GPS Fleet Management Software
Today's businesses have to be savvier than ever when it comes to expanding margins. Although analytics have become more common in nearly every area of management, many owners and managers underestimate the benefits of using technology to improve the performance of drivers and vehicles. Fleet management software closes the gap between what drivers are supposed to be doing and what they actually accomplish when driving company vehicles.
GPS fleet management and vehicle tracking systems give you unprecedented insight on how your fleet is performing and works to suggest cost-saving improvements. The extra layer of control you get with transportation fleet management ensures drivers are efficient as well as safe, improving operations while preserving your company's reputation on the road.
How Fleet Vehicle Tracking Software Benefits Businesses
Fleet tracking is an untapped resource for many businesses, especially those that aren't familiar with the range of benefits it has. These are the top 10 advantages you get with a robust transportation fleet management software like Track Your Truck.
1. Control Fuel Waste
You can't control the fluctuating price of gas, but you can make sure that the money your company spends on fueling up isn't wasted. Needless idling is a huge source of wastefulness in any fleet. Idling for just 10 seconds uses as much gas as turning off and restarting the engine. Turning off the ignition not only puts more money in your pocket, but it also improves air quality and helps to protect the environment.
Track Your Truck's service includes generating a StandStill report, so you can see at a glance how long vehicles are running without moving and get alerted when vehicles are idling and wasting fuel.
2. Stop Speeding
Speeding is a bad choice for everyone involved. It contributes to fuel waste and compromises the safety of your driver and everyone around them while increasing the chances of incurring costly traffic tickets. Track Your Truck allows you to monitor drivers' current speed habits and analyze their behavior over time.
Additionally, GPS tracking can alert you to the most dangerous forms of speeding by identifying location. You'll know which drivers have a habit of speeding through residential neighborhoods or school zones, for example, allowing you to take appropriate action based on specific behavior.
3. Stop Bad Driving
Speeding isn't the only bad habit that can cost your company time and money. Drivers in a hurry often perform "jackrabbit starts," where they accelerate as quickly as possible. They may also take corners at unsafe speeds or end up braking harshly in their hurry. All three habits decrease fuel economy, increase wear and tear on vehicles and are frequently indicative of generally unsafe driving habits.
Track Your Truck lets you monitor all three indicators of bad driving and evaluate them to determine whether a driver was just avoiding an accident or whether they are habitually dangerous drivers, allowing you to work with your driving team to implement safer techniques.
4. Improve Customer Service
Whenever drivers are making a drop-off or heading to a service site, customers want to know where those drivers are. GPS fleet tracking software gives you an up-to-date picture of where each vehicle is, allowing you to satisfy customers who want more control over their interactions with your company. The better you can communicate with your customers, the more loyalty you'll earn.
5. Maintain Regulatory Compliance
Traditional paper logs are out, and electronic logbooks (ELDs) are in. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated that commercial trucks use ELDs to track, manage and share records of duty status data. These devices integrate with the vehicle's electronic control module using a standard J-bus connection and often coordinate with a vehicle’s GPS tracking system. The penalties for non-compliance are stiff and can be as much $10,000 per violation so your company really can't afford any unnecessary fines or other penalties.
Integrated Fleet Management Software Capabilities
Fleet management is about more than being able to pinpoint where drivers are on a map. An integrated fleet management system offers a complete ecosystem of analytics that works together to improve your processes and procedures. Track Your Truck's software features can integrate with a variety of systems to create insights you can use to maximize productivity.
Reporting and dashboards may be the most crucial functions of integrated management software. It's not always easy to take the figures and alerts generated by trackers yourself, so reporting functionality takes care of it for you. Once you identify some key performance indicators and set thresholds on certain activities, Track Your Truck's software can pull data from multiple sources so you can see what's important and respond right away.
The reports you use will be informed by multiple sources of information, including fleet activity, GPS tracking and real-time alerts.
How to Track Fleet Activity With Reporting Software
Track Your Truck's Truck Activity Reports place all your vehicles side by side for comparison in one convenient chart. Some of the available reports include:
- - Truck Status: Know exactly when a truck arrived or departed a job site, and verify how long the truck spent there.
- - StandStill: Monitor what date and time a vehicle began idling, as well as the location and duration of the event.
- - Start/Stop: Keep an eye on times when vehicles are not active and keep track of how many miles the vehicle covered between each start and stop.
- - Speed Dashboard: Collect individual instances of speeding into a report that clarifies how your vehicles are being handled on the road.
Information like the time trucks arrived at or departed a site, how much time a vehicle spent idling and how long it's been since a vehicle was last in operation are all key to minimizing employee idle time and managing vehicle use for the greatest efficiency.
The Point Activity Report is another way to track fleet activity by letting you set and monitor the activity that occurs at specific repeat destinations. For instance, you could set a point at an employee's home to find out if they are routinely stopping off for unscheduled breaks on company time.
These reports are accessible 24/7, and you can choose which to run regularly as well as how often, making them exceptionally flexible and easy to use.
GPS Mapping Fleet Management Technology
The heart of a GPS fleet management software system is its tracking technology. Thanks to the advancements in reporting frequency on GPS tracking devices, dispatchers and fleet managers can get an accurate sense of where a vehicle is and when it’s expected to arrive at its destination.
To get your fleet where it needs to be, you need real-time routing capabilities. With this tool in your kit, you can find the closest driver to the destination and send directions straight to a driver's phone when they need it. GPS truck tracking software eliminates time wasted when drivers don't know exactly how to get to their destination and cuts down on time spent in traffic by optimizing routes.
Track Your Truck also features an animated replay map that allows you to see a "bread crumb" trail of a driver's route. You can see the exact path the driver took, the approximate speed of the vehicle and the direction the driver was heading at each point along the trail. The ability to look back at any point in time can help you identify problem areas like ongoing construction on a route, as well as verify driver behavior.
Fleet-Tracking Software With Real-Time Alerts
One of the difficulties of managing a fleet is keeping track of events as they happen. Track Your Truck software comes with a suite of real-time alerts that facilitate better management by feeding you information as it's received. The most commonly-used alerts include:
- - Speed alert: Find out instantly when a driver has exceeded a certain speed.
- - Idle time alert: Receive an alert whenever a vehicle is left idling for more than a specified amount of time.
- - Vehicle arrival alert: Keep your schedule running smoothly by receiving confirmation whenever a vehicle arrives at its destination.
- - Unauthorized use alert: Detect unauthorized side jobs or weekend trips and reduce liability with 24-hour tracking of every truck.
Idling alerts, after-hours usage and speeding can all be curtailed with a quick call as soon as you receive an alert from the system. For instance, if you receive an idling alert, you can cross-reference it with the vehicle's real-time GPS location to see if the driver is stuck in traffic or simply taking an unauthorized break somewhere along the route. With integrated reports, you can also look back on the driver's history and see if this has been a pattern throughout their employment.
The more vehicles you have, the more drivers you have to keep track of. Monitoring individual drivers is just as important as monitoring the way they drive in terms of ensuring proper vehicle usage. Track Your Truck uses Dallas Driver ID that allows you to run reports based on the driver as well as by the vehicle. You'll know just who was driving what vehicle and follow their aggregate behavior across vehicles for a clearer picture of their overall driving behavior.
How to Find the Best Fleet GPS Tracking System for You
GPS tracking is clearly a central element to boosting productivity and minimizing downtime, but which system is the right one for you? Every company has different needs depending on fleet size, purpose and other elements. Here's a rundown of the GPS tracking system types available so you can better gauge what form of tracking will deliver the best results.
1. Passive GPS Tracking
Does your company work with trailers and containers? Do you mostly operate in areas with good cell service coverage? Passive GPS tracking might be a suitable solution for you. Passive trackers don't allow you to check in and see where a truck is at a glance, but they do provide periodic transfers of data.
When using an internal battery, passive tracking devices can deliver updates between one and six times per day. If you choose to connect the device to a power source, you can receive updates every two minutes. Passive GPS tracking is the most affordable solution.
2. Live GPS Tracking
Passive GPS tracking is a good option for companies that dispatch vehicles from point A to point B and back to transport goods. If your company is in an industry where drivers are expected to make multiple deliveries or meet with multiple customers, live GPS tracking is a much more robust and flexible option.
Live tracking offers every possible benefit fleet tracking has to offer, providing you and your company with a wealth of insights via integrated analytics. The larger your business, the more instances of improper vehicle use are likely to slip through the cracks. Live tracking closes those gaps and helps you identify areas where even further improvement can be made. If you're looking to improve your margins through truck fleet management, live GPS tracking is the option for you.
3. Hard-Wired vs. Plug-In Devices
The devices you choose determine the tracking capabilities of your software. Every real-time GPS tracking vehicle device from Track Your Truck comes with our monitoring and reporting software NetTrack, but there are differences in what they can do based on their installation method.
Plug-in vehicle trackers are a quick and easy way to get started. There's no wiring required. You simply plug the device into the OBDII port, connect it to your NetTrack and you're ready to go. Plug-in devices can monitor real-time vehicle location, speed and heading. They also include battery backup and internal antennas that assist in cases of theft or tampering by drivers.
Our premium hard-wired vehicle trackers have the same capabilities with these valuable additions:
- - Starter disable allows you to remotely lock vehicle ignition.
- - Driver monitoring includes an accelerometer to detect hard braking, jackrabbit starts and aggressive cornering.
- - Dallas ID key fob allows for driver validation with a specialized key fob.
Hard-wired tracking offers a significant jump in features without a significant jump in the monthly price. The biggest hurdle is installation, and that can be done by someone with basic vehicle electrical knowledge. Track Your Truck has purposely designed our devices to be easy to install, and we provide installation guides to make it even simpler.
Flexibility is one key hallmark of an excellent fleet tracking system. Many companies have varying needs, and it may not make sense to equip vehicles with varying purposes with the same types of tracking devices. Track Your Truck lets you build a library of devices that provide the features you need for each type of vehicle, allowing you to create a management plan that matches your budget.
Questions to Ask a Fleet Management Software Company
Comparing fleet management software isn't always easy, and you need to be able to evaluate the company you're considering working with. These are some questions you'll want to ask about the company, and answers about why each is important.
- - Does the company that sells the system have its own fleet tracking software, or is it relying on a third party to provide the functionality you’re looking for? The top fleet management companies create custom systems that combine premium devices and software to ensure they can provide the best features and functionality to every customer.
- - What happens if the third-party software provider goes out of business or stops supporting the software? This is the biggest danger of choosing a company that goes through a third party for software. If that third party stops supporting your software, you'll be left with a collection of devices that don't connect to anything and don't provide any insight.
- - Does the software provide real-time vehicle tracking or only historical data? In some cases, historical data is all you need for adequate monitoring, but in others, you'll need more robust features and data reporting to get the best value from the software. Ensure the company is clear on what its devices and software can actually do.
- - How long has the company been in business? A proven track record and a strong customer base go far in determining whether a company can really provide you the best service.
- - Is the software scalable? Scalability is absolutely necessary for a fleet management software company. Your goal is to grow your business and therefore your fleet, so you need to be sure the company will be there for you when you have five trucks as well as when you have 50.
- - Does the software have the features that are important to you? Make a list of the features you want from tracking software. Find out if the company offers real-time alerts, map rewind and mobile apps, for example. There's no reason to compromise on features when a company like Track Your Truck offers features at every level.
Questions to Answer When Researching Fleet Tracking Management Software
Once you determine a company is a good fit, it's time to get more specific about how the software works and what you get from it. These are the most important questions to answer:
- - How does the software track vehicles in real-time? Track Your Truck lets you track vehicles with a main map screen, customizable update intervals and real-time alerts.
- How do I know where vehicles have been? Track Your Truck lets you set a history period from 125 days to a year and schedule reports at your desired intervals to keep an eye on where your vehicles have been recently.
- - How does the software track stop or idle time? You can see idle time on the main map screen, receive alerts to idle time over a certain threshold and see the history of idle time for each vehicle in the reports section.
- - How does the software control driver behavior and speeding? Speed alerts allow you to nip speeding in the bud as soon as it happens, and the driver safety report tracks speeding over time. In vehicles with hard-wired tracking devices, the accelerometer will also track bad behavior like frequent hard braking and dangerous turns.
- - Can the system be used from a mobile application? Track Your Truck has apps that allow you to track on the go from both Android and iOS devices.
- - What kind of support is offered for the software? Track Your Truck has a strong support structure that includes personal training on how to set up and use NetTrack, as well as how-to videos and installation guides. If something goes wrong, you can submit a support ticket to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.
Increase Safety and Improve Margins With Track Your Truck
Track Your Truck offers exceptional value you won't find anywhere else. Our devices are built to last, with an average 10-year lifespan compared to the two years' use you'll get out of average devices on the market. We do all our programming in-house, allowing for custom solutions and lightning-fast bug fixes.
With Track Your Truck, service and reliability are never sacrificed. When you call, you'll talk to a person with your best interests in mind. Our expertise makes it easy to find the right configuration for your fleet vehicle tracking system and get set up with technology that will keep your drivers safer and your dispatch more efficient. If you'd like to learn more about Track Your Truck's services, we invite you to request a custom quote or sign up for a demo.