What is GPS Tracking?
GPS tracking is the process of gathering data through a tracking device and then sending that data over long distances using GPS technology. GPS tracking in a general sense means pinpointing the location of a GPS tracker in real-time, which is useful in determining the location of the physical asset assigned to the device. While this tracking method can be used for just about any physical asset a business has, some devices are built specifically for vehicular use.
GPS vehicle tracking works the same way, except that it allows for the transmission of specialized data. The tracker is simply attached to the equipment or machine using zip ties or tape with general GPS trackers. With GPS vehicle trackers, the tracker is connected to the vehicle itself to extract engine data. This allows fleet managers to not only track the vehicle’s location in real-time but assess vehicle health, driving behaviors, and a lot more.
GPS Tracking Saves You Time and Money
The first order of any business is to make money. To make more money, the goal of any business is to generate more income while minimizing costs. Through GPS vehicle tracking technology, you can now reduce two of the largest expenses known to fleet owners: fuel and maintenance.
Reducing Fuel Costs
Before GPS vehicle tracking, it was difficult for managers to quantify fuel efficiency. How do you know if your vehicles are using fuel efficiently? How do you determine if excessive use of fuel is normal or justified? What are the main causes of fuel wastage? These are just some of the questions that managers ask themselves all the time, and these questions can now be answered, thanks to GPS tracking.
One of the biggest causes of fuel inefficiency is unnecessarily leaving the engine on. To make sure you use fuel efficiently, remember this rule: if the engine is running, the vehicle should be moving. This means that if the vehicle isn’t moving, it only makes sense that the driver shuts the engine off.
However, there are many reasons why this doesn’t happen. It could be that the vehicle is trapped in traffic, and drivers simply can’t turn off the engine in the middle of the road. Drivers may also leave the engine running while they’re taking a short break at the rest stop. With GPS tracking, fleet managers can now see which is the primary culprit for fuel wastage. They can solve this problem by either rerouting their vehicles to areas without traffic or reprimanding drivers who leave the engine running for too long.
Reducing Maintenance Costs
The biggest mistake that fleet managers can make is negligence when it comes to preventive maintenance. This happens a lot in smaller fleets, where managers take their vehicles in for servicing only when they break down. However, repairing broken down vehicles is higher than the cost of regular, preventive maintenance.
Waiting until your vehicles break down before sending them in for servicing is also highly dangerous. Vehicles breaking down while in transit can also cause accidents, which means a higher bill for vehicle repairs. There’s also an increased risk of driver injury, which means additional medical bills and compensation.
GPS tracking applications allow fleet managers to schedule maintenance for each of their vehicles. Because you are reminded automatically if a vehicle is due for a maintenance check, you know that your vehicles are always roadworthy and won’t cost you additional expenses in the future.
Reducing Admin Work
Nobody likes paperwork, and paperwork is something fleets used to have a lot of before GPS tracking systems. Since everything was done manually or through separate, third-party apps, integrating everything and organizing all information about the fleet became too complicated.
Because fleet tracking systems store fleet information digitally, you can now do away with the need for paperwork. It also gets in the way of your drivers’ work time because drivers used to fill up forms before they leave for their route and again whenever they got back. Fleet management systems log everything automatically, from the time of departure to the time of arrival, so that’s one less task for your drivers.
Consolidating and confirming data is also made easier. Did you forget to log the driver’s work hours? No problem! All you need is to look at your vehicle activity log via the fleet management system to check your drivers’ working hours.
GPS Fleet Tracking Gives You Access To Valuable Business Data
Businesses make important decisions based on feedback. Most of the time, this feedback comes in the form of customer reviews. Businesses take these reviews and use them to make adjustments to their policies and operations. However, if you’re in an industry that doesn’t see much customer interaction, where do you get constant feedback from?
The answer is GPS tracking. The fleet management system data provides business owners with continuous feedback on how the vehicles are doing, how the drivers are doing, and how the company is doing. Because most tracking systems allow for data storage for up to several months, you can compile the data and look at emerging trends.
From the data gathered, you can check for possible red flags. Are your drivers getting in more accidents in the recent weeks? Are your vehicles not reaching their destination on time because of traffic? Business owners can now look at the data and pinpoint problem areas and weaknesses in their business to remedy them immediately.
Driver Safety Features
Fleet management systems are a huge help to drivers everywhere. When GPS tracking is usually introduced to the business, it’s always touted as a great way to keep your drivers in line. However, GPS tracking is not an enemy. It can actually work in favor of your drivers in ensuring their security while on the road.
Driver Safety Scorecard
For example, Fleetr has a Driver Safety Scorecard feature, which tallies all instances of risky driving behavior. The tally is done weekly and is computed against the driver’s total number of driving hours. A driver that is compliant with traffic laws will typically receive a high score. The data generated by the system can be included in the company’s regular employee performance evaluation to ensure that everyone knows the value of safety while on the road.
While employees may feel negatively towards an automated scorecard that monitors their every move, it’s a great way to ensure that your drivers are safe while they are on the road. It’s important that you approach your employees about this with their well-being in mind and not just an opportunity to penalize employees with low safety scores. Use this opportunity to also give incentives to drivers who have high scores.
As stated earlier, fleet management systems allow owners to set up maintenance schedules for their vehicles. Aside from lowering the costs of maintenance fees, it also helps ensure driver safety. If the driver safety scorecard encourages drivers to practice safe driving practices, the ability to schedule regular maintenance ensures that your drivers are using only road-worthy vehicles.
Vehicles that break down while they are on the road are not only in danger of starting an accident. They can also put the safety of the driver at risk. Your drivers will thank you, knowing that you are taking no shortcuts to keeping them safe.
Protect Your Vehicles with GPS Tracking
Businesses that have fleets will always see their vehicles as their most important asset. This is why fleet management systems are built to protect your vehicles from theft. The biggest advantage you have against vehicle theft is the ability to track vehicle location in real-time. It means that if your vehicle is stolen, you can give police timely information so they can catch the thieves in record time.
Fleet management systems also allow you to set up safeguards that will notify you of any suspicious activity. For example, Fleetr has a work schedule manager, where you can input your company’s normal working hours. The app will alert you if someone is trying to use your company vehicles outside work hours.
You can also set up zones called Geofences. Geofences are areas that you designate as safe zones for your vehicles. The app will alert you each time your vehicles are taken out of the Geofence. You can set up a Geofence around your company’s vehicle lot after work hours to guard against thieves in the night.
GPS Fleet Tracking’s Many Benefits
The many benefits of fleet tracking are known to established fleet managers everywhere. It does not only offer short-term benefits in the form of continuous, real-time vehicle tracking but can help your business in the long run through valuable data that can aid you in making the right decisions for your business. It also protects you from suffering losses from theft and from excessive expenses.
GPS fleet tracking systems are affordable nowadays, so there’s no reason why you should hesitate, especially when it’s most likely that your competitors are already enjoying fleet tracking’s many benefits. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and make your job as a fleet manager easier and more impactful, contact us today to find out more about how fleet management solutions can help your business.