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How Does GPS Fleet Management Work?

You may be using a GPS in your home or workplace without your knowledge. 

Modern phones come with a GPS that helps identify the location of an object or person over a visual map. However, fleet businesses are the biggest beneficiaries of the fantastic technology. 

Managers worldwide have integrated tracking technology and are leaping big in fleet efficiency, compliance, and safety. They receive information about vehicle activities in real-time and make business decisions promptly. 

It even gets better since tracking systems such as Fleetr come with a mobile application that helps managers monitor fleet activities from any location. 

But do you know what GPS vehicle tracking is, how it works, and the processes involved? Let us find out. 

What Is a GPS Tracking System?

A GPS (Global Positioning System) is a technology that involves a network of satellites orbiting the earth. The system works by determining an object or person’s precise location by calculating three distinct data; timing, navigation, and positioning.  

GPS was developed in the 1960s as a military application. Over time, it has been advanced to focus on business challenges and offer a lasting solution. However, it became available for public use in 1983, and the transportation industry has embraced it to the fullest. 

What Are the Main Features That Ensures GPS Tracking Management Is Working Optimally?

Fleet management technology has many features. However, some must be present to ensure the technology delivers exceptional tracking services. They include; 

Fleet Tracking

Fleet tracking is the use of a GPS tracking system to track vehicles. GPS tracking telematics is used to collect data regarding the vehicle’s activities in real-time. They send the data through fleet tracking GPS signals for analysis and interpretation before being relayed to the user.  

Software

Fleet management software allows managers to monitor their vehicles from a single application. The software acts as a database that organizes and stores details such as vehicle location, diver behavior, and fuel consumption. 

Although fleet management may comprise different applications, the software pulls the needed information from all over the database with a lot of ease. 

Telematics

Telematics is a small tracking device installed into the vehicle to collect data. The devices monitor vehicle and driver activities such as fuel consumption, weight load, overspeeding, braking, idling, and transit hours

Mobile Application

A mobile app is a user interface that allows fleet managers to view all vehicle activities. The manager can see vehicle location, movement, number of stops, cargo, and driver details through the app. The app is usually downloaded from the tracking company’s website, app store, or google play store. 

How Does Fleet Tracking Devices Work

GPS tracking is the technology of monitoring a vehicle’s exact location using GPS satellites and GPS trackers.

A GPS tracking device is a unit with an internal GPS receiver that records and transmits data via a cellular network in a process called trilateration. The method uses the Global Navigation Satellite System network to determine the longitude, latitude, and time.  

The fleet tracking devices send data via GPS signals to a central server. Data is then analyzed and interpreted by tracking software before being relayed to the user in an easy-to-understand format through a cell phone, computer, or tablet. 

Tracking devices are used to show the location but can be integrated with other algorithms such as fuel card, geofencing, route optimization to enhance fleet efficiency. 

There are two types of tracking devices; active and passive devices. 

A passive tracker gathers vehicle information and stores it in a memory card or a hard drive. The data is accessed if the device is plugged into the computer and downloaded. Although a passive tracker offers excellent tracking data, it can limit businesses from making crucial decisions on time. 

On the other hand, an active tracker or real-time tracking device constantly sends data to the mobile device or computer in real-time. It keeps managers updated on their vehicle and crew’s activities. 

Real-time trackers such as Fleetr allow you to see your vehicle from any location. You do not have to download data; it is sent to you as it happens. 

Fleetr is a leading tracking company that offers excellent services at an affordable rate. At a monthly subscription fee of $5, you start receiving real-time alerts regarding your vehicle activities. The best thing is that there are no hidden charges.  

There are three types of fleet tracking devices;

  1. Plug-In Trackers. They are small units that are easily installed on the OBD II port on the dashboard. They draw their power from the car and can be moved between vehicles without a hassle. 
  2. Battery-Powered Trackers. These GPS fleet tracking units are mounted into the car and internal batteries. The devices usually relay data in intervals to save battery power. 
  3. Hard-wired Trackers. The devices are wired directly into the car and placed on the dashboard or any other location. They come with three wires(power, ignition, ground) connected with their counterparts in the vehicle.  

What Are the Benefits of Vehicle GPS Tracking? 

GPS tracking has stood out as one of the most effective technologies for transportation businesses. The technology goes beyond showing dots on a map. 

It brings a lot to the table and helps businesses maximize their operations and achieve their bottom line. But how does it help businesses to achieve their bottom line? Here is how

Improved Safety

Without a doubt, the safety of your drivers and vehicles comes first. They are the driving force that largely contributes towards the overall goal. So, having well-maintained vehicles and ensuring safe driving behavior should be your starting point.

Fleet tracking systems help you achieve this through a digital maintenance feature to develop a maintenance schedule. For instance, you can create a plan based on scheduled maintenance or odometer readings. 

The tracking device sends you alerts a few days before the set date elapses to give you enough time to coordinate your team. It, therefore, means that at no time will you miss fleet maintenance, thereby keeping them in good health at all times. 

Additionally, the system monitors driving behavior and sends alerts in case of overspeeding or taking a wrong turn. 

Based on the report, you can promote safe driving behavior by enrolling your drivers into training programs, reducing possible crashes. Fleet managers can also encourage safe driving through awards to encourage others to do better. 

Route Planning

Imagine the time and effort it would take a fleet manager to calculate different parameters to find the shortest and most effective route? 

Luckily, GPS tracking can work through various algorithms and break down the complexity of finding the most effective route. 

For instance, the tool considers past traffic data, weather forecast, time, and the number of stops to predict the best course possible. It also provides a visual process to see the vehicle location, the designated driver, and how parameters affect the overall route. 

In other words, tracking systems enable you to quickly and easily understand the pathways, plan efficiently and improve service delivery at minimal costs.  

Reduce Fuel Expenses

Fuel cost is the most prominent headache fleet managers face. Although they have no control over regular price fluctuations, installing a tracking system can significantly cut costs. 

Tracking devices collect driver’s data that lead to unnecessary fuel consumption such as overspeeding, engine idling, and acceleration. The information is then sent to the fleet manager in real-time for immediate action.  

Additionally, route planning helps managers find the most effective route, reducing driving time and fuel costs.

Saves Time   

Fleet businesses rush against time to ensure customer orders are delivered in time. However, achieving the goals sometimes hits a hard rock due to unpredictable traffic and weather patterns. 

With a fleet tracking system onboard, managers can guide their drivers to avoid specific routes in real-time.  

Additionally, seeing the location of each driver makes it possible to assign the nearest driver to a service call. It, therefore, means the manager takes a shorter time to plan a fleet of vehicles, and drivers get to their destination faster, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Real-Time Updates

Fleet tracking solutions send alerts as they happen on the field. 

For instance, managers receive notifications when a vehicle stops while on transit, exceeds the speed limit, and every other vital trip detail. Such information enables businesses to make crucial decisions and optimize operations. 

Increased Productivity

Fleet businesses are past spying on their drivers to know their location or behavior. The tracking tool visually shows the location of each driver, cargo being transported, and estimated arrival time. 

Drivers also know that their superiors monitor their every move. They, therefore, have no other choice but to be at the right place at the right time. The route planning also lowers accident and sick leaves, thereby increasing productivity. 

Geofencing 

Geofencing is a feature that allows fleet managers to control vehicle operation remotely. A geofence is a virtual boundary that managers set to prevent drivers from entering or moving out of a predetermined area. 

In an instant where the driver moves or enters the area, the manager receives instant notification and acts accordingly. The manager can also use the feature to enhance security by controlling the fleet from entering a hotspot area.  

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