Specialty chemicals manufacturer depends on NexTraq asset tracking and inspection reports to manage its fleet of trailers.
Lehigh Technologies needed to optimize the management of its trailer fleet to transport raw materials from multiple locations throughout the southeastern and midwestern United States.
- NexTraq® Satellite Asset Tracker
- NexTraq® Connect™
- NexTraq® Vehicle Inspection
- Increased Fleet Efficiency
- Reduced Risk
- Increased Cost Savings
Lehigh Technologies produces highly engineered, versatile raw materials called micronized rubber powders (MRP) that can replace oil- and rubber-based feedstocks in a wide range of applications. MRPs are suitable for high-performance consumer and industrial applications, including tires, plastics, asphalt, and other construction materials.
In 2020, the company tasked Carson Garrett, Program Director at Lehigh Technologies, with streamlining its operations. In particular, the company needed to optimize the transit of buffings—the shredded rubber that’s captured during certain industrial processes.
“We have purchasing agreements for buffings with tire retread shops located around the country,” Carson said. “We use those buffings as a raw material in our manufacturing process. The company owns the trailers used in the transportation process, and we needed to optimize the use of those assets.”
Carson connected with NexTraq®—a MICHELIN® group company—in his search for reliable asset tracking. He found the NexTraq Satellite Asset Tracker offered the advanced features he needed.
This satellite-managed asset tracker uses comparative GPS positions and sensors to gather and transmit asset status information. Lehigh Technologies ended up utilizing more than 50 devices to get a real-time, bird’s-eye view of their trailers.
“With NexTraq asset trackers, we know exactly which trailer is going where and when,” Carson said.
With NexTraq, Lehigh Technologies was able to maximize its fleet resources—saving the company time and money.
Using the new NexTraq Satellite Asset Trackers, Lehigh Technologies quickly identified several ways they could save money.
“By reviewing the NexTraq data, we discovered that we could scrap about 10 trailers,” Carson explained. “At the low end, we can sell each decommissioned trailer for about $1,000 to $1,600, so that’s a minimum of $10,000 in income from the sale of 10 trailers. That has helped us realize ROI right away, and then some.”
Additionally, optimizing their fleet saved Lehigh Technology more money by reducing expenditures, as well as decreasing the amount of time personnel spend on fleet management.
“It’s harder to quantify, but we also saved in other ways—lower maintenance costs, fewer parts, reduced time spent on inspection checks, and less paperwork for the DOT,” Carson explained. “That stuff adds up.”
Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports
Lehigh Technologies also began using NexTraq Vehicle Inspection to ensure all safety checks are performed before the trailers hit the road. As a result, the company took a process that was once entirely manual and made everything available via the NexTraq® Connect™ app. Now Lehigh employees simply fill out the inspection forms assigned to a trailer on their tablet or smartphone. If something is wrong, they take a picture, make a note, and send it to their manager.
This improved process helped reduce personnel time, streamline maintenance, and prioritize repairs. That all adds up to safer work environments, improved uptime, and increased profitability.
“Before, we were only documenting things on paper,” Carson explained. “Now with NexTraq Vehicle Inspection, we know at a glance which trailers were inspected, when they were last inspected, when they went out on the road, and how long they’ve been out. NexTraq Vehicle Inspection has had a very positive impact on our inspection process.”
Data from NexTraq has helped Lehigh Technologies improve communication with its suppliers as well. One customer expressed concerns about getting the same trailer every time. Using NexTraq, Carson could show him that his perception was incorrect.
“In five minutes, we had the data from NexTraq,” Carson said. “That makes communication easier for us, because sometimes perception is not reality. And we save the energy and time spent either to solve a problem that didn’t exist, or to gather the information manually.”
Carson credits the successful relationship with NexTraq to the exceptional customer support he has received. He appreciates the forward-looking mindset he’s experienced, particularly from his NexTraq account manager and the technical support team.
“NexTraq has been very open to future possibilities, taking what’s working well and making improvements where we can,” Carson said. “It’s been a really good partnership.”
About LEHIGH TECHNOLOGIES:
Lehigh operates the world’s largest MRP manufacturing plant in Tucker, Georgia, with an annual production capacity of 120 million pounds. In October 2017 the company became part of the Michelin Group. Lehigh’s customers include more than 60 leading tire, asphalt and plastics companies around the world. Since 2009, MRP sales have expanded from a few tire plants in the United States to more than 42 plants in 15 countries across the globe. To date, MRP has been used in the manufacture of over 500 million tire units.
“We also saved in other ways—lower maintenance costs, fewer parts, reduced time spent on inspection checks, and less paperwork for the DOT. That stuff adds up.”