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Fleet Vehicle Tracking Beginners Guide

All fleet owners have to start somewhere when they implement a fleet tracking system into their business. Everyone begins as a beginner – which is why definitive guides are a huge asset to owners everywhere. In our guide, you will learn about what fleet tracking is, how GPS is embraced, and all the other perks you get when you choose to implement fleet tracking into your business.

As you move through this guide, we will share with you exactly what Fleetr is, how it works, and why more small businesses across the United States are making the switch to this small business fleet solution.

What is a Fleet Management Platform?

A fleet management platform is a combination of software, hardware, and technology – all wrapped up in a neat little bow (or shipping packaging). Each of these components works in a different way to help your fleet be as efficient and as safe as possible.

GPS Tracking and Your Fleet

Since the late 1970s, the Global Positioning System (GPS) (Navstar) has been in operation. GPS is a series of satellites that orbit the Earth, communicating with receivers on the ground. The more satellites that communicate with any given receiver, the more accurate the location of the receiver becomes when tracking it.

For example, if you have an app that helps you monitor your children’s location, it uses GPS to provide an accurate location. If your child’s phone isn’t in an area where the satellites can communicate with the receiver, it will not update a location and may even show them offline. As the satellites begin to communicate with the receiver, their location becomes more accurate. For complete accuracy, the receiver and at least three of the satellites must be in communication. Luckily these satellites have the ability to multitask because, in 2019, the total number of Global Navigation Satellite System devices installed topped 6.4 billion. Imagine trying to wait for your turn in a line this long!

GPS Tracking and Your Fleet Management Platform

When it comes to your fleet management platform, GPS has a very prominent role. It is next to impossible to track your fleet if you have no way of “seeing it,” even if just on the screen of your smart device. Your fleet is an asset to your business, and like any asset, you wouldn’t just “hope for the best,” you would nurture it and ensure that it is proving itself beneficial (otherwise, why else would you have it?).

Fleet Tracking Improves Fleet Safety

It has been shown that using a fleet tracking system can help improve the safety of the fleet. Safety doesn’t just mean for the vehicle or the driver, but also those who share the road with your drivers. It becomes important to make sure that anyone associated with or that comes into contact with your fleet has the highest levels of safety available at all times.

How does fleet tracking software help with safety? It’s simple – most of these platforms have the option of enabling alerts, notifying you when a driver has been exhibiting less than flattering driving behaviors. These include speeding, idling, hard braking, leaving geofenced areas, and more. Using these alerts, you can potentially stop an accident before it occurs.

Reduce Overall Operating Expenses

Who doesn’t want to save money when they own a business? Using fleet tracking can help to reduce the amount you spend overall on your business. Using the resources available to you with fleet tracking can help you save on expenses like fuel, overtime, and more. Effectively choose the most optimized routes, nip bad driving behaviors, and more to help increase the savings for your business.

Reduce Insurance Costs

This one is not definite, but many insurance companies offer a discount for fleets who use tracking software. Here is the logic – insurance companies assign you a premium based on a number of different algorithmic factors, like the types of vehicles, business size, risk, etc. Using a fleet tracking system helps to reduce the amount of risk your business is taking and, in turn, reduces the amount of risk the insurance company will have to potentially cover. The lower the risk, the lower the premium (in most circumstances).

Keep Track of Assets

As stated before, your fleet is an asset of your business. When a driver takes out a fleet vehicle, they also become your asset. When on the clock, you want to know exactly what your assets are doing, where they are, and if they are on task. You can’t be next to every driver and vehicle every moment of every day – so the next best thing? A fleet tracking solution!

Increase Customer Happiness and Satisfaction

Informed customers are happy customers. When there is a delay, and you communicate it with them, they are much more understanding than those who call you an hour after their appointment time has passed. You can anticipate these delays by remaining in contact with your drivers and watching their location from the tracking app.

Gain Better Fuel Efficiency

Who doesn’t want to spend less on gasoline/diesel? There are actions that your drivers may be engaging in that reduce the fuel economy of your fleet. If this is the case, then you need to change the habits of your drivers. Reducing the amount of idling, hard braking, speeding, and other fuel-consuming behavior can help you save money every month.

Stay on Top of Preventative Maintenance

The best way to keep your fleet vehicles healthy is to practice the proper preventative maintenance habits. Before fleet tracking, the process of updating records for each vehicle was an exhaustive process that probably required you to spend a lot more time behind a desk than you wanted. Using fleet tracking software and hardware can automate this process for you – updating the mileage and other information about the vehicle.

Use the information provided to make preventative maintenance appointments like oil changes, air filter replacement, tire rotations, and tune-ups based on the mileage driven and the age of the vehicle. You would be surprised that the health of your fleet vehicle can increase when you take care of it. Replacing a fleet vehicle prematurely can take a large chunk of the business’s profits. When properly maintained, it can prevent high levels of spending from occurring.

Reduces the Amount of Paperwork in the Office

As a manager/owner, you already spend a lot of time doing paperwork – in fact, you may find that it is hard to leave your desk on most days because of all the invoices, driving records, etc., that weigh you down. Fleet tracking can’t eliminate all of your paperwork, but it may help motivate you to automate and digitize your processes.

Digitizing your driver’s reports through the fleet tracking software app can help to reduce the amount of paper you have to flip through just to get general information. Don’t be surprised when you find that you can walk away from your desk more when you no longer have to handle inputting all the information all the time!

How to Install Your New Fleet Tracking and Management System

Most fleet tracking and management systems are simple to install. You actually only have to worry about two of the three parts of the process – the hardware and the app. When you get your hardware, most of them are designed to plug into your OBD-II port in your fleet vehicle. The hardware will then gather data and transmit it to the software either by WiFi or through the use of wireless networks. Once the software has sorted and made the information presentable, it gets added to the app for you to review. Most of these apps allow for you to have a profile for each vehicle and driver – syncing up the information and assigning it to the correct driver and vehicle.

Fleet Tracking Push Notification Alerts

One perk of using a fleet tracking system is the push notification alerts that bring troubling driving behavior to light. For example, if you set up geofencing parameters and a driver goes outside of these, you can be alerted (in real-time) that the breach occurred. You can use the real-time alert capabilities of the app to stay on top of your fleet and ensure that the best practices you establish are being followed.

Hold Drivers Accountable for Actions Taken on the Road

Your drivers are responsible for their actions when they are behind the wheel of your fleet vehicles. They are also ambassadors of your business brand – when people see your fleet, it should be reflective of your business and brand. When drivers are acting irresponsibly on the road, it translates into your business being irresponsible or careless.

Fleet Tracking Eliminates Personal Use

Unless you give them special permission, your fleet drivers should not use their company vehicle to drive around for personal use. When you implement fleet tracking software, you can see what type of after-hours use occurs with the vehicle. There is a difference between running to the store and going on a 3000-mile trek across America – neither of which should occur without your preauthorization. Any mileage added to the odometer should either be to or from work or during your driver’s route.

Determine Which Drivers Need Additional Training

Not all fleet drivers are created equally. Some drivers are going to be better drivers than others – this is just a natural fact, but it doesn’t mean that mistakes won’t be made from time to time. Fleet tracking software allows you to look at your driver’s actions and determine who is driving safely and who needs work. You can use the information gathered to make training recommendations to keep your fleet in tip-top shape.

Stop Aggressive Driving in Its Tracks

Not only are aggressive drivers a threat to the safety of the fleet, but they are also a threat to those on the road around them. There is no room for an aggressive driver on your fleet – because of this, a fleet tracking system can notify you when aggressive behaviors are exhibited. You can then notify the driver that they need to change how they are driving or risk facing adverse actions due to it.

Some drivers do not realize that their driving is unacceptable, but when you have these alerts set up, you can inform the driver that changes need to be made.

Fleetr For Beginning a Fleet Tracking Journey

Fleetr makes it easy for small business owners to start the journey of being more efficient. Unlike the solutions created for large fleets, Fleetr was designed to cater to you – the small fleet owner. Large-scale solutions were not created for use by a small fleet and are often not beneficial. These large fleet solutions often require a commitment of two or more years, which, as you know, can be devastating to a small business. Who knows what six months from now holds (we learned this thanks to the pandemic).

Low Monthly Payment

Fleetr is a solution that won’t break the bank – only costing $9.99 per month per vehicle for the tracking services. For this price, you get the hardware, the app, and the associated tracking features that make it possible to see your fleet in real-time, get instant alerts and even maintenance updates for each vehicle.

Reporting Options

You get a lot of different reports for historical and current fleet data. Fleetr wants your fleet to be efficient – but if you are not currently efficient, you will be with the use of the reports provided by this service. Fleetr’s reports can help you make a number of decisions, including how to conserve your fuel and how to incentivize drivers to drive better.

The leaderboard offers you a glimpse of how your drivers are doing. Who is the best, and who needs some work before taking to the roadway? Using Fleetr’s tips and tricks for fuel economy, you can save up to $200 per month per vehicle just on fuel cost alone. What would you do with an extra $200 per month per vehicle? The bottom line is that Fleetr practically pays for itself in fuel savings alone.

Choose the One Made For Beginners and Experts Alike

Fleetr wasn’t just created to be a small fleet solution but a way for small fleets to maximize potential. With Fleetr in your corner (or plugged in your vehicle’s OBD-II port), you can send your fleet out with confidence, knowing that it is being monitored with the best capabilities and technology available. Get real-time alerts when drivers are not driving to their best abilities, and save money while you do it! What are you waiting for? Take back your fleet and prosper!

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