GPS tracking takes all the hassle out of required regulatory reporting. Instead of time-consuming, manually entered, and frequently inaccurate paper diaries reporting hours driven and time of arrival, all these details are now automatically recorded into a database that is highly accurate, easily accessible, and sortable into user-defined reports. Moreover, operators can concentrate on getting to their destinations safely and on time without having to bother with cumbersome paperwork.
GPS tracking systems are invaluable when you need to:
- Improve logistics. Identify traffic bottlenecks in real time and reroute vehicles as needed. This not only ensures that delivery schedules are maintained, but saves on fuel costs and maintains compliance mandates that limit the number of hours drivers can be on the road per day/week/month. GPS systems capable of rerouting vehicles also automatically save time and money. You don't need a dispatcher to phone or radio a driver to convey instructions-the system does it automatically with clear instructions to the driver as to where to go to avoid traffic, bad weather, or other obstacles to getting to destinations on time.
- Maintain constant communications. Cell phones don't work everywhere. A GPS system does, and can serve as a receiver to communicate with drivers even in remote locations, eliminating the need and expense of a separate radio system.
- Protect assets. If a vehicle is stolen, the GPS box tracks where it's going and allows police to follow the tracking signals. The system can also work as an alarm device when the vehicle is unattended. In addition, the GPS system can trigger emergency vehicles to respond to an accident or a driver health issue.
- Improve productivity. Industry estimates report that GPS-equipped vehicles can complete at least one extra stop per delivery per week due to improved routing information. Similarly, overtime is reduced when vehicles can make all scheduled stops within allotted schedules.
- Improve efficiency and reduce costs. Tracking data not only allows for more efficient vehicle routing, but promotes improved driver behavior and vehicle performance. Drivers who know that speeds are monitored are much less likely to speed-which both increases fuel consumption and costs, and also escalates safety risks and potential violations that result in fines. Industry estimates suggest maintenance savings as high as 80% from reduced speeding, as well as a 10% reduction in overall fuel costs. Also, instant alerts to shut down engines eliminate unnecessary idling and fuel consumption. In addition, insurance companies typically provide discounts to fleets equipped with GPS tracking systems.
- Eliminate unauthorized usage and reduce fraud. GPS systems compare expense reports of purchase transaction locations with actual tracking data of vehicle location, calculate MPG fuel consumption data to fuel expense accounts, and identify unauthorized use by mapping actual vehicle location in relation to planned routes. A common application called "geo-fencing" designates a geographic perimeter as a fence; an alert is sent whenever the vehicle goes beyond that fence.
- Improve fleet life. Remote diagnostics provide early-warning detection of potential problems, maintenance alerts, and engine behavior. One example is tire pressure, which affects tire wear, driver safety, and fuel consumption. Accurate measurement of tire pressure means drivers know exactly when a tire issue needs correction, eliminating hit-or-miss manual tire-pressure readings that can easily be forgotten during a busy day. This not only improves vehicle life, but provides greater driver and cargo safety and more efficient mechanic scheduling/productivity.
- Provide accurate invoicing. Automation of time-consuming recordkeeping reduces errors and customer disputes. Exact reporting of vehicle arrival dates and times on-premises provides documentation to address any invoicing disputes.
- Improve safety. Anything that focuses driver attention on the road instead of looking at maps, fumbling with a cell phone, or thinking about which turn to take improves the safety of the driver, the vehicle, and the cargo. Some systems even take voice commands, so a driver could "ask" the system for directions or to connect with a dispatcher. Systems with voice-messaging capabilities reduce cell-phone usage and related costs, reduce driver distraction, and keep operators "legal" in areas where cell-phone use while driving is an offense subject to fines. A GPS unit combined with an interlock ignition device can provide breath monitoring to remotely ensure that a driver has not been drinking; a test that exceeds a preset blood-alcohol limit renders the vehicle inoperable.