What is a GPS Tracking System?
GPS tracking systems are used by millions of people around the world every day – some for fleets, some to keep track of kids, and others just for location services. GPS is short for Global Positioning System and consists of a series of satellites that orbit the Earth, communicating with receivers on the ground. Receivers come in all shapes and sizes; in fact, your smartphone is a receiver. Think about when you pull up Google maps and ask for directions – your phone is communicating with the satellites, and when there are three or more engaged, the accuracy is spot on.
GPS was first launched in 1978, but as technology advances, so have the ways in which we use it. Using GPS for fleet tracking is a valuable tool for fleet managers and can change the entire dynamic of how the fleet runs.
How to Use GPS Fleet Tracking
Most GPS fleet tracking solutions are easy to use. Take Fleetr, for example. Fleetr offers a plug-and-play solution that allows you to track your vehicles and drivers for a low monthly payment – all centered on providing the best value for small business fleets everywhere.
The solution is simple – plug the hardware into the OBD-II port of the vehicle and sync it to the app. The hardware collects data and allows for real-time monitoring thanks to GPS components. Choose to be alerted when drivers engage in risky behavior while behind the wheel – including idling, speeding, hard braking, leaving geofenced areas, etc., which we will cover in greater detail a little later.
The point is – without GPS capabilities, the ability to monitor the fleet of vehicles and drivers would not be possible.
The Benefits of GPS Fleet Tracking Systems
There are an endless number of benefits associated with using a fleet tracking system within your small business fleet – and like most benefits, some you will see right away. In contrast, others will take some time to show themselves.
- May reduce insurance costs – Using GPS fleet management solutions may help to reduce the amount you pay each month for your insurance. Many insurance companies see this software as a reduction in risk, which helps to lower premiums, etc.
- Find your fleet at any given time – Fleet tracking allows you to find your fleet at any moment – often in real-time. If you need to notify a customer about where their driver is, you can check the app and tell them exactly where the driver is and an approximate time.
- May minimize the operating expenses – By installing a fleet tracking system, it may be possible for your business to reduce the overall overhead costs. The ability to watch drivers more closely is to thank for eliminating some of the extra expenses caused by poor driving habits.
- Fleet tracking improves driver safety – Using fleet tracking makes drivers more accountable for their actions, including how they care for the items in their care (like the fleet vehicle). Besides being able to see exact locations, managers can see the speed and be notified of unsafe driving behaviors taking place.
- Fleet vehicles are better maintained – When using a fleet tracking system, maintenance becomes an even higher priority. Instead of manually tracking the information about each of your fleet vehicles, you can let the fleet tracking software keep track of maintenance intervals for you.
- Helps to improve customer trust – GPS tracking can give customers more peace of mind due to the ability to see the driver’s location in real-time. The more reliable your company’s image, the more likely customers will be to utilize your fleet’s services.
How GPS Tracking Increases Driver Safety and Performance
Not only is your fleet an important part of your business, so are the drivers behind the wheel of these vehicles. That is why you want to ensure that they are safe on the road – even if you aren’t physically next to them. You can’t be next to every driver at every stop along their routes, and you can’t always be whispering in their ears, telling them to slow down if you don’t know how they are driving to begin with.
Track Driver Speeds and Unsafe Behaviors Remotely
Using GPS tracking allows you to see how fast each of your drivers is driving and the ability to be alerted when they reach a certain speed (outside your set parameters). For example, if the speed limit is 35 mph in a residential area and the driver is going 55 mph – you can be alerted so that you can rectify the issue before it becomes a danger to the driver and those around them.
Your driver is representing your business while they are driving your fleet vehicle, and for this reason, making sure they are always an example of safety on the road is imperative to how others see your brand. If your drivers are reckless behind the wheel, the chances are high that other people will associate recklessness with your brand.
Other types of behavior to be monitored are idling, hard braking, sudden acceleration, leaving geofenced areas, and more. Besides being a possible safety risk, these actions can result in lower fuel economy, which increases the amount of money you are paying on your fleet regularly. The goal is to be as efficient as possible, especially if you want to make a profit – not lose money in the process—the less unnecessary time spent on the roadway, the less money that is being wasted on nothing.
Fleet Vehicle Maintenance is a Priority
The last thing on your driver’s mind at the end of the day is reporting the mileage the vehicle has gone for the day – and even if they do, there is still a chance that there is a miscommunication on the mileage. Everyone is human, and it is possible that errors can occur, especially at the end of a long day.
Scheduling preventative maintenance for your fleet improves not only the efficiency of the fleet but also the longevity of the vehicle itself. The longer your vehicle thrives, the less likely you will be required to spend tens of thousands of dollars prematurely to replace it. Committing to a maintenance schedule for each vehicle is more than worth it.
Using fleet tracking software can help automate the process of conducting preventative maintenance. Get alerts sent straight to your smartphone or device to let you know when an upcoming maintenance interval is coming up or when mileage is getting close to requiring some type of preventative maintenance. The better your fleet runs, the safer the drivers are on the road.
Handle Emergency Situations with Ease
Accidents happen on the road. There is no way to eliminate the risk of encountering or even being involved in an accident – not for you, your fleet, or your drivers. With fleet tracking software, you can take the guesswork out of accidents by setting up alerts to let you know that an accident has occurred, making it easier for you to respond appropriately. Your fleet is an asset, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you are taking appropriate actions – like contacting the insurance company and submitting the proper information (police report, witness statements, etc.).
Assign Training to Drivers Who Have Bad Driving Behavior
For the most part, your fleet drivers should be taking pride while behind the wheel of your vehicle. How many times have you driven over the speed limit or made questionable maneuvers on the interstate? Bad driving behavior happens – but it becomes a problem when it becomes a habit. GPS fleet tracking software is designed to help you pinpoint those drivers who might be taking advantage of using your vehicles on the road – or don’t know your expectations of them while they are on the road.
A GPS fleet tracking software, like Fleetr, can help you determine which drivers are doing well and which ones need a little more help. Fleetr compiles the data, including historical data, to determine a leaderboard for your drivers. Each of the drivers are rated based on the efficiency of their driving and how they perform on the roadway. You can use this data to determine which drivers need a refresher course on safety and which ones are on track for success (and maybe deserve a reward).
Reduce Fuel Expenditures
Part of having a cohesive fleet requires keeping it running as efficiently as possible. The easiest way to run a fleet efficiently is by tracking the driving patterns of the drivers behind the wheel. Using telematics can help you to determine what drivers are saving your company money and how they are doing so. You can nip the poor driving behavior of the drivers who are consuming way too much fuel as a result of their poor decisions.
Fleetr Improves Driver Performance
Fleetr is a one-of-a-kind small fleet solution that costs only $9.99 per month/per fleet vehicle. This solution offers access to your fleet’s data all in one convenient location – your smartphone, device, or desktop. Push notifications will alert you if your drivers are driving poorly, engaging in bad driving behavior, have left a geofenced area, and more – all for the same price.
The software and the hardware are easy to set up. Once you set up your subscription, you will be sent hardware to be plugged into the OBD-II port of each vehicle. These come in the mail and take approximately three to five business days to receive. While you wait, set up the app for each vehicle, including the driver’s information. Fleetr will begin to accumulate the data once your drivers are on the road.
Not only can your fleet benefit from getting the intel on each driver, but you can save money on fuel (up to $200 per vehicle per month), you can see which drivers are doing well and which need improvement, and you can even view each vehicle in real-time, along with many other features that you will soon find make your job as the fleet manager much easier. That is why Fleetr offers what it offers – to make fleets more efficient and to help the small fleet manager/owner more confident with the efficiency of the fleet. Fleetr makes it possible to thrive as a small fleet in an otherwise large fleet industry!