In a move to provide professional truck drivers with the necessary tools to maximize productivity and profits, Rand McNally says it has introduced new, affordable commercial truck routing and business management software for the PC.
Rand McNally’s RouteTools software is a routing, mileage and business management solution designed for professional drivers to plan routes on truck-drivable roads, navigate using detailed route itineraries, integrate fueling stops and calculate precise mileage for accurate billing and fuel tax reporting. In developing the new software, Rand McNally says it drew on its knowledge and expertise of the commercial transportation market, as well as on suggestions from hundreds of over-the-road commercial truck drivers.
“The feedback we received from professional drivers was instrumental in helping us tailor the product to their needs, equipping them with the most essential tools at an affordable cost from the company they trust to provide accurate routing,” says Donna Koppensteiner, vice president of the enterprise division for Skokie, Ill.-based Rand McNally. “They stressed the importance of truck-attributed directions and features that allow them to locate truckstops as well as the quickest routes and mileage options.”
In addition to calculating fast fuel-efficient multistop routes, RouteTools is designed to generate trips based on user-defined truck configuration to help avoid hefty fines. Rand McNally says its GIS experts and cartographers draw on the company’s own proprietary data, which then is enhanced from a variety of sources to equip drivers with specific truck-drivable routing; the result is reliable point-to-point mapping and routing for the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The software also features detailed descriptions of almost 6,000 truckstop locations and their amenities to help drivers maximize their downtime. For example, drivers can ensure that an Internet connection, a truck wash, an ATM and a full-service restaurant are available in advance of an overnight stay. For drivers who use Rand McNally’s Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas, the software provides full-color maps and directions that reference the appropriate pages in the 2009 edition of the book, according to the company.
As business management software, RouteTools is designed to equip professional drivers with features that help them bill accurately, record expenses and calculate mileage for accurate fuel tax reporting in each state or province. RouteTools also helps manage fuel expenses by directing drivers to their preferred fuel retailer through a listing of nearly 6,000 fuel stops. For an additional monthly fee, professional drivers are given access to a fuel-optimized routing service via the Web that helps them navigate based on lowest fuel prices available that day.
For drivers not familiar with routing software, the company says RouteTools also provides user-friendly menus and pop-up screen tips of each feature. “Rand McNally’s goal is to build on RouteTools’ routing, mapping and business management tools to eventually offer a full suite of products designed for the professional driver,” Koppensteiner says.
RouteTools software is available as a one-time online download for PCs, or on CD-ROM, beginning in December; the suggested retail price is $79.95. For more information and to purchase the software, click here.