side of the business, as well as the part side, which of course the audiences of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report are very interested in. So how does your technology provide data that empowers more predictive maintenance and, and what impact does that have?

Nada Jiddou:

So one of the key things and why a smart trailer is important is the ability for us to detect anomalies and to detect issues either real-time or prior to happening or even after an incident, right? So there’s all those three different types of failures that you would want to know about. And you would wanna be able to manage as a maintenance operator and a parts operator. And if you look at what Road Ready provides, which is that network that tells you the state of all devices and all equipment that is on that trailer, then you gain the ability to detect anomalies, detect failures and to predict the next failure as well. How we do that is through a network device that takes data from all the smart devices are on that trailer, whether it’s the tire, the brakes, the TPMS system, the weight scales, lights, and any other smart capability that is on that trailer. And we then take that data and are able to normalize it across all those devices and provide it to that fleet manager and the operator in a single pane of glass that tells you the state of your asset at any given point in time, whether it’s moving or is idle.

The advantage of having that data collected and logged is then over time, as we’re collecting that data, we are able to show the predictive patterns that then allow the operator and the fleet maintenance manager to look at the data and see, and be able to predict the next failure point. So, as we work with our fleet customers, as we work with the maintenance departments, we’re able to configure our system to alert that maintenance manager or the crew that he assigns, or she assigns, to when will be the optimal time to perform maintenance on these assets. And where should they focus their attention when they’re making that maintenance schedule so that you are not one, performing undo maintenance on certain equipment, but at the same time, not missing any required maintenance that may render the asset inoperable on the road. And we all know that there is an incremental cost for roadside assistance type calls. And we don’t wanna do that.

Jamie Irvine:

As you’re describing that, what I’m thinking of is I’m thinking how in the past drivers played a big part in letting the repair and maintenance people know what was going on with the equipment. And there’s just things that your system will be able to detect and data that you’ll be able to build up over time, that a driver just wouldn’t feel or notice. And I’m just curious, has there been times when you’ve been able to accumulate data and say, this thing happens and then two and a half weeks later, the unit breaks down in this particular area. So when we see this thing happening, we now know we need to get that vehicle in and fix it because the data tells us that in two and a half weeks, that part of the truck or trailer is going to be no longer operable. That to me is the big advantage of all of this data and being able to normalize it.

Nada Jiddou:

Absolutely. And that’s exactly what we do. And we have had the opportunity to help a lot of our customers through that really is not just us by ourselves. We are working and partnership with all of the tire providers, the brakes providers, and TPMS providers and a network of our partners that we work hand in hand with them to gather data, whether it’s empirical data they have and the data we collect from our customers. And then we marry the two together to continuously help that fleet operator gain a lot more insight into their asset.

Jamie Irvine:

Well, all of this is very interesting. And also you’ve got some exciting news about some developments happening at your company. That’s going to just further enhance your ability to serve the trucking industry. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Nada Jiddou:

Absolutely. And yes, we are really, really exciting as with what we are able to bring to the transportation industry as we join forces and complete the integration with our newest acquisition with Fleetilla. We acquired Fleetilla late in the fourth quarter of last year, 2021. And we are diligently working through the process of bringing that capability to live jointly with the Road Ready capabilities. And what Fleetilla brings about is really that solution for the fleet management team of a comprehensive single pane of glass, that at your fingertips, you will have access to not only your ELD, not only your trailer or tractor, but really a comprehensive view of your entire fleet, whether it’s the tractors, the trailers, the other assets that are used in your yard, including the opportunity to expand beyond just the trailer and tractor.

And then really start to look at your entire supply chain, whether you go on rails or you go on shipyards and see where the assets are, how they’re operating and alongside of that, the capability to integrate through a modern stack and a modern API based platform to TMS systems, to your ERP system, to really extract the maximum value of the data and the information we’re gathering from these assets. So really excited for the next phase of telematics with Clarience Technologies and where we can take this to help our customers further their efficiency and their technology advancements as well. We’re finding unique solutions. Every time we work with our customers and learn from them, how they’ve applied technology and how they’ve solved these problems before and putting together a comprehensive solution that makes their lives much, much more productive.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. We’ve been speaking with Nada Jiddou, the Executive Vice President at Road Ready Telematics, a Clarience Technologies company. To learn more about Road Ready Telematics, visit rrtelematics.com, links are in the show notes. Nada, thank you for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. So glad to have you here.

Nada Jiddou:

Thank you very much, Jamie. And look forward to speaking with you in the future.

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