Biodiesel Recycling Company Cleans Up with Fleet Management

GPS tracking helps grease and oil transporter improve efficiency and employee accountability

All Valley Environmental Inc., is a Fresno-based biodiesel re-use company that transports used oil and grease from restaurants and other facilities to biodiesel production plants. The company’s fleet of transport trucks may travel anywhere from 100 to 600 miles per day, depending on the number of stops on their routes. With a small fleet dispersed over a wide area, All Valley needed a way to improve fleet tracking, safety, and employee accountability. The solution: a GPS-based fleet management system from Telogis.

“When you operate a fleet, you can’t be out there on the road with them. Some of our drivers travel all the way across the state, and we wanted to be able to know what was happening with those trucks at all times,” says Mike Ledieff, General Manager of All Valley. “We also wanted to improve the efficiency of our routing, employee accountability for payroll purposes, and safety.”

Ledieff spent four months evaluating a number of fleet management solution providers before selecting the Web-based Telogis system. “The system was very user friendly, and the Telogis sales representative was extremely helpful,” Ledieff says. “One of the other key criteria that led us to our decision was that Telogis was the only solution that allowed me to easily switch drivers from truck to truck during a shift.”

Real-Time Tracking Improves Productivity, Lowers Payroll Costs

All Valley installed the GPS units on the trucks using their own personnel, and the entire process was completed in less than a week. “It’s a very user friendly system,” Ledieff says. “It took a few months for us to master some of the advanced features, but in terms of the basic vehicle tracking, and monitoring speed and idle times, we were up and running quickly.”

With a real-time view of each truck, employee accountability has greatly improved. “We can do speed checks to make sure they are obeying the posted speed limits, and we know if they go off route,” Ledieff says.

All Valley management can also compare GPS reports with employee time cards. “I can break up every single hour of the day, and know what they were doing all day long,” Ledieff says. “If they were idling in the yard for three hours, I can ask them why that was happening. That’s an invaluable tool for me.”

The solution can also help solve customer disputes. “If a customer says our guy never showed up, I can pull a GPS report and have it over to them in ten minutes,” Ledieff says. “The system really acts as an insurance policy.” By more effectively routing trucks and reducing idle times, All Valley has also been able to reduce its fuel and maintenance costs.

According to Ledieff, the company has been able to reduce its payroll costs by 20% since the system went online in 2009, and driver efficiency has increased by approximately 25%. By more effectively routing trucks and reducing idle times, All Valley has also been able to reduce its associated fuel and maintenance costs by more than 20%. “Since the drivers know they can’t make unscheduled stops or idle for long periods without us knowing about it, they’ve been finishing their routes more quickly,” Ledieff says. “We’ve been able to add additional stops to some of the routes.”

And because drivers know they are being monitored, Ledieff says that compliance with company policies has improved. “We can show them that we have the tools to help keep them accountable,” Ledieff says. “The drivers know that they are in the system, and they will be held accountable for their efficiency and their time on the road.”

Because All Valley works in an industry that values environmentally friendly business practices, Ledieff says the company has been able to use the Telogis system as a marketing tool, as well. “In working with our larger customers, this has definitely been a plus,” Ledieff says. “When I’m talking to a new customer and can describe how we’re reducing waste through more efficient routing and dispatching, it’s definitely a cherry on top of the environmental picture.”