Trippak Mobile and Rejected Images.

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, hope everyone is doing well this morning. This blog is for user of the Trippak Mobile App on the smart phones and potential users. For those of you who have been getting images rejected, that I did test runs yesterday afternoon on 5 different smart phones. I was using a stand alone clipboard to capture the images. Which I think helps tremendously. The first, Iphone 4 I had no rejected images. The Second was the Iphone 3G all images were rejected. The Third the Droid LG all images went through just fine. The Fourth was the Samsung droid which the phone looked older and I had a feeling the images would be rejected but surprisingly all images went through just fine and looked great on the other end as well. The Fifth was the Droid My Touch, it is a relatively new phone all images went through but when I viewed them on Trippak website the images were sideways and looked horrendous. I am going to try something different with the Droid My Touch to see if we can make it work. So in conclusion for the moment the Iphone 44S are the best phones to use so far. If you have had images rejected today or in the future please call me or Jason or Gerald and let us know what kind of phone you are using. Also just a reminder we have scanners in the store that can connect to your smart phone so you don't have to worry about lighting or trying to get a perfect image the scanner does it for you. Thank you guys for your time this morning and have a great and safe day. GO MERCER!!


A Little Insight and Tips for Trippak Mobile.

Team Mercer,

First of all I want to thank each of you for your continued support, commitment to the transformation to In-Cab solutions, and most recently your invaluable feedback related to some of the advancements we have rolled out (and will continue to roll out) in an attempt to continually improve the quality of our TripPak MOBILE solution.

Last week; the inaugural week of activation of the “Eagle Eye” image quality threshold assurance application, I received a lot of good feedback and examples from this group. Generally I’ll categorize the feedback received in the two categories listed below:

Category 1 – Images rejected that look clear (The threshold is set too high) – This feedback was provided by Contractor Relations. In a number of cases, these were screen shots from the phones used, which is not a good indicator of the actual quality of the full image, nor does it reflect the algorithmic scoring technology at work behind the scenes. Said differently, you cannot tell how the image will appear from what looks like a legible document on a 3” screen.

Category 2 – Images that made it through the threshold that were illegible (The threshold is set too low) – I received at least one of this type of feedback from Jessica’s group that was admittedly a bad image that made it through the threshold setting. How does this happen?????

I’ll explain as briefly as I can the cause/effect & most of all the cure for both of the above…..but would suggest that I speak with you in group to provide further explanation and answer what I would image will be more questions.

Cause – In almost all cases, regardless of the category above, the chief cause is that the images were not cropped prior to submission. Keep in mind that the Eagle Eye quality threshold simply establishes a threshold standard. It does not replace the need for the user to follow the basic fundamentals necessary to have successful transmissions accepted. In the simplest terms these are LIGHT, CROPPING, and FOCUS. Here are more detailed suggestions:
• Make sure you take photo’s under good lighting conditions.
• Always crop your photo to identify the outer edges – this is done by simply using your finger to pull the yellow lines on the screen to the image edge
• If in your cab, make sure your truck is turned off when capturing the image to eliminate vibration.
• Preview your photo’s before sending, and retake a photo if you cannot read the document on your phone (if you can’t read it, we won’t be able to either)
• Be sure to hold the phone level and hover it over the document to make sure you are capturing the entire document.
• If available on your phone, be sure to use the “auto-focus” function.
• Make sure the phone you are using has a minimum camera resolution of no less than 4 MP.

Effect
• Bad cropping or no cropping whatsoever – This can cause both a legible document to be rejected, and an illegible document to make it past the threshold. Ok Mitch….Now you’ve really lost your marbles. How in the world can this cause both COMPLETELY OPPOSITE effects to occur??!!! Let me explain (and it is also true that sometimes I lose my marbles)….Bad or no cropping against a black boarder background can actually cause an otherwise illegible document to score what we call a “False Positive.” Given that the algorithms are considering (among other things) pixel counts, a solid black boarder exposed because there was no cropping of the image before sending will actually artificially inflate the score and send through a bad quality image. Conversely, and completely the opposite effect occurs with poor or no cropping occurs against a light background. This creates low pixel counts (you see it as excessive speckles around the boarder of the image. This effect drives down the overall score of what can easily be an otherwise good quality image and cause it to be rejected. So the moral of this story is that the ALL IMAGES MUST BE CROPPED to assure proper scoring.
• Poor lighting – Pretty self-explanatory really. Pixel count/resolution are essential ingredients in the overall score of a document. Low light negatively impacts both of these factors.
• Focus – Lack of focus also impacts the overall score. In many of the examples provided, the images were generally legible, but you could tell that they would lose focus and were more blurry as you looked to one side against the other or from top to bottom.

Suggestions for continual improvement:
• We would recommend lowering the threshold once more to a score of 50 (from the current setting of 55). Many of the examples received scored very close to the current setting and would have been accepted under the new recommended score.
• If you have not already, and even if you have, we’d recommend a continued message to your contractors to remind them of the basic tips for assuring good quality image acceptance (Light, cropping, focus).
• See the attached – we will soon be rolling out the next release which will provide auto cropping. This will take us even further towards a user “goof proof” solution.

I hope this makes sense to you all, and was helpful. Please do call or message me however if you need me to provide further explanation and assistance over the phone or in person.


Driver Appreciation Day

Come one come all contractors of Mercer Transportation. The main Mercer Office in Louisville would like to take advantage of the excellent weather we've been having and break out the grill and serve up some hamburgers and hot dogs. Located at the drivers lounge at Mercer this Friday 04/20/12. We'll probably start grilling around noon. We'd like to just get together and have a good time and talk about how everyone is doing or talk about whatever. So come on down to Mercer Town grab a plate and a chair and take a break. Thank you guys and see you Friday. GO MERCER!!!


Trippak Mobile Application

I know a lot of our contractors have had some issues with the Mobile phone scanning. From what I have heard Trippak has raised the resolution standard by which we receive images. We had a number of phone calls yesterday about contractors getting (rejection) messages after trying to send in a package of documents. I have spoken with Mitch at Trippak and he is going to lower the resolution standard and see if that will help to receive less rejection messages. Basically we (Mercer) and Trippak are trying to weed out the images that are just plain unreadable. For those of you who have been using the phone application for a while if you could call me later this week and give me some feedback after he lowers the resolution tomorrow. So hopefully this will help us out. Mitch is going to be calling me at the end of the week to see how things are going with the mobile application. Thank you guys and GO MERCER!!


Win a Set or Steer Tires!!!

Equipment...
WIN A SET OF STEER TIRES: As I'm sure you've noticed over the past couple of years, Goodyear has been the exclusive sponsor of Hooked Up pretty much since day one. Other companies have wanted to come onboard, but we've kept it exclusive to Goodyear. As a show of thanks, they've given me a set of G399 Fuel Max steer tires, their most fuel-efficient steer tire for linehaul applications. One problem - I don't have a truck to put them on! So I'm giving away these tires to a lucky Hooked Up reader.
All you have to do is e-mail me at jmenzies@trucknews.com with your tire failure horror story. Keep it short and entertaining (if possible). The contest will run over the next few editions of Hooked Up with the tires going to the reader with the best (or worst, as the case may be) tire failure horror story. Since the G399 steer tire is intended for linehaul applications, this contest is open only to linehaul fleets and owner/operators. However, there's good news, Goodyear has told me they may give me additional tires suited for other applications such as waste/refuse, regional, etc. in future months. So let's hear it! Send me your stories and maybe something good can come out of a bad experience.
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This is a contest sponsored by Hooked Up Magazine for a set of steer tires.


Contsruction on the Bridges in Nashville

Weekend jaunts into downtown Nashville will be complicated for several months as the Tennessee Department of Transportation replaces two bridges on Interstate 24 near LP Field.

TDOT plans to close I-24 in both directions between the I-40 and I-65 splits for 13 weekends starting April 20. TDOT is specifically replacing the bridges that pass over Main Street and Woodland Street.

Drivers will find that section of the interstate closed for nearly every weekend until Aug. 31. Crews, working 24 hours a day, will begin construction each Friday at 9 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. on Mondays. During that time, all I-24 traffic between the I-40 and I-65 splits will be detoured around the city.

In addition, Main Street and Woodland Street, from Interstate Drive to South Fifth Street, are expected to see closures during parts of construction. The I-24 on-ramps at Shelby Avenue and Spring Street are also expected to be closed at times.

“Obviously, where we are is an area that’s got a lot of traffic, a lot of concerns,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We have taken all considerations in this project in how we can best build it and have the least amount of impact in what goes on in and around this particular area.”

Still, the closures will wipe out easy and quick access from major interstates to East Nashville near downtown, Madison, Ellington Parkway and LP Field — including for some possible preseason Titans games in late August. Officials are suspending construction during a few weekends with major events: April 27-29 for the Country Music Marathon, June 7-10 for the Country Music Awards and June 23 for the Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw concert.

TDOT hopes to finish the project by Aug. 31; it has built in several alternative weekends in case of delays.


Eclipse Log Program.

Good Morning everyone.

I'm sure by now quite a few people are aware of the Eclipse logbook program. We have gotten some great feed back from our contractors who have started using the program. And everyone is happy Mercer is paying for it and will continue to pay for the program until otherwise noted. Tell your friends, your family members who are leased to Mercer Transportation the Eclipse Logbook is a good tool to use. Thanks everyone and GO MERCER!!!


NEW TRIPPAK SCANNING OPTION

Good morning from Mercertown!  It has been about a year since we have transitioned over to trip scanning for the entire fleet.  It has been a big adjustment, and also a learning process, but for the most part, drivers seem to love the new system.  Even though, we have had a few minor issues.

A common frustration was the lack of image quality that the smartphone option produced.  Much of the paperwork we received from smartphones, had to be resent, because it just was not legible. Some of the problem was different smartphones have different cameras.  It was very hard to get a quality image from every phone. 

Now we may have a solution for those of you that prefer to use your smartphone to transmit your documents.  Trippak has developed a new scanner that is compatible with your smartphone.  It is battery powered, and just plugs into your smartphone.  You can use it to scan your documents into the Trippak Mobile App, and then send them to Mercer.

The trippak scanner will be available in our company store as early as next week.  It will cost $160.  Please keep in mind that this scanner only works with smartphones.  If you use a laptop computer, and have a Trippak In-Cab Scanner, you do not need this scanner.  But if you would like to use your smartphone to send in your paperwork through the Trippak Mobile App on your smartphone, this scanner will provide Mercer with a quality image, much better than using the camera on the phone to capture your documents.  There is also another compatible smartphone scanner like the Trippak model on the market.  It is the Visioneer Mobility Scanner.  I don't have a lot of info on this scanner besides this link - http://support.visioneer.com/products/Mobility/default.asp

I do know of a Mercer contractor that is already using this scanner, and it works great!  If you have any questions, please use the comments section, and we will answer right away.  Have a great day, and GO MERCER!!!


*Government Paperwork*

Hello Everyone. I want to take some time today and discuss a topic concerning Government paperwork and, signature and tally sheets. Please be aware that when running a Government load, please make sure to read ALL Marks and Annotations on the GBL. To get paid on a Government load that requires a sig-tally sheet you must turn in ALL pages of your GBL and a signed signature and tally record. A signature tally sheet is a separate form that shows the chain of possession for a load of freight. The shipper will provide this form and MUST be properly signed by the driver and the delivery site. On a GBL if there are multiple pages they ALL must be turned in to billing. If not it will delay your pay, and is non-negotiable. If you need to get extra copies of your bills, ask. Call the agent before you leave the facility, loading or unloading, to make sure you have the appropriate paperwork. We are aware when you make deliveries at Government facilities they will sign the GBL and keep one of the pages. This is where an extra copy will come in handy, or ask the signer to make a copy of the page for you. Thank you for your attention concerning this matter. Have a good day everyone and GO MERCER!!!


Pickup Appointments - Delivery Appointments

Pickup Appointments - Delivery Appointments
To all of our Mercer Contractors. Most of you are efficient and on time when picking up and delivering and that's why our reputation as an on-time carrier is very good. And we thank you for getting the job done. I just want everyone to be aware when a pickup/delivery appointment is made it is critical to keep to the schedule. We know when our Contractors call shippers to get directions it is not uncommon to hear, " If you can get here today we'll load you up," which is good to hear. Everyone would like to get loaded and empty as quickly and safely as they can. However; a lot of our customers set these appointments to try to keep things running smoothly and efficiently. When we have contractors that do happen to go in the day before a scheduled appointment to get loaded sometimes we do hear from our customers asking us, why did that driver load this load already? Unfortunately it does make us look bad when we don't keep to the schedule. I do want to stress that you guys do a great job at being "Johnny on the Spot." In closing I just want to remind everyone to please make sure that when you pickup or deliver if there is an appointment for the order lets stick with it. Thank you for all you guys do and GO MERCER!!!