What is A GPS Vehicle Tracking System?
GPS Vehicle Tracking is the technology involved in the tracking of a vehicle’s location and other information for the purpose of data gathering. A device is installed inside the vehicle, which shares data with a receiver, in the form of an app or software. A single receiver can accommodate data from several vehicles, and all data is consolidated and organized to help the business make informed decisions.
Data that is commonly extracted from the vehicle’s device includes current location, location history, fuel consumption, driving speeds, and the vehicle’s rate of use.
The Many Benefits of A GPS Tracker Setup
GPS vehicle tracking solves a lot of problems for fleet managers and drivers alike. Here are some reasons why installing a GPS solution for your fleet is a good idea:
It Reduces Costs
The biggest reason why companies install GPS vehicle tracking is to reduce costs. With the data gathered from the vehicles, managers can pinpoint routes that are inefficient when it comes to fuel costs, such as routes with heavy traffic. The company can then use this data to determine routes that drivers should avoid and routes that can help save on time, fuel, and maintenance.
It Reduces Paperwork
If your fleet doesn’t have a GPS network, you have to document things manually. Drivers have to write down their routes, how much gas they started with, and how much fuel they consumed for the day. Admin also has to manually enter the times when drivers leave for their routes and when they return. With GPS, a lot of this data is transmitted automatically.
Driver Productivity and Compliance
While most drivers do honest work, there’s always that one driver in the fleet who uses the company vehicle for personal reasons. Without GPS, there’s no way for managers to tell if the driver took a nap in the middle of their workday, or if they made detours to the grocery while plying their route.
Because managers can now track the location of their fleet, it helps raise driver productivity and compliance. Managers know exactly where the vehicle has been throughout the day, how much time is spent in a specific location, and when the engine was turned on and off.
The Common Objections Fleet Managers Have With GPS Vehicle Solutions
Despite the many benefits that GPS trackers bring, some fleet managers still feel as if they’re better off without them. What are the common objections managers have with GPS tracking, and what is the truth behind them?
A GPS Tracker Solution Is Costly
This is a very valid concern among fleet managers, especially since a lot of GPS services entail a lot of upfront costs. For a new fleet that has just started to grow, installing GPS on every single automobile might be an unnecessary cost; however, GPS vehicle tracking has been known to save costs in the long term. With the data it provides, managers gain insight as to where their fleet is inefficient and where excessive expenses are. Yes, the entire setup is expensive upfront, but it more than makes up for it in the long run.
Driver – Manager Trust Issues
Managers who are open to the idea of bringing in a GPS tracker setup often get some pushback from their drivers. Nobody wants to be micromanaged and your drivers may think you don’t trust them, which is why you’re monitoring their every move. Open communication is important here, and your drivers should be aware that it has nothing to do with trust, but everything to do with data gathering and business analytics. Data is important in any industry as it gives managers feedback about what works and what doesn’t.
Also, drivers become more open to the idea of installing GPS into their automobiles if they know about its driver-friendly features. A GPS solution would help them determine the best route for their trip, and they can ask for assistance faster in case their car breaks down or gets into a car accident.
The Setup Might Be Too Complicated
Learning new technology always causes resistance, especially if your drivers are not tech-savvy. It’s also common to see older drivers or those who don’t speak English as their first language. Some drivers might feel intimidated by this technology, and that is often the biggest barrier to successful GPS integration.
However, drivers need not worry about anything. Most GPS solutions such as Fleetr are targeted towards fleet managers. Most features are only accessible through the app, which will be used solely by fleet owners or managers. Drivers don’t have to worry about the technology as the device sends data and information automatically once installed.
Are Handmade GPS Vehicle Trackers Advisable?
Fleet managers, in an attempt to save money on GPS networks, may opt to DIY their fleet’s network and install handmade GPS trackers. To be fair, creating your own GPS vehicle network is easy as long as you have the following components:
- The device that will be installed inside the car
- The power supply that will keep the device running
- Network connection so that the device can continually send data to the server
- A computer that will act as the server
- Software that will translate data taken from the device and turn it into something readable and accessible to humans
However, it’s all easier said than done. You will need someone who has the experience and technical know-how to pull it off. The only advantage this setup has is that it’s more affordable, and you can upgrade or replace parts as you see fit.
The downside to this setup is that it can be very inefficient and can give you inaccurate readings. Also, if the GPS tracker is handmade, security is a problem because it’s easier to tamper with. If you have a tech-savvy driver, they can easily manipulate the data that’s being transmitted to the server. And because the setup is made up of several components that have been procured separately, the setup is not very durable and doesn’t have a long lifespan.
Why GPS Location Solutions Providers Are Superior
Fleetr has made it easier for fleet managers to install and maintain their very own GPS tracker network, no matter what the size of their fleet is. If you’re still contemplating purchasing handmade GPS devices, here are some reasons why professional GPS vehicle tracking solutions providers are superior:
Installation is a Breeze
Fleetr makes use of an OBD II Device, which goes into your car’s on-board diagnostics port. All you need to do is connect the device to the port and you’re done. With handmade devices, you still need to do a lot of calibrating, and you also need to provide your own protective glass to secure your device.
You Get Both the Hardware and the Software
The device is useless if it’s not paired with software that will help translate the data it receives into readable forms. If you decide to avail yourself of the services of a GPS provider, you get the full package, all set and calibrated. All you need to do is log in to your account and start tracking your fleet there. As a fleet manager on the go, you can choose to manage your fleet from your laptop, or even a mobile phone.
After Sales Support
The biggest disadvantage DIY devices have is that you have nobody to turn to if something goes wrong. If you need to troubleshoot your entire setup, you need to do your own research and waste a lot of time with trial and error.
With a GPS tracking service provider, you get free after-sales support because you are subscribed to their services. If something about the app is not working correctly, you can contact someone from customer service to help you out.
The Service is Always Online
With DIY devices, you have to provide your own network, and if it goes down, so does your GPS vehicle tracking. Fleetr’s setup is always online because the company providers for the wireless network on which the setup is run at no extra cost to the fleet manager. This ensures that the entire setup is always online and is always gathering important information for you.
The GPS Features You Should Watch Out For
GPS Tracking Solutions vary in features, and your fleet’s needs may change as it grows. However, some features are considered must-haves for any fleet, and you shouldn’t settle for a GPS solutions provider without these features:
The reason why fleet managers purchase GPS vehicle tracking setup is that they want to manage their fleet in real-time. This is why tracking delays is frowned upon. You should be able to see your fleet moving on the map in real-time, so you can make decisions on the fly without any delays.
Notifications and Alerts
Even the most dedicated fleet managers can’t keep an eye on the app at all times of the day. They have other business matters to attend to, and can’t just sit there looking at the map and tracking their drivers.
A good setup will have notifications set up so fleet managers can get alerted if something out of the ordinary happens. Alerts can be set for several situations:
- Vehicles with long idle times
- Speeding automobiles
- Vehicles that use hard braking
Fleetr also has after-hours alerts to accommodate industries that have a 24/7 uptime. This feature also allows fleet managers to monitor their drivers from the comfort of their homes.
Driver Safety Monitoring
A great app will also monitor and alert fleet managers for possible risky or aggressive driver behavior. This includes speeding, sudden acceleration, and sudden braking.
The tracking system should have the capacity to store at least 3 months’ worth of data. Although most fleet managers extract and use data as they come, having a backup of all data for at least 2-3 months can help ensure that nothing gets missed and they have enough data for comparative analysis. Data should include important information such as the starting time, the number and location of stops made, the arrival time, and the total traveling time.
Easy GPS Integration For Your Vehicle
Integrating a GPS setup for your current fleet is definitely easier if you seek out the service of a professional GPS tracking solutions provider.
Installing Your OBD II Device
As stated early, installing your GPS tracking device is extremely easy. Once you receive the devices you ordered, all you have to do is take the device and connect it to your OBD II port. All automobiles manufactured after the year 1997 have this port, and depending on the model or make of your vehicle, it is usually located beneath the dashboard, or behind the steering wheel.
OBD devices are plug-and-play. Once you connect the device to the port, you’re done. You don’t need to remove any part of your vehicle to accommodate the device. If your fleet needs to change cars, all you have to do is remove the OBD II device from the old vehicle, and then plug it into the new one.
When the idea of GPS tracking is introduced to drivers, they usually fear the learning curve of this new technology. However, there is no learning curve when it comes to the Fleetr setup. All you need is to connect the device to the car – the driver doesn’t need to do anything except drive the car as they normally would.
The administrative part of the network is very straightforward. The app is user-friendly and navigating it is easy, even for fleet managers who are not tech-savvy. All information gathered from the fleet is already translated by the app into an easily viewable form and all data is compiled and organized for easy analysis.