Knowledge is power for business owners when it comes to sending a fleet of trucks out to work each day.
Knowing where a truck is, how it’s being driven, whether drivers adhere to company and local safety rules as well as tracking its location and idle time all contribute to a better work culture and environment.
That’s why Samuel Petrie and Red Barn Electric have turned to Fleet Pro in ServiceTitan.
Fleet Pro, an integrated fleet management platform created with ServiceTitan’s telematics partner Azuga, gives Petrie the information he needs to allow technicians to maximize their work and time. It helps manage trucks and fleets using GPS and AI-assisted smart cameras. The feature can save money, improve safety and maximize investment.
“It's not our first time with cameras in our trucks,” Petrie said. “But we look at what we invest as an owner in a truck and what some of our liabilities are on a day-to-day basis. There's tons of risk.
“To me it makes sense to have something that can at least help and monitor your overall performance. If you track something, you at least know where you are, and then it's your choice to improve. And most of the time if we start tracking something, we're going to work to improve it.”
Red Barn is based in Abbotsford, Wisconsin, but its rural territory includes work at agricultural dairy farms and can involve long drives. Some team members live up to 90 minutes from the facility. Petrie sees Fleet Pro as a leadership tool, a way to support team members. He gains information that can help him better everyone on the team, which betters Red Barn as a whole.
“If you don’t track something, you don’t know what you have,” he said.
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A seamless integration
That Fleet Pro operates under ServiceTitan’s all-in-one umbrella means its integration with the cloud-based software for the trades is seamless. GPS tracking allows businesses to see if technicians are moving efficiently from job to job, or if there is excessive idling. Working hours can be better monitored, and unauthorized use can be discovered.
“The nice thing is that it’s all the same workflow,” Petrie said. “Same look and feel across ServiceTitan. I love that about not just Fleet, but all of ServiceTitan. I wouldn’t say there’s anything I’m dissatisfied with. The big elephant in the room is the cost, but you get what you pay for. I don’t see anything detrimental.”
Fleet Pro covers all aspects of company vehicle use and care. Alerts can be set that enable businesses to establish rules for how vehicles are operated. Notifications come when those rules are not followed. Petrie called maintenance alerts crucial.
“We've been able to succeed and keep our costs down by buying used vehicles,” Petrie said. “Now that comes at a downside too because they require more maintenance. So having something that you can automate and monitor and you're not constantly having to keep records on is a huge advantage to us, especially as we grow.”
The office can set a notification to receive speeding alerts as well as idling alerts. Another notification can say whether the device is plugged or unplugged as well as a notice for a low battery.
“That could be helpful for winter time, help us to be proactive,” he said.
An ‘amazing’ growth tool
Petrie at first started working for his father, but branched out to work on his own about 10 years ago. He had no shop, employees or software, just a van with tools, half of which belonged to his father. That start led to Red Barn’s founding in 2015, and the company has seen exponential growth over the past several years.
“Typically the last five to seven years we’ve been growing about 40% year over year,” he said. “We’re actually going to be growing by about 200% this year.”
He joined ServiceTitan in 2021 and, after almost two years of using the software, calls it an “amazing” facilitator of his business and its growth.
“If you're going to have ServiceTitan and you're going to have GPS, and if you're going to add the camera feature especially, it should be under one roof,” Petrie said. “Yes, you can save a little bit of money or whatever using something else, but if you can roll it all into one roof, it's going to help your company overall because now you have all that data in one spot.
“And it's going to make your experience for your team as you grow much easier.”
Petrie said company culture can minimize any concerns from techs. He’s about supporting and building a team, and he regularly holds cookouts and barbecues for the team, and treats Fleet Pro as a benefit to everyone.
“If you have a culture that's built as a family and you approach it and say, ‘Hey, this is something to protect the family, to protect our team,’ people understand," he said.
“You can incentivize off of that. You could give them a bonus for best driver of the month. There's lots of ways depending on what fits in your culture, I would say, to make this very easy to implement.”