Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced that it has sold its 50,000th SensorTRACS® unit. This driver performance monitoring system offers marked improvements over traditional trip recorders and helps generate significant fuel and other operational savings when coupled with the company's OmniTRACS® mobile satellite communications system.
While the company has already offered the SensorTRACS product on the AS/400 platform, Qualcomm earlier this year announced SensorTRACS/UNV for the UNIX and Pick platforms and will soon release the SensorTRACS/LAN version. Additionally, Tom McLeod Software Corp. recently announced that it has developed UNIX-based SensorTRACS software for its LoadMaster™ fleet management package. This provides LoadMaster customers access to an integrated SensorTRACS solution running natively with their business software.
"The real success of the SensorTRACS product is that it outshines other trip recording devices with its abilities to provide real-time, onboard driver information and to integrate this timely data seamlessly with other fleet management systems, including payroll and accounting," said John Sarto, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's OmniTRACS Division. "Customers are equally excited about the reductions they're seeing in their fuel and maintenance bills as a direct result of using SensorTRACS."
Lowell, Ark.-based J.B. Hunt, which earlier this year decided to replace 5,000 traditional trip recorders with the SensorTRACS system, is impressed with the SensorTRACS product's ability to provide real-time information, as well as its simplified summary extraction capabilities. Future plans call for equipping most of J.B. Hunt's 8,000+-truck fleet with the SensorTRACS system. J.B. Hunt has been an OmniTRACS system customer since 1992.
"We changed to the SensorTRACS system because it is more sophisticated and easier to use than traditional trip recorders," said Henry Pianalto, senior director of maintenance at J.B. Hunt. "With SensorTRACS, information is extracted over the satellite and we can pull that data at any time rather than having to wait for a truck to return to the terminal. SensorTRACS also allows the driver to monitor his performance in real-time."
The SensorTRACS product, an optional software module that may be purchased as an integrated extension of the OmniTRACS mobile communications and tracking system, monitors conditions that can help reduce fuel costs, improve driver performance and increase driver earnings. With SensorTRACS, drivers get real-time feedback, so they can correct specific driving habits, such as overspeeding and idling time, to conform with fleet standards. SensorTRACS was the first member of the OmniTRACS Vehicle Information Systems (VIS) family of products, which also includes JTRACS Pro™ Vehicle Data Gateway and TrailerTRACS™ Trailer Monitoring System. The SensorTRACS system's firmware is embedded in each OmniTRACS mobile communications terminal.
"Since we installed SensorTRACS in January, our idle time has dropped from 50 percent to 20 percent," said Curtis Youngblood, president of Fletcher, N.C.-based Youngblood Truck Lines, which currently operates 325 trucks equipped with the SensorTRACS module. "This drop in idle time alone translates into real savings of four-tenths of a gallon per mile, or about $250,000 in annual fuel bills. Based on these results, we've now targeted excess idle time as our No. 1 enemy."
Other trucking companies cite increased mpg as a direct result of implementing the SensorTRACS system. Danny Exum, MIS director for Ashford, Al.-based Summerford Truck Lines, reports that its mpg has increased from 5.6 to 6.4 as a direct result of using the SensorTRACS system.
Jeff Pence, vice president of Edinburg, Va.-based Appalachian Freight Carriers, claims "SensorTRACS has enabled the company to gain an additional half mile per gallon and in turn, save about $35 a week per truck in fuel costs." Decreased idle time and overspeeding has also contributed to equally significant savings in maintenance costs, he added. "SensorTRACS significantly reduces idle, adding life to the oil, extending the longevity of our engines and improving overall driver performance," Pence further stated. "SensorTRACS has also helped us increase our safety standards, resulting in decreased insurance bills."
In the April '96 issue of Commercial Carrier Journal magazine, Dave Berry, vice president of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Swift Transportation, publicly credits SensorTRACS with providing critical data for trip recording purposes, as well as information to validate product or system claims from vendors. Swift uses data generated by SensorTRACS and electronic engines to check out the validity of these claims because "SensorTRACS is much more accurate than anything we had in the past," the article states.
To help involve drivers in obtaining the benefits of the SensorTRACS product, several OmniTRACS customers have initiated driver bonuses, incentive programs and other positive reinforcement plans. Appalachian Freight drivers share in fuel and maintenance savings in the form of weekly driver bonuses.
Mike Reaves, senior vice president, driver services, for Memphis, Tenn.-based M.S. Carriers, said his company used SensorTRACS data to hold a driver contest in which teams were rated on several criteria, including idle time, safety and service. The five top teams were rewarded the opportunity of driving brand new Freightliner trucks with 70" sleepers.
More and more OmniTRACS customers are realizing the benefits of the SensorTRACS performance monitoring system. For more information or to find out about a free 90-day evaluation, call (800) 34-TRACS.
Qualcomm's family of OmniTRACS products include the OmniTRACS mobile communications and position reporting system; value-added application software designed to enhance existing operations; transportation and business solutions; and information management systems. Qualcomm has sold more than 175,000 OmniTRACS units worldwide, with systems operating in the United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.
Headquartered in San Diego, Qualcomm develops, manufactures, markets, licenses and operates advanced communications systems and products based on its proprietary digital wireless technologies. The Company's primary product areas are the OmniTRACS® system (a geostationary satellite-based, mobile communications system providing two-way data and position reporting services), CDMA wireless communications systems and products and, in conjunction with others, the development of the Globalstar™ low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communications system. Other Company products include the Eudora Pro™ electronic mail software, ASIC products, and communications equipment and systems for government and commercial customers worldwide. For more information on Qualcomm products and technologies, please visit the Company's web site at http://www.qualcomm.com/.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 24, 1995 and mostrecent Form 10-Qs.
Note to Editors: Photos and customer contacts are available by contacting Anne Middleton (619-658-2606) at Qualcomm.