Driver Scheduling Software For Trucking Companies
Managing driver schedules can be hectic for trucking companies especially during recent times with HOS/ELD regulations and Covid-19. Knowing who is working and their availability is essential to maximizing dispatches and minimizing downtime. Unfortunately, finding a software package for a trucking company that ties your driver scheduling and dispatching together can be difficult and require costly integration. Knowing what features to look for is important when you are looking for a software solution. Let’s check out some of the highlights we think will help make the most out of your dollar.
1. Customer Service and Training
a. The most important thing you can look for in any trucking software is how the company handles their customer service and client onboarding. A good way to test this is to call the listed number for their support and see if you get a real person or a virtual assistant. You do not want to have questions that need immediate attention and be stuck hitting numbers on your phone trying to get to a person. And while virtual assistants can be helpful at times you always want to have access to a real person who can help you. Some companies have support systems that can get you to a real person for help but charge per call or have hidden fees in their contracts that eat into your profits. Another thing to look for is how the trucking software training is offered. Even the most intuitive software can take some getting used to and you want to be able to have training session with a real person to help get everything set up and working. In summary you want to be able to ask about all the above and get straightforward answers if that is not the case then it probably is not the trucking software for you.
2. HOS Availability Tracking
a. One of the biggest features to look for in your scheduling software should be HOS, Hours of Service, tracking. With the recent ELD mandate being able to keep track of driver availability based on their hours is on the top of our list. Being able to make dispatching decisions based on this information means you can get the most out of every on-duty hour and not over or under dispatch loads. The things to look for if you already have an existing dispatching software would be if the HOS tracking software is able to integrate with your software or if you will have to manage them side by side. Being able to have the data tied to your dispatching can save you the headache of going from one screen to another to make sure drivers are available before you dispatch.
3. Custom Schedule Statuses
a. Being able to make custom schedules that fit you and your business is important and will ultimately make your scheduling easier to manage. One recent example of this type of application would be for Covid-19 quarantine/sick days vs a normal time off or sick leave. Being able to label your own statuses allows you to organize your schedules with as much or as little detail as you want. Custom statuses can also help you track any pay incentive scenarios you may want to track depending on you companies’ business model like a separate pay scale for working on a normally scheduled day off.
4. Custom Driver Shift Types
a. If you have a typical scheduling pattern you use for you drivers, then you want to be able to apply it in bulk and most likely set that for at least a month or more at a time. Ideally you would be able to make custom shifts that include not only the days a driver is working, but also the ON Duty timeframes utilizing the data from your HOS tracking. For example, a shift would consist of 5 consecutive days of 12 hour On Duty shifts that start at 4 A.M. followed by one day of Off Duty for 12 hours. Then you could apply this shift to a driver of your choosing for X number of days, months or even years and then edit it as needed.
5. Driver Shift Exporting
a. While the scheduling mechanic itself is important you also need to be able to quickly distribute this information to your drivers and staff. You want to look for a software that can send this information out via email or text in an easy-to-read universal format like a .pdf or .xls with .pdf being the more accessible format that can be read on almost every device.
6. Simple User Interface
a. Of course, functionality is important it is still nice to have everything in a nice wrapper. Hunting through a simplistic spreadsheet like GUI just adds to wasted time and frustration to your day. Normally be cautious with any software services that want you to sign up before you can test or see the software in use.
Dispatch Commodity has always put the customer first and built our cloud-based trucking company software suite to make your day to day easier. We want to help you grow your trucking company with our easy-to-use dispatch software and finance management software. Our software boasts all the above features along with 24/7 support team, one on one training, and flexible pricing. Give us a call today and schedule a free demo so we can show you why we are the best bulk commodity software for you!