True Wind Capital’s investment in Transflo will help with investment, CEO says

Transflo had a strong 2017 and things continue to look bright in 2018 as the company has received new investment from True Wind Capital.

Frank Adelman also says the company is ready as the hard enforcement date for ELD compliance approaches

With one round of electronic logging device (ELD) madness behind, and another likely upcoming ahead of the April 1 hard enforcement date, Transflo President & CEO Frank Adelman says his company is prepared for another round of drivers rushing to get compliant devices.

“It does create some additional pressure in the supply chain,” he tells FreightWaves about the last-minute buying. “As we talk to our channels, we know there are a number of [drivers/fleets not compliant].”

As of April 1, enforcement officers will begin placing drivers without a compliant ELD device out-of-service. Currently, only fines and warnings are issued.

Adelman says Transflo will handle the next wave of buyers like it handled the first – purchasers receive coupons to take to a major truck stop stocking a Transflo Telematics ELD for pickup. This eliminates shipping and delays in drivers receiving the device. He does advise drivers to become compliant sooner, though, and not wait until the last minute.

ELDs was one of the topics Adelman touched on in the interview, which started with the recent investment by True Wind Capital Management to acquire a majority stake in the Tampa, FL-based technology company.

“True Wind invests in companies that have new technologies and [provide] technology leadership,” Adelman explains. “As we move to a technology company, it helps us with our growth.”

Carousel Capital, Transflo’s owner since 2013, will remain a minority investor.

The investment by True Wind also comes at a time when Transflo is seeing the market readily accept its technology solutions, with its signature product, Transflo Mobile, growing to over 940,000 active users – achieving 72% growth in 2017. The company facilitates nearly $54 billion in freight volume and digitizes 500 million transportation documents throughout the supply chain.

Just announced in December is an integration with epay, a provider of prepaid payment processing. The integration allows users of the Transflo Telematics ELD to prepay for three months of service using cash, similar to a prepaid cell phone.

“It’s really for the guys who work on a cash basis,” Adelman says, “or for the unbankable.”

“Prepaid replenishment for electronic logging to our content portfolio provides a needed service for both professional drivers and truck stop retailers,” Bryan Zingg, president of epay North America, says. “We’re strengthening our distribution network and ensuring that drivers, particularly owner-operators, have access to the convenience they need to stay compliant with the government’s new electronic logging rules.”

Transflo Telematics also can provide fleet managers with a range of reports and data, including driver behavior, vehicle diagnostics, GPS tracking and other benefits.

For drivers, an integration with Pilot Flying J’s MyPilot rewards program provides wait times for diesel at the pump as well as cardless fuel payment options.

All of the programs amounted to one thing for Transflo: A stellar 2017, and a bright outlook for 2018. If there is one hidden gem in all of this, though, it’s the industry’s adoption of open architecture solutions.

“We’re surprised at the growth and types of carriers that are moving to our open architecture solutions,” Adelman says, noting that it has been an industry-wide movement in recent years. “It offers freight carriers and brokers the opportunity to adapt to market changes without having to wait months or years” or requiring large financial investments.

(Additional reporting by Joshua Gordon)

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.