Choosing a Fleet Tracking Company
A lot of research goes into looking for the right fleet tracking company to integrate your business with. You almost need to do a personal business inventory to see where improvements could be made using GPS tracking software. Which one of the hundreds of companies available today can help you and your fleet become more efficient?
Assess Your Business’ Long-Term Goals
Where do you see your fleet ten years from now? When you decide to integrate a telematics software system into your fleet, you should factor it in on a long-term business arrangement – not short term. Many of these companies require a commitment on your part, which means you could be looking at a long-term investment.
Look at the companies you are considering to see what type of contract they require, if any, and how it can be altered with changes in your business structure. What does their long-term business model look like? Could you be left in the dust if they change how they operate down the road?
Make a list of the goals you are hoping to accomplish by aligning your fleet with a tracking company. List all of your vehicles currently in your fleet, including the information about each one of them. Check to see if the hardware will be compatible (older vehicles may have trouble with hardware) and what including them in your subscription will do for your business.
If you have questions about what the company can do for your fleet, make sure to reach out to their customer service. You want the goals of the company to align with the goals you have for your fleet.
A company you are considering working with should have customer service that is knowledgeable and able to help whenever you have a problem with your hardware or software. While some companies may not be able to provide 24/7 customer support, most can at least facilitate multiple forms of interaction – chat, email, and phone line.
Reputation and Reviews
Looking for a company to begin working with to track your fleet will probably take some research on your end. You can’t just take a company’s word that they are the best – you need to see it for yourself. Reviews are one way of seeing how a company has handled business in the past and how customers responded to their services.
You may find that some reviews are too good to be true, which is why you need to know what to look for in a review. Contrary to popular belief, not everything on the internet is true – meaning you will have to weed out the real reviews from the potentially fake ones.
- Beware of overly critical or negative reviews. Some people like to leave reviews when they have something to complain about, instead of coming from an unbiased viewpoint. Make sure you look at as many reviews as possible to help you decide about the integrity and quality of a company. Don’t let overly critical reviews condemn a company – unless that is all you find.
- Use the dates of the reviews as a timeline. Did the company improve upon areas based on customer feedback? Older reviews will show you what customers suggested. Newer ones will provide the information on if the improvements were made.
- Compare the companies against one another. Don’t look at the first set of reviews and make your final decision. A good company will invite you to compare them with their competitors so that they can prove to you that they are the best.
- When all else fails – call or email the company with your questions. If you need to reference certain reviews that you have questions about, do so. The more information you collect, the easier your decision will be.
Above all else, a GPS fleet tracking company should be transparent about their business structure. All the information, including pricing, contract, hardware, software, billing, etc. should all be presented in an understandable and clear way. There should not be “fine print” to worry about when signing up for service.
Benefits of Using GPS Tracking Software
By bringing a GPS tracking device into your fleet operations, you open your business up to opportunities that provide you with many benefits. These benefits provide you with the ability to change the way you do business. These benefits include increasing efficiency, fuel economy, safety, maintenance needs, and more.
Saving Money on Fuel
One of the costs that fluctuate the most for fleet managers is fuel. Fuel efficiency can save fleet managers anywhere from $100 to $200 per vehicle per month just by changing driving patterns and increasing fuel economy. Your fleet’s fuel economy is influenced by the amount of time the vehicle spends idling, speeding, and other poor driving habits.
Increased Fleet Safety
Risky driving can create situations for your fleet that not only cost you money but could cost you a lot more. A GPS tracker can help you look for driving behavior that may be considered dangerous. Each vehicle can be monitored using hardware installed, alerting you of any safety concerns in real-time. Tracking your driver’s safety helps with saving money and the level of safety found within your fleet.
Enhanced Maintenance Protocols
Keeping up with the maintenance of multiple fleet vehicles can be a daunting task. Looking through records and recording the mileage to track when maintenance is needed can keep fleet managers tied to a desk more than they want to be. An integrated GPS solution can keep up with the mileage and when the next scheduled maintenance on the vehicle needs to be completed.
How GPS Tracking Works
Business fleet managers use GPS tracking to locate their vehicles and to track movement. The concept used by these tracking companies are the same but use different hardware and provide different monthly terms. How do these units work within the fleet vehicles?
Implementing GPS tracking hardware into each fleet vehicle is easy to accomplish. Units are plugged into the vehicle’s OBD (on-board diagnostics) port. Data is collected from the car’s diagnostics and transferred over satellite or cellular networks from this port. The hardware is easy to install, with minimal automotive knowledge required.
GPS Satellite Location
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite network that provides location, velocity, and time synchronicity. GPS can be found almost anywhere these days, from our cars, smartphones, and even our watches. These satellites rely on receivers located within the device they are searching for. Once it has been pinged by at least four satellites, the almost exact location can be confirmed.
Three components are used within GPS tracking. These components are also called segments. The segments include:
- Space (satellites) – the first segment is the satellites that orbit in outer space. They transmit signals that locate users on geographical positioning and the time of day.
- Ground control – the control segment is made of Earth-based stations and antenna. Monitoring stations can be found worldwide on almost every continent.
- User equipment – any device that has a GPS receiver and transmitter built-in is considered user equipment.
Finding Location Through GPS
The more satellites that a GPS receiver communicates with, the higher the likelihood the location is accurate. GPS requires at least four satellites to be engaged with the receiver for location services to be accurate.
For example, when a satellite signal and receiver interact, it creates a circle on the map. The second satellite does the same, and so on. Where these ranges intercept one another is the location of the receiver.
GPS is not perfect, and there are some instances where signals could be interrupted or blocked entirely. When this happens, it is hard to rely on the accuracy of the GPS location. Factors that could hinder the accuracy of GPS include:
- Physical obstructions – the measurement for arrival time and positioning could be skewed by large masses like buildings, mountains, trees, and many others.
- Atmospheric effects – GPS devices have been known to be affected by ionospheric delays, solar storms, and heavy storm cover.
- Ephemeris – this occurs when the satellite could be incorrect or out-of-date, but this is becoming rare.
- Miscalculations – if a device is not designed to proper specifications, numerical miscalculations could be faulty for GPS.
- Artificial interference – jamming devices or spoofs could be to blame for incomplete GPS data.
The more open the area, the more likely the information is to be accurate. When tall buildings, like in a city, cause interference, it is referred to as an urban canyon effect.
Why Businesses with Fleets Need GPS
GPS offers a lot of reassurance to business owners, especially those with fleet vehicles. While not all GPS uses are going to be utilized regularly by fleet managers, it is nice to know that it is available should the need arise.
Location – Fleet managers can use GPS to determine the location of each one of their fleet vehicles. Not only is this useful to know if a driver is doing their job, but it can also help in an emergency situation. Suppose the vehicle is involved in an accident. In that case, the manager will know exactly where the driver and vehicle are to call for help.
Navigation – GPS is excellent for navigation purposes. Although not necessarily a function of the hardware inserted into an OBD port, a fleet driver can still use the vehicle’s navigation to find where their next job is.
Tracking – Much like location, using GPS for tracking can help fleet owners find their vehicles. Suppose one of the fleet vehicles gets stolen, using the GPS’s information, recovery of the vehicle might be possible.
Mapping – More likely to be used on the administrative end, a fleet manager can use the GPS information for jobs and create a map that will efficiently utilize the fleet and help with time management.
Timing – If a customer calls in concerned about a worker not making it for their appointment in time, the manager can see where the fleet vehicle is. They will be able to provide the customer with an estimated time when the late vehicle should arrive.
A New Way To Manage Your Small Fleet
Fleetr’s fleet management products are custom-tailored to meet the needs of the small fleet manager. Signing up for Fleetr is an easy process and takes as little as 20 minutes to complete. Why should you look at Fleetr as your small fleet management solution?
Easily Track Your Fleet Vehicles
Fleetr offers an easy and affordable solution for you to track your fleet vehicles. You can locate your vehicles on the map and see if they are driving, stopped, or idling. A comprehensive trip history includes miles, stops, speed, and other data that can be used to factor your efficiency. You can set your hours of operation and see what vehicles are being used, their locations, and the miles put on them when they are not in service.
Focus on Driver Accountability
Suppose you want push notifications when a driver is exhibiting unsafe behavior behind the wheel. In that case, Fleetr provides you with real-time information. You can address the situation as soon as it occurs.
With Fleetr, you receive a weekly report that not only ranks your fleet drivers, letting you know who the best is and who you need to worry about, but also provides a score. The scoring is based on a scale of 1-100 and changes weekly based on improvement or unsafe driving habits. A score of 67 or higher means the driver is efficient, but a score of 33 or below should be immediately addressed.
Save Money on Your Fleet
Each week, your report will give you tips on how your fleet can make changes to become more efficient. Changes to increase efficiency can save you $100 to $200 on each vehicle’s fuel consumption per month. With savings like that, the system practically pays for itself.
Fleetr keeps track of your maintenance schedules, allowing you to keep your fleet serviced and in proper working order. Vehicles run more efficiently and are less likely to break down when they are serviced properly. Your fleet is your largest business investment, which can cost quite a bit to replace.
The Cost of Small Fleet Management
For $12.99 per month per fleet vehicle, you can get Fleetr and all the data-driven reporting. The easy to use small fleet management solution provides you with information delivered right to your smartphone or tablet, using a customizable application to track your fleet.
This small fleet management solution is designed to run on a month-to-month basis, without the requirement to sign up for an extended contract. Fleetr doesn’t lock you into a required period of use, only monthly billing for the subscription. Unlike other companies, you are not required to pay an extra fee for the hardware or the network. Fleetr uses wireless networks, absorbing the cost without charging you extra for it.
After you confirm your purchase, you will receive your device in three to five business days. These devices are ready to go out of the box –plug them into the OBD port, and you are ready to start tracking.
The application for your new devices is supported on both Android and iOS. The app will keep your historical data up to 120 days, allowing you to access weekly reports and other collected data from that timeframe.
You have the ability to customize your Fleetr application in a way that works for you. Enter the vehicle information for each device and the driver of that fleet vehicle. You are able to keep your fleet organized and efficient using this app. Fleetr even provides you with the push notifications of unsafe driving behavior and provides the driver information.
Each week Fleetr provides you with updated data-driven reporting that is compiled from Monday to Sunday. This information will give you the tips you need to make your fleet more efficient and show you where you could be saving money. Your efficiency rating will be given a score of 1-100, just like the driver reports. If you receive a 67 or higher, it means that your fleet is operating efficiently. However, a score of 33 or below indicates that critical errors need to be addressed to increase fleet efficiency.
How to Get Fleetr Today
Signing up with Fleetr is simple – only three steps are required. Once you hit the “buy now” button on the website, you begin the process of becoming a more efficient small fleet manager. Begin by selecting the number of devices you need, up to 100. Enter your shipping and billing information, and process your payment.
You will gain instant access to the Fleetr app, but your devices will be mailed to you, and you should receive them in three to five business days. Once you receive the devices, plug them in, and get your fleet on the road.
Forgot a vehicle? Contact Fleetr, and an additional device can be added to your monthly subscription. It will not be reflected until the next billing cycle, which occurs on the first of each month.
Need to cancel service? Contact Fleetr within three business days of the end of the month to cancel your subscription to avoid additional charges. Make sure you send back your devices once the cancelation has been processed.
No Hidden Fees
With Fleetr, what you see is what you get. $12.99 per month per device gets you access to real-time tracking, monitoring for unsafe driving habits, maintenance features, and so much more – all without hidden fees. Fleetr provides small fleet managers with complete transparency and the tools they need to increase their fleet efficiency.
Why Fleetr is Your Fleet Management Solution
When you need to keep track of your fleet, you will search for a company that can provide you with the data you need at a price you can afford. At Fleetr, we don’t believe that tracking your fleet should be complicated. We created an application that can be used on Android and iOS, making it easier to use and right in the palm of your hand.
We know that you want to be where the action is, not tied down to a desk with paperwork or computer only monitoring of your fleet. Our products allow you to do just this – monitor your fleet while ensuring that efficiency and customer service are a top priority.
When you need to find the right solution for your small fleet business, Fleetr makes it easy to keep track of data, drivers, maintenance, and other factors that drive revenue and ensure profitability. Don’t fall into a contract trap that could potentially cost you hundreds of dollars more than the month-to-month small fleet management solution. Contact Fleetr today to set up your business partnership with a leader in small fleet management.