June 2014

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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Page 53 of 89

52 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | JUNE 2014 L oad One expediter Tom Evans drives team with his wife, Tina, running a three-truck Class 8 straight truck fl eet based in Mattoon, Ill. Besides their compensation for doing their jobs the right way, the Evanses are eligible for additional perks for the same reason. Load One uses a driver rewards program called Stay Met- rics that takes data gleaned from surveys of drivers during their fi rst weeks with the carrier to help predict which ones are at risk of leaving. The system builds on that relationship with a program that allows drivers to earn points redeem- able for merchandise. "The biggest thing is simply getting rewards for doing something that's no more than what you're already sup- posed to be doing," such as turning in logs on time and completing surveys, Tom Evans says. The pace of available information and data gathering in trucking is accelerating, and with it, more companies to manage that data for fl eets. A handful of vendors are helping fl eets crunch moun- tains of information to spot broad patterns and take pre- emptive action with individual drivers to improve retention and safety. The results so far have been impressive. Predictive modeling remains relatively new in trucking, and while no major complaints have emerged within the industry, broader concerns over privacy or misapplication of data-based conclusions have been voiced elsewhere. One major fl eet using a predictive analytics company expressed such concerns. The fl eet's media contact, declin- ing an interview request, wrote that, "It's a topic we aren't eager to talk publicly about due to its tendency to be used in litigation." An expert in the fi eld says he's unaware of actual litiga- tion based strictly on predictive modeling practices. Still, there has been controversy, says Eric Siegel, founder of the Predictive Analytics World conference series and author of "Predictive Analytics." Much of the concern has stemmed from publicity over telephone eavesdropping by the National Security Agency. Yale law professor Jack Balkin, writing about NSA's data mining, says such activities "allow the state and business en- terprises to record perfectly innocent behavior that no one is particularly ashamed of and draw surprisingly powerful inferences about people's behavior, beliefs and attitudes." One striking inference was contained in a 2012 New York Times article that led to further coverage on major TV talk MAKING THE CASE Predictive analytics promises major improvements in safety, retention BY MAX HEINE

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