Why does the Houston-based Gorilla Safety‘s cloud-based software company have a 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster at the center of its Great American Trucking Show booth?
“Why not?” says company cofounder Mark Walton, a former insurance agent working with trucking companies. The other cofounder, Tommy Johnson, comes from the claims side of the insurance business, and between the two, Walton hopes they’re bringing something of a “fresh approach” to the potential for technology to assume more of the burden of what is becoming ever more of a paper-pushing, record-keeping-intensive business.
The Lamborghini, fringe benefits on loan from a recent integration partner to the company in U.S. Fleet Tracking, probably gives more folks a reason to stop in and talk to the founders at the show. Both will be around for the duration. Their software solution, available at around $30 a month per truck with an up-front investment for the hardware detailed in our electronic logging device market chart at this link, is just that, an ELD, for one — one of the first self-certified among such devices, meaning it’s now listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s device registry created with the ELD mandate final rule. If the rule survives legal challenges, with some exceptions most interstate motor carriers will be required to utilize one of the listed devices by December 2017.
Gorilla’s product, however, capitalizes on synergies made possible by the confluence of software and handheld devices to deliver more than just an hours of service function. A patented closed-loop Driver Vehicle Inspection Report function, for instance, enables easy creation of work orders by drivers via the mobile app. Those orders can then be easily accessed, acted upon and closed by maintenance personnel, whether shop-dedicated employees or, in the case of an owner-operator, him- or herself. The partial automation of the process helps managers of fleets large and small easily create and organize appropriate documentation of such fixes, says Walton, with records stored in the cloud and easily accessible in the back office via a dashboard.
The company has also built a module within the driver app to guide operators through documentation of critical information in the event of an accident as well, something the former insurance-industry professionals know well can help carriers avoid outsize settlements. Capabilities include the ability to make real-time reports, recount accident/data collection at the scene and upload photos and record [voice] testimony of any incident.
Other features geared at managing a variety of business functions include fuel-use/maintenance tracking; GPS tracking; development/storage of paperless receipts, bills of lading, policies/procedure manuals, driver qualification files and other required documents; and information sharing among users in real time.