The 2022 Telematics Use and Trends study examines who is using telematics devices and how fleet decision makers choose technology and use the information it generates. It found that fleets are using information from telematics devices in several ways, from increasing productivity and improving maintenance tracking, to reducing their fuel spend.

Learn more about how fleets are using telematics and what factors influence their device selection.

"With an increased focus on technology, the whole digital experience becomes more crucial. Solutions need to be simple to use and intuitive. People want to know what critical information they need to act on."

~ 2022 Telematics Use and Trends

Top Findings

  • Larger fleets, and those with more complex business operations, are adopting telematics devices at a higher rate than small fleets.
  • Fleets covering more territory are more likely to use telematics than fleets with coverage in just one territory.
  • Two-thirds of decision makers said they shop telematics solutions across multiple providers, with larger fleets appearing to weigh their options more carefully than small and medium fleets.
  • Cost is among the most important factor influencing purchasing decisions. Decision makers also look at ease of installation and feature availability.
  • More than three-fourths of fleets – 75% – share telematics data with at least one fleet management service provider.

The driver shortage remains a critical industry concern, and many carriers are having a hard time finding qualified drivers to fill the seats in heavy-duty Class 8 trucks. Bob Costello, chief economist for American Trucking Associations said the shortage tends to rise and fall with economic trends. While it has eased slightly, the underlying challenges, including an aging driver population and competition from other blue-collar careers, haven't disappeared.

[Read more...]Show less

It’s time to gear up for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck. This year’s 72-hour safety event is set for May 14 – 16. During the Roadcheck, law enforcement personnel will inspect commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and drivers at weigh stations and inspection stations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Last year, the CVSA inspected nearly 60,000 CMVs and drivers during the three-day Roadcheck, placing 19.3% of vehicles and 5.8% of drivers out of service (OOS).

This year, CVSA inspectors will focus on these two areas.

1. Tractor protection systems.

Inspectors will look at your vehicle’s tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve. An inspector will:

  • Direct you to release all brakes by pressing dash valves
  • Ask you to carefully remove the gladhands and allow air to escape
  • Ensure air stops leaking from the supply line with at least 20 psi remaining
  • Listen and/or feel for any leaking air at the gladhand couplers on the trailer
  • Request a full-service brake application
  • Listen and/or feel for leaks from both air lines
To avoid a vehicle OOS violation, test these valves properly during your pre-trip inspections.

2. Alcohol and controlled substance possession.

The possession and use of alcohol and controlled substances remains a significant safety concern for all motorists. The number of prohibited drivers on the U.S. Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse has been increasing.

During an inspection, law enforcement personnel will:

  • Observe drivers for signs of alcohol or controlled substance use and/or impairment
  • Examine the cab and trailer for alcohol or controlled substances
  • Conduct a Clearinghouse query (U.S. drivers only)

Do not possess or be under the influence of any alcohol or controlled substances. Drivers cannot use alcohol within four hours of coming on duty. Remember that marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal U.S. regulation, and any state legalization is superseded by this. Avoid marijuana and products containing CBD. CBD is unregulated and often contains THC, which may cause a positive drug test.

In addition, drivers should take these steps to avoid the most common reasons for vehicle and driver OOS violations.

  • Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection. Pay special attention to brake systems, service brakes, tires and lights, four of the top-five vehicle OOS violations in the U.S. last year. Also, make sure all cargo is properly secured. If you find any issues during your pre-trip inspection, file a driver vehicle inspection report (DIVR).
  • Keep your logs up to date and accurate. Hours-of-service violations and false logs were the top two driver OOS violations last year.
  • Make sure your driver’s license is current and always carry your DOT medical card with you.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck is scheduled for May 14-16, and the agency has said inspectors will focus on tractor protection systems. Specifically, inspectors will look at the tractor protection valve, trailer supply valve and anti-bleed back valve, which CVSA said are critically important vehicle components but may be overlooked during trip and roadside inspections.

[Read more...]Show less

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, also called ADAS, are designed to augment driver capabilities and enhance safety. They also have the added benefits of increasing driver comfort and improving the overall driving experience.

[Read more...]Show less

Innovation, research and development of commercial vehicle technology continue to increase, and there has been an unprecedented wave of private investment, public funding and policy focus across the commercial transportation sector, bringing more sustainable solutions to fleets.

[Read more...]Show less

Fleets are using technology to improve truck driver safety and shape driver habits. Onboard safety technology improves safety and can increase efficiency, reduce liability and cut costs — but fleets need to gain driver acceptance of any new solutions.

[Read more...]Show less

You leave your truck for the night and return the next morning. In between, anything could happen. How do you know your vehicle is still in tip-top shape? You won’t unless you conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection.

[Read more...]Show less

Renewable diesel — an advanced fuel option that reduces greenhouse gas emissions while meeting the same specifications as petroleum diesel — can be added to existing fuel truck systems to help lower a fleet’s carbon footprint. As a drop-in fuel that can be used in place of ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), renewable diesel is helping bridge the gap as the trucking industry moves toward zero-emission vehicles without extra equipment or infrastructure cost related to battery-electric vehicles.

[Read more...]Show less

Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can increase the risk of downtime for all diesel vehicles if the equipment and fuel that power them aren’t properly maintained. Breakdowns can result in delayed drivers, missed deliveries and poor customer service.

[Read more...]Show less

The use of advanced driver assistance systems, also called ADAS, in commercial vehicles continues to increase as fleets and regulatory agencies work to improve safety, control costs and limit liability. ADAS applications include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection and forward-collision warning systems. The technology can improve driver performance, reduce fatigue and enable customized coaching.

[Read more...]Show less

Inspectors often focus on wheel ends, which include the wheels, rims, hubs and tires on a commercial motor vehicle. Wheel-end components support the heavy loads carried by commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), maintain stability and control, and are critical for braking.

Violations involving wheel-end components historically account for about one quarter of the vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during inspection blitzes, such as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck.

“Wheel ends contain numerous moving parts, whether it is the brake system, the bearings or the hubs, that can leak, wear or seize due to lack of preventive maintenance. Wheel end systems require routine daily pre- and post-trip inspections, and a sound maintenance program is key to reducing breakdowns,” said Chris Hough, vice president of maintenance design and engineering for Penske Truck Leasing.

Wheel-end failures may lead to a catastrophic crash. “When a wheel end component fails and you have a wheel run-off situation, major damage could result,” Hough said, adding that wheel-end fires often result from brake system air leaks that prevent the brakes from completely releasing.

Completing pre- and post-trip inspections is one of the best things drivers can do to help prevent issues. “Check the wheel-end brake system for air leaks, lubricant leaks, proper adjustment, etc., and when defects are discovered, write them up and have them addressed by a qualified technician before you dispatch the unit,” Hough said.

Wheel seals, lube levels, lug nuts and brake components are among items that should be inspected daily, Hough said. Drivers’ observations during the inspection are the first step in detecting a wheel-end problem.

CVSA has said that drivers may also find abnormal or uneven tire wear, see or smell smoking or extremely hot hubcaps (too hot to touch), notice smoke from a wheel end, or feel wheel vibration, wobble or noise. Increased stopping distance or decreased braking power, abnormal side pull when braking, wheel lock-up and skidding are all signs that wheel ends may need maintenance or replacement.

During the inspection of wheel ends on a commercial motor vehicle, inspectors will:

  • Check for cracks or unseated locking rings, studs or clamps
  • Check for bent, cracked or broken rims on the inside and outside wheel rims
  • Check for loose, broken, missing or damaged wheel fasteners and elongated stud holes
  • Check spoke wheels for cracks across spokes and in the web area or slippage in the clamp areas
  • Check the hub for lubricant leaks, missing caps or plugs
  • Check the inner wheel seal for leaks
  • Check the tire and valve stem for leaks
  • Check for improper inflation, cuts and bulges on all tires, including the inside tire on a dual set
  • Check for regrooved tires on steering axle
  • Check tread wear and measure major tread groove depth
  • Inspect the sidewall for improper repairs, such as tire plugs
  • Check for exposed fabric or cord
  • Check for tire contact with any part of the vehicle or another tire
  • Check for markings on the tire that would exclude its use on a steering axle
  • Check for debris between the tires
  • Check for tires touching one another or any part

Hough added that drivers and technicians also need to be careful not to over-torque lug nuts; over-torquing will stretch the studs. “Once a wheel stud is stretched, the stud will never maintain the correct torque,” he said.

The residual damage from over-torquing a lug nut could take months to develop, but eventually will cause problems. “A bolt/stud acts as a tension/clamping device when torqued properly. If over-torqued, it loses the ability to maintain the correct clamping force,” Hough said.

Wheel-end components are essential to safety, and properly maintaining and inspecting wheel ends, which include the wheels, rims, hubs and tires on a commercial motor vehicle, is essential for over-the-road performance.

[Read more...]Show less

Leases and rentals give fleets flexibility to adjust the number of vehicles they need without making long-term, up-front capital commitments, and there are similarities between the two. Both provide capacity without significant capital investments and give fleet operators flexibility in the number of vehicles they keep.

[Read more...]Show less

Under the Department of Transportation's Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, the Safety Measurement System quantifies the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers to identify candidates for interventions. The system relies heavily on data from roadside inspections, so every vehicle and driver violation counts. Fortunately, proper maintenance and driver training can prevent nearly all of the most frequent violations private fleets receive.

[Read more...]Show less

The strategic utilization of trailers provides a scalable solution that helps fleets meet shifting transportation capacity or storage needs without the long-term commitment and expenses associated with adding trucks or leasing warehouse space.

[Read more...]Show less

Maintenance of Class 8 vehicles is central to ensuring reliable, safe equipment, but maintaining, diagnosing and repairing equipment is a complex process. Ongoing training is essential for maintenance technicians to stay current on changes in equipment technology, increase their skills and grow their careers.

[Read more...]Show less

Safety and security are top of mind for those within the transportation industry. Penske takes a multipronged approach to address these issues, focusing on cybersecurity and the security of physical assets.

[Read more...]Show less

Driver shortage issues have diminished as capacity has fluctuated. However, the fundamentals behind the driver shortage have not disappeared, and it remains a top industry concern. The right equipment and technology can appeal to drivers and give fleets a competitive advantage when building and retaining their pool of drivers.

[Read more...]Show less