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Eaton Rolls Out Tracking Advisor, Presents Fleet Advisor Enhancements

EATON Corporation's Trucking Information Services announced the release of Tracking Advisor, a new GIS-based vehicle tracking, graphical exceptions reporting, and fleet management product that augments the company's Fleet Advisor transportation logistics management system.

Tracking Advisor visually enhances the utility of the Fleet Advisor system by graphically presenting geographic references for vehicle and route information. The package is especially adept at generating status-by-exception views that show real-time fleet progress to dispatchers and route planners. In addition to standard mapping tools such as zoom, pan, and center, the software's time-period and selective-pinging controls simplify the entire process of dynamically mapping and managing future, active, and completed (historical) routes.

With its map interface, Tracking Advisor gives users control of displayed information including numerous ways to sort and filter data. Users can view route and schedule performance details at any time seeing color-coded status indicators that reveal exceptions to route plans at a glance. Tracking

Advisor conveniently displays highway and street level resolution for exceptions such as early or late arrival/departure or extended route-stop and route-leg duration. Operators can easily check the specific performance of a single vehicle, driver, or route, or the collective performance of several vehicles or drivers in a general operating area.

Tracking Advisor is available as an option to new and existing users of the Fleet Advisor system.

Software Update The latest version of Fleet Advisor's version 3.1 has been released and contains several new features that expand functionality and multiply the efficiency, usability, and worth of the system.

Eaton made additions to the existing Fleet Advisor product in three general areas: enhanced automatic log keeping, onboard computer (OBC) usability, and expanded reporting.

Fleet Advisor's powerful computerized log keeping now further simplifies compliance with Department of Transportation regulations by automatically recording vehicle location whenever a driver's duty status changes. Utilizing an onboard database of 5000 cities, the computer automatically records a location description that includes the distance and direction from the nearest city-3.6 miles SW of Philadelphia, for example. The software permits a driver to modify or replace the default location description to add explanatory text to the record; however, there is no need for the driver to enter any information at all.

Among other onboard computing (OBC) enhancements is support for barcode scanning and a multi-language OBC display, which can further simplify a driver's tasks. Scanning reduces the time it takes to get information into the OBC, which is especially important for fleets that repeatedly capture processing numbers on routes with many daily pick-ups.

And drivers now have the convenience of seeing an English or French-Canadian display when operating the onboard computer. The interface language is selectable with a button on the computer's screen.

The Eaton M100 onboard computer can now automatically log miles traveled in Canadian provinces. A related benefit is the onboard computer's ability to automatically adjust its over-speed detection function to accommodate the maximum legal speed limit in the state or province in which it is traveling.

On the fleet-terminal side of the system are additions to Fleet Advisor's standard report suite that now includes IFTA audit and French-language DOT reports.

Another addition to the Fleet Advisor system is the carry-on computer and mobile communications system. The new design of the unit enables it to be quickly moved from vehicle to vehicle.

Designed primarily for LTL and short haul private fleets, the device is completely self-contained. Housed in a lightweight molded case, the unit provides every necessary component and connection for full-function onboard computing and communication. A user simply opens the case, mounts the transceiver, secures the case in the passenger seat (or on the floor next to the seat), and then plugs cables into in-cab receptacles for auxiliary power and J1708.

Using a J1708 interface and GPS, the system automatically updates fleets on delivery and pick-up status enabling a driver to complete his route while providing hands-free records of all activities to fleet dispatch. Exceptions and other transactions can also be captured quickly with the convenient touch screen M100 computer.

The product is based on Eaton Corporation's M100 on-board computer and RCM R200L radio communications module with built-in GPS. The system uses Mobitex technology for terrestrial-based communications through the BellSouth Wireless Data (BSWD) network. The BSWD service provides excellent coverage in all major metropolitan areas and over 10,000 cities and towns across the country.

For vehicles operating beyond the 100 air-mile rule, the system automatically records electronic DOT information, which relieves drivers of the task of maintaining traditional paper logs. In this regard, the system fully meets FHWA 395.15 for automatic onboard recording devices.

Furthermore, IFTA-compliant state mileage is automatically collected and reported, along with the other pertinent operational data.

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