MacKinnon Transport Inc. has signed a new, three-year agreement with PeopleNet for mobile communications and advanced fleet management systems.
MacKinnon, based in Guelph, Ont., Canada, operates a fleet of 250 units in all contiguous U.S. states and Canadian provinces providing flatbed and dry van transportation and other logistic services.
"We have been a PeopleNet customer since 2000, and everything that PeopleNet promised has always come through," said Rick Miller, vice president of operations for MacKinnon. "We have re-signed for another three years."
In the process, MacKinnon has upgraded to PeopleNet's G3 wireless network to enable use of recent technology options. The G3 network provides wide bandwidth for In-Cab Scanning among other new applications that involve large amounts of data, including images, audio and video.
According to Miller, MacKinnon has seen the value of PeopleNet's onboard technology. For example, the company realized an annual savings of more than $200,000 in fuel costs in one effort alone.
Miller explained that PeopleNet enabled MacKinnon to monitor and reduce fleet idling time to produce the fuel savings. MacKinnon uses PeopleNet's PerformX vehicle monitoring application, which also tracks and reports on driver performance. The company shares performance data with drivers.
"We give them the ground rules first, and we don't try to be Big Brother. We give them the benchmark, and they see in their truck if they are meeting the goal," Miller said.
Using PeopleNet's broadband, MacKinnon expects to deploy in-cab driver navigation -- turn-by-turn directions for drivers -- Miller said.
The company's driver-oriented culture has resulted in an annual driver turnover rate of only 20%, a fraction of the North American truckload average. In fact, Miller chairs the driver recruiting and retention committee of the Truckload Carriers Association.
In-Cab Scanning is another technology MacKinnon expects to deploy going forward. According to Miller, PeopleNet In-Cab Scanning could lop four days off the typical billing cycle which will speed payments and improve cash flow.
"When our trucks are spread out across the country it takes them an average of five days to get the paperwork back to us," he explained.
"Our fleet was a beta tester for PeopleNet In-Cab Scanning. We've seen it, we've used it, and it works," Miller added.
"We're very pleased that MacKinnon has chosen to renew with PeopleNet," said Jamie Williams, president, PeopleNet Canada. "Rick is on our PeopleNet Advisory Council and has helped us develop and test new products. MacKinnon is a great carrier and a great customer."
PeopleNet offers In-Cab Scanning, driver navigation and other services through technology partners. All are enabled by the superior power and economical bandwidth of PeopleNet mobile communications.
PeopleNet, based in suburban Minneapolis, is North America's leading provider of Internet-based and integrated onboard computing and mobile communications systems. Its transportation products are used by top truckload, LTL, private, and service fleets in the U.S. and Canada. PeopleNet was the first major technology provider to offer Internet-based communications to the transportation industry 14 years ago and now serves more than 1,500 customers, including several Fortune 500 companies.