There is a range of different ways that small to large sized trucking companies stay in touch with their drivers and their rigs. One of the most common options, especially today, is the use of cell phones. While cell phone connectivity and signal is fairly good across much of the United States there are still some areas with very poor coverage or no signal at all.
However, there is another consideration with cell phones. Drivers may choose not to answer or, in some cases, may provide incorrect or inaccurate information about their route, their location or their driving and stop time. This could include unscheduled stops along a route or being held for long periods of time when loading or unloading.
Having the ability to immediately know where you truck is and what is going on with the vehicle is a great feature and one that is surprisingly low cost. Different companies offer different options including permanently mounted GPS systems or portable units that are perfect for smaller companies with only part time drivers or a few trucks on the road.
Truck fleet GPS management systems are not just about checking up on drivers, they are also about providing accurate information to clients and customers, getting loads for drivers in an efficient way based on their exact location as well as helping to keep your insurance rates down.
Immediate Truck Location
The great feature of many of the most common fleet management systems using GPS technology is that they are cloud or web based, not a specific software program. This means that they can be accessed by any device with an internet connection. Your tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop can all become a way to know were each and every truck in your fleet is at any given moment.
There are some GPS fleet management systems that track information and provide it in a 24 hour type of report while others, which are typically the best option for most companies, provide accurate information in real time. This information can also include information about the last stop location and duration as well as information on truck and driver performance.
Fuel Use And Maintenance
With immediate tracking of fuel consumption and even engine information, a dispatcher, manager or trucking business owner doesn’t have to guess what is going on. Various models of the hardware and software can notify a selected individual or individual via text message or email if an engine or system warning code occurs.
Imagine how easy fleet maintenance will be if you get a report that tells you which trucks need servicing, what needs to be done, and keeps a complete record of the vehicle history for your convenience.
After Hours Use
If drivers are taking vehicles home or working long hours on the road, it is important to be able to know that your company vehicle is being used for company business. A GPS tracking system will provide you with a record of where the truck has been and the time it was driven.
Not only can this help to track down those that may be using the vehicle after hours or driving outside of the allowable hours, but it is also a deterrent to these types of activities happening in the future. When drivers are aware that the GPS fleet monitoring is in place they are less likely to change their route or make unscheduled stops as well as far less likely to drive the truck outside of business hours.
Some of the top GPS fleet management systems can provide information on how the vehicle was driven. This means that they can give you current speed of the vehicle as well as average speeds. Comparing this to road conditions and weather in the specific location can be effective in talking to drivers about driving safety and reducing the risk of accidents on the road.
The systems are also sophisticated enough to record when excessive breaking occurs, which could be a sign of an inattentive or distracted driver if it is a pattern. These types of reports, like mileage and speed, can be accessed by any device at any time. Complaints about dangerous drivers can now be verified, but also provide protection for your driver and your company in these types of claims.
Insurance companies may offer a reduction in insurance after this type of system has been installed and implemented. This is because of the control and transparency that it provides and the fact that it has been proven to increase driving safety and good driving habits.
GPS fleet tracking is definitely something to look into as a small to large trucking company owner. These systems are simple to use, allow you to be in touch with your fleet literally 24/7 from anywhere you have internet connection.