We have all heard about GPS navigation devices, and many of us have used them to get directions to a destination. What about GPS tracking, a similar technology being used to track the current or past whereabouts of others? It may be more common than we realize. The tracking devices are commonly used for business applications ranging from ensuring employee safety to routing the closest vehicle to an address. Learn more about how these types of tools can help save your business money.
How can GPS fleet tracking save your business money?
GPS vehicle tracking solutions can significantly reduce excess costs for businesses:
1. Reduce fuel and maintenance.
The average operating cost per truck is about $1.82 per mile. GPS tracking devices can help you lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town, according to Rhino Fleet Tracking.
2. Prevent employee overtime.
The typical employee overtime rate is about 50% more than the employee’s standard wage. On average, a company can reduce at least one hour of overtime per week with a GPS fleet tracking system.
3. Increase employee productivity.
On average, each vehicle could complete at least one extra stop, job or delivery per week with a live GPS tracking unit.
For a midsize fleet of 20 vehicles, fleet management systems generate an estimated monthly savings of over $6,000, according to Rewire Security. Your business may also save by purchasing a quality GPS tracking device for around $200. You should see return on investment (ROI) within 90 days.
4. Decrease excess speeds.
By tracking the speed of your vehicles, you can reduce the chance of an accident and save money on fuel. GPS tracking systems are able to keep a complete record of your vehicle’s speed.
5. Validate service calls.
By looking at a vehicle’s history, you can tell when it arrived and how long it was at a particular service call. The tracker creates a clear record, which eliminates assumptions and guesswork. It can also mean you avoid spending money needlessly.
6. Improve the accuracy of your billing.
Using GPS tracking creates a digital log of times, speeds, and routes used by your fleet. This log allows for the accurate calculation of time and fuel costs while on the job.
7. Reduce delays and time spent at unauthorized locations.
With GPS software, you can establish and track an alert system for events like a driver going outside of a designated area or staying idle for too long. A digital log of routes and monitoring stops is key to determining whether your fleet is running efficiently.
8. Receive lower insurance rates.
Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums for vehicles that have a GPS system.
9. Eliminate paper logs.
GPS software keeps a digital log of speeds, stops, routes and arrival times. This record is far more accurate and harder to dispute than paper logs. A digital record is not subject to human error. It creates more detailed records without any additional hassle.
10. Improve your response time and customer service.
When dispatchers know where your vehicles are at all times on a real-time map, they can easily send the nearest vehicle when a new job arises. This saves money and time.
11. Monitor driver activities.
Many systems report all vehicle activity and immediately alert fleet managers by cell phone and email about speeding and unauthorized use of company vehicles.
12. Offer application options.
You can set up your system to detect certain activities that are completely separate from simply tracking. You can monitor seatbelt use, door lock and unlock, starter kill, vehicle alarm notification, and vehicle remote start (if the feature is included).
13. Reduce your operating costs.
Monitoring and reducing speeds, routes and idle times are just a few things that fleet owners can do to lower their fuel bills. For example, idling causes twice the amount of damage as average driving. One hour of idling is equal to between 80 and 120 minutes of driving time. The resulting loss of fuel economy from excessive idling can add up to 1,500 gallons of fuel annually for the average truck, according to Verizon Connect. Each mile per hour above 55 mph increases fuel consumption by 20%. [Related article: How to Reduce Idle Time for Your Fleet]
14. Detect side jobs.
By tracking both real time and historical data, you can spot and eliminate suspicious use of your vehicles. If employees are aware that they can be monitored, they are also less likely to engage in side jobs and unproductive behavior.
15. Improve safety and driver responsibility.
Drivers who know they are being monitored are more careful. This can reduce accidents and improve fleet safety.
16. Prevent fraudulent claims.
With an accurate digital log, you can prove that your fleet was where it needed to be when it needed to be there.
The first GPS for fleet vehicles was launched into space in 1978. The Rockwell International-created Block-I GPS satellite worked so well that 10 more had joined the original by 1985.
What is GPS fleet tracking?
Fleet tracking tools help owners keep in touch with their vehicles anytime from any location, keeping them informed on their trucks’ locations, their drivers’ routes and habits, average fuel consumption, and how safely their workers drive, among other items.
Fleet tracking GPS tools work through a GPS receiver (with location data) and a cellular or communication modem that provides upcoming real-time data to the back office. This data is directed to the business owner’s cloud environment, so managers or dispatchers can read status reports for insights to better manage their companies and fleets.
The best GPS tools help drivers communicate with one another and provide managers with descriptive and predictive analysis helping them track and improve on key metrics. They’re also easy to use, reliable, mobile integrated, supported by excellent customer service and come with alerts for specific situations.
According to the 2022 Fleet Technology Trends Report, 90% of GPS fleet users said they’d benefited from the technology. Moreover, 42% of these respondents said they’d experienced that positive ROI in less than a year.
Ask yourself several questions before purchasing a GPS tracker. For example, what’s your goal? How many vehicles do you want to track? What’s your budget? How are you going to track and use that data? Do you have anyone who can help monitor the data, and maintain and update the system?
Top GPS fleet tracking systems
Systems that can help you keep tabs on your drivers, equipment and vehicles are essential to your business. Here are some of our best picks for GPS fleet tracking services:
- Samsara helps you track your equipment from a single pane of glass. It’s ideal for small and midsize businesses. Learn more in our review of Samsara.
- ClearPathGPS is a powerful, user-friendly GPS fleet tracking system with real-time alerts that’s also available as a mobile app. Learn more in our review of ClearPathGPS.
- Force by Mojio gives you mobile access to real-time data, insights, and alerts on your trucks and drivers, letting you control your operational costs and keep your vehicles safe and secure. Learn more in our review of Force by Mojio.
- Verizon Connect, Verizon’s GPS software, helps businesses of all sizes promote fleet safety with emergency alerts, notifications for unsafe areas, tools to correct risky behavior and speeding, and automatic records of driving hours. Learn more in our review of Verizon Connect.
- GPS Trackit is a leader in IoT fleet solutions and GPS fleet tracking. Its all-in-one fleet management solutions are easy to use as they track and protect your vehicles from theft and accidents. They’ll also help you save on insurance. Learn more in our review of GPS Trackit.
- NexTraq provides GPS tracking, fleet management and electronic logging device (ELD) solutions to thousands of customers around the world. ELDs are mechanical devices that record the driving hours of your trucks.
- Teletrac Navman gathers data such as vehicle location, driver behavior, engine diagnostics, and vehicle activity, all of which appear in real time on your fleet management software.
Chad Brooks contributed to the writing and research in this article.