Fleet tracking works by installing a GPS-enabled telematics device into your vehicles and assets. Using a network of GPS satellites to triangulate your position, the device uses the phone network to communicate information in real-time, such as location, ignition, fuel use, harsh driving, driver info, and more. The data is sent to the fleet management solution that is analysed into easy-to-read reports and dashboards.
GPS fleet tracking also helps drivers and the office staff communicate, transmit forms directly through the in-vehicle device and stay compliant with workplace health & safety regulations.
Once you select a provider, you will need to supply the year, make and model of the vehicles or assets you wish to track, along with any other details required, such as your drivers, company details and so forth. Accuracy here is important as this will ensure that the fleet tracking provider configures you’re software for the correct vehicle and asset types. Be sure to schedule the installation at a date, time and place that works for your business and work with a provider that provides flexible installation programs to ensure your business keeps moving.
Training is important as it will help ensure a smooth on-boarding process. Choose between live, instructor-led training or on-demand training to suit your schedule. In-application training and support tools will ensure you understand how to use the system and resolve any issues quickly. Be sure to ask if training materials are available around the clock to ensure you're covered when you need help the most.
Most GPS fleet tracking providers offer phone and email support, but be sure the support hours fit your business model. While 24/7 support isn't widely available to all, it's crucial to ensure you can reach support during extended hours, or even ensuring a provider has extensive online material which you can access to troubleshoot yourself.
Businesses use fleet tracking software for various reasons, the most common of which is to monitor vehicle location and driving behaviors. Other business requirements include safety and compliance, productivity, and fuel and maintenance monitoring. With the right technology in place, businesses can increase efficiencies, enhance productivity, improve safety and extend the lifecycle of vehicles and other equipment.
GPS fleet tracking devices are installed typically behind the dashboard and are hardwired into the vehicle’s onboard computer. This is typically done by a professional installer and once complete the device is virtually invisible. A mobile tablet or other display unit can also be mounted in the cab which interacts with the GPS device enabling information to be shared between drivers and the back office.
Fleet tracking software gives businesses access to literally hundreds, if not thousands, of data points from a single vehicle, including location, ignition status, mileage, fuel use, maintenance, traffic, weather, and a plethora of safety-related data points, including speeding, seat belt violations and more. Each provider will have different views of how the data is presented, so having the right idea first of what you want to see is important.
Most GPS fleet tracking devices are accurate to within three meters for location information and can depend on the frequency of data relays for other metrics, such as mileage and ignition status. Poor service can impact accuracy as well. With GPS fleet tracking, your device should be in communication with at least four satellites for utmost accuracy but can still report with as little as one connection.
That being said, in times of little or no service or service disruption caused by weather, data is still stored locally on the device and uploaded once a connection is reestablished. This is less of an issue today thanks to improved cellular networks and increased GPS satellites.
When you’ve selected the right fleet tracking software for your business, look for a company that can implement a solution with as little downtime as possible and have a dedicated professional services team that guides you through the process. Some providers offer white glove services to ensure your system is up and running and your staff is fully trained as quickly as possible.
Most fleet tracking software providers offer integrations with third party applications and provide an open API for custom solutions. This is important if you hope to link your fleet tracking system to other systems within your organisation. A little bit of online research will help identify which integrations exist and how they can help streamline your operations.
GPS fleet tracking system provide accountability. Accountability is vital to a successful workforce, and data show that “good” employees are typically welcome such systems. For starters, introduce the idea of the system to the entire driver pool at once. This limits the spread of “grapevine gossip” and allows drivers to learn about the system first hand. Do not install a system before informing drivers as this can violate trust. And make sure to tout the benefits of such a system to your drivers, such as rewards and recognition programs based on driver behaviour and other important driving metrics.
The beauty of modern fleet tracking systems is the mobility. With tablet, smartphone and other mobile device compatibility, fleet managers and business owners have access to the information they need, whenever and wherever they need it. Cloud technology means real-time data is delivered to any device and is always synced with other machines.