04/23/10

  12:10:16 pm, Categories: new features , Tags: queries, routes

The TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ has had some powerful new features added in the last few weeks that I'd like to make sure you are aware of.

First of all, we've added a more powerful query entry:

  • Save the queries that you run for quick access later.
  • Specify the route that you are currently running so that the points are auto filled when you return.
  • Load the query screen quickly. All of the text that we put on the TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ home page for new users and search engines has been removed.
  • Specify up to 3 via points on a query.
  • Indicate the stops that you plan to make on the route.
  • Have quick access to stops by state, interstate, affiliation, through a new menu system.

You must be a registered user to utilize this new feature, but registration is free and easy.

Let's take a quick walk through of this new feature:

  1. Start off at FindFuelStops.com.
  2. To the right of the route entry area, you'll see an "Advanced Query" button, click it.
  3. If you are not logged on, you'll be prompted to do so. Register if you haven't already.
  4. You are now on the advanced query page. Enter the points of your route. I entered Boise, ID as the origin, and Portland, OR as my destination.
  5. After you've changed your search criteria and selected your desired amenities, click the "Find Stops" button.
  6. You are presented with the stops along the route. Place a check next to stops that you plan to make, I chose Gem Stop in Nampa, ID, and Troutdale Travel Center in Troutdale, OR.
  7. Towards the top of the page, you'll see a "Save as Active Route" button, click it.

That's it! Now, every time I return to FindFuelStops.com and log in, this route will appear as a link at the top of the screen. I need only click on it to have it automatically entered for me again. I also am able to specify how far I've traveled from the origin (Boise in this example). Updating the progress on my route will allow me to use some advanced features still in the works.

As an alternative, if this is a query that I expect to run again in the future, I could name and save the query. This would cause the query to appear in the Queries menu at the top of the page.

Now that I've created my first route, I see some of the other new features we've added:

  • Keep a historical register of routes that you've run.
  • Track fuel purchases you make.
  • Have an unlimited number of stops on a route.

Want to try it?

  1. Click on the "Active Route" link at the top of the screen. You're now on the route entry window. Here I see the stops of my route, as well as the fuel stops that I selected as "planned" stops when I created my query. I can remove stops that I didn't actually make, or scroll down and select additional ones that I did make from the complete list of stops on the route.
  2. Let's say that I'm 125 miles from Boise now, enroute to Portland. I enter 125 in the "Current Miles from origin" text box.
  3. In my case, I actually did stop at Gem Stop in Nampa, ID. I enter the date and time that I stopped there, as well as the cost and quantity of fuel, and click "Save".
  4. The details that I've added to this route are now saved, and again accessible from the "Active Route" link at the top of the page every time I return to FindFuelStops.com and log in.
  5. I can also access this route (and any other ones that I've created) at any point in the future by selecting the "Route List" option from the "Routes" menu at the top left of the page.

We hope that these new features make your use of the TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ more efficient and beneficial.

Coming soon: IFTA tax reporting, road condition alerts, fuel price change alerts.

Greg Dodson
TruckMaster Fuel Finder

07/04/09

  09:50:56 am, Categories: new features , Tags: canada

Canada

We've now finished our addition of support for Canadian truck stops:

  • Provinces now appear in the drop down list of states for the Fuel Finder engine
  • There is now a page for each province with its truck stops (ex, Alberta)
  • We've added an option to return all prices in a) their native format, b) US gallons, or c) Canadian litres
  • We've added an option to return truck stop results with miles or kilometers
  • Prices now appear in US gallons -and- Canadian litres on all truck stop pages

Current Status

We're working hard to validate and add an additional 4000 truck stops that we've got partial data on. Expect all of these stops to be added over the coming months.

Please continue to tell your friends and co-workers about the Fuel Finder™, we rely on your help to keep the project going.

Have a great Fourth of July!

Greg Dodson
TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ Team

04/27/09

  05:44:25 pm, Categories: new features , Tags: interstate listings

You probably think that we've been slacking off here the last 30 days or so, as we haven't been announcing any changes - not so! We're just working on some big improvements that are taking some time to implement. In the meantime, we finished up and installed a change today that we've been asked for many times - truck stop listings by state.

You can access the listings from the main Fuel Finder page, down towards the bottom, above the survey, or take the hyperlink in the top paragraph ("find a truck stop by interstate").

There are probably many truck stops that are on interstates that we don't show, if you find any, please submit an addition request, or submit a correction request on the appropriate truck stop page if it's there but just missing the interstate and/or exit #. This is a work in progress.

We hope you enjoy this new feature, and tell your friends about it.

Greg Dodson
TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ Team

03/15/09

Based on input provided by users of the TruckMaster Fuel Finder™, we've implemented several new features this weekend. Special thanks to kent0242 who provided many of these great suggestions.

  • Registered users may now update prices for truck stops that we don't get direct pricing from. When you go to a truck stop page, such as this one, you'll see a link right under the "Diesel CPG" that will give you an area to update the CPG. The submitted CPG will be kept in our system for 2 days, or until someone else updates it with a more current figure.
  • If you see incorrect information that we have on a truck stop page, you can request a correction. Simply follow the "Report Incorrect Information" link at the top of any truck stop page (such as the one above). You'll be provided with an area to tell us what information is incorrect. A TruckMaster Solution Provider will receive your submission and, after verification, make the appropriate corrections. This new feature requires that you a registered user.
  • Registered users can suggest truck stops that they'd like to have added to the Fuel Finder™. Provide us with basic information about the truck stop, and we'll contact them to get the details that we need.
  • You'll now see ratings for truck stops on all truck stop listings, including the by-state, by-affiliation, and search results pages. These ratings are entered by registered users by way of our review system.
  • Truck stop results can now be viewed in a printer-friendly format. After you run a truck stop search from the Fuel Finder™ main page, you'll see a "Print-Friendly" link above the results. This opens in a new window, so that when you print it, you're not having to print all the "junk" that appears on our main page. It's important "junk" to us so that search engines are able to find us better, but we understand that it may not be as important to you :).

I think that's about it, quite a few big improvements, and more are headed your way. Thanks to all for the great feedback you've been giving us. It's wonderful to hear how useful people are finding the tool.

Greg Dodson
President
TruckMaster Logistics Systems, Inc.
TruckMaster Your Trucking Company™

To my brother, Lyle Dodson
12/07/1955 - 03/15/2009
You'll be greatly missed.

02/17/09

We have a couple new features to announce, the ability to filter truck stop searches by one or more chain affiliations, as well as an experimental "fill group" feature, explained in a minute.

The chain affiliation filter allows you to place check boxes next to one or more chain names, "no chain" being one of the options. This will restrict the returned results by the Fuel Finder™ to those chains, only. It's pretty easy and straight forward.

The next feature isn't quite so easily explained - "Fill Groups".

This feature has been required on many surveys that we've received over the past weeks. We spent some time reviewing what we wanted to achieve with this feature based on your input, and think that it will satisfy the slightly different angles that the different requests came from.

When you're entering the route start and end points, you'll see a couple new fields, "Start Range", and "Full Range". The start range is the number of miles that you are able to travel starting from the origin on the fuel that's currently in your tank. The full range is the number of miles you're able to travel on a full tank.

The Fuel Finder™ engine takes this information, and adds a "Fill Group" column to the returned results. This "Fill Group" is a group of truck stops that fall between 10% tank capacity, and an empty tank. The concept is that these are the most logical stops to visit, based solely on your range of travel.

All results will have this added "Fill Group" column if you enter the "Start Range" and "Full Range" figures prior to running the search, but if you choose the "Miles from Origin" sort order, the fill groups will also be color coded to allow you to quickly and easily see your options.

An error will be displayed at the top of the results should there be too large a gap between truck stops for you to traverse. This is unlikely, unless you have a tiny tank, or have filtered the results using the aforementioned chain filters.

As with many other features that we've added lately, this one opens the door to many more cool things that we could do, such as use this data to suggest smaller purchase amounts at more expensive stops to get you to a stop where you can fill up at a cheaper cost, but these things will have to come as time and budgets allow.

Give this new feature a try, and give us your feedback please, we think it's pretty cool. The support guys have been playing like they're little diesel powered Hondas with 20 gallon tanks to see if they can make it from city to city. lol.

Greg Dodson
TruckMaster Logistics Systems
TruckMaster Your Trucking Company

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We use this blog to announce new or upcoming features to the TruckMaster Fuel Finder. Feel free to post your thoughts about the tool, or suggest a new feature that you feel would make a valuable addition.

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