The Best Fleet Tracking Solutions Reviewed For Your Business
Did you know that by incorporating fleet tracking software into your small business structure, you could be one of the 45% of fleets that saw a return on investment (ROI) within 11 months or less in 2019? That means that when you invest in a fleet tracking software solution for your business, you could be seeing your money plus more back – in less than a year. Even though results may vary from fleet to fleet, there is still a likelihood that your small business will benefit from cost-savings. This must be facilitated through the proper implementation and utilization of a fleet tracking solution.
What is GPS Fleet Tracking Software?
You might be wondering what fleet tracking software is and why you need it. As a small business and fleet owner (or manager), you have a lot invested in your fleet vehicles. You want to know where they are and how they are being operated. You also want to save money, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. Part of owning a business is maximizing the amount you profit and being as cost-efficient as possible, especially when vehicles are involved.
In short, fleet tracking software allows you to see all the aspects of your fleet on one convenient dashboard. You will know where each vehicle is, where they have been, how the driver is performing, and so much more. All you need is a company to supply the hardware and software. Together with your smart device, you can begin changing how your fleet is operating.
How Do Fleet Tracking Services Work?
Fleet tracking services work a lot like the GPS location on your smartphone. The fleet tracking hardware communicates with satellites that orbit the Earth, sending and receiving signals constantly. When the hardware is being searched, and at least four satellites communicate simultaneously, a precise location can be triangulated. It sounds like a complicated process, but let us assure you that these satellites were designed for this. So are the receivers communicating with them.
When you acquire fleet tracking software, you start by implementing it in your fleet vehicles. The hardware, in most cases, will be plugged into your OBD II port of the vehicle. This port is the one used when your check engine light comes on. The mechanic plugs in the code reader in this port to obtain the code from the internal computer to find out what is wrong diagnostically. That is how the hardware can communicate your fleet vehicle’s internal working to the app dashboard on your smart device.
Why Do You Need The Best Fleet Tracking Software For Your Vehicles?
Fleet tracking software is not something you should take lightly when you invest in it. Implementing software like this, when used correctly, can help make your fleet operate more efficiently. What if you could make a small investment each month and pocket extra revenue from the savings created from that investment?
Implementing the best fleet tracking software possible for your business is how you can create a positive revenue stream. As a small business, you need every dollar you can save. You know that every dime counts, which is why you need to make sure you are looking for the one that offers you the best monthly rate with the largest chance of return.
When you look for a fleet tracking software company, you want to make sure you have chosen the one that will accommodate your small business needs, not their own bottom line. Not all fleet tracking software companies are created equally. You have to know what features you want from your fleet software company to get the most out of it.
The Features of the Best Fleet Tracking Software
Your fleet tracking software should only offer the best features and none of the fluff. Why pay for things you won’t use? There are key features that you need to make your experience with fleet management software beneficial. These features will help you save money, be more efficient, and stay on top of your fleet’s maintenance activities.
Fleetr is a different type of fleet tracking software. For one low monthly price ($9.99 per month per vehicle), you can begin a fleet tracking subscription that helps you track your fleet and begin saving. Unlike other tracking services, you aren’t required to have a minimum number of vehicles to track. What are the most appealing features that come with the best fleet tracking software?
Feature #1: Driver Safety
As a small fleet owner, you can’t be in more than one place at any given time. Even though you wish you could accompany each one of your fleet vehicles on their daily tasks, it is impossible to do. The safety of your fleet can mean the difference between expensive repairs, liability claims, and fleet downtime. The responsibility of a fleet driver goes beyond the responsibility that they have within their personal vehicles.
When becoming a fleet driver, there is an understanding (and possibly a contract) that expresses an understanding that there are specific expectations while behind the wheel of a fleet vehicle. Fleet drivers are representatives of your company, and they should always conduct themselves as such.
Fleetr makes tracking driver safety easy. Weekly reports show you how your drivers are doing when on the roadway. If driver action needs immediate attention, push notification alerts can be sent directly to your smart device. Fleetr can give you tips on how your drivers can improve their actions while on the road.
When you use Fleetr to track your fleet, you can see instances of speeding, rapid acceleration, hard braking, and reckless driving habits. Keeping your fleet safe on the road also helps to keep other drivers on the roadway safe.
Feature #2: Fuel Efficiency
One of the biggest expenses that you face as a fleet manager is your fuel consumption. As if the odds weren’t already against you because of the fluctuating fuel prices, your drivers have a direct impact on the amount spent on fuel as well. You might wonder how this could be, but it is true.
Think about your own vehicle. Are there times when you have better fuel economy and times when you don’t? A lot of this depends on how well the vehicle is maintained, the tires, and how it is driven. Yes, multiple factors go into the fuel economy you get, but without someone telling you exactly what to change, it is a guessing game on how to improve it.
Fleetr doesn’t make you guess what your fleet drivers need to do for better fuel economy. Our weekly reporting will guide you on the changes you can make to your fleet driving patterns to save fuel economy. How does an extra $100 to $200 per month per vehicle sound? Too good to be true, right? Not with Fleetr and the analysis we provide each week – we want to help small fleet owners make the most of their operations.
Feature #3: The Best Maintenance Practices
Much like you go to the doctor for preventative health care, vehicles are complex machines that require the same type of preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance means getting the parts of the vehicle checked out that routinely need to be serviced. If you haven’t created a maintenance schedule for your fleet vehicles, now might be a great time to make one.
A maintenance schedule is a plan you make for each of your fleet vehicles that says you will get it serviced for specific items – oil changes, tire rotations, etc. Traditionally, keeping track of all this information was a huge task. As the manager, you are responsible for ensuring that the paperwork is in order and all of the maintenance is done according to schedule. Depending on the size of your fleet, this could be a large undertaking.
To ensure you are doing the correct service intervals, you have to keep track of the number of miles the vehicle has traveled (often by having your driver keep a log). To make sure the mileage is correct, you either have to depend on your drivers to accurately report the mileage of their vehicle or do an inventory nightly or weekly, depending on your reporting schedule. Either way, you are piling on more work for yourself.
What happens if you let the maintenance intervals slide by?
Maintenance isn’t something that you can let go without completing, not on a fleet vehicle. Fleet vehicles see more mileage than regular passenger vehicles. They may even be worked harder, so unless you plan to replace your fleet vehicles sooner than you anticipated, preventative maintenance is important.
Fleetr changes the way that you handle your fleet maintenance. With GPS tracking, your mileage is automatically tracked for you. That’s right, Fleetr keeps track of your mileage, letting you know when it is close to the time for service on a vehicle. You don’t have to keep track of mounds of papers, and it is all handled in a convenient dashboard available on your smart device. You can set the interval to ensure that each of the vehicles (especially older ones) is getting the service they need at a specific mileage. You can even be notified if the check engine light comes on and no one notifies you. Never miss a maintenance appointment again with Fleetr tracking your vehicle’s service needs.
The Pros and Cons of Using the Best GPS Fleet Management Software
As we said, not all GPS fleet management software is created equally. Some of these software choices are made for larger fleets (over 100 vehicles), and some are made for smaller fleets (under 100 vehicles). A large fleet’s needs are not going to be the same for a smaller fleet, and vice versa. Before making a decision, weigh out the pros and cons of using each of the software selections.
What to Look for in Fleet Tracking Software
Before you make any decisions about the software you want to use, make sure you are asking yourself these questions:
- Why am I investing in GPS fleet tracking software for my small business?
- How many vehicles am I going to be tracking? Will this influence the company I choose?
- What is my budget for GPS tracking? Can I add more vehicles at a later time?
- What information am I looking for from this software?
- What will I do with the information once I have it?
- Am I able to implement, monitor the data, and make sure the necessary changes are made?
Fleet tracking software can be a time-consuming investment initially, at least until you know how to use it. That is why when looking at your options, you need to look for these characteristics:
- Application, Hardware, and Navigation Options – Depending on the cloud-based GPS trackers you are looking at, some may offer add-ons or other capabilities included within the service. While using a web-based application was so early 2000s, we are now in an age where we want mobility. Does this company you are considering have a mobile or smart device application to view the information on? The last thing you want is to be tied to your desk while you see where your fleet is. Mobile applications also come with the option of push notifications, allowing you to do the things you need to do without micromanaging.
- Customer Service – You will likely have questions about your software at some point during its use. If you do, you want a customer service team that is available when you need them, not during normal business hours. Your fleet may operate at all hours, meaning you need a fleet tracking software company that is operational when you are.
- Push Notifications – In the age where mobile apps and smart devices reign supreme, we rely on push notifications to alert us of something that needs immediate attention. You want to know if your drivers are engaging in driving behaviors that are unsafe, if your vehicle has been involved in an accident, and if a breakdown has occurred (among other things). Your fleet tracking software should have the ability to notify you when occasions arise.
- Easy to Use – The most sought out characteristic of fleet tracking software is the ease of use. What good is it if you don’t know how to work it? Yes, technology is always evolving. Some features could be included (not necessarily useful) that make the process just a little harder to navigate. Does this company you are looking at bind you with a contract, or is there a trial period? You don’t want to sign away two years of your life attached to one fleet tracking software company if you can’t figure out how to use it.
- Special Integration – Some GPS fleet tracking software companies make it possible to integrate fleet fuel cards to track fuel expenditures. This feature is something that is more often found for larger fleets. Small fleets will have fewer fuel cards circulating and are easier to track.
The Pricing Structures of Fleet Tracking Software
This category could be a pro and a con for fleet tracking software. Yes, some fleet tracking software has pricing that is affordable and almost too good to be true. Others are outrageously expensive and make it impossible for a small fleet to survive. Research is important in this area because pricing can make or break a business. Remember, one of the questions is about how much you can budget. You need to be aware of several costs when you are looking at a fleet tracking software company.
What are the upfront costs? Upfront costs are anything they require of you to start the service. You are likely required to pay this before they will send you hardware and allow you to access any of the applications for the vehicles on your fleet. If you are required to pay something up front, you know exactly what it covers – most companies require you to pay at least the first month of service before sending you the hardware.
What do the monthly charges cover? Each month you will be required to pay something to your GPS fleet tracking software company. These charges should cover the leased hardware, access to the software, the application, the navigation, and any other add-ons you have requested. If there are any other fees associated, like management fees or taxes, these should be included in your monthly bill.
Is there a contract? The emergence of a “pay-as-you-go” style plan has become popular over the year in technology. There are streaming companies that charge monthly fees without a contract, which are overpowering those cable and satellite companies that require 2-year contracts from their customers. Cell phone plans have become the same way. Companies like Cricket or StraightTalk offer the same great coverage as their competitors at lower prices and no long-term commitments. Some GPS fleet software companies have implemented the same attitude and done away with the idea of long-term contracts. Check before you sign-up to ensure you are not entering an agreement you can’t commit to.
Pros of Choosing the Right Company for GPS Fleet Tracking
When you made the right decision for your GPS fleet tracking services, you will know it. It’s like Cinderella’s shoe. It just fits. You will look at all your requirements and all of the features provided, and you will know that the company has everything you are looking for.
Your Vehicles Become More Efficient
Efficient vehicles save money and last longer overall. Fleet management software will make suggestions to you about how you can increase your efficiency overall. The data collected from your vehicle and analyzed by the software for efficiency include:
- Vehicle speed
- Location tracking
- Engine performance
- Idling time
- Fuel efficiency
Telematics systems are also built with the capability to analyze any error or trouble codes your vehicle may use to indicate service needed. This feature allows for quicker management of these issues resulting in fewer damages and better efficiency.
Driver Accountability and Safety
You want you to know that your drivers are safe while they are on the roadway. The right fleet management software will ensure your drivers are clear of hazards and remaining safe while operating your assets. Fleet management software allows you to see the following:
- The after-hours usage of any fleet vehicles
- The braking habits of your drivers
- Speeding and where your drivers speed the most
- The acceleration habits of your drivers
- Erratic driving habits your drivers may have
The telematics software enables you to keep track of mileage and other driving requirements that may be required, depending on your industry. Those drivers who are held accountable for their actions on the road are more likely to drive more efficiently.
You Stay on Top of Maintenance
Some people just aren’t good at staying on top of vehicle maintenance. The paperwork and mileage tracking required for each vehicle can be a tedious task. There are many different tasks required to keep your maintenance up to par with standards and ensure there is no breakdown along the way. Using software that can put all of your vehicle records in one location can reduce the clutter and risk losing important information about your vehicles.
Cons of Choosing the Wrong Company for GPS Fleet Tracking
Choosing the wrong company for your GPS fleet tracking can be detrimental to your entire operation if it goes wrong. You want your operation to profit, which cannot happen if you choose the wrong company. As a small fleet owner, you can’t get in over your head, or you will end up in the negative if you choose a fleet tracking software company that is not designed for the smaller businesses.
One of the biggest downsides to some big named fleet management companies is requiring a contract and a minimum number of fleet vehicles. Even if you do not have the number to meet the requirements, you are charged for that number regardless. This amount can be something you may not be able to afford. You have to be able to look at what the company expects from you and see if you fit their minimum criteria.
The bottom line, if you choose the wrong company for your fleet’s needs, you are looking at taking a serious loss. This loss can occur through money losses, lack of vehicle coverage, and fees that potentially bring your business to the ground. What are you supposed to do if you are a small fleet operation?
Fleetr is For Small Fleet Operations
Now that you know the pros and cons of using those other companies let’s talk about what Fleetr can do for you. Fleetr was made for the small business fleet – not larger operations. We believe that your business should profit from our services, not end up in a bind over them. Oh, and you can forget about the long-term contract. We don’t feel the need to tie you down in a commitment because those who use Fleetr often stay willingly!
Fleetr is a subscription service that requires monthly payments of $9.99 per month per vehicle. There are no hidden fees or contracts when you sign up with Fleetr. Just send back the hardware if you cancel your service. We also don’t have a minimum number of fleet vehicles. We just ask that no more than 100 be on any single account.
We provide you with weekly reports that give you insight into what you can do to make your fleet more efficient. We also give you information about how your drivers are doing on the road. Find out who is the best driver and who needs a little more help. Get instantly notified when driving behavior is hazardous or reckless. We do what the large fleet tracking services do, only on a small fleet-level (without the large fleet price).
Take Your Time to Review Your Options
You can take your time before you pick your GPS fleet tracking software. There is nothing in the rule book that says you have to choose immediately when you decide that fleet tracking is the route you want to go with your fleet. You do this because you want to have a more efficient fleet. Those who use fleet tracking software often choose it for this reason. It is not about “spying,” so you can let your drivers know that it has nothing to do with keeping tabs on them.
If you worry that there will be a lot of apprehension about your decision, get the opinions of your employees. Let them see what you are looking to accomplish with the software. Show them how much your fleet can be saving on fuel with changes in the way they drive. By incorporating the changes, there may be enough extra money left over that you can begin incentivizing good driving habits within the fleet.
Interested in seeing what Fleetr can do for your business? We specialize in small fleets, so if you are a small fleet, visit us online and see just how much you could be saving by using a GPS fleet tracking software system.