When Barry Honig’s nephew started driving a dump truck, he talked about all the required paperwork. That got Honig thinking if there was a way to eliminate it.
With a background in financial services, Honig understood the business side of the equation, but he needed a technology partner to build the product. He enlisted his son Benjamin, a developer, to help him build a solution for aggregate industries. The result was TruckPay, a cloud-based system that helps track movement and delivery of aggregates. It also provides a bid platform and payment solution, all through a basic app.
“It’s a full suite of everything you need to run an aggregate supply,” Barry Honig, the company’s president and CEO, told FreightWaves. “As part of our work, when you build a flexible system in aggregates, you have to do a system that charges by the ton or the job.”
That meant building technology that could incorporate scale readings; otherwise the system was not truly paperless. So the Honigs did just that, creating a solution that connected in real time to equipped scales. Seeking to grow the business, Honig met with another company that wanted to know if the solution was available for other applications.
It is now. Leveraging the same technology, the Honigs have released MyTruckScales. The solution is designed for any trucking operation that must weigh its vehicles. It is available for use on any wirelessly equipped scale, from shipper locations to state-run roadside scales.
Truck drivers using the paperless system simply log in to the app on their phone, check the scale number and choose the correct scale in the app. From there, the system takes over. Connecting with the scale, MyTruckScales records the relevant information, creates an electronic ticket, and sends that to the app, scale owner, and any other entity designated by the driver or scale owner. No paper to deal with, no need for the driver to exit the vehicle, and a complete, verifiable record of the transaction.
The company said this reduces time spent at scales for drivers and lowers costs for scale owners.
The free app itself is now available on Google Play and in the Apple iOS store. There is also a web portal for scale owners, who also gain efficiencies and cost savings with the system, Honig said.
In addition to eliminating paper tickets for drivers, MyTruckScales can replace the physical kiosks and scale houses that must be built and manned alongside scales. There is also no need for a scale master. The electronic nature of the platform removes the need for these legacy structures and staff, driving further cost savings for scale owners.
“There are still a lot of people in the market that are looking to purchase these kiosks, and they are expensive and there is a lot of [installation of related equipment] needed,” Benjamin Honig said, noting that the initial cost to wirelessly equip a scale is around $4,000. If the scale already has wireless capability, there is almost no setup costs.
Sensors can be added to the scale for the system to interact with, but are not required, and there is initial setup of the account and “virtual kiosks” needed by the scale owner, but there is also plenty of flexibility. Scales can be geofenced used by the app so that the driver can determine which scale is closest to them and to determine if the driver is weighing in or out at the correct scale and to determine which virtual kiosks to present to the driver,
“Everything is totally flexible for the scale owner,” Barry Honig said. “And the nice thing for the scale owner is we allow them to copy the kiosk so if they have multiple scales, they can just duplicate it [once one is set up].”
Benjamin Honig said the setup of the account is flexible and that scale-owners can easily set up their accounts and configure their virtual kiosks to capture data in a text field or to have the driver make a selection by tapping a button or selecting from a drop-down list. The data can be exported in PDF, Excel, CSV or through a custom application programming interface.
This flexibility allows the scale owner to even define how payment will be handled. Some companies may allow their drivers to use a company credit card already on file simply by entering an account number, while other drivers — even some in the same company — may need to input their own payment method. MyTruckScales can handle all the billing and payment transactions as well.
MyTruckScales works on any public or private scale equipped with wireless capabilities. It is also for anyone that has a free scale, such as at a manufacturing plant, recycling or at landfill facilities, and allows them to use it for both pay-to-weigh and free scales. Barry Honig said states may consider the use of the technology to help improve weighment processes and ensure prompt payment of fees or fines.
Barry Honig also noted that the app allows drivers to remain in the vehicle to promote safety, eliminating concerns related to slips or falls getting into and out of vehicles, or climbing stairs to get to scalehouses.
Honig said the company has obtained NTEP approval, so the digital tickets are considered legal the same as a paper ticket would be. NTEP-approved scales are intended by the manufacturer for use in commercial weighing applications where products are sold by weight.
MyTruckScales has just launched, but Honig said the company will be onboarding an Indianapolis-area customer shortly and hopes to add others soon. The company is also providing referral fees for any driver who recommends a scale location that then onboards and becomes active with MyTruckScales.