Replacing Onboard Fleet Tracking Devices in 7,000 Trucks

A full service freight transportation provider turned to Carlton Technologies, Inc. to implement new fleet tracking technology for thousands of trucks. Carlton provided inventory management, device staging and provisioning, device kitting, testing and final deployment in thousands of vehicles.

fleet tracking devices replaced in 7000 trucks carlton technologies transportation case study

Case Study

Company Overview

  • Largest privately held less-than-truckload (LTL) company in the United States
  • One of the top 5 carriers in the LTL industry worldwide
  • Annual shipment volume: 11 million tons
  • $2.2 billion in revenue
  • Expedites goods via 225 distribution centers
  • 7,000 cabs with onboard fleet tracking devices

A full-service freight transportation provider had been using more than 5,000 Intermec mobile devices for terminal freight management as well as onboard route and delivery management.

While this handheld technology served them well for 10 years, it was not serving the customer’s true needs, which is why the company decided to migrate to a onboard transportation management system (TMS) to deliver increased functionality and capture more operational metrics.

The new TMS system would enable them to measure engine performance (such as idling and revving times), determine when trucks required maintenance, calculate cost-efficient refueling routes based on real-time fuel prices, and shorten delivery timelines through more optimized route scheduling. Upgrading the TMS meant it was time to upgrade the mobile devices.

The Challenge

Upgrading Onboard Fleet Tracking Devices and TMS for an Entire Fleet

Migrating to the onboard technology presented several logistical challenges, namely receiving all the new mobile technology components, inventorying the equipment, installing related fleet tracking software, kitting the hardware together, deploying the technology to its instillation facilities, and installing the hardware into more than 7,000 trucks.

While the transportation provider considered managing the technology migration internally, they soon realized it was not the best use of its resources. They decided to partner with Carlton Technologies, which had been providing mobile device management, repair services and expertise to them for many years.

The Solution

Carlton provided multiple services during the technology upgrade and migration, including:

Device Procurement, Provisioning, and Inventory Management: Carlton received new device components directly from the TMS provider. Upon receipt of the devices, Carlton inventoried all the equipment used in the technology migration. This meant logging device serial numbers, descriptions, item numbers, and locations for more than 42,000 individual pieces of equipment.

Device Staging, Configuration and Testing: Carlton staged and configured the TMS to the customer’s exact requirements on every device. Rigorous testing followed to ensure devices were ready to go out of the box, without the need for additional customer resources.

Device Kitting and Deployment: With two different types of truck cabs, distinct components were required depending on the vehicle. Carlton packaged the new equipment into 7,000 individual device kits (14 individual pieces each) for deployment to 225 regional distribution centers across the U.S.

Warranty Management and Repair Services: Carlton tracked every warranty, and repaired, replaced, or kitted devices as needed. With every request for repair, Carlton sent a working replacement device with a prepaid return-shipping label. This allowed seamless returns. Once fixed, the device would be stored in a spare pool for future deployment.

Reverse Logistics and Asset Disposition: When the logistics provider decommissioned a truck from its fleet, Carlton sent return packaging with a prepaid return-shipping label for easy hardware removal from the vehicle. Once returned, unwanted assets were disposed in a secure, environmentally safe manner.

“After considering managing the technology migration ourselves, we realized how massive and complex the process would be. Carlton had been a trusted mobile device partner for years and based on their previous performance, we knew they had the managed service expertise to make our technology upgrade a reality.”

Matt L.
Director of Operations


Increased productivity. With Carlton managing inventory, staging, kitting, and final deployment, the customer could focus on other mission-critical initiatives.

Saved at least 292 days due to Carlton’s expertise. Carlton estimated that it took approximately one hour to inventory, stage, kit, and deploy each of the more than 7,000 kits required for the technology migration. That’s at least 292 days the customer saved as a result of Carlton managing the technology migration process.

Faster repairs enabled greater uptime. Carlton’s warranty management and coordination with the OEM repair services created more uptime, so the customer could return its trucks to the road sooner.

Lessons Learned

  • A technology migration of this scale impacted bandwidth for mission critical activities
  • Partnering with an experienced managed services provider not only reduced the burden on internal resources, but it made the large-scale technology implementation very efficient
  • Carlton created such an efficient implementation process, that after a year, the customer was able to bring the ongoing device management process back in-house

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