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May 14, 2016 4:00 PM, EDT

Fleets Use Software to Better Plan Home Time for Drivers

This story appears in the May 9 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.

Home time is a key factor for driver satisfaction, so carriers are using transportation management software to remind them when drivers want to be home and find the best routes to get them there.

Ensuring drivers get quality home time starts with an overview of the company’s entire network, said Damon Langley, director of solution delivery for TMW Systems.

TMW’s software can provide a network analysis to help carriers identify hubs within their operations.

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“As I identify those, it is a no-brainer to go and try to hire drivers in and around those hubs,” Langley said. “You’re probably also going to get more driving time because you’re not wasting miles.”

David Roush, president of KSM Transport Advisors, said the firm uses TMW’s Netwise software within its transportation consulting practice to help carriers understand routes, examine their networks and determine where to hire drivers.

By finding drivers within the network, carriers are able to route them more efficiently and get them home more often, Roush explained.

TMW also provides a rolling seven-day mile report so carriers know how many miles a driver is getting, his average home days and his daily working percentage.

To ensure drivers are getting the home time they want, dispatchers at P&S Transportation in Birmingham, Alabama, use McLeod Software’s events function.

Kimberley Daigle, director of human resources for the carrier, said, “The load planner can see if a driver has an event coming up and tries to route them there or as close as possible to where they need to be or let them deadhead the rest of the way.”

Jennifer Brim, director of training and development for Fort Dodge, Iowa-based Decker Truck Line, said there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep drivers happy.

“They don’t care how we get them home, they just want to be home,” she said.