Digital Series Spotlights TT Magazines in Debut Episodes

Retool promoted the launch of Calibrate and relaunch of iTECH
Retool celebrated the launch of Calibrate and the relaunch of iTECH.

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Transport Topics has launched a digital event series that spotlights its supplemental publications, and featured its new Calibrate equipment-focused magazine and redesigned iTECH technology publication in its debut episodes.

The TT Magazine Event Series kicked off Aug. 3 with “Retool,” a two-day program that dedicated one day to each publication with a review of topics vital to their specific audiences.

For Calibrate, the day featured a discussion of developments in trailer technologies with Robert Braswell, executive director of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council. He discussed the results of a new TMC study surveying carrier attitudes and expectations for smart trailers, as well as adopting safety technologies.

Robert Braswell is interviewed by TT Features Editor Michael Freeze.

“There’s a lot of exciting things going on in the trailer world,” Braswell said. “While the industry has concentrated on adding tech to power units, with telematics there’s a lot of interest now in the trailer — the smart trailer.”

Jacob Findlay, CEO of Fullbay, a heavy-duty repair shop management platform, discussed the critical shortage of maintenance techs and ways to improve the efficiency of maintenance shops.

To address the shortage, carriers are focusing on keeping their existing techs happy, forming relationships with trade schools and creating in-house apprenticeship programs, Findlay said. For technicians to become more efficient, he said, carriers must relieve them of the task of looking for parts and spending time calling customers to discuss repair updates.

“As a shop grows, you need to build a support structure for the technician so that they don’t have to go out and hunt for parts or source parts,” Findlay said.

The second day of the event focused on iTECH and technology, and featured McLeod Software President Tom McLeod discussing the importance of working with customers’ specific needs to employ the technologies that best suits them.

Tom McLeod is interviewed by TT Managing Editor/Features Seth Clevenger.

“Certainly we’ve got more data than ever, and closer and closer to real-time,” McLeod said. “But the companies that learn how to use that information are the ones that will succeed in the market.”

He said carriers can also use technology to keep drivers happy. This can include planning tools that keep trucks moving and keep carriers in touch with shippers, as well as user-friendly technologies for drivers — including those that can help them get paid on time, and accurately. Regardless of what’s promised to drivers, he said, make sure it is something that the carrier can deliver.

“To keep those promises, you can get a lot of help from an information system,” McLeod said.

Andrew Johnson, chief marketing officer for PrePass, a provider of weigh station bypassing, toll payment services and trucking safety software, said his company has just completed an annual survey that asked drivers to rate their benefits, which can potentially play a role in driver retention. “At the top of the list was driver pay, followed by time at home,” Johnson said. “This year, and year after year, having a weigh station bypass service provided came in third place.

“So drivers really view bypassing as a benefit, and many carriers will then use this in their recruiting efforts. Drivers save about eight to 10 minutes per bypass. But more importantly, it reduces uncertainty in their trip, because they could get detained for 45 minutes,” he said.

Drew Anderson, senior director of product development for PrePass, noted that carriers must make sure they are adding technologies that meet their goals, as opposed to “adopting technology for technology’s sake.”

“We should undertake technology initiatives tied to strategic goals as well as the overall mission and vision of the organization,” Anderson said. “In other words, where do we really want to go, and does everybody in the organization understand that.”

To watch a replay of the event, go to

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