Do I Need Fleet Tracking?

This article was published on: 05/24/22 by the Robert Hall

01 Do I Need Fleet Tracking

It can be difficult to keep track of your fleet while managing all other aspects of your business. If you’re a small business just starting out, it’s important to have certain resources dedicated to making life easier for you and your employees. Fleet management software offers endless benefits to help you optimize your existing procedures and save on operational costs.

With fleet tracking, you can simplify your manual processes and eliminate many time-consuming tasks that make it difficult for you to get ahead of the competition. GPS tracking enables you to improve safety, stay in communication with your drivers and provide excellent service to your loyal customers.

02 Why Do Companies Track Vehicles

Why Do Companies Track Vehicles?

As your business grows, so does your fleet. The larger your fleet, the more challenges arise and the more equipment you are responsible for. While you trust your employees and drivers to work independently, tracking your fleet vehicles give you more visibility and verification on the status and location of your vehicles — letting you stay ahead of the competition. 

Though using GPS tracking to monitor drivers can cause some employees to worry about privacy issues, it’s important to let your drivers know that using a vehicle tracking system benefits their safety. Using fleet management software allows you to be proactive and transparent with your employees to avoid compromising their trust while complying with the law, keeping your records accurate and monitoring overtime. 

Tracking your business’s vehicles also allows you to increase your efficiency and streamline your travel and delivery processes — all while making sure your employees are engaging in safe driving behaviors and complying with traffic laws. When tracking your fleet, you can find solutions to your questions, such as:

  • My driver hasn’t gotten back to me about a delivery — where are they located?
  • Is my employee using my vehicle for purposes that aren’t business-related?
  • Which of my drivers is closest?
  • How long are my workers spending with our customers to get the job done?
  • I have a customer claiming my technician was a no-show — did they show up for their appointment on time?
  • Why are my vehicles logging more miles than usual?

What Is Fleet Management Software?

Fleet management software allows managers and business owners to monitor their drivers, vehicles and equipment through a simple platform or application. 

This software provides valuable capabilities, such as:

  • Driver behavior
  • Simplifying compliance
  • Vehicle movement
  • Performance measurements
  • Scheduling maintenance
  • Operational activities

Depending on the software you choose, your fleet management tools can also help you optimize your driver routes and create actionable insights to identify areas for improvement and better business opportunities.

03 What Are The Benefits Of GPS Tracking 745x1024 1

How t

What Are the Benefits of GPS Tracking? 

While GPS and fleet tracking capabilities can benefit any trucking and transportation business, it can be particularly useful for small businesses trying to grow their customer base. With a system that can streamline your operations and increase your productivity, you’ll have the power to satisfy your customers and gear your business in the right direction. 

Here are the top six ways fleet tracking benefits small businesses. 

1. Optimize Fuel and Operational Costs

Optimizing your resources, particularly fuel, can also help you reduce overall costs. Behind driver compensation, fuel costs are the second-highest line item in operational costs for trucking companies. Whether you’re managing a few dozen vehicles or a thousand, fuel costs add up quickly. For example, unauthorized vehicle use also increases fuel costs, and a GPS tracking system allows management to see if drivers are using business vehicles for other purposes. 

GPS tracking also allows fleet managers and owners to know when their vehicles are in operation or when drivers are speeding, which decreases fuel efficiency. With dispatching and route planning tools, you can ensure your team uses the most direct, efficient routes to their appointments and job sites to limit fuel use, eliminate idle vehicle time and make a positive impact on profitability. 

Read Next:   Ways to Avoid Fleet Downtime

Obtaining data from your fleet management system enables you to gain more visibility into your operations and route history, helping you identify other areas for saving money, such as reducing insurance costs. Many insurance companies provide special discounts for vehicles with GPS tracking systems. These systems also allow you to monitor the status of your vehicle and track your engine oil and other indicators. 

With GPS tracking, you can also ensure your calculations for your workers’ time on job sites is accurate for invoicing, billing and payroll by using your location-based data. 

2. Improve Safety Measures

Having well-maintained and serviced vehicles is a key step in upholding driver safety, but GPS tracking also provides many safety measures for your fleet and operators. Drivers with patterns of poor driving — such as speeding, harsh accelerations, running red lights, getting into accidents or ignoring traffic laws — can put their own lives and the lives of others at risk. Not to mention, they can run up fuel costs and damage your vehicles. 

Being able to monitor their driving behaviors will make it easier to coach them on safe driving practices to reduce the likelihood of a collision or traffic violation. GPS tracking also allows you to schedule regular maintenance and enable drivers to report vehicle faults or issues that need to be inspected.

In addition to monitoring your drivers for their safety, GPS tracking can also help you prevent vehicle and cargo theft. When you have a real-time, consistent location of all your fleet vehicles, you can quickly take action if one has been stolen or deviates from its instructed path. As a manager or owner, you can also have control over customizable geofences — virtual borders set for a designated location or area — that notify you when your vehicles are not where they’re supposed to be.  

Real-time location tracking is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses that may not have many backup or replacement vehicles available in their fleet. You will also be able to locate your business vehicles if your driver should get into an accident and stop responding to your attempts at contact.

3. Increase Productivity 

GPS tracking enables you to increase fleet productivity by monitoring how long drivers and workers spend on each job site and checking that the nearest vehicle dispatches to a job for optimal workflow. Fleet management software lets you digitize your processes and tasks that help you become more competitive in your industry. You can stay on top of delivery times, assign tasks to idle vehicles and increase your number of trips per day to keep your business flowing.

4. Reduce Administrative Labor 

Easily accessing important information through your GPS fleet management software makes it easier to keep track of critical details and eliminate billing discrepancies due to digital timekeeping. GPS tracking will also help you reduce manual paperwork and minimize calls to drivers — letting you rely on your real-time dashboard and spend more time optimizing your supply chain and financial management processes. 

When keeping track of your assets with physical paperwork, it’s easy to make mistakes, misplace files or retrieve information when you need to double-check something. By handling your tasks in one central system, you can:

  • Plan your operations more productively.
  • Reduce administrative burden. 
  • Speed up your processes.  
  • Reduce human error.
  • Get notified every time your vehicles enter or exit scheduled destinations. 

5. Enhance Customer Service

While keeping your business productive benefits you and your drivers, it also benefits your customers and lets you improve your customer service. With GPS tracking, you can inform customers of real-time vehicle location ahead of their appointment to provide them with accurate estimated arrival times.

Read Next:   The Importance of Accountability for Your Fleet Drivers

Keeping your customers happy will help you sustain a successful transportation business by responding to calls quickly, delivering items on time and remaining predictable and reliable for your loyal customers. Bringing your customers these enhanced processes will also help you stay competitive.

6. Improve Compliance

GPS tracking helps ease some challenges of your day-to-day operations, regardless of the size of your fleet. One of the most important aspects of your business is maintaining safety and compliance across your entire organization. Tracking your driver’s hours of service (HOS) — their time on duty and driving time — is required for many businesses under the Department of Transportation’s FMCSA

No matter how big or small your business is, it’s critical to accurately keep track and record information about your drivers, such as how long they’ve been on the road, the length of their rest breaks and how many hours they have left to complete their driving period. 

With GPS tracking and other fleet management software tools, you can notify drivers in real-time when they need to pull into a rest stop to take breaks or when they’re approaching the end of their shift. Making sure your driver’s hours are correctly logged will help you avoid violations and ensure your drivers are well-rested and productive during their shifts.

04 What Are The Benefits Of GPS Tracking

Best Practices for GPS Tracking

If you’ve never used GPS tracking before, following some tips to maximize your efficiency and ensure compliance is important. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when using GPS tracking and fleet management software. 

Update Drivers on the Best Traffic Routes

GPS tracking allows you to find the fastest routes for your drivers, so staying in contact with them is key to helping them in the field with live traffic data. However, getting them to their destination quickly and making delivery and appointment times on schedule comes second to their safety on the road. While it’s great to surpass customer expectations and delivery estimates, it’s more important that your drivers practice safe driving and avoid speeding just to make it in record time. 

With GPS tracking on hand, you can make your communication with drivers more efficient and guide them to the routes that will help them arrive quickly without compromising their safety and that of others on the road. 

Keep Your Tracking Transparent

If possible, try to let others on your team see your vehicle tracking map along with you. Depending on the number of business devices you have and how often your workers can check the dashboard, they can see a real-time view of where your fleet vehicles are and help your dispatchers and customer service representatives quickly locate your drivers. 

Letting your team have access to the tracking capabilities will also help determine which drivers are free or in the middle of another job, which allows them to find the next available team member to quickly make the next appointment. 

Many customers will appreciate the reassurance that your driver is on the way to their location or that their delivery is estimated to arrive within an accurate window. Not to mention, your employees will also value the transparency in your business as you let everyone view the tracking map. 

Give Employees Your GPS Tracking Policy

To keep up with this organizational transparency, it’s also a good idea to have a written policy regarding your GPS tracking and fleet management software so your employees know exactly what you’re tracking and how it impacts their day-to-day tasks. Your policy should cover the reasons you use GPS tracking, how it improves driver safety and how you use the data you collect. 

Read Next:   AI for Fleet Management

You can also outline the same topics for GPS tracking on any company devices such as cell phones or tablets. Communicating this policy to your employees will help them understand why they’re driving and other tasks may be monitored and how it helps your business stay compliant and productive. 

Reward Your Responsible Drivers 

While your GPS tracking software can monitor your drivers’ braking, acceleration and speed to ensure safety, you can also use this information to reward drivers who practice safe driving. Your drivers represent your business and its’ reputation, so if they’re regularly getting into accidents or pulled over for speeding, it can have detrimental consequences as potential customers pass them by with your name on the vehicle. 

Using GPS tracking for your fleet allows you to offer incentives to your drivers who treat your company vehicles with respect. These rewards could include company recognition, bonuses, gift cards or other creative prizes to show your drivers you appreciate their safe practices. 

Be Responsible and Considerate

It’s not always easy for employees to feel comfortable being monitored on the job, even if they know it’s important for their safety. However, you can still monitor your employees on the road while being considerate of their privacy. For instance, you should only ever engage in monitoring when it’s justified for a business need, such as during work hours. You should also let your employees know that you keep all GPS-related data secure for compliance and security reasons. 

For example, if a customer calls and says your technician never showed up for their appointment, you can pull up your tracking information and show what time your driver arrived at the destination and how long they were with the customer. This type of information can help you avoid such issues by allowing you to quickly retrieve exactly where your drivers are at all times. 

Only Track Business-Owned Vehicles and Devices

One of the most important practices to implement when using GPS and fleet tracking services is to ensure you’re only using it on employer-owned vehicles and devices. While you should include this in your GPS tracking policy, it’s a good idea to remind your employees that their personal vehicles and devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops, will never be tracked.

05 See How Track Your Truck Can Help Your Business

See How Track Your Truck Can Help Your Business

With Track Your Truck, we value exceptional reliability and service. Our software and devices allow you to customize and configure solutions to meet your specific business needs. Whether you want to improve your distribution of company resources, gauge employee efficiency, refine your operations procedures or enhance driver safety, we have the technology to help get you started. Our software provides you with:

  • Specific locations, direction, status and speed of your vehicles.
  • As many logins as needed for people to view tracked vehicles.
  • The ability to track any device with an internet connection.
  • Satellite views and color-coded traffic conditions for specific routes.

We also offer many other customization and add-on services so you can gain more visibility into things like driver behavior, driver identification, customer map integration and alerts for departs and arrivals. If you want to learn more about Track Your Truck’s services and how we can help make your business more efficient, request a custom quote online to get started.