Industrial Commission standards aimed at improving safety of crude oil transport.
J.D. Field Services has a fleet of 144 vehicles ranging from pickup trucks to semis and other support vehicles, so tracking mileage, location-arrival times and other information can be a daunting task.
“We move rigs, haul pipe and water, and do roustabout services,” says Kason Goodrich, controller for J.D. Field Services. “We have a wide range of operations.”
The oilfield services company, based in Naples, Utah, mainly serves the Rocky Mountain region but also works in Wyoming, North Dakota and Texas.
KEEPING TRACK OF IT ALL
To keep track of its large fleet, J.D. Field Services knew it needed a program. After using two services the last few years and not being satisfied with what was offered, the company began searching about a year and a half ago for a new program.
While searching, Goodrich says the company ran across Fleetmatics.
“We researched quite a few, and Fleetmatics was a solution that was the most cost-effective and offered the best back-end software,” Goodrich says. “The ease of use was much better than the other companies we researched at the time.”
J.D. Field Services uses the program to track the location of its vehicles, allowing dispatchers to see where vehicles are in real time and see which is the closest if a load needs to be picked up.
“The program tracks harsh driving, but we haven’t used it because we don’t have a high incident rate of that,” Goodrich says. “If we started to see trends like that we would be able to use it. It’s nice that it’s there and doesn’t cost any extra.”
The company also uses the technology to give a customer an accurate time of arrival if they are waiting on a delivery. It also helps to point its own drivers to the customer’s location.
“Sometimes, especially in the oilfields, we’re traveling on unimproved roads, we’re traveling on roads that don’t have signs, that don’t have directions,” Goodrich says. “The directions are often, ‘Turn left at the sage bush,’ and there’s a number of them.”
With Fleetmatics, dispatchers can see the truck’s precise location and provide directions if the driver is unsure.
“That’s a tremendous tool and power for us to do that,” Goodrich says.
MILEAGE BY STATE
While vehicle location is a powerful tool, Goodrich’s favorite aspect of Fleetmatics is its multistate vehicle mileage report. The report provides information on the total mileage driven by state for each vehicle.
“The mileage tracking is down to a science and it’s very accurate,” Goodrich says. “We are required to report the mileage for each truck in every state on a quarterly basis. The number of miles versus the amount of fuel you purchased plays a role in whether you pay taxes or whether you receive a refund for your taxes you pay through that state.”
Before Fleetmatics, J.D. Field Services relied on its drivers to report mileage, but that turned out to be a problem. The company learned that many drivers were writing down their odometer reading at the start of the quarter and then again at the end of the quarter. The drivers would then try to break it down by state from there.
“You’ll have drivers report that they drove 90 miles on a 30-mile stretch of road,” Goodrich says. “It was just never accurate.”
With Fleetmatics, all Goodrich has to do is call up the multistate vehicle mileage report which includes miles driven by state, non-toll and toll miles driven by state, and total miles driven.
“It takes me about five minutes and I’m done,” he says. “We’ve received a refund on taxes every single time we’ve been using this.”
The company has also been able to cut back on office hours thanks to the report. As drivers reported the mileage, secretaries would input that data into the computer. Goodrich says secretaries were spending two to four hours a day on that work alone.
“That’s a considerable cost to our company,” Goodrich says. “With Fleetmatics, that daily reporting is gone. We don’t do it, we don’t have to worry about it. It’s already done and in the computer and we can pull it up whenever we want.”
Goodrich says using Fleetmatics has also proved beneficial in ways he never imagined, like reducing fraud claims.
J.D. Field Services sometimes receives reports of other drivers’ windshields getting broken and often blame is put on the company’s drivers.
“What we’ve found is people, most of the time, have seen one of our trucks and wrote down a license plate or taken a picture of the truck and they make the phone call,” Goodrich says.
If a report comes in, the company can look up the truck and see whether it was in the area and how fast it was going. “Usually we find that the truck wasn’t even there when they claimed it was there,” Goodrich says.
However, when it is proven that the truck was there, Goodrich can call the driver immediately and have them turn around to go to the scene and take pictures for the insurance company.
DRIVER’S BEST FRIEND
In December 2014, an officer pulled over a J.D. Field Services truck and gave the driver a ticket for going 85 mph.
“We pulled up the tracking data on Fleetmatics immediately and discovered our vehicle was traveling at only 55,” Goodrich says. “We gave that information to the judge, and the judge was impressed with it and dismissed the ticket.”
At first, Goodrich says the drivers were hesitant about having the program on all the vehicles, worried that they were going to be watched all the time.
“When they see that we are saving them from a speeding ticket that costs them $400, they start liking it and they don’t want to get rid of it,” Goodrich says. “They’re really liking the program. It makes everyone’s job easier.”