Tracking Advisor is option for new or existing systems Tracking Advisor adds map-based vehicle tracking to Fleet Advisor, the fleet logistics management system from Eaton Corp.'s Trucking Information Services. It can be ordered as an option for new Fleet Advisor systems or added to existing systems.

The new map interface provides both real-time vehicle positions and "bread crumb" histories of vehicle movements, allowing fleets to graphically depict current, future, and completed routes. It can generate status-by-exception views to help dispatchers and route planners monitor fleet progress in real time, filtering data for early or late arrivals and departures, extended stops, and other performance parameters. Fleet managers can also drill down through data to see specific performance data by vehicle, driver, route, or general operating area.

Tracking Advisor runs in a client/server environment and features an open GIS architecture that can be used with digital maps from a variety of suppliers.

Qualcomm says it will launch a wireless communications fleet management system in Europe this spring. The new company, which will be called eQ-COM, will combine Qualcomm's wireless expertise with fleet management hardware and software developed by Simac Mobile Solutions bv. Simac is owned by Qualcomm.

Initial eQ-COM operations will focus on road transport and related industries in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. It will offer a single-source fleet management system.

The newest version of Hand Held Products' portable data collection device features a digital image camera with an integrated image processor, allowing it to read linear and PDF417 bar codes and 2D matrix codes, as well as capture photos of signatures and documents. The Dolphin 7200-2D also provides optical character recognition (OCR) for reading OCR fonts.

The high-resolution hand-held unit features omni-directional and auto-discriminating decoding of all popular bar code symbologies, according to the company. Its display screen acts as a view finder for image capture, and it can store over 100 images. Like other Dolphin models, the 7200-2D is designed for single-handed operation.

DAT Services announced the promotion of four departmental directors to vice president to help prepare the company for what it believes will be "significant transportation e-commerce growth in the new millennium." They are: David Mills, operations; Ross Summers, marketing; Harrison Peddie, sales; and Theresa O'Doherty, finance and administration.

Bridgestone/Firestone Truck Tires Sales Co. is offering its fleet customers a special plan to purchase or lease Dell computers and other information technology hardware and software. The program allows fleets to order prepackaged or customized personal computer systems including printers, monitors, and software. For details, visit www.trucktires.com.

Kevin Sullivan has been named director of marketing at Prophesy Transportation Software, located in Bloomfield, Conn. The company provides Windows-based software for transportation and distribution operations, including dispatch, mileage and routing, fuel tax report, log auditing, and fleet maintenance applications.

Landstar System, the truckload and logistics services company, has opened a freight and truck posting Web site through its wholly owned subsidiary Signature Technology Services Inc. (STSI). The new site, eFr8.com, allows both shippers and truck operators to program customized searches for loads and equipment. Results of those searches can be delivered via phone, fax, e-mail, or pager e-mail.

Although Landstar will post surplus loads on the public site and some of its various fleet companies might use the site to generate loads when they have available capacity, its purpose is to "round out our customers' services," says Jim Martin, president of STSI and vp of corporate development for Landstar.

In its first nine days of operation, eFr8.com registered over 1,400 users and averaged over 1,000 truck and load reviews a day, according to Martin. Site use will be free of charge until April 1, when Landstar expects to introduce a nominal subscription fee.

Starting next year, Freightliner, Sterling, Dodge Truck, and other DaimlerChrysler divisions will offer digital radio equipment capable of receiving Sirius Satellite Radio service. Sirius Radio is developing a subscription-based radio system that will provide up to 100 channels of programming with seamless coast-to-coast coverage.

Under terms of an agreement announced on February 1, DaimlerChrysler will purchase $100 million in Sirius common stock and will offer factory installation of Sirius radios in all of its various car and truck models, including Freightliner, Sterling, and Dodge trucks. The two companies say they will also jointly develop new wireless features such as navigation and security systems using the Sirius national digital broadcasting system.

"It is crucial that our commercial vehicle customers have the most advanced technologies and the best entertainment options for the long hours spent on the road," says Jim Hebe, president and CEO of Freightliner Corp.

New chief is former head of Qualcomm's Omnitracs

The cellular telephone and wireless data company PeopleNet Communications Corp. has received a $25-million investment from Norwest Equity Partners, a private equity firm.

At the same time, the company announced that John Sartos, a former president of Qualcomm Inc.'s OmniTracs division, has been installed as board chairman and CEO.

PeopleNet's Intouch fleet management and messaging system combines cellular communications, global positioning system (GPS) tracking, and Internet services.

With the new infusion of capital, Sartos says, "We will continue to focus PeopleNet's efforts in the areas of Web-based wireless communications and application services. We will also expand those efforts into even broader areas of business solutions and information management within the supply chain."

Dispatch QB from Prophesy Transportation Software Inc. is a Windows-based dispatching management program that includes a seamless interface that allows it to be integrated with QuickBooks Accounting software.

The program can track mileage and routing, freight billing, driver advances, and fuel tax records. It also provides easy mileage calculation, offers quick views of available loads, drivers and equipment, and tracks fleet trailers. In addition, it can support customer shipment tracking over the Internet.

Dispatch, which is a simpler version without the Quickbooks interface, is also available for smaller fleets. Both programs can be set up in single user or network configurations. Visit www.mile.com on the Internet.

Consumer product giant Colgate-Palmolive will add Logistics.com's OptiBid auction tool to its transportation management system. OptiBid is an optimization-based bid and lane assignment system that helps shippers solicit and analyze freight proposals from carriers, allowing shippers to look at price, capacity commitments, and historical service performance. Logistics.com is a new company formed earlier this year with optimization products acquired from Sabre Logistics.

TMW Systems Inc. will hold its annual users group meeting on October 4 through 8 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Cleveland. The meeting will include over 20 roundtable discussions for fleets using the developer's PowerSuite for Windows and TL2000 fleet management systems.

FreitRater 4.5.1 offers a fast, accurate rating system that integrates with existing accounting systems for freight bill rating, rate analysis, and rate publishing, according to Commercial Transportation Services. Available in UNIX and Windows NT versions, the rating program handles both contract rates and tariffs, and allows carriers to enter negotiated rates. It also has a standard import/export feature.