What is GPS Fleet Tracking?
Let’s start with the very foundation of this article – what it is about. The letters GPS stand for Global Positioning System. This system is a series of satellites that orbit around the Earth and can be used to help determine a person’s position or location. When a device communicates with these satellites, it is possible for three or more of these satellites to receive the signal and triangulate a location.
Who Uses GPS Tracking?
Most people have heard of GPS, in terms of the way it is used on their phones. You punch in an address, and your GPS tells you where to go. Some of us even use GPS to keep track of our children when they aren’t by our sides. We aren’t the only ones who use GPS programs, though. The military, first responders, and commercial industries might also use GPS daily.
The Legality of Using GPS Tracking
Privacy concerns have always circulated about using GPS. Per the law, it is legal to install a GPS device on an asset you own, but using it on a person or someone else’s vehicle/asset without their permission may or may not be. You have to check with federal, state, and local laws to determine the legality of these. Here are the basics you need to know to remain up-to-date on the laws:
- It is legal to use a GPS tracker if you or your business own the asset or vehicle
- Employees must be made aware of and understand that they are being monitored on the job
- Employees must only use these for work-related purposes
Do You Need Fleet Tracking For Your Business?
If you are a small business owner, you know that remaining in control of your assets is important. One of your most expensive assets is likely your fleet, and without some way of staying on top of it, there is no way to know exactly what happens when your drivers are on the road.
Investing in fleet tracking software is one of the best ways to be with your drivers without physically being with your drivers. These trackers are generally small, but the opportunities they provide you with are so big!
The Benefits of Using Fleet Tracking Software
Fleet tracking software has its perks, especially for the small fleet owner. You want a data-driven outlook, which is only one thing that your fleet tracking software will give you. What are the other benefits you can expect when you implement a fleet tracker into your business?
When you have drivers on the road, you want to minimize the number of miles the vehicles are driving. The fewer miles, the longer the life expectancy of the vehicle will be. If you end up receiving a service call from a customer, you can look at the fleet tracking software and dispatch the driver that is closest to that location.
Reduce Fuel Costs
One of the biggest expenses your fleet has is the fuel it consumes. You can have the most fuel-efficient car in the universe, but after driving it for so long, it will still require refueling – these bills add up. Using fleet tracking software can help you monitor driving behavior to see if the driver is the one causing the fuel cost increase. Some may even offer you tips on how you can improve the overall efficiency of the fleet.
Increase Security and Lower Risk
Installing a GPS tracker on a vehicle can help assist with the security of your fleet. If a theft occurs and someone doesn’t know you have this component installed, it can be easy to use it to track down the vehicle for recovery. Insurance companies also like this type of software because it helps to lower risk – the lower your risk, the lower your premiums.
Improve Fleet Safety
The safety of your fleet is important to you, the families of the drivers, and the people that they share the road with. Using fleet tracking in your vehicles can help you increase this safety by alerting you of driving that is considered erratic or unsafe.
Maintain a Maintenance Schedule
Along the lines of safety, ensuring that the vehicle’s maintenance is kept up with is another way to ensure that the driver and those around them stay safe. Vehicle maintenance, especially at the fleet level, is hard to keep up with. You have multiple vehicles, each with different amounts of mileage on them. Unless you want to spend the first part of your day figuring out which ones need service and which ones don’t, you need software to track the data for you. The technology is often able to tell you if the check engine light is on, if you need an oil change, or tire rotation, along with so much more.
Happier Customers and Employees
Overall, you can expect to have happier customers when you use fleet tracking software. Customers love when drivers are on time, or they are given an idea when they will be arriving. Having GPS capabilities to do this helps. Employees often end up happier, too, because they have proof of traffic jams, can come up with more optimized routes, and more. Work smarter, not harder!
How to Find the Right Fleet Tracking Company and Components
Finding the right fleet tracking company doesn’t have to be hard. You can do a simple online search and populate quite a few – the problem is not knowing if the provider has exactly what you want and need. What should you be looking for in a fleet tracking company?
You don’t want to end up paying so much for a fleet tracking solution that you end up closing your doors because you aren’t making a profit anymore. There is a difference between contract and non-contract GPS tracking companies. If you are a smaller business and fleet, you are going to want to stick to the non-contract options simply because you can’t guarantee you will be able to fulfill the terms that some of these companies require when they create contracts.
Most contracts begin with a promotional period (the hook). The promotional period will offer so many months at a certain price. When you read the fine print, the payment will go up after that promotional period, and you are still liable for these prices until the end of your contract.
Another area to consider is the amount you are charged for using the hardware. Does the GPS tracking company charge you “rent” for using their product, or do you have to purchase the hardware upfront? It may not seem like much, paying $2 a month to rent the hardware, but when you have a fleet of 100 vehicles, each requiring the same hardware, that equals out to $200 extra (just in fees) per month.
Then once you sign up for the service, you have to activate it. Do they only charge you one activation fee or one for each of the devices? These are all things to consider when you are budgeting an amount for your fleet tracking services.
Offers Customer Service
Does the company you are considering have exceptional customer service? One point to consider is the availability of customer service – are they going to be there when you need them? Some of the GPS fleet tracking solutions on the market today are more complicated to use than others. When the technology is complicated, it can create problems for the user. Why pay for something if you aren’t using it to its full potential? A customer service that can walk you through troubleshooting or help you navigate an app can make the experience so much nicer.
Ease of Use
Your fleet tracking software should be easy to navigate. If it isn’t, it should be easy to learn how to use it. If none of this applies to the solution you are looking at, you should probably look at another solution. You should be able to open the app and get where you want to go with little to no problem. There should be a high level of user-friendliness. The technology should work for you, not against you.
Much like a grade card in school, your fleet tracking app should provide you with the down-low on each of your drivers’ performances. Who drives well? Who has a lead foot? Who probably shouldn’t be behind the wheel of the fleet vehicles? All of this can give you the insight you need to make plans for training and routes for your drivers.
Tips for Greater Fuel Efficiency
Some fleet GPS tracking services will give you an idea about how to increase your fuel economy for your fleet. After accumulating data about your fleet’s driving habits, the GPS tracking solution can help to determine what actions can be taken for your drivers to increase fuel efficiency.
Fleetr is the Small Fleet Tracking Option
Not all fleet tracking solutions are friendly to small business fleets. Many of these require you to have a minimum number of fleet vehicles signed up to use the software. If you do not fall under the minimum requirements, you are either going to pay higher rates or need to find another company entirely.
Fleetr is a “pay-as-you-go” type of fleet tracking company. Instead of requiring contracts from our fleet managers, we go on a month-by-month basis. We also cater to small fleets – with a base fee of $9.99 per month per vehicle. For fleets of 9 vehicles or less, the base $9.99 per month per vehicle applies. For 10 vehicles up to 19, a 10% discount applies. For 20 or more fleet vehicles, Fleetr gives you a 20% discount. The fee you pay each month includes your fleet tracking service subscription, the hardware, and unlimited use of the app. Fleetr doesn’t charge for the hardware, nor is there a fee for activation. Why should you pay more?
The Fleetr App
The Fleetr app was designed for everyone to be able to use. Those with the highest levels of technical expertise through those with little knowledge of apps can use Fleetr. The app brings the fleet tracking dashboard to the palm of your hand – not requiring you to constantly run back to your desktop computer at the office to check the updates. That’s right. You can do more without being tied to your desk.
The app gives you access to reports. These reports give you insight into your drivers, your fleet’s efficiency, and even your fuel efficiency. Get tips on how to reduce the amount of money you pay on fuel (some up to $200 per vehicle per month) just by following the recommendations Fleetr gives you.
The way your drivers drive your vehicle is representative of your brand. When your drivers are erratic on the road, the people who see them may end up associating these behaviors and actions with your business. Drivers who show aggressive behavior on the roadway can be devastating to your business. Fleetr allows you to set up alerts with push notifications that let you know when erratic driving is taking place. If there is speeding or instances of hard braking, Fleetr will let you know.
How To Begin With Fleetr
Signing up for Fleetr is easy. Just start by going to our website, www.fleetr.com. Once you get to the homepage, click on “buy now” in the upper-righthand corner. You will be redirected to our sign-up page. Enter in the number of vehicles you plan to include with your subscription and continue.
Once you have made the payment, you can log into the app and begin the process of entering your vehicle/driver information. In about three to five days, you will get your hardware in the mail. All you have to do when you get the hardware is plug it into your OBD II port. The hardware works off of wireless networks – which is covered by Fleetr, not you!
If you want to get the best in fleet tracking, talk to Fleetr today to get started.