ALK Technologies recently announced the release of PC*Miler 21, the 21st annual upgrade of its routing, mileage and mapping software solution. PC*Miler 21 offers a new fuel optimization feature, truck-specific toll cost functionality, significantly improved map graphics and navigation functionality, as well as important database updates, according to the company.
“ALK updates our North American truck-specific routing network constantly,” says Kara Jo Witkowski, senior product manager of business solutions for Princeton, N.J.-based ALK. “PC*Miler routing is largely based on historical truck traffic flows and their related GPS sightings, in addition to several other data sources. For example, PC*Miler 21 incorporates more than 5,000 truck weight restriction enhancements in one region alone.”
This year’s release includes PC*Miler|Fuel Optimization, an option designed to give customers the best fuel purchase plan for each route generated; drivers can follow a route with turn-by-turn directions that includes specific instructions on exactly where to purchase fuel along the way. ALK says customers who use fuel optimization can save from 4 cents to 11 cents a gallon when drivers purchase fuel on the road. PC*Miler|Fuel Optimization is based on fuel prices updated daily at thousands of pumps in North America and is powered by ALK’s partnership with Integrated Decision Support Corporation’s FuelAdvice.com.
ALK says PC*Miler 21 provides fresh data and a substantial update of truck-specific restrictions based on 13 foot-6 inch height, 80,000-pound gross weight and widths of 96 inches, as well as 48- and 53-foot/102-inch trailer lengths; updates include critical changes in Kentucky and West Virginia and along the Trans-Canada Highway. PC*Miler 21 helps avoid low bridge clearances, load limits, one-way roads, turn restrictions and more. Street-level updates from more than 650 U.S. counties constitute more than 1 million miles of updated data, including major road construction projects, according to the company.
Another new optional module in PC*Miler 21 are six million points of interest from infoUSA’s business database, any of which can be included in a route, according to ALK; among the truck-related points are truck stops, rest areas, official weigh stations and CAT scales.
Integrated tolls functionality
PC*Miler|Tolls 21 is the latest version of ALK’s toll cost solution introduced in 2003 as ALK|Fleetsuite Tolls. With the release of Version 21, tolls functionality has been integrated into ALK’S PC*Miler family of solutions, allowing transportation and logistics companies to precisely calculate truck-specific tolls for planning, collection and reconciliation while using PC*Miler 21, according to the company.
“We’ve integrated toll costs into PC*Miler for customer convenience and ease of use,” said Ed Siciliano, vice president of sales and marketing at ALK. “Tolls are increasingly important in transportation costing, and the current political debates over tolls are a clear signal that new tolls are coming and existing tolls will rise – something that will happen whether facilities are managed by private interests or government. We want our customers to be prepared.”
ALK says PC*Miler|Tolls 21 incorporates the latest truck-specific costs from toll roads, tolled bridges, tolled tunnels and international border crossings across North America, and for the first time also includes Canadian tolls. For customer convenience, PC*Miler|Tolls 21 comes with a currency converter to report toll costs in either U.S. or Canadian dollars.
The new software adds six electronic and discount toll programs to the 19 previously included, among them Cruise Card, E-Pass, EXpressToll, EZ Tag, E-ZPass, Fast Lane, FasTrak, I-Pass, K-Tag, M-Tag, PikePass, Palmetto Pass, PikePass, Smart Tag, SunPass, TollTag and Transpass. The newly added programs in the United States are I-Zoom, Indiana; O-Pass, Florida, and Laredo Trade Tag and TxTag, both in Texas. Newly added programs in Canada are 407 ETR Transponder, Ontario; B-Pass, New Brunswick; MacPass, Nova Scotia; StraitPass, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick; and E-Pass Canada, Nova Scotia.
PC*Miler|Tolls 21 users will receive quarterly updates to keep all truck-specific toll data current. ALK says its team of toll experts constantly gathers information from North American toll facilities and updates the truck-specific toll database on a full-time basis. PC*Miler|Tolls 21 runs on a PC or a server; versions are available for Microsoft Windows and IBM iSeries (AS/400) midrange computers.