I checked out the adds and most looked like either an after the fact
reporting or a "Plan the Day" type. Some sounded like you needed a
mobile wireless internet connection. Out here we are lucky to have
digital cell phones let alone an affordable internet over it. They also
looked expensive. This customer's field people have a routine day of
check this location then that location but exceptions come up that their
customer needs to be visited (utilities turned back on now that they
have paid the bill).

My "sort of" low tech was to give each truck an inexpensive GPS that
could plug into the cigarette lighter for power and the driver call in
every so often with the lat/lon readout. The office staff would enter
the numbers into a very simple database that would automatically time
stamp the record. Then when they are in the customer's file they would
have a function that would "Locate nearest truck" that could take the
lat/lon of the customer's location and compare to each truck's last
reported. Then look back at the prior 2 or 3 reports to find a general

The next step up would be some sort of automated call in. The advantage
of the manual would be that the i5 application could scream bloody
murder when it has been too long since a driver checked in. The
automated way would just keep on reporting. (Drivers like to leave the
switch on for the FM, engine running for the heater/AC...)

Then the ultimate step would be that instead of a text display of "Truck
X is Y miles away and last traveling Z" would be to show all that on a
pretty picture with all the roads and icons.

Thanks anyway. Still some interesting links.


On 8/2/2006 10:35 AM, Tom Jedrzejewicz wrote:
On 8/1/06, Roger Vicker, CCP <rv-lists@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Now they are asking me about a way to know where their field people are at.

When reading this message in GMAIL, I was shown ads for

--> TeleTrac ..
--> Beacon Wireless Fleet Management ..
--> @road ..

They have a dozen people that range about a 60 mile radius from the
office. The trucks have private band two way radios, although they are
using cell phones more and more. They only need to know where the truck
is at about every half hour or so. They would also like to have the
reported locations for the day so they can tell the general direction
headed. They really aren't interested in a detailed tracking to know
exactly where they go and how long they spend there.

Only a dozen .. how about a low tech solution?  Have each truck radio in
every 30 minutes, and have the office person track their location (or last
few locations) on a wall map with push pins or magnets.

All this is so if a customer calls in the office people can quickly know
if they have someone currently (more or less ) in the area and not
headed away. They don't want to waste time trying to get a hold of the
field person to only find out they are too far away or headed in the
wrong direction before giving the customer an estimate.

They could keep the trucks planned route for the day on the map as well, and
then note their progress and make changes as necessary.

Is there any solution package that is in the economical range instead of
the mega$ satellite up linked range like the systems UPS or Ruan
trucking uses?

I could deal with a system where a GPS unit in the truck regularly keys
up the radio, transmits an ID and the coordinates that the base listens
for and dumps into a database. They would like a GUI that shows a map
with little trucks that they can zoom in on and then zoom on the
customer to compare locations but I am doubtful that it will cost
justify compared to a text based "Distance between truck x & customer y."

Sounds like an integration nightmare.

I would wager that the company could source a separate GPS-based solution
and access the locations over the internet for far less than rolling your
own custom integrated solution.

Good luck ..


This thread ...


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