Pitman Family FarmsCustomer Spotlight
Family-owned poultry farm uses Zonar smart fleet solutions to improve safety and operational efficiency
Pitman Family Farms is proud to be family owned and operated since 1954. The farm is part of the 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating Standards Program, which encourages higher welfare practices and systems to the benefit of farmers, consumers, retailers and especially, the animals.
Pitman Farms’ commitment to excellence extends to its fleet of 125 trucks. Antonio Cisneros is responsible for managing the farm’s fleet and bringing in 100,000 birds into the processing facility each night. Among Cisneros’ priorities are ensuring that his drivers and trucks operate as safely and efficiently as possible.
Specifically, Cisneros wanted to:
- streamline and digitize hours-of-service (HoS) logging and pre- and post-trip inspection processes
- know more about his drivers' driving habits so he could coach them toward better operating practices
- understand vehicle performance, including fuel use, so he could find room for better performance
Time for a new solution
Pitman Farms’ existing system wasn't easily understandable, nor was it intuitive to use. After much research and deliberation, Cisneros decided to switch to Zonar.
From the moment Cisneros and his drivers looked at the Zonar solution, they found it easily understandable. Cisneros also saw an opportunity for advanced technology to improve his fleet’s overall operations, including moving from paper-based forms to electronic forms.
Cisneros invested in:
- Zonar Logs to comply with the ELD mandate for electronic HoS logging
- Zonar Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR) to ensure proper pre- and post-trip inspections
- Zonar telematic control units (TCU)
- Ground Traffic Control secure online portal
He was also able to use Detroit Virtual Technician and Zonar telematics control units, which are OEM components installed on the fleet’s Freightliner Cascadia® trucks.
Embracing new technology
At first, Cisneros' drivers were hesitant about adopting the new technology. However, they quickly changed their minds as they saw how easy Zonar tablets and EVIR are to use and navigate. And how these tools eliminate the paperwork associated with pre- and post- trip inspections.
"It's a big deal to be rid of paper logs," says Cisneros. "My drivers hated paper logs, so once they got past the initial fear of new technology and tablets, they were more than happy to adopt them and get rid of paper tracking."
With the Zonar solution implemented, Cisneros streamlined previous inefficient processes into new ones that deliver easily accessible, more accurate digital information and insights. But moving from analog to digital did more than act as a housecleaning of data.
Cisneros has also:
- integrated his Zonar solution, including EVIR, with his maintenance software for more efficient vehicle maintenance operations
- put a system in place to continually verify that his drivers complete pre- and post- trip inspections properly
- set himself up to monitor his trucks’ locations and paths
- used vehicle and driver data, including miles, driver and location, to schedule trips more efficiently
$150,000 in fuel tax reimbursements
More than 40 trucks in the Pitman Family Farms 125-truck fleet have apportioned plates. These vehicles can cross state lines without registering in each new state. That means the drivers also have to purchase fuel in different states and pay different taxes on that fuel. With the proper paperwork, Pitman Family Farms can be reimbursed for these differing fuel taxes.
Before implementing Zonar technology, Cisneros had to submit conservative estimates of fuel usage; as a result, Pitman Family Farms didn’t get the tax fuel reimbursement it probably could have. Cisneros now uses Zonar technology to track the miles and amount of fuel his drivers purchase in different states. And he has the detailed information he needs to submit for maximum tax fuel reimbursements.
"We used to struggle with tracking our trucks with apportioned plates" says Cisneros, "let alone drilling down to the level where we could have an accurate record of every gallon of fuel purchased in each state." But with Zonar, "we can see the mileage and the amount of fuel by gallons per state per truck."
The Pitman Family Farms fleet also drives a lot of off-highway miles visiting nearly 90 ranches across California. These off-highway miles are also subject to fuel tax reimbursements. Using the Zonar solution, Cisneros has put geofences around every location and now records every mile drivers drive off road. Now Cisneros can submit complete and accurate data to maximize these reimbursements with confidence if his information is ever audited.
Since installing Zonar technology in 2017, Cisneros has recouped nearly $150,000 in fuel tax reimbursements per year for Pitman Family Farms.
By tracking the fleet’s fuel usage, Cisneros can also see why miles per gallon differ between drivers, even when those drivers run the same route. And he can make informed decisions to make the most of the fuel across the fleet and coach drivers about being more efficient.
Taking a coaching approach
With the move to Zonar, Cisneros also saw an opportunity to help his drivers be safer with Zonar Coach, an in-cab driver coaching solution. At first, drivers had concerns around privacy; they were unhappy at the thought of being watched. However, Coach’s integrated dashcam is forward facing, and only records when it detects a specific unsafe behavior or incident. Cisneros’ conversations and in-person demonstrations with his drivers are quickly alleviating those concerns.
Using Zonar Coach, Cisneros can review his drivers habits such as speeding, hard braking and lane drifting, and coach them toward better and safer driving.
A world-class solution
Cisneros continually works toward making Pitman Family Farm's fleet as efficient as possible, and he knows that data is essential. With Zonar in the cab, under the hood and in his back office, Cisneros can identify different driver and vehicle behaviors on the same route. And use this information to coach his drivers toward being safer and make his fleet more operationally efficient.
"Zonar has delivered us a world-class system that’s easily customizable for the attributes of each vehicle within our fleet," says Cisneros. "And when I do have a question or issue, their customer care team has always been ready and available to help."
Pitman Family Farms
- Zonar Coach™
- Zonar Connect™ Tablet
- Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR®)
- Zonar Logs™
- Zonar ZFuel™
- Zonar V3™ and V4™
- Ground Traffic Control®
- Detroit™ Connect Virtual TechnicianSM
- $150,000 in fuel tax reimbursements
- HoS compliance
- Verified, digitally accessible inspections
- Reliable vehicle tracking
- Safer drivers
- Safer trucks