How Eleos Trip Planning is saving some fleets 100,000 man-hours per year

Reading Time: 5 minutes

nce upon a time, not very long ago, a truck driver would routinely spend half an hour planning a trip.

First, the load info would come into the mobilecomm device in his truck. He would read through it and start planning the trip—usually right there in the cab. If he wanted to work somewhere more sensible, like a truck stop restaurant table, he would have to laboriously copy down all the information he needed, and take it with him.

Then he would have to go through a series of back-and-forth steps to figure out his route.

First he would use his navigation system to figure out a basic route. When his basic route was worked out, he would have to start calculating when his hours of service would expire. He would have to figure this out manually, to see where he should stop in order to avoid violating regulations—which could obviously end up being a laborious process.

After that, if he hadn’t been told where to stop for fuel, he would open a separate app—or even refer to a printed truck stop book—to find fuel stops between where he was, and where he was going. He might even need another app again to find parking, rest stops, or amenities at the same time. He would have to manually note which stops had showers, restaurants and the like—then calculate the time he anticipated spending at each, taking into account how each stop affects his HOS breaks, fuel requirements, etc. During this process, he might also need to locate all the weigh stations, to figure out if fueling up at a certain point would put him overweight. Which might in turn require finding different fuel stops—and possibly adjusting his route—and possibly re-calculating HOS—and rest stops—and so on.

Finally, he would have to break out something like Google maps, because he needed a satellite view of each stop. He would have to manually locate the entrances and loading docks, since these are often incorrectly located on every navigation system.

With this whole rigmarole, he might end up going back and forth several times from the truck stop app, to his navigation system, and sometimes to other apps, as he tried to figure out the best stops along his selected route and see if he could make everything work.

Even though he would finally answer these questions, and settle on a trip plan he could be proud of, he would still have wasted half an hour of valuable driving time. What a waste! Instead of being 30 minutes closer to his destination, he had to spend that time wrangling a bunch of different apps and systems, just to figure out how to get there.

Then, when he finally got on the road, he would load up yet another navigation app in his cab—so he would have some situational awareness on the trip. He would need to make sure he was aware of bad traffic, accidents, weather, and so on. His company-provided nav system would not do this. Needless to say, his alternative was frequently something like Google Maps—and seldom truck-legal or truck-safe.

Factoring in all these steps, it’s no wonder that the process of getting from load information to driving took him so long.

Now, truck drivers spend only 5-10 minutes planning their routes

But that was then. This is now. Now, truck drivers spend only 5-10 minutes planning their routes—and it is nothing as tedious.

Well, for drivers using Eleos, anyway.

Drivers on Eleos have a system that gives them all the information they need in a single app—automatically.

This app is white-labeled to their fleet, so the fleet gets all the credit!

It works on their smartphone as well as the in-cab tablet, so they aren’t restricted to working in their truck. They can plan wherever they want, and check all their load information any time—whether it’s in a truck-stop, at a desk, or even on their own couch if they happen to be at home. They can even review informational or safety videos for the load without having to be in the cab.

Because all the information is right in front of them, there’s zero context switching. This saves enormous amounts of time—especially since they don’t have to copy and paste, or retype information, into different apps.

Most importantly, they can see a live preview of their route, with HOS expiry automatically calculated and displayed on a map for them. On this route, they can easily see all the truck stops available, along with what amenities they offer. They can check satellite views of entry-ways and loading docks (though often other drivers have already marked these correctly in the Eleos map system). They can see fuel stops and weigh stations. They can check the weather and current and historical traffic based on their departure time. And they can easily adjust the route with new stops, and instantly see how this affects HOS utilization, total time and miles, and everything else they need—without manual calculations.

Since they don’t have to guess or do eyeball estimations, there’s far less chance for human error. Computers always give the right answers, and in a fraction of the time.

Finally, when they start driving, they just stay in the app. It gives them truck-safe and truck-legal routing with turn-by-turn voice navigation.

The upshot: they often save 15-20 minutes per trip. Extrapolate over a whole year, and many fleets are saving 100+ man-hours per driver. When they multiply this saving by hundreds or thousands of drivers, it’s sometimes upwards of 100,000 man-hours per year—all thanks simply to better trip planning.

Needless to say, fleets are pretty happy about this—but their drivers are too. Manually planning trips is both time-consuming and cumbersome. It increases their anxiety, because there are so many places to make a mistake, and so much guesswork involved. Trip planning with Eleos is a breeze, and they always have confidence that their route will work out perfectly. We know proper trip planning can keep drivers safe. That’s why we don’t cut corners to simply get the driver on the road at the expense of safety.

This makes them less likely to switch to a different fleet—because finding a new job will probably mean going back to the “old way.” They would rather stick with Eleos.

Read how many fleets are saving even more time by having instant and reliable driver communication with Eleos »

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