The Early Idea
The idea that eventually became TruckIT came from a construction veteran with decades of experience managing infrastructure projects as well as his own dump truck fleet. He needed to solve a problem that affected both sides of this business.
On the contracting side, project delays and costs associated with missed deliveries was significant: it was time-consuming to secure trucks in the first place and cancellations or no-shows were common, given the competing demand for trucks during the prime building season.
On the hauling side, even the busiest fleet owners watched trucks sit idle in the afternoons and suffered the costs of traffic delays and driving home with empty beds. The key to hauling is keeping trucks on the road - carrying payloads - as many hours of the day as possible. But with their current tools, it was hard, if not impossible, to easily find new jobs that made economic sense.
One thing was obvious: the process of securing reliable delivery was decades behind most other industries.
A veteran builder and dump truck fleet owner knew that the mobile technology could solve a major pain point.
Historically, construction pros and hauling bosses spent the majority of their time out of the office, away from the business systems that most other industries relied upon for advances and innovations. But by this time, smartphones had grown more powerful and affordable, so people who worked on-site or on the road could have more technological power in their pockets than most people enjoyed in their offices just a few years earlier.
It was now possible to connect project foremen and dump truck operators with affordable technology to transform the way everyone worked together. From this vision of reducing delays, costs, and avoidable mistakes, TruckIT was born.
Building The Core Technology
When TruckIT launched in 2015, its first mission was to build an online community where Contractors could easily get proposals for their hauling jobs from a wide group of interested haulers. Contractors no longer had to use middle-men to find new trucking companies to serve materials-specific or location-specific work. Haulers now had the opportunity to find new jobs to keep their trucks working more hours per week.
The application of mobile technology went well beyond simply connecting buyers and sellers. In the pre-TruckIT days, contractors often purchased trucking through brokers and then had almost no visibility into what happened after that.
With the TruckIT system, contractors now had the ability to get real-time insight into the progress of their deliveries. Mobile GPS allowed contractors (and fleet dispatchers) to see exactly where their trucks were. The mobile app allowed parties to know who their contacts were, communicate with them, and document things like pick-up times, material specs, deliveries, and time on the job.
From the first days of the service, users experienced fewer no-shows and delays, spent much less time setting up their deliveries, had less paperwork to process and had powerful new tools to resolve discrepancies.
Over the first years of service, hundreds of deliveries were managed through the TruckIT system and we were recognized by the trades as being a promising new building technology. Things looked good, but there was still a lot more opportunity to improve the business.
Making It Easier To Manage Hauling
2018 was a big year for the company. TruckIT secured its first round of outside investment, which enabled it to significantly increase its staff, add critical areas of expertise, and focus on customer requests to add features and capabilities.
The first of these enhancements was a dedicated platform for dispatching fleets. Our Dispatch Control™ system allowed anyone who needed to manage fleet logistics (hauling companies, delivery-intensive material suppliers, and even contractors) with detailed and real-time ability to schedule and monitor their trucks.
Utilizing our newly formed data science group, TruckIT was able to provide Dispatch users with recommendations for route optimization and ways to get more deliveries out of existing fleets. Dispatch users were also able to quickly scale their fleets, via sub-contractors from the TruckIT Marketplace, to meet seasonal spikes in demand.
Removing The Costs of Paper
Historically, every load carried by a hauler required a separate bill of lading (also known as a 'ticket'). Drivers were responsible for collecting them from each trip, contractors often relied upon their copies to document project costs, and everyone involved carried reams of the stuff back to their offices for billing or payment processing.
Not surprisingly, a lot of these tickets were lost and it took a lot of time for people to get paid, given all of the work needed to put together and then reconcile the tickets. Then there was the cost of simply getting a ticket. Haulers typically had to wait in line at the scale, then go through the weigh-in and printing process. While the time this takes on a single load might not seem like a big thing, multiply that by the number of loads per day, the number of trucks in the fleet, and 5 days per week, 50 or so weeks of the year, and you have a huge pile of wasted time that could be used for additional hauls.
TruckIT's solution to this was a breakthrough for the hauling industry. We call it "Air Ticket™", a patent-pending system where trucks use a dedicated"express lane" scale that allows them to roll on and roll off with a digital Bill of Lading that has been wirelessly transmitted to the drivers phone, a database accessible to the local DOT, the scale operators as well as the offices of both the hauler and the customer.
Air Ticket is currently in testing, scheduled for deployment in the first months of 2019. What once was a time-wasting, laborious, error-prone process is about to become a simple, fast, and accurate method of documenting payloads, billing, and project costing.
TruckIT will stick to its founding principals of solving important problems for the people it serves. So until any contractor can get a guaranteed last-minute delivery, and until every truck is back-hauling on every trip, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We are investing in the people and tools needed to solve those types of challenges, so don't be surprised if you see some jaw-dropping innovations coming from the company soon. In the mean time, let us know how we can solve problems for you to make your business more profitable.
If you're interested in working with TruckIT, working for TruckIT, or would like to know if/how we can solve an important problem for you, take a minute to fill out the details here and get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.