What should you look for in a GPS fleet tracking service?
While certain features (and the benefits of those features) depend on your business's unique needs, standard GPS fleet tracking systems should include driver safety tracking, navigation and communication options, fuel card integration, vehicle maintenance tracking, dashboards with trending key metrics, and ongoing customer support. The best GPS fleet tracking systems are easy to use and often have extra features, like alert systems and mobile access.
What GPS hardware do you need to track your fleet?
You will need to install a GPS tracking device on each vehicle or asset you want to track. One of the most popular types of tracking hardware is a plug-and-play device that can be easily inserted and removed from your vehicle's OBD-II port. Another option is to have a hardwired tracking device installed on each vehicle. Common device add-ons include dashboard cameras (for video telematics) and driver ID readers (for tracking drivers). You may also consider installing tracking devices on non-powered assets and equipment.
What data does GPS tracking provide?
GPS tracking services can provide you with a wealth of data on your vehicles and drivers. Although the specific alerts and reports vary, most GPS fleet tracking software provides data on vehicle location, driver behavior and performance, vehicle health and maintenance, fuel consumption, navigation and route optimization, and fleet safety and security. Most software allows you to customize your reports.
What other components of GPS tracking should you be aware of?
You should keep in mind that not all systems offer real-time tracking. Although many services claim to do so, they are actually "near-real time." That means that instead of offering second-to-second tracking on where your fleet is, they update every 10 to 120 seconds with breadcrumb trails. This might not be an issue for most businesses, but it is something to be aware of if you need second-to-second updates. Only a few companies we researched offer true real-time tracking.
What are the security benefits of GPS trackers for a business fleet?
GPS fleet tracking systems allow businesses to monitor their trucks, equipment and drivers in real time. Instead of just hoping that their assets are being taken care of, businesses can use GPS fleet tracking to keep their trucks and equipment secure. For example, you can use a GPS tracker to ensure your trucks are staying within a designated area, or you can leave your large machinery at a construction site overnight and rest assured that it can be safely tracked if necessary. Some GPS tracking systems also have video telematics capabilities, so you can gain firsthand insight on how your fleet is being managed.
What types of businesses can benefit from GPS tracking?
Although most businesses that use fleet tracking are in transportation and logistics industries, such as trucking and car services, virtually any business that needs to monitor company assets, vehicles, or equipment can benefit from these solutions. For example, businesses in the following industries may need GPS tracking:
- Heavy equipment
- Retail and manufacturing
- Government and public safety
- Oil, mining and gas
- Food and beverage
- Rental fleets
How can fleet management software help you save money?
Fleet management software provides a variety of insights that can help your business save money. By viewing fleet trends and GPS data, you can track and improve your drivers' performance, reduce your fuel consumption, optimize driver routes, and minimize risks. GPS trackers on your assets can also help you locate and recover them in the event of theft.
What are the disadvantages of using GPS fleet tracking software?
There are two potential disadvantages of using GPS fleet tracking software: low employee morale and significant upfront costs. Your team may be uncomfortable with the monitoring system and view it as a lack of trust – so be upfront with your employees about how and why you are tracking them, and focus on the benefits of the software. You can also mitigate this downside by using GPS tracking software data for performance-based incentives.
GPS fleet tracking software can also be expensive. However, in the long term, the benefits of optimizing routes and cutting fuel costs often outweigh the initial upfront and monthly costs.