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How a GPS Fleet Tracking System Works

If you’re a business owner that has a fleet, it’s time to invest in software that goes beyond just saving you money. It’s called fleet tracking. To sum it up, GPS tracking software offers important telematic data that is sent straight to your smart device or computer system instantly. This includes things like trip history, tracking drivers in real-time, and unsafe driving alerts. This type of investment continues to gain more and more popularity.

According to a study done by Bergin Insight, reports suggest that the installation of active fleet management units in North and Latin America will surge to 29 million by 2024. Due to it’s growing popularity, there are many options of different types of software or service you can add to your fleets.

Fleetr is targeted towards smaller fleet operations. We’ll explain what you get with our service, but first let us explain everything you need to know about GPS tracking systems, how it’s done, the benefits, and of course the future of telematics.

Who Uses GPS tracking?

GPS tracking is used in most businesses that involve vehicles. Whether it’s large fleet operations, plumbing companies, ridesharing companies, the government, really anything you can think of that involves a vehicle, it’ll most likely use some sort of GPS tracking system. They even use GPS tracking software to track ‘Santa Claus’ on the internet! That’s how much it’s grown and utilized in everyday life! But, besides the fun stuff, businesses continue to use it, that’s because it gives valuable information to help business owners or managers save money and their time. If you have one or thousands of vehicles within your business, implementing GPS tracking software is a smart move regardless.

How Fleet Tracking Software Works

Let’s get to the ins and outs of exactly how fleet tracking software operates. But first, let’s learn some history of GPS and how it got to where it is today. According to NASA, in the 1960s the United States Navy conducted satellite navigation experiences to track U.S. submarines carrying nuclear missiles. While six satellites orbited the poles, it allowed submarines to observe satellite changes in Doppler to pinpoint the submarine’s location in just minutes, this is known as the “Doppler Effect.”

After this in the 1970s, the Department of Defense wanted to make sure a stable satellite navigation system could be used to their advantage, they used the same Doppler method from the Navy in the 60s, launching it’ first Navigation System with Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) satellite in 1978, a 24-hour system that became fully operational in 1993. Today, GPS is used beyond just military needs, it’s a multi-use system for national defense, security, commercial/civil use, and scientific needs.

Now, the data transmission for tracking systems can occur in three different ways; wireless networks, wifi, and satellite.

  • GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites orbit the earth, constantly communicating with receivers. When there are three or more satellites communicating with one receiver, the location will be pinpointed with complete accuracy.
  • The Cloud gathers information that is then stored within the Cloud. This information can be collected and analyzed to return important reports. This allows access to data at specific times as well.
  • Engine Computer Modules are in vehicles, they tell a lot about how a vehicle operates, including speed, fuel use, check engine codes, and more.

By using things like satellites or a service to pinpoint location, and integrate ways into your fleet to receive important data allows you to know what’s going on when, where, and how. Leaving no questions unanswered when it comes to your fleet’s efficiency and will allow you to improve your business in different capacities.

What Is An OBD II Port?

Using tracking software in fleets normally involves a device being plugged in an OBD II Port (this is in the majority of vehicles). An OBD port is used when reading a vehicle’s computer information.

By plugging in a GPS fleet tracking unit into the port, it retrieves diagnostic information from that vehicle. Through the port, the fleet tracking solution will transmit data back to your dashboard, which is accessed through a smart device. By adding one into each vehicle to cover your entire fleet, you will receive vital information on your entire fleet that is easily accessible. OBD II Ports gives meaningful data on:

  • Diagnostics: When a vehicle’s sensors notice something operating correctly, it will send an error message to illuminate an indicator light
  • Speed: Provide accurate reading on vehicle’s speed
  • Location: Like a GPS, it will send accurate data on a vehicle’s location

There’s also no need for professional installation either, the OBD II device is a portable unit that plugs directly into the port of the fleet vehicle.

The Benefits of Using a GPS Tracking Software

There’s a reason tracking software amongst fleets continues to grow in popularity. It gives you so many benefits. Investing in this specific type of software is an advantageous business move. It also doesn’t just benefit your company in one specific area, it helps in many different ways. The most notable, of course, is the cost efficiency. However, it also helps in areas like accidents, theft, safety, time management, customer satisfaction, and much more. Let’s look into detailed explanations of each, so you’re left with no questions unanswered.

Cost Efficiency

The savings you receive when implementing tracking software is the most notable. It’s the biggest reason companies turn to this type of software. Let’s dive into the areas you’ll find the most savings.

  • Fuel Savings– The most common cause of high fuel costs amongst vehicles is idling. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, one hour of idling can waste 1/5 gallon to a full gallon of fuel, and that total can add up when it’s happening to an entire fleet! Aggressive driving and wasting fuel at the pump are two other major factors in high fuel costs. Tracking software helps keep all that fuel waste down. Alerts from the data tracking system will tell drivers to shut off their engine after a specified amount of idle time passes. The system also will send alerts about aggressive driving behaviors, so you can give your employees a warning or teach them about techniques to reduce fuel costs. The GPS tracking system will also allow you to monitor how much fuel a driver uses through reports, so you will know instantly if they’re using the right amount, cutting down your costs overall in gas. With our tracking software, Fleetr you can save up to $200 a month on gas!
  • Maintenance Costs– Tracking software has been designed to send alerts straight to your device if any issues arise within your fleet. The service allows you to see the status of each vehicle’s maintenance schedule, including battery life, oil changes, and brake wear. If you become more efficient when maintenance is due on vehicles, you can end up saving on these costs over time. Our software, Fleetr also allows you to adjust how many miles you want your fleet to receive maintenance check-ups. You are allowed to move up the suggested miles higher or lower to meetyour fleet’s specific needs. Staying on top of maintenance and repairs can save you more money down the road for major repairs.You can actually extend the lifespan of your vehicles and save as much as 12% to 18% in more serious repair costs.
  • Employee Productivity– There’s a saying in a workplace, if your boss is watching you, you perform better. Luckily, fleet tracking allows you to track employees, verify their hours, and find out if they’re being productive or unproductive with ease. This is, of course, cost savings because you know if time is being wasted on your dime! Stay on top of employees conveniently right from your smartphone or computer. Softwares can also optimize routes, so you can change your point A to point B and stop wasting miles, bringing costs down.
  • Administrative Costs– Another great way to save money is not wasting it on tedious administrative expenses. All of the information and data you will ever need will now be in the palm of your hand or on your desktop computer. This all saves you time so you can focus your energy and resources on running your business.

Reduces Risk & Liability

Using real-time GPS tracking data will help monitor any unsafe or aggressive driving behaviors. When employees know they are being monitored, it results in safer driving, and that means you save money on maintenance for vehicles and accidents. Also having real-time data on file may help you when a crash involving injury occurs, so you know you’re covered if you weren’t at fault.

Accidents can be costly, but the majority of insurance companies take into consideration the value of GPS fleet tracking software and will offer discounts to businesses that utilize them, once again helping you keep costs down.

Reduces Theft

If you own a fleet operation, or even a business that uses vehicles often, they are valuable assets to your business. You can’t just have them being stolen! That costs money! Luckily, with fleet tracking, businesses can recover lost or stolen vehicles thanks to real-time location data provided by a GPS system, allowing you to also make a speedy recovery with the accurate location and police.

Increases Safety for Drives and Roads

Thanks to GPS tracking systems, it’s making our roads and drivers safers. As mentioned above, alerts are provided when there are any aggressive driving behaviors or distracted driving. Allowing you to improve standards amongst employees. It can also provide alternate safer routes for drivers. Setting your standards high for employees within your business makes you more reputable.

Analyzing Performance

Applications and software make it easy to gather your data in one place. By measuring metrics like expenses, performance, and maintenance will tell you where improvement needs to be made, allowing reports to be generated with ease saving you time and money!

Time Management Efficiency

Another major impact a GPS tracking solution can have on a fleet business is it allows you as a business owner or manager to have much more time on your hands to carry out other important duties. Softwares make it easy to access important data in one convenient location. So no more sifting through paperwork, or trying to get important filings done.

It also checks to make sure your drivers are being efficient in their routes. Fleetr provides trip history, you will get detailed data including starting location, stops, end location, time, date, and duration. So, no more being left in the dark or not knowing if you can trust your employees, the GPS tracking software only tells the truth.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is very important for businesses to stay afloat. The customers are how you stay in business! GPS tracking solutions help you stay on top of customer satisfaction easily.

Let’s say there’s a traffic jam on the road, and a vehicle in your fleet won’t make it the customer in time, the real-time GPS tracking system will allow you to easily reach out to customers and give them an ETA. This increases customer satisfaction because they know you’re watching out for them, and they know their products will still arrive, leaving no questions unanswered.

Using the app, you may also find more efficient routes for drivers, cutting down their usual wait time. This also allows your drivers to complete more routes than usual. The GPS tracking device creates a trail within the software, allowing you to find more effective routes for drivers. Communication is key to customer satisfaction and real-time tracking gives you that and much more, bringing old customers back and attracting new clients too.

The Statistics

Now that you know where and how you can save and the benefits GPS tracking software gives, we have the actual data to back up what we’re saying. We already mentioned that stats on how software implemented on fleets will continue to surge until 2025, but let’s take a look at some other fascinating statistics on the growing industry of telematics Teletrac Navman Staff found:

  • 55% of fleets reported reduced fuel costs from GPS tracking software, this is considered significant due to the fact that fuel is the largest expense for about 32% of fleets.
  • 42% have seen fewer safety incidents since using fleet tracking software.
  • 74% of fleets monitor vehicle location and track hours of service and speed, leading to more efficient operations.
  • Telematics continue to improve safety, 32% citing driver monitoring, 26% at speed prevention/preventing driver fatigue and 30% as top telematics related safety benefits.

The Future of Telematics

So as you can see, telematics isn’t going anywhere. If you’re confused as to exactly what telematics is, in a basic summary, telematics is the joining of two sciences; telecommunications, a branch of technology including phone lines and cables, and informatics such as computer systems. Telematics is often referred to as the type of data you will retrieve from your GPS tracking system when used with your fleet tracking system.

A recent study done by Allied Market Research found that the global vehicle tracking systems market has generated $3.79 billion in 2017, while it’s expected to reach $14.95 billion by 2025. As the exponential growth continues and new applications are developed, you need to find what best fits your fleet operations. So now that you know everything there is to know about how GPS tracking software works, what it does, and how it benefits you, let us tell you about Fleetr’s service and what it will do for your business.

What Our Software, Fleetr Provides

Fleetr is a software made for smaller-end fleet operations. It allows for up to 100 vehicles to be tracked. The application uses GPS tracking to pinpoint exact locations in real-time. This means you will know where your drivers and vehicles are at all times. It also sends you back all different types of data that will help you save money! Let’s take a look at some of the data you’ll receive.

  • Diagnostics
  • Speed
  • Location
  • Mileage
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Trip History

It’s three easy steps that only take 20 minutes to set up. Once you retrieve your device (which is free) through the mail, plug it into the OBD II port, download the app, and then start tracking.

Some other notable data the software provides:

  • Fleetr provides weekly reports and scoring for driver performance. Scores that are 67 and higher are considered efficient. Scores that are 33 or under, show that there are problems you may want to address with your drivers.
  • There’s no contract or activation fees, so you may cancel your subscription at any time. We only ask you to send back your device.
  • Only $9.99 a month. You receive the service and the device for free!
  • Compatible with Android, Apple, and desktop operating systems
  • Although there is maximum of 100 vehicles, there is no minimum
  • Fleetr provides its own data plan that gives coverage across the U.S.

It’s crazy to think of where GPS started and where it’s led to now. It’s helped turn industries around with just a small investment. As the future of telematics continues to grow, it’s time to be a part of the future. If you want to learn more or have any additional questions, we offer great customer service, we are U.S. based. You can contact us here today!

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