What is Fleet Tracking?
Fleet tracking is how small fleet owners keep track of their vehicles and drivers during the workday. These trackers often rely on the use of GPS (Global Positioning System) for location services and on hardware to gather and collect data. As a fleet manager, you will get the opportunity to review all of this data, including real-time locations, all from the comfort of your smartphone or device.
Real-Time Driving Notifications
Using fleet tracking software can help you keep track of your vehicles and drivers in real-time. You can locate your fleet vehicles (and drivers) on the live map available on your phone, smart device, or desktop. You can see if your driver is on the road, stopped, idling, or off the network. The app can provide push notifications, real-time alerts, and even after-hour alerts.
Set up geofencing areas for each of your fleet vehicles. When a driver breaches this area, you will be notified. You won’t lose track of your fleet – not when you have fleet tracking services implemented in your management strategy.
Unsafe Driving Alerts
When drivers are not driving to the best of their abilities, it can create a lot of problematic situations. Instances of hard braking, idling, and speeding can reduce the efficiency of your fleet – not to mention that some of these can create situations that are dangerous on the road.
Much like the real-time driving notifications, you can receive alerts for each driver when they are idling, speeding, hard braking, driving recklessly, exiting geofenced areas, and more. While driving your fleet vehicles, you can keep your drivers accountable for their actions by using fleet tracking software.
With the right fleet tracking software, your drivers can be scored based on the effectiveness of their driving. Not all drivers are safe on the road; some are just lucky. Fleet tracking software allows you to monitor these driving behaviors and see a leaderboard of what drivers are helping your fleet’s numbers and which ones need a little extra work. You can use this information to help determine what training exercises can be useful for your fleet drivers.
The Benefits of Route Optimization
Each one of your fleet vehicles has a route and customers that it must fulfill each day. These routes are often set up, and then it is left up to the drivers to handle them. When you are in charge of so many vehicles and drivers, route optimization is likely not a top priority – you just want to make sure that all of your customers are satisfied.
A route comprises the vehicle, the driver, the map, and the customers. The route is extremely influenced by the outside environment – things you can’t control but can adapt to. For example – an accident along the route. If there is an accident along a driver’s route, they may be forced to sit in backed-up traffic. Stuck in traffic translates to being late to customer calls, potentially throwing off the schedules of other fleet drivers to compensate, and more.
You can use the fleet tracking software to help optimize routes to ensure that the drivers are traveling the lowest number of miles on their routes, avoid road construction, minimize the chances of getting lost, and so much more. Trying to handle routes manually can be time-consuming – in fact, you may end up spending all of your time trying to create efficient routes, but honestly, these can change almost daily.
The Factors to Consider For an Optimized Route
When looking to optimize a route, there are typical items to look at, like speed, distance, fuel consumption, etc. But other areas should be considered when trying to optimize a route, like:
- The types of roads the fleet drives
- The traffic patterns and the congestion in the areas they travel
- The road crossings, roundabouts, and junctions that may be encountered
- The number of traffic lights en route to the customer’s residence/location
- The number of times that the vehicle has to cross traffic
- Railroad crossings en route to the customer’s residence/location
These aren’t the only things to consider, though – sure, they are important for the physical driving parameters, but you should expect to include more parameters if you want the highest efficiency level.
- Are you providing a product or service to your customer? What is the delivery type?
- Is there a specific time window for the delivery or service requested by the customer?
- Do specific orders have priority over others?
- Do you have to visit a third party before the customer? What do these wait times look like?
- Do specific drivers have schedule or shift conflicts?
- Do your fleet vehicles have the capacity to accommodate your customer needs?
- And so much more
Fleet software won’t be able to factor in all of the second set of information – but for top-tier optimization, these are things you have to think about. You have to decide what you need to do to ensure your fleet is on task and taking the best care of the vehicles they drive.
Part of fuel efficiency in a fleet of vehicles is ensuring that the most optimized route is being used. It doesn’t stop there, though. There are many different ways that you can increase the fuel efficiency of your fleet – even after you optimize each of the routes. But this isn’t the only area that makes a difference when increasing your fleet’s fuel efficiency.
Maintenance Helps Fuel Consumption
A well-maintained fleet is a fuel-efficient fleet. If you keep your fleet’s maintenance up to date – preventative maintenance and oil changes, etc., then you can help to increase the fuel efficiency of each vehicle.
Tire Pressure – Your vehicle’s tire pressure can make a huge difference in how it consumes fuel. The EPA even states that properly inflated tires can improve mileage by up to three percent.
Engine – Have an out-of-tune engine? Getting it tuned up can increase your miles per gallon (MPG) by up to four percent – even bigger fixes can improve it by up to 40%, depending on how big the needed fix is.
Oil – You probably know the importance of an oil (and filter) change in your fleet vehicle. This probably goes without saying – but did you know that oil is available that is energy conserving and may even save you even more, when it comes to your MGP rating.
Air Filter – If you have ever been to a drive-thru oil change place, they likely tried to upsell you with an air filter change. Believe it or not, a worn-out air filter can be detrimental to your fuel economy. Many car owners see increased acceleration and fuel economy when they change these (if they need to be replaced).
The type of vehicle you choose for your fleet also matters when you are looking at fuel economy. Unless you absolutely need to use a truck or SUV for your products and services – you are likely better off looking at cars with high fuel economy (the Prius, for example). That is why you need to consider the type of vehicle you choose and when you implement your fleet tracking software, follow its recommendations.
Fleetr Helps Optimize Your Route and Increase Fuel Efficiency
What if we told you that for only $9.99 per month/per vehicle, you could be optimizing the routes of each fleet vehicle and increasing the fuel economy of each as well. Working in harmony, the Fleetr software and hardware help to provide you with the data you need and the tips to reduce the amount of fuel your fleet uses on a daily basis.
What if you could save $200 per month per vehicle on fuel alone? That amount of savings pays for your fleet tracking software with Fleetr over and over again! It’s possible for you to get reports from the data the hardware collects from each vehicle – which will then provide you with the tips and tricks for saving on your fuel each month. Even driver behavior is laid out in a report form so that you can determine which drivers need better training and which ones are saving you money.
Fleetr makes it possible to change how your fleet drives – with optimized routes and better fuel economy!