Based in Liberal KS, National Carriers is a motor carrier providing refrigerated, livestock, and logistics services throughout the 48 lower states. The company operates more than 600 tractors and 1,200-plus refrigerated trailers.
“In 2010, we began to search for a truck and reefer trailer management solution that would significantly improve our existing capabilities,” said Jim Franck, vice-president of National Carriers. “Blue Tree beat out the competition because of the R:COM system’s performance monitoring capability, specifically as it deals with fuel. Realistically, we can raise our MPG by 2/10ths per mile with Blue Tree, and we feel that is conservative. Overall, Blue Tree’s analytics and drill-down capabilities, and the company’s communications business model that allows us to select and negotiate directly with a wireless carrier were our main deciding factors. We also like having tractor and untethered reefer monitoring systems from the same company versus two separate vendors.
“On refrigerated trailers, Blue Tree’s business model won out again because of its extensive drill-down capabilities,” Franck said. “Like the tractor product, we can work directly with the wireless carriers so should cellular prices go down like they usually do, we will be the one to get that benefit—not the vendor.”
The company is using R:COM for vehicle tracking, driver messaging, navigation, electronic hours-of-service logs, and performance monitoring on its trucks. On trailers, National Carriers uses R:COM for live trailer tracking, temperature monitoring and alarm reporting, and reefer maintenance and data downloads. This helps safeguard sensitive cargo and provides proof of temperature during transit.
National Carriers hosts the R:COM system on an in-house server. The tractor and reefer applications are fully integrated with the carrier’s Innovative Computing Corporation Add On Systems enterprise management software.