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What is GPS Truck Tracking?

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What is GPS Truck Tracking?

GPS truck tracking is an advanced technology installed in trucks that transmits real-time vehicle and location data into a fleet management system and displays driver assistance information in-cab. There are many direct benefits, including fuel savings, cost reductions, improved productivity and efficiency, increased driver safety and managing compliance.

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How does GPS truck tracking work?

A telematics device, much like the black box of an aeroplane is installed into the vehicle. It captures data from the vehicle, location data via GPS, and driver inputted information and sends it in real-time to the back-office in the fleet management solution.

GPS truck tracking systems allow businesses to see and understand when, where and how their vehicles are being used, including driver behaviour, maintenance alerts, and more. Here’s how GPS truck tracking works:

  1. Truck GPS tracking devices are small, easily installed devices that are installed directly into the vehicle. The data collated is transmitted instantly via the phone network and instantly analysed via an AI-based platform.
  2. These telematics truck tracking devices collect a range of vehicle and driver information. Identify location, ignition status, odometer values, vehicle diagnostics, engine management and more
    • Accelerometers determine vehicle starts, stops, movements, and more to record harsh usage like excessive acceleration, harsh braking, cornering and more
    • Cameras that capture high-definition video footage of the road and the driver. Cameras can be forward-facing, driver-facing or provide a comprehensive view.
    • Other sensors, which can issue warnings for seatbelt violations, driver identification keypads/fobs, or monitor temperature in refrigerated trucks and much more.

How is the data presented to you?

Data is transmitted in real-time from the vehicle to an AI-enabled fleet management solution. The data captured is then presented to you in a number of formats:

  • Dashboards that provide a visual representation for a quick snapshot into compliance and productivity. You can then further drill into the information via parameters you define.
  • Reports filled with data you can further analyse and make decisions
  • Real-time alerts and complete event information when incidents occur and parameters are triggered. If cameras are installed in the vehicle, footage is automatically included.

All the information is available around the clock to provide reliable information you can make decisions and rest easy knowing you’re on the right track. From information about compliance to productivity, the business is able to expand measures around safety and workflow efficiency.

The visual information available through dashboards, reports, and modules highlight key trends in the business that allow you to proactively manage issues before they occur to curb poor performance.

The more advanced solutions include natural language search and data analytics dashboards that highlight key performance trends, with the most recent platforms incorporating AI technology which can directly answer business questions and automatically identify and flag performance changes. All this information is visually presented and analysed in a way to help you better understand your business. With the ability to further drill into the analytics by selecting further parameters, you can find exactly what’s happening.

 

How does GPS tracking benefit businesses?

The benefits of GPS tracking are invaluable to fleet owners. Businesses using GPS truck tracking gain access to accurate, timely information about their trucking operations to help make better business decisions. The five primary benefits of GPS truck tracking are:

  • Improved safety and compliance
  • Reduced fuel costs
  • Lower overall operational costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Better communication

GPS Truck Tracker and Compliance Solutions

Compliance laws and regulations are complex. Between meeting local, state and federal requirements, alongside health and safety is imperative. The adoption of telematics and truck tracking technologies, compliance becomes an opportunity, not a challenge.

With an AI-first platform analysing data in real-time from your vehicles and drivers, you are able to protect your people, your assets and your business. Commercial truck tracking systems allow you to receive real-time alerts, simply communication channels, automate workflows, reduce costs, and provide detailed reports. You can rest assured knowing employees are safe, and your fleet is meeting or surpassing standards. 

Key Driver Advantages from Truck GPS Tracker Technology

GPS truck tracking systems are beneficial to drivers, too. Encouraging driver adoption is key to a successful system. Driver benefits include:

  • Safety and Protection – Driving is one of the most dangerous jobs and fatigue plays a large role in motor vehicle incidents. Telematics systems help identify driver fatigue and can also help eliminate “he said, she said” incidents, protecting drivers against fraudulent insurance claims.
  • Safety Culture – Technology isn’t a silver bullet. It’s only as successful as it’s used. Ensuring you build a culture of safety and understanding of compliance into the business and its people allows the business to not only run efficiently but gets everyone home safe at the end of the day.
  • Incentive Programs – Companies can use GPS truck tracking system to provide driver incentives for safe driving. Implementing rewards and recognition programs by monitoring driver behaviour and score carding driver performance.
  • Workflow — Streamlined workflows, including digitised forms inspection automation, means drivers can spend more time doing what they do best: driving. GPS truck tracking systems help reduce wait times at delivery and pick-up locations via improved communication, automated processes, and digital signature captures.

What to look for in truck tracking software

Telematics systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From plug-and-play to bring your own device to professionally installed systems, here’s what to look for in truck tracking software:

  • Simplicity: Simplicity is key to system adoption. Your truck tracking software should prioritize ease of use for in-cab devices and backend systems, including when it comes to reporting and analytics. One-click access to the information that matters most to your fleet can be world-changing.
  • Real-time data: Making good business decisions means having the right information when you need it. With real-time vehicle information, including HD video footage, businesses can turn data into decisions. AI powered analytics and machine learning helps businesses detect abnormal patterns, identifying your biggest points of impact.
  • Mobility: Accessing data from anywhere is key to keeping a highly productive fleet moving. Mobile capabilities bring all the power of truck tracking systems into the palm of your hand. Access, sign and manage important documents and get real-time insights from your mobile device.
  • Fit: Your telematics and truck tracking solutions partner are just that, your partner. They need to be able to meet your business requirements, support needs, and even cultural fit. Ensuring you find the right fit is more than just the solution available and dependent on each business.

GPS Truck Tracking FAQs

Q. How does GPS truck tracking streamline compliance?

By integrating compliance features into driver applications, GPS truck tracking can keep speed, fatigue, mass and maintenance records and streamlines the process behind compliance management. A proper solution allows the business to reduce the time spent rummaging through paperwork and put more effort behind strategic initiatives, like reducing costs behind fuel, winning new contracts, etc.

Q. How accurate are GPS truck trackers?

GPS fleet tracking devices use the GPS satellite signals to locate vehicle positions to effective withing anything as close to a metre or two from the location of the asset. Modern GPS satellites are available for service in most areas of the country, though service may be briefly intermittent in metro areas and during bad weather. Modern cellular data services provide broad coverage, but real-time information about truck position and operation may be briefly delayed when data service is unavailable.

At times when the service is unavailable, the data is still all stored on the telematics technology within the vehicle and transmitted automatically to the fleet management system as soon as the signal is restored. While it may not be in real-time during those periods for those in the back office, the driver still benefits from instant feedback in the vehicle and no information is lost.

Q. How does GPS truck tracking improve driver safety?

GPS truck tracking systems improve driver safety by capturing driver behavioural data, analysing problem areas and alerting issues proactively. When paired with AI and dashboard cameras, truck tracking software can be used for driver training and coaching. GPS tracking with AI also identifies flagrant safety issues, reducing the likelihood that drivers will risk speed, stop-sign and red-light violations, and more. In the cab, the system can identify problems such as a missing seat belt, and more advanced systems can identify sleepy driver situations and other developing safety issues.

Q. What are the main factors in GPS truck tracking ROI?

Many companies are reporting significant fuel savings after implementing GPS truck tracking. In addition, reduced safety violations and improved incident defences due to video recording result in significant cost reductions. After all, if you can curb poor behaviours proactively, they do not become issues in the long run saving you anything from:

  • Fewer Safety Related Fines
  • Increase Productivity
  • Better Customer Retention
  • More Backhauls
  • Improved communication
  • Reduced costs

As GPS truck tracking use becomes universal, companies are identifying even more ways that ROI benefits from using this technology innovatively through integrations and optimised views.

Q. How do GPS truck trackers create competitive advantage?

GPS truck tracking can build competitive advantage by increasing operational efficiency allowing companies to bid more competitively for new contracts. It also helps to improve on-time delivery and provide customers with accurate ETA’s improving customer experience and the company’s reputation.

Q. Will drivers see truck GPS tracking as a benefit?

The features of GPS truck tracking help create a clear, accountable work environment for the driver, which most drivers find reassuring. Proper introduction of the GPS system to drivers is critical though. Open discussion throughout the workforce before the devices are installed helps significantly, and aids drivers in focusing on the advantages of the new system instead of reacting with suspicion and gossip. GPS tracking systems that offer identification of safe driving skills, as well as areas for improvement, provide the opportunity for a reward-based system and positive driver coaching techniques.

Q. Does GPS truck tracking work only for large fleets?

With cloud-based software, a small business with a single vehicle to a dozen trucks can operate as smoothly as an enterprise level fleet. Cloud based software makes the technology accessible to businesses of any size and mobility solutions enable any asset to be connected and integrated into the system with ease.

Q. What processes can GPS truck tracking digitise?

Paper-based systems create more work for fleet owners. Most paper-based processes can be digitized and/or automated with a GPS truck tracking system, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Road User Charges 
  • Compliance programs
  • Vehicle inspections
  • Timecard and payroll
  • Scheduling
  • Signature capture and proof of delivery

Q. Can GPS truck tracking help improve driver skills, especially for new hires?

When work is picking up and you have many new hires to bring on board, GPS truck tracking systems can fill in as a ride-along coach to help drivers adjust to your routes and company standards. The system will identify risks and highlight situations the driver needs to be aware of, and recorded video of a driver’s trip is an invaluable resource for pointing out driver strengths and rewarding them.