Plains Transportation Outfits Fleet with Onboard Computing System

Chaska, Minn. – March 22, 2004 – PeopleNet, a leading provider of onboard computing and mobile communications systems to the nation’s trucking operations, today announced that Plains Transportation, Inc. has equipped its entire fleet with PeopleNet’s mobile communications and onboard computing technology.

Headquartered in Amarillo, Texas, Plains Transportation is a refrigerated truckload motor carrier with 165 tractors. The family-owned and operated company, founded in 1968, hauls frozen and refrigerated food goods in southwestern states. Its hauls include store deliveries for grocery distributors and loads to distribution centers for meat packers.

Jane Gripp, President, of Plains Transportation made the decision to equip the carrier’s fleet with PeopleNet’s system. “We did not have a system before PeopleNet,” she said, “but customer requests for real-time load tracking led us to determine that we needed to be able to monitor vehicle locations and communicate with drivers. In some instances, we pull our customers’ trailers. In others, we deliver to stores and have to meet precise time windows.

“The web-based functionality of the PeopleNet system was a key factor in making the decision to use this technology,” Gripp added. “With it, we are able to give our customers instant access to shipment data through PeopleNet's Fleet Manager web-based interface. This capability will reduce service calls by allowing shippers to access vehicle location information online. Customers simply can use a designated password and log on to the Internet-based system to track their shipments.”

Along with the ability to provide enhanced customer service, other reasons that Plains Transportation chose the PeopleNet wireless fleet system, according to Gripp, include its modular design, ease of installation and integration capability. In addition, OTAP (over-the-air programming), which allows PeopleNet to make system upgrades without taking vehicles off the road, was a key selling point. “We particularly enjoy the upgrades-on-the-fly feature,” she stated.

“Integration with our operations software and the ability to order a la carte from the options available to us were all factors in the final decision,” Gripp continued. “We’ve already found PeopleNet’s implementation and support services to be nothing but fantastic. Currently, the system is running independently but we are planning to fully integrate it with our ICC (Innovative Computing Corporation) AS/400-based dispatch and order entry software when we complete an upgrade of that system.”

Plains Transportation expects a quick return on its investment in the PeopleNet g2x system from its ability to greatly streamline communications and the process of transferring data between drivers and dispatchers, as well as from the PerformX vehicle performance monitoring and reporting tool and ability to manage by exception. “We’re looking to eliminate all standard check calls, greatly reducing the time drivers and dispatchers spend on the phone and the cost of that service,” Gripp related.

The PeopleNet g2x system has become the standard for GPS-based location tracking, two-way voice and data communications, and Internet-based fleet business tools to provide consistent, reliable communication between business owners, dispatchers, drivers and shippers.

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