Published June 24, 2014
PedalCoach wants to help trucking companies save on fuel costs.
The app, from Boston startup LinkeDrive, works to help truck drivers get better gas mileage.
The PedalCoach dongle plugs into a truck’s diagnostic port and wirelessly feeds information to a smartphone or a tablet. Drivers see a speedometer-like display on the mobile device, mounted near the side mirrors. When the monitor turns green, smooth sailing. Turning red? There’s room for improvement.
“It’s a bit of a game and … if the drivers follow it, they can compete and earn points and save fuel. It engages them in the act of driving,” says LinkeDrive CEO and founder Jeff Baer. “[E]very mile they drive in the green, they get a point, and those points correspond to fuel savings.”
Baer says roughly one-third of a truck’s fuel economy is dependent on driver behavior.
“When a driver is bringing the vehicle up to speed or creating momentum -- when they’re preserving that momentum through the hills ... Always using the proper amount of fuel in those situations maximizes fuel economy,” says Baer.
He says PedalCoach can save about 10% to 12% in fuel, which comes to about three to ten cents per mile. Customers pay between $100 and $150 each month for the service, and save roughly $300 to $600 each month in fuel costs, according to Baer.
PedalCoach has raised $2 million from angel investors and management. The company launched the app in 2012 and has grown from xxx to 15 employees.
“We’re in over 15 [companies] at this point,” says Baer. “We’re strong in the Northeast, [and the] central Midwest, Missouri, Arkansas area. We’re growing into Wisconsin and Minnesota, and then out in the Rocky Mountains – Denver, Salt Lake City.”