Tom, 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 direction. 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. Roger 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 .. http://www.teletrac.net/ --> Beacon Wireless Fleet Management .. http://www.beaconwireless.net/index_na.htm --> @road .. http://www.road.com/main.html They have a dozen people that range about a 60 mile radius from theoffice. 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 knowif 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 ofthe 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 ..
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