Demolition company overcomes roadblocks with data system

{{image2-a:r-w:250}}As a leading demolition company in the United States, DH Griffin Wrecking Co, based in North Carolina, sends heavy trucks to demolition and job sites daily to pick up and deliver an assortment of materials such as recyclables, plastics, metal and construction debris. Trucks regularly cross state lines, requiring drivers to keep accurate mileage logs for regulatory purposes.

For years, drivers kept track of mileage with handwritten logs, a time-consuming process that was prone to error. And as the company discovered the hard way, it was a risky practice. After being fined for inaccurate recordkeeping, DH Griffin decided to get help in the form of a fleet management solution.

Introduced by a telecommunications partner to Trimble, DH Griffin selected Trimble’s cloud-based Fleet Management system, which provides visibility into daily field service operations to help businesses identify, manage and improve operational areas such as driver safety, customer service, back office administration, fuel use and vehicle efficiency. 

DH Griffin especially liked the Driver Logs integrated tool, which keeps track of each driver’s miles on the road to comply with regulations such as Department of Transportation (DOT) hours of service requirements.

“Trimble reduced the time it takes to generate the driver logs required for DOT compliance, improved the accuracy of our logs and increased our driver productivity,” DH Griffin’s corporate fleet manager Rick Swartz said.


In business for more than 50 years, DH Griffin has vast experience providing demolition, dismantling, recycling, asset recovery, materials reclamation and emergency demolition services for government and private sector clients. It managed the deconstruction of New York’s World Trade Centre towers.

Even though it had a computerised reporting system in place, drivers were using handwritten logs before implementing Fleet Management.

“That [old] system was a nightmare,” Swartz said. “The drivers would enter the miles manually. The quality was poor and unreliable, and we lost productivity because drivers spent too much time maintaining the logs instead of driving.”

With Fleet Management in place, improvements were immediate. Productivity increased by one hour a week per driver, since they no longer had to grapple with logbooks. That equated to 52 hours a year, and at 200 drivers it added up to 10,400 hours of added productivity per year. Driver Logs records mileage automatically by capturing and organising relevant data.

Automatic recordkeeping also helps comply with trucking regulations. This was key because an audit by the International Federal Transportation Association had turned up some discrepancies between odometer readings and drivers’ handwritten logs, a common problem when drivers manually record this information.

“The agency fined the company, and that was the key incentive for getting the miles logged accurately once and for all,” Swartz said.

US states also rely on mileage logs for taxation.

“Each state has its own fuel tax, which is measured by miles, and this mileage must be tracked accurately so that quarterly payments by vehicle are correct,” Swartz said.

In addition, Driver Logs helps compliance with hours of service regulations by automating duty status changes. This enhances accuracy and reduces time-consuming administrative work for DH Griffin’s drivers and office employees.


Aside from regulation compliance, Fleet Management and Driver Logs benefits DH Griffin in multiple ways, primarily by lowering operational costs. Swartz said the company had saved the equivalent of one staff member’s annual salary.

In addition to eliminating handwritten logs, the company saves by using built-in driver alert capabilities to avoid traffic violations, especially speeding. Speeding creates safety risks and can incur costs such as fines, higher insurance rates and added wear and tear on vehicles.

When drivers reach 116km per hour, they get a warning to slow down. If drivers fail to comply, they receive an internal fine, much as they would if stopped by a highway patrol.

“Speeding was a big issue, so we had to find a way to enforce speed control,” Swartz said. “It’s not as much of a problem in heavy vehicles that are electronically restricted, but we also have pick-ups and lighter service trucks. Now, we are able to reduce our liability and discourage reckless driving.”

Unauthorised use of vehicles also is down, since Fleet Management sends alerts about truck activity during off-schedule hours.

“We rarely work on Sunday, so if that’s on the log we look at the GPS reports to find out why,” Swartz said.

In addition, DH Griffin has saved thousands of dollars on broken windshield claims.

“Other drivers often blame our trucks for kicking up rocks that smash their windshields,” Swartz said. “Now we can say,

‘I’m sorry, but our records show that none of our trucks were in your area.’ I can send them a GPS-based report to prove it.”

Driver Logs also helps with payroll.

“Sometimes we rent our equipment to sister divisions within the company and we can verify start and finish times to ensure accurate billing,” Swartz said.

Overall, Swartz said operations ran more smoothly and efficiently with Trimble Fleet Management. Having real time visibility into daily activities allows the company to rectify problems and make improvements that otherwise may not have happened.

“We have saved money, and our proficiency and efficiency have increased by more than 70 per cent,” he said.

Source: Trimble

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