TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS
How Dohrn took a unified approach to maximizing their fleet operations
By leveraging the Samsara Connected Operations™ Cloud to unify data across trailer and vehicle telematics, sites, and driver safety, Dohrn Transfer Company has transformed the efficiency and safety of their operations.
Meet Dohrn Transfer Company
Dohrn Transfer Company needed to unify their data to improve safety and operational efficiency across their organization.
Dohrn Transfer Company is a less-than-truckload carrier that provides trucking services and local delivery across the United States. After over a century of best-in-class service, they needed to find a solution for ELD compliance to meet hours of service regulations.
Initially, Dohrn was looking for a modern and driver-friendly solution to ensure their fleet of over 600 assets remained compliant as they operated across 14 states and 22 terminals. But as the Dohrn team began to evaluate various providers, they realized that they had needs far beyond just ELD compliance.
Dohrn sought an integrated solution that could connect their data and consolidate their fleet operations in a single pane of glass. In addition to ELD compliance, Dohrn also saw an opportunity to leverage real-time data to improve operations such as trailer management, chain of custody, dispatch, maintenance diagnostics, fuel usage, and driver safety.
Unified platform improves operational efficiency
With the Samsara Connected Operations Cloud, Dohrn has found three of their most important criteria for technology—real-time visibility, ease-of-use, and employee engagement. By unifying their operations within a single integrated platform, Dohrn is able to improve operational efficiency, boost driver retention, and reduce costs.
Efficient trailer operations improve the bottom line for fleet operations
Improve trailer utilization and employee productivity
Prior to Samsara, Dohrn’s trailer operations were all manual. This required multiple drivers to scour multiple yards to verify the location of trailers. Also, since data needed to be entered manually, the possibility of human error caused their legacy system to be unreliable.
Now with Samsara adopted across their trailer fleet, Dohrn can track the location and status of their trailers in real-time—eliminating the need for manual inventory and yard hunts. As a result, Dohrn better enabled driver productivity—saving 3 hours a day and an estimated productivity of $78,000 worth in driver wages at a single customer’s site.
In addition, with trailers already scarce due to recent supply chain issues, Dohrn needed a way to reduce customer detention costs and maximize the utilization of their trailers. Customers may incur detention costs when they are unable to return trailers within the agreed-upon timeframe. Due to limited visibility, Dohrn spent hours every week corresponding with customers and site staff, trying to track down the location of their trailers and understand usage for detention.
With Samsara data and APIs, Dohrn is now able to partner with customers to reduce their detention costs. Using automated detention reporting, Dohrn now has visibility into how long trailers are spending at a given location, as well as average time spent at each stop. By sharing insights on arrival and departure times of trailers from geofenced lots, customers are empowered to quickly locate trailers and lower costs. Finally, Dohrn is using Samsara to identify idle trailers and better allocate them—improving utilization and maximizing efficiency.
“Samsara has helped us leverage technology to be a more efficient company,” said Heather Dohrn, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. “In this labor shortage environment, technology is going to be the differentiator for the best in class carriers.”
Protect trailers from misplacement to increase profitability
Prior to Samsara, Dohrn had limited visibility into their trailer drop-offs at customer sites. In one example, a sudden change by the customer on their site led to a trailer being misplaced somewhere across the customer’s expansive seven building campus. Without real-time visibility, Dohrn had difficulty pinpointing the location of their trailer—not only would this be costly due to the value of the trailer, it also meant Dohrn would have been unable to quickly retrieve their trailers and put them in service for the next customer.
Using Samsara Asset Gateways, Dohrn is able to locate the misplaced trailer on their Samsara Dashboard in minutes. Sharing the location map with the customer enables them to quickly uncover the location of their trailer. Now, Dohrn uses Samsara location maps to power efficient trailer pick-ups and drop-offs with their drivers. Dohrn estimates this rapid recovery and reallocation saves an estimated $120,000 per year in trailer costs. And by quickly recovering their trailers and putting them back into service, Dohrn is saving an estimated $75,000 per year in lost revenue.
“Samsara was so turnkey—as soon as we implemented it, we got complete visibility into the location of all our trailers. We can even share the location of the trailers with our customers so they can easily get their freight off,” said Dohrn. “That’s the real value for us—Samsara helps us know where our trailers are so we can get them back quickly and serve the next customer.”
Smarter trailer operations with real-time visibility
With demand for trailers at an all-time high, Dohrn needed a way to protect their assets and maximize their utilization. Previously, Dohrn’s trailer operations were manual and paper-based, which led to inefficiencies in trailer management and time-consuming yard hunts to recover trailers.
With Samsara, Dohrn now has complete visibility into the location and utilization of their trailers. By leveraging real-time data, Dohrn now knows exactly where their trailers are and can quickly retrieve them to get them back into service for their customers—saving an estimated $75,000 per year in lost revenue.LEARN MORE
Efficient video retrieval streamlines incident investigation
Complete visibility into the chain of custody
Even with over 500 pieces of equipment across their fleet, many of which carry valuable freight, Dohrn had no way of monitoring their sites, and video retrieval was difficult. Using a combination of Samsara Site Visibility and Trailer Tracking, Dohrn now has complete visibility into their chain of custody—improving efficiency and reducing loss claims.
With Samsara, Dohrn can now efficiently investigate and respond to loss claims filed by customers or partners. In one example, a partner carrier claimed that they did not receive freight that Dohrn had successfully loaded. By using Site Visibility, Dohrn was able to provide video evidence of the freight getting loaded onto a specific truck.
By taking full control of their assets’ chain of custody using Site Visibility and Trailer Tracking, Dohrn is saving an estimated $20,000 per year in loss claims.
Complete visibility into the chain of custody
Dohrn needed a better way to protect their sites and track the location of their assets. By deploying a combination of Site Visibility and Trailer Tracking, Dohrn now has complete visibility into the chain of custody of their assets.
For example, Dohrn used Site Visibility to identify where a trailer was loaded by quickly retrieving video footage. Then, Dohrn leveraged Samsara’s real-time data from their trailers to find the freight. As a result, Dohrn estimates they are saving $20,000 per year in loss claims.LEARN MORE
Accelerating dispatch and streamlining maintenance with Vehicle Telematics
Faster dispatch and routing for on-time service
Dohrn’s dispatch administration has significantly improved since deploying Samsara. Before, the team had to estimate when drivers might return for their next load, or they had to call drivers directly.
Now, Samsara’s real-time GPS location tracking enables them to easily search by truck number to streamline dispatch.The Samsara dashboard shows the team exactly where a driver is and whether they’ve just arrived at a delivery or are taking longer than usual at a particular site.
“It’s helpful to see where a driver is delayed, so we can send a different driver out for a new assignment,” said Ryan Pitzer, Terminal Dispatch Manager. “More knowledge creates efficiency, and with less guessing about timelines, we can get more done in a day.”
By leveraging Samsara’s API integration in conjunction with Samsara idling reports, Dohrn saw a 50% reduction in idling and 2% increase in fuel efficiency, which translates to 150,000 gallons of fuel saved and over $500,000 in savings per year.
Leverage automation for proactive maintenance
Prior to Samsara, drivers never wanted to send their trucks to the shop, and often there was no follow up on paper logs of unsafe vehicles until it was too late. By leveraging Samsara DVIRs, the Dohrn team can now automate their proactive maintenance, spotting vehicle performance issues before they occur, improving driver efficiency, and reducing downtime.
When unsafe DVIRs are submitted, terminal managers now receive automatic alerts and know to coordinate with the maintenance team for repairs. “Samsara provides us with a higher level of visibility, and there’s less human error,” said Sandra Rose-Brown, Director of Fleet Maintenance.
Dohrn achieved a 40% decrease in average response time for maintenance issues, helping increase vehicle uptime and ensuring that drivers aren’t taking unsafe vehicles out on the road.
Improved operational efficiency and cost savings
Dohrn is seeing Samsara’s impact across all parts of the business, from dispatch to improved maintenance response to enhanced customer service. “Samsara has been a great help in bringing our departments closer together,” said Alex Gustafson, Director of Information Systems at Dohrn. “Before it was very siloed. Now, Samsara gives us a platform where we can all work together and be more efficient.”
Since partnering with Samsara, the team has seen these efficiencies translate into savings that enable them to reinvest resources into other areas of the business, including employee engagement and driver retention.
For example, Dohrn is saving 20 hours per week in administrative overhead by automating HOS log processing. They are also saving 2 days per week in administrative overhead, plus additional hours auditing and assembling reports, by automating IFTA reporting. Finally, they are saving $200,000 annually on cellular data plans by relying on Samsara’s built-in WiFi hotspot to connect the tablets used to process pickups and deliveries.
Real-time visibility improves fleet performance
With Samsara deployed across all 500+ of their vehicles, Dohrn now has real-time visibility into the location and performance of their vehicles. Real-time GPS data has streamlined dispatch and improved driver productivity, reducing idling by 50%. Dohrn is also using DVIRs to proactively reduce vehicle downtime, accelerating response times to maintenance issues by 40%.LEARN MORE
Enhanced safety through driver coaching and gamification
Reduce harsh driving events with proactive driver coaching
Dohrn’s partnership with Samsara has transformed their safety program. Previously, they only coached drivers if they received a ticket or were involved in an accident. Now, the team has the granular data and footage needed to coach drivers proactively.
“Samsara allows us to gauge the type of coaching and additional training that we can supply the employee to make them successful and a good, professional driver,” said Troy Winthurst, Director of Safety.
Managers use AI Dash Cam footage and incident graphs to understand each harsh driving event. Within 24 hours of a harsh event, drivers receive feedback—such as verbal coaching, video review, or hands-on coaching—to address risky behaviors. As a result, Dohrn achieved an 88% decrease in harsh driving events in one year.
Reducing driver turnover with gamification
Building on their proactive coaching program, Dohrn started a new safety award program based on Samsara Safety Scores to further engage their drivers. Drivers with the best Samsara Safety Scores, among other factors, receive awards from Dohrn executives for their commitment to safe driving.
To create transparency, Dohrn started by posting Samsara Driver Safety Scores in the dispatch offices and driver break rooms of each terminal. Friendly competition soon followed, with drivers competing to see who would achieve the highest safety score across the company. The next month, Winthurst enabled the gamification feature in the Samsara Driver App so drivers could see their Safety Score and ranking every day. As a result, the company saw a 10% reduction in driver turnover, saving $8,000 in recruitment and replacement costs per driver.
A comprehensive safety program reduces incidents and improves retention
With Samsara’s video-based safety solution, Dohrn has transformed their safety program by taking a proactive approach to driver coaching—decreasing harsh driving events by 88%.
Dohrn also started a new safety award program, introducing gamification into driver safety by leveraging Samsara Safety Scores. As a result, Dohrn was able to reduce driver turnover by 10%, saving $8,000 in recruitment and replacement costs per driver.LEARN MORE
API integrations improve operational efficiency
Samsara's Open API seamlessly unifies data across third-party applications
Prior to Samsara, processes such as tax auditing, dispatch, and data analytics were disparate and manual. With Samsara’s open API, Dohrn is now able to unify their data, even across other third-party applications—reducing costs and improving operational efficiency.
For example, Dohrn used Samsara’s open API to streamline a number of processes:
Generating detention reports by integrating Samsara trailer and geofence data with their business intelligence system. This provides customers with visibility into the location and utilization of trailers, improving efficiency and reducing administrative workload. By using trailer data and APIs to share automated trailer reports with their customers and third-party logistics partners, Dohrn can easily locate and calculate time spent at different customer locations—saving approximately 780 hours per year on manual billing.
Reducing vehicle downtime and improving customer support by integrating Samsara location and diagnostic data with their breakdown vendor app—this enables Dohrn to identify where a vehicle has broken down on the map and accelerate dispatch.
Calculating their fuel tax audit based on miles driven across each state by integrating Samsara and a third-party accounting service.
Streamline maintenance for their trailers and vehicles by integrating Samsara data on odometer readings with their maintenance platform.
“From an IT perspective, Samsara’s platform and devices have proven to be so reliable,” said Alex Gustafson, Director of Information Systems. “Using your APIs, we can solve pretty much anything, which is great.”
Improving operational efficiency with Samsara’s open API
Dohrn leverages Samsara’s open API to streamline manual processes such as tax auditing, dispatch, and data analytics.
In one example, Dohrn integrated Samsara trailer and geofence data with their business intelligence system to improve efficiency and reduce administrative workload, saving approximately 780 hours per year on manual billing for a single client.LEARN MORE