The trucking industry has several vulnerabilities that insurers and technology companies have stepped forward to address, such as damage to freight, theft of freight or vehicles, and being able to customize coverage for more valuable cargo. Technology has also emerged to address distracted driving for the trucking industry.
NoCell Technologies, launched in 2019, uses a RFID device that can control or block mobile phone usage in freight trucks. The service can allow drivers to use “one-touch” apps for navigation or work-related purposes like checking in at weigh stations. The service can also block the usage of separate personal mobile phones that a driver might have other than a company-issued phone.
“When the vehicle gets up to speed, the other apps that are not authorized by the fleet administrator are physically removed from the phone while the vehicle’s in motion,” says Corey Woinarowicz, chief revenue officer of NoCell.
The company has its monitoring devices installed in trucks from 25 companies, with 18 more companies beta testing devices and 25 others in a pilot program. Stevens Trucking, based in El Reno, Oklahoma, installed NoCell in its 325-truck fleet three years ago. Cole Stevens, vice president of sales at the company, said it has seen a difference in its insurance premiums that he attributes directly to the devices addressing distracted driving.
“Insurance rates throughout the past three years have gone up,” says Stevens. “If you averaged out our three years, we’re at a lower single digit decrease in our premiums, also with lower deductibles. It’s been incredibly beneficial to have the safety technology suite. We’re starting to see a major return on investment because of the defensibility that we have with the technology that we have.”
According to Stevens, the company has not had any cellphone-related incidents since it began using NoCell, and its fleet travels more than 100 million miles collectively each year. Stevens Trucking also uses Lytx drive cams which record video inside the truck cabs documenting driver behavior.
“It’s hard sometimes with your driver force to get them to see the big picture, but once you have a claim or a video or something that shows an instance that we can show drivers within our monthly safety meeting, it’s a lot easier of a pitch to them,” says Stevens.
“A lot of the drivers actually welcomed it with open arms because they know, ‘Hey, I need to be safe on the road. I need to be attentive.’ … It’s been a huge, huge blessing to us and our fleet.”
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