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The Best GPS Fleet Tracking Services of 2021

By
Donna Fuscaldo
,
business.com Staff
| Updated
Aug 13, 2021

Here are the best GPS fleet tracking services to help you stay on top of your company drivers and their cargo.
Best for Small Businesses
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Third-party integrations
Real-time fleet updates
AI video camera
Best for Affordability
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No long-term contract
Month-to-month pricing
Real-time alerts
Best for Ease of Use
Visit Site
Plug-and-play hardware
Easy-to-navigate software
Full view of the fleet
Best for Driver Accountability
Force by Mojio
Customer tracking of drivers
Driver scorecard
10-second refresh rate
Best for Midsize Fleets
Verizon Connect
Fleet management in one platform
Video cams with real-time alerts
Third-party integrations
Here are the best GPS fleet tracking services to help you stay on top of your company drivers and their cargo.

Best GPS Fleet Tracking Services

Using GPS fleet tracking services, businesses can keep tabs on their assets, including drivers, equipment, and vehicles. The best services offer easy-to-use software, hardware that's simple to install, and valuable tracking, driver safety, and fuel performance features. We researched a number of solutions, scrutinizing ease of use, price, and safety features before arriving at our best picks for small businesses in 2021.

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How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
25
Considered
14
Researched
11
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

Vendor Use case Editor's score Contract length Pricing Refresh rate Hardware type Dashcam Driver safety tools Geofencing Mobile app Free trial Money-back guarantee
Samsara Small businesses 9.45/10 3 years Custom 30 seconds Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Free demo Yes
Verizon Connect Midsize fleets 9.02/10 3 years Custom 30 seconds Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Free demo Yes
ClearPath GPS Affordability 9.24/10 No contract $20 per month per vehicle for Standard package; $25 per month for Pro package; $30 per dashcam 30 seconds Plug-and-play devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Free demo Yes
Force by Mojio Driver accountability 9.4/10 No contract $18 per month per vehicle 10 seconds Plug-and-play devices No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Azuga Ease of use 9.3/10 3 years Custom 30 seconds Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Free demo Yes
FleetUp Customer support 9.14/10 Custom Custom 10 seconds Plug-and-play devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS Trackit Reporting 9.34/10 No contract Custom Less than a minute Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Free demo Yes
Jobber Home service businesses 9/10 No contract $70 per month for up to 7 users on Connect plan; $140 a month for up to 30 users on Grow plan Not disclosed Plug-and-play devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
KeepTruckin Easy implementation 9.5/10 Custom $15 to $70 per month, depending on hardware 2 seconds Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NexTraq Safety features 9.24/10 Custom Custom Not disclosed Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Teletrac Navman Vehicle maintenance 9.1/10 Custom Custom Not disclosed Plug-and-play and hardwired devices Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

Our Reviews

Samsara: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Small Businesses

Samsara's GPS fleet tracking software supports businesses with three vehicles or 300, making it ideal for small businesses.
It offers advanced technology, including AI-powered video cameras and real-time tracking to increase safety and productivity.
Samsara requires you to sign a three-year contract and doesn't offer a free trial.
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Just because your business doesn't operate a vehicle fleet of hundreds doesn't mean it isn't complex to manage. The best GPS fleet tracking vendors understand that and develop their products with all businesses in mind, including small businesses. That is the case with Samsara. Whether you have just a few vehicles or 300, Samsara can support your fleet management needs, which is why it's our best pick for small businesses.

Editor's score: 9.45/10

Samsara knows a small fleet can still be complex, requiring real-time monitoring and tracking. It also supports a variety of industries, including field services, transportation and logistics, food and beverage distribution, and state and local government.

We like that Samsara offers everything you need to manage your fleet under one dashboard. Whether you want to use its AI video features to coach drivers and ensure their safety or use its telematics features to track the fleet in real time, Samsara delivers. One aspect that stands out to us is its open API and third-party app integrations, which enable you to use Samsara's tracking software seamlessly alongside other business applications.

With Samsara, you don't have to choose enhancing safety over increasing fuel efficiency. It gives you all the tools you need to optimize your fleet, reduce your costs and comply with safety regulations. Cash is king for small businesses, and if you can reduce fuel expenses and/or shorten the time it takes for deliveries, the more money you'll have to fund your growth.

Samsara had small and midsize businesses in mind when developing its fleet tracking software. It offers a ton of features even for fleets of only three vehicles, making it our best pick for small businesses.

Read Samsara Review

ClearPathGPS: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Affordability

ClearPathGPS doesn't require a long-term contract.
This GPS fleet tracking vendor offers transparent monthly pricing. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can even test-drive the software first.
ClearPathGPS has a refresh rate of 30 seconds, which is common in the industry but inferior to real-time tracking.
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ClearPathGPS is one of the few GPS fleet tracking vendors we reviewed that offers such transparent and affordable pricing. There are no lengthy contracts with this vendor, and with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can test it out risk-free.

Editor's score: 9.24/10

For $20 per month per vehicle, you get all the main vehicle telematics features you'd expect, including geofencing, traffic overlay, ELD support and driver reports. If you need real-time alerts and access to the open API, it's $25 per month per vehicle. ClearPathGPS also offers dashboard cams, which cost an additional $30 a month per vehicle. With a dashcam, you can "drop in" on that vehicle's driver and get a 20-second recording of their driving behavior.

Its real-time alerts are another standout feature. You can set up instant alerts for safety, maintenance or fuel performance, or whichever insights you require. You can even set up after-hours, geofencing or unauthorized-use alerts.

We also selected ClearPathGPS as best for affordability because it offers several different hardware devices at varying prices, ensuring they can fit into almost all small businesses' budgets. Hardware includes plug-and-play OBD II port devices as well as more advanced hardware.

Business owners who need affordable GPS fleet tracking software but don't want to compromise on functionality should give ClearPathGPS serious consideration. Not only do you get transparent pricing, but you aren't locked into a long-term contract, making it our best pick for affordability.

Read ClearPathGPS Review

Azuga: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Ease of Use

Azuga offers easy-to-install plug-and-play hardware that begins monitoring your fleet as soon as it's connected.
There are no extra installation costs or weeks of training to use the software. Once you log on, you get a full view of your fleet.
Azuga requires customers to sign a three-year contract – a long-term commitment that won't appeal to every business owner.
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Managing a fleet of vehicles can get complicated. The software they use shouldn't be. Quick installation and ease of use top the list of considerations for many small business owners looking for GPS fleet tracking software, and Azuga delivers both. With its simple-to-navigate software and plug-and-play hardware, you'll be monitoring your fleet in seconds.

Editor's score: 9.3/10

We like that as soon as you log in to Azuga's software, you get a complete view of your entire fleet in one place. That enables you to quickly reroute drivers, monitor their behavior, set up geofences, and run reports, all from one central location.

The vendor's mobile app is just as easy to use, and not only for the business owner. Azuga makes it simple for drivers to track their safety scores, log routes, track trips and even cash in rewards points from the app.

Another standout feature is the real-time driver safety alerts. Azuga's AI cams can identify unsafe driving behaviors and send you automatic alerts. If your drivers are braking harshly, accelerating, speeding, or idling for too long, you'll know about it. You'll also save time sifting through video footage to locate an incident. Don't want your drivers on the phone while they're on the road? Azuga has an add-on feature that blocks smartphone usage when the vehicle is moving.

Small business owners who want feature-rich software that is easy to use and doesn't require professional installation should give Azuga serious consideration.

Read Azuga Review

Force by Mojio: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Driver Accountability

Force lets your customers track delivery drivers in real time, which is unique in the industry and increases transparency between you and your clients.
The RoadScore feature rates drivers, enabling you to reward safe behavior behind the wheel.
Force by Mojio does not currently offer a dashcam – which is becoming a standard feature in the industry.

Driver accountability is a top concern for companies managing fleets, whether it's two vehicles or 200. After all, an accident or delayed delivery will cost your business money and can hurt your reputation. That's why driver accountability is one of the use cases we looked for in our best picks. When it comes to keeping tabs on drivers, Force by Mojio stood out to us. A recently added feature that lets customers track their delivery drivers is unique in the industry. If drivers know customers are watching their progress, they are less inclined to make pit stops. As a bonus, this increases transparency and thus goodwill between your business and your customers.

Editor's score: 9.4/10

Another feature that makes Force a top pick is its RoadScore, which rates drivers on their daily trips. Force also keeps a running average of each driver's safety score, which you can use to incentivize your drivers to be safer. You could reward those who maintain high scores and work more closely with the drivers who aren't doing so well.

We also like Force's detailed trip history feature. This lets you monitor your drivers, including when they turn the engine on or off, how far they go, the routes they take, and their average speed and driving behaviors. As soon as the vehicle starts up, Force begins recording; there are no buttons to push or excuses for not turning on devices. This is yet another aspect of Force that makes it our top pick for driver accountability.

Read Force by Mojio Review

Verizon Connect: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Midsize Fleets

Verizon Connect serves companies with small to large fleets. It counts PepsiCo and Costco among its customers, giving us confidence that it can serve midsize fleets.
Its mobile app, fleet management software and video cam alerts make it a top pick.
Verizon Connect does not refresh in real time, but every 30 seconds. It also requires a three-year contract, which is standard but not ideal.

Business owners managing midsize fleets don't have time to search for video from an incident or scramble to send a new driver when a vehicle breaks down. They need a GPS tracking vendor that enables them to react quickly. That is where Verizon Connect comes in. With the combination of three different Verizon tracking and monitoring companies, this vendor counts the likes of PepsiCo and Costco among its customers. It offers businesses with small to big fleets robust software, advanced technology and a marketplace of third-party integrations.

Editor's score: 9.02/10

We were impressed with Verizon Connect's video cam feature. It records incidents as they happen and sends you an alert with the captured video. That reduces the time it takes to sift through recorded footage. It also has an intuitive and feature-rich app that lets you track your entire fleet on the go. 

While Verizon Connect has a refresh rate of 30 seconds, which is slower than some of the other vendors we reviewed, you get more than a snapshot. Each ping gives you information about the vehicle's diagnostic system and other sensors connected to it. You'll know if something is wrong with a vehicle before it's too late.

Another standout feature, which made it our top pick for businesses with midsize fleets, is its Reveal Field job management software. It lets you combine all aspects of managing a fleet, from dispatching to tracking, in one platform. Finally, Verizon Connect operates a network of partner apps that can integrate with the software, enhancing supply visibility, fuel efficiency and productivity.

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GPS Trackit: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Reporting

Business owners who want detailed reporting in real time will like GPS Trackit's live traffic reports and detailed GPS tracking.
With custom reporting, you can track, access and analyze the details that matter most to your business.
If you need a hardwired GPS device, you will have to pay extra for it.

Monitoring a fleet in real time is only part of the job. Analyzing your drivers' routes, performance and productivity are equally important to ensure your customers' satisfaction. While all the GPS fleet tracking software vendors we reviewed have reporting features, GPS Trackit's offering is particularly impressive in this area, earning our best pick for reporting.

Editor's score: 9.34/10

Let's start with its live traffic reports. Powered by Google Maps, this feature lets you track your entire fleet in real time and map out routes based on traffic. You can use geofences to set parameters for your drivers and get reports on your fleets' whereabouts at all times.

GPS Trackit enables you to create custom reports, which is another feature we like. Reports are only useful if they provide actionable information that helps you make strategic decisions. The more customizable reports are, the better for your unique operation. The reports you can run include real-time interactive maps of your fleet, speed reports to identify patterns and risks, landmark reports (such as the time a driver spends in a particular spot), and mileage summaries. Even better, you can customize your alerts.

On top of all that, GPS Trackit makes it easy to build, view, and print custom reports. With its automated reporting tool, you can get the information you want delivered to your inbox on a recurring basis. Whether you want to track your fleet in real time or want a weekly rundown of your drivers' performance, GPS Trackit delivers, making it our best pick for reporting.

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FleetUp: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Customer Support

Whether you manage a fleet of five vehicles or 50, you want top-notch customer support, which FleetUp provides 24/7.
The software has a 10-second refresh rate, which is among the fastest we found, and an easy-to-use platform.
FleetUp, like many of the other vendors we reviewed and selected as best picks, does not list pricing on its website. You have to fill out a form or contact the company for a price quote.

Without a doubt, you want GPS fleet tracking software that has a lot of features, but you also need it to provide real help when you need it. That's why customer service is so important. FleetUp offers support 24/7, but that's not the only reason it's our best pick for customer support. It also has an easy-to-use platform and one of the fastest refresh rates of the GPS fleet tracking software we reviewed.

Editor's score: 9.14/10

Let's start with its platform. FleetUp's software is cloud-based, which means there is no program you need to install or download. Its plug-and-play devices automatically send data to the FleetUp platform in the cloud as soon as they are connected. All you need to do is log in to your FleetUp account from a mobile device or desktop computer, and all your information is at the ready.

It's easy to set geofence alerts, track and review finished jobs and trip history, and see your fleet in near-real time. The latter is another reason FleetUp is one of our best picks: Its refresh rate is 10 seconds, which is among the fastest of the programs we reviewed. Some take 30 seconds or longer. This is a standout feature for any business owner who cares about tracking their fleet in as close to real time as possible, enabling them to make route changes in response to traffic or road incidents.

FleetUp checks off all the boxes for helping its customers, from 24/7 accessibility to its easy-to-use platform, making it our best pick for customer support.

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Jobber: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Home Service Businesses

From customer relationship management features to online booking, Jobber makes it easy to track your fleet and run your home service business.
With Jobber's credit card processing and invoicing, you can easily get paid for services rendered.
Jobber's GPS fleet tracking platform is not part of the company's main plans, but an added feature that costs extra.

Small businesses running a service operation need more than just GPS fleet tracking. They need a comprehensive platform that can help them manage their fleet, run their operations, and get paid for the services they provide. Jobber offers all the above, making it our best pick for home service businesses.

Editor's score: 9/10

With the FleetSharp plug-and-play devices, you get a live map view of your fleet. Through its web platform, you can access driver behavior reports, review routes, and track idle time. In addition, Jobber has a lot of features and functions that make it easier to run a service business from one place. Take its client manager feature for one example: You can maintain an organized history of customer interactions, including previous quotes, jobs, visits, invoices and billing history. You can customize fields to track what is important to you. Its scheduling feature makes it quick and easy to assign jobs to team members and view their progress, while its invoicing feature lets you create professional invoices and follow up when they go unpaid.

Jobber also has a client hub and credit card processing service. Couple that with its mobile app, and your team members can accept payment on the spot. For small business owners running a service business with a fleet, Jobber gives you everything you need under one dashboard, making it our best pick for home service businesses.

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KeepTruckin: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Easy Implementation

KeepTruckin has easy-to-connect GPS devices and a simple-to-use dashboard.
In case you need help with implementation, KeepTruckin has an extensive library of online user guides.
KeepTruckin is among the GPS fleet tracking platform operators that does not disclose pricing on its website. That adds an extra step when you are shopping around.

When implementing a GPS fleet tracking platform, you want one that is quick and easy to install and doesn't require an advanced degree to use and operate. You get that benefit and many more with KeepTruckin, which is why it's our best pick for easy implementation. Take its plug-and-play devices for starters. With these devices, it takes just a few seconds to connect your vehicle to the platform. That means you can begin monitoring and tracking your vehicles in no time. There is no added installation cost or downtime, which is another reason it's one of our best picks.

Editor's score: 9.5/10

With KeepTruckin's mobile fleet app, you can manage your business on the go from any smartphone or tablet. You can see vehicle locations, safety issues and other fleet information on a single screen. With instant email alerts, you'll know when vehicles in your fleet arrive and depart a location. We also like that KeepTruckin lets you send alerts to customers if there are any delays, because that increases transparency and boosts your customers' goodwill.

While KeepTruckin is easy to implement and navigate, it doesn't make you go it alone if you do need help. Between its 24-hour customer support and its website full of guides, videos, tutorials, and other information, you have a treasure trove of data and help at your fingertips.

KeepTruckin makes GPS fleet tracking easy to implement and use, which is ideal for small businesses that need to get up and running quickly, with little difficulty and no extra costs.

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NexTraq: Best GPS Fleet Tracking for Safety Features

NexTraq allows you to block in-cabin distractions to ensure your drivers stay safe and focused on the road.
With digital driver training, you can reduce the chances of an accident or traffic infraction.
NexTraq doesn't offer 24/7 customer support.

When you operate a fleet of vehicles, safety needs to be a top concern. After all, accidents, traffic violations, and equipment damage can get expensive and hurt your reputation. GPS fleet tracking platforms that put driver safety first can save you money in the long run. Driver safety is a top priority for NexTraq, which is why it's our choice as the best GPS fleet tracking software for safety features.

Editor's score: 9.24/10

NexTraq offers several features to keep drivers safe and improve their performance. Take its dashcam for starters: It records incidents so you'll see what your driver saw and what they did to react. You can use the videos to determine when coaching is necessary and when to reward good driving behavior.

The platform also comes with an in-cab buzzer, which you can use to tell drivers to slow down or stop driving aggressively. Another standout feature that made NexTraq our top pick for safety is Mobile Block, which ensures drivers' smartphones and tablet screens are locked and can't be used while they're driving. That means your drivers won't be able to text, email, chat or surf the web behind the wheel.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention NexTraq's comprehensive training, which includes a full set of online courses that provide valuable tips to reduce aggressive and distracted driving and improve fuel efficiency. These courses also teach defensive driving strategies for staying safe on the road. On top of all that, you can assign driver safety scores to hold your team accountable. With so many built-in safety features, it's easy to see why NexTraq is a best pick.

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Teletrac Navman: Best GPS Fleet Tracking Service for Vehicle Maintenance

Teletrac Navman offers several features to protect your fleet, including real-time engine diagnostics, automated alerts, and maintenance cost tracking.
With intuitive maintenance calendars, you can easily keep track of upkeep and repairs.
If you need to know how much GPS tracking will cost you per month, Teletrac Navman won't tell you without a call. Like many other vendors we reviewed, it doesn't list its prices online.

Fleet downtime due to unexpected repairs can cost your business money. To avoid surprise breakdowns and expensive repairs, you need a GPS fleet tracking platform that stays on top of your vehicles' health. The best ones offer real-time engine diagnostics, fuel usage monitoring and real-time alerts. Teletrac Navman checks off all these boxes and then some, earning our best pick for vehicle maintenance.

Editor's score: 9.1/10

Teletrac Navman's fleet maintenance and fuel management modules enable you to monitor all aspects of your company vehicles from your computer or mobile device. You can receive alerts instantly if the software detects maintenance issues. You can also run reports and get alerts about excessive fuel burn or idling, schedule maintenance, and track fuel purchases. All of this ensures your fleet is operating optimally and you aren't wasting money on preventable maintenance issues.

We could stop there and Teletrac Navman would still easily be our best pick, but that's not all it has on the maintenance front. DIRECTOR, its preventative maintenance module, lets you create and easily manage custom maintenance calendars. A more recent feature is the ability for drivers to digitally complete and submit daily vehicle inspections on handheld devices. That enables you to track inspections before and after trips and log any maintenance.

Teletrac Navman makes it easy to stay on top of your fleet's health, giving you actionable insights to help you determine when it's time for an upgrade. With so many features geared toward maintenance, it was easy to select Teletrac Navman as the best for that use case.

More
  Refresh rate Contract length Dashcam Free trial Hardware type Total score
Samsara 9 9 10 9.25 10 9.45
Verizon Connect 9 8.5 9 9 9.6 9.02
ClearPathGPS 9 10 9.2 9 9 9.24
Force by Mojio 10 10 8 10 9 9.4
Azuga 9 9 9.5 9 10 9.3

Pricing and Contracts

Agreements with fleet tracking companies are generally contract-based and tailored to your business's needs. Contracts run from 12 to 36 months, with a recurring monthly service fee and an upfront fee for the hardware devices. Some companies will rent the devices to you, rolling the cost of using the device into your monthly fee.

We reviewed some companies that don't require long-term contracts. Instead, they charge month to month, allowing you to cancel at any time. These companies provide flexibility for very small businesses and the option of short-term service for larger ones. Some companies also provide a trial period or money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service without committing to a contract.

Did you know?Did you know? Not all fleet tracking companies make you sign a long-term contract. Some charge month to month and let you cancel anytime. This makes the most sense for very small businesses or those not ready to commit.

Buying Guide

What Is GPS Fleet Tracking?

GPS fleet tracking uses a combination of hardware and software to track company assets like trucks, equipment, and drivers. The hardware can be an OBD II plug-and-play or hardwired device. The software is typically cloud-based and accessible via any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. These services are commonly used to improve driver safety, maintain fleet health and performance, increase fuel efficiency, and monitor fleets and equipment in real time.

What Should You Look for in a GPS Tracking Service for Your Business?

The specific features you need in a GPS tracking service depend on several factors, including your industry, the type of vehicle or equipment you need to track, the size of the fleet, and the metrics you need to monitor. There are some aspects every business should consider when looking for a GPS tracking service, though.

Hardware and Installation

There are two types of GPS tracking hardware devices: OBD II plug-and-play and hardwired. The plug-and-play device is popular because it is easy to insert and remove from the OBD II port on any vehicle. This is especially useful for businesses that need to transfer the same GPS tracking device to different vehicles. Hardwired devices are more labor-intensive to install. Some services will hardwire the device for you, and some won't.

Other common tracking devices are dual dashboard cameras for video telematics, asset trackers, trailer trackers and heavy equipment trackers. Another type of hardware is a driver ID reader. With these devices, drivers use a key when they operate the vehicle.

Driver Safety and Performance

One of the most useful GPS fleet tracking features is the ability to track drivers. Most systems have the ability to track driver behavior, such as harsh driving, speeding, hard braking, acceleration, cornering, idling, fuel usage, cell phone distractions, unauthorized usage and engine on/off times. This data can be compiled to create driver scorecards so you can see who your best drivers are and who needs extra training.

FYIFYI: All the GPS fleet tracking vendors that made our list let you track drivers' behavior, including whether they are speeding, hitting their brakes hard, or using their mobile phones. That data can help you ensure the safety of your drivers and their cargo.

Vehicle Condition and Maintenance

Maintaining the health of your fleet is imperative to reduce costs and increase safety and performance. GPS tracking software can record the fuel level, battery voltage, odometer, coolant and engine temperature of each company vehicle.

It also provides maintenance reminders based on metrics like time, distance, mileage and engine hours. This is crucial to ensure your vehicles operate at peak performance, especially if they travel often or cover long distances.

Alerts and Reports

Most GPS fleet trackers send you alerts to inform you of your drivers' performance and safety, the condition of your fleet, and the optimal routes. You can tailor the nature and frequency of these alerts to your preferences. The software can compile the data into easy-to-read reports, which you can use to make important business decisions that cut costs and improve your fleet's performance.

Although most companies claim real-time reporting, they are often actually near-real time, giving you updates every 10 to 120 seconds. Only a few companies we researched offer second-to-second reporting.

TipTip: If real-time reporting is important to you, make sure the vendor you select truly offers it. Only a few of the companies we reviewed offer reporting from one second to the next.

Location and Navigation

When you think of GPS, you probably think "location" – and rightfully so. An essential feature of every GPS fleet tracker is its ability to track vehicles' locations and navigation. Nearly every GPS tracking service we researched offers some degree of geofencing. A geofence is a predefined virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic location. If a vehicle or asset moves outside of that geofence, you get an alert. Although the extent of the geofence monitoring varies across different services, they generally record at least basic information like geofence arrivals and departures.

Usability

Once installed and set up, most GPS tracking software is relatively easy to use. The cloud-based software often has an intuitive dashboard where you can view alerts and other data. Most software has corresponding mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. Be sure to test the software before you sign a contract.

Customer Support

The level of customer support given to GPS tracking service users can vary. Most companies offer free live demos and phone and email support, but some take it one step further and offer live chat support. The best GPS tracking services offer dedicated support representatives as well.

The Importance of GPS Tracking for Businesses

With GPS tracking services, you can track and improve your drivers' performance and safety, schedule vehicle maintenance, track your vehicles' and assets' locations, monitor and improve fuel efficiency, and optimize navigation. Monitoring your vehicles, assets, and drivers can help you maintain a safe workplace and cut costs.

GPS tracking is especially important for businesses with high-value mobile assets like trailers, tractors, storage containers, construction equipment or generators.

How GPS Tracking Works for a Business Fleet

GPS tracking works using a combination of tracking hardware and software. The hardware devices are installed on each truck, trailer or piece of equipment. The cloud-based software is accessed from an internet-capable device to track the fleet.

GPS software includes an intuitive dashboard and mobile app that displays a wealth of information based on what you want to track. For example, you can view driver safety and performance, fuel efficiency and optimization, geofences and route navigation, or vehicle condition and maintenance needs.

Bottom LineBottom line: GPS fleet tracking offers a lot of benefits, such as improving driver safety and ensuring your vehicles are getting the right maintenance. This can help you lower costs and boost profits.

What Questions Should You Ask When Determining the Right GPS Tracking Service for Your Business?

As you search for a GPS fleet tracking solution, ask the companies these questions to find a service for your business:

  • "Do you offer a free trial or demo?" Some companies offer a 30-day trial of their hardware and software. This is crucial if the company you're considering requires you to sign a long-term contract. Even if you've already made up your mind, take advantage of the free trial period.

  • "What is the refresh time?" Many of the software vendors say they offer "real-time tracking," but it is usually not technically in real time. GPS fleet tracking software may refresh anywhere from every second to every three minutes, depending on the company. Of the companies we reviewed, only a few offer real-time, second-to-second tracking. The rest have a refresh rate ranging from 10 seconds to two minutes.

  • "What type of hardware and software do you include in the cost?" Fleet tracking hardware is usually plug-and-play devices that are about the size of a deck of cards and can be inserted into your vehicles' OBD II ports. More advanced hardware includes separate pieces that link with information centers in your vehicles. The software is usually cloud-based and usable on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES CAN BENEFIT FROM GPS TRACKING?

Any business with a fleet of vehicles or high-value mobile assets can benefit from GPS fleet tracking. Although trucking companies are the primary users of GPS fleet tracking, other industries can take advantage of GPS tracking for their fleets or assets as well.

If you operate a business within one of the following industries, you can benefit from GPS tracking services:

  • Agriculture
  • Cable and telecommunications
  • Construction and heavy equipment
  • Distribution
  • Electrical services
  • Enterprise and rental fleet
  • Food and beverage
  • Government and public safety
  • HVAC
  • Landscaping
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas
  • Pest control
  • Private investigations
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON APPLICATIONS OF GPS TRACKERS FOR A BUSINESS FLEET?

The most common use for GPS fleet trackers is locating vehicles. It's important for many businesses to know exactly where their vehicles, drivers, and assets are at all times, for both safety and cost efficiency. Another common application is to monitor driver performance, fuel consumption and/or vehicle maintenance. The software connected to the trackers can provide insights on how vehicles are being used and what changes can be made for them to run more efficiently. 

WHAT ARE THE SECURITY BENEFITS OF GPS TRACKERS FOR A BUSINESS FLEET?

Installing GPS trackers on your business's vehicles or assets allows you to keep tabs on where each vehicle and driver is, which can help prevent theft, accidents, and misuse.

Many GPS trackers have a geofence feature, which allows you to set a specific perimeter for your fleet. If a tracked vehicle or asset leaves the geofence, you are notified. Geofencing helps you verify that your team is staying within a designated zone, not taking your vehicles or assets to unapproved or unsafe areas. Additionally, GPS trackers analyze fleet routes and provide recommendations for the safest and most efficient itinerary.

HOW SHOULD YOU COMPARE GPS TRACKING SERVICES FOR BUSINESSES?

As you evaluate your options, compare companies based on the features that are most important to you. For example, if driver safety is your No. 1 concern, determine the specific safety features and alerts the different services offer, as well as what type of driver coaching and feedback options they have. If your primary goal is to improve fuel efficiency and vehicle condition, compare features like fuel tracking, maintenance scheduling, and navigation optimization.

In addition to the primary features that matter most for your business, consider the type of hardware each company offers, pricing (including whether you will need to sign a contract and how long the contract lasts), the minimum number of vehicles it requires, the software's ease of use, and customer support.

What to Expect in 2021

The pandemic changed the way companies manage their fleets. With people shopping online in record numbers, demand for shipping services skyrocketed. At the same time, small businesses were forced to go remote, increasing the need to monitor their workforces. All of this forced companies to reimagine how they tracked and managed their fleets, ushering in a period of rapid innovation. That's expected to continue throughout 2021 and beyond as the software gets more sophisticated in the areas of telematics, safety, and remote fleet management.

Take telematics for starters. With advances in this area, the software can not only track a vehicle's location but estimate delivery times, monitor the number of hours a vehicle is running, and access the engine diagnostics. Safety is also front and center in 2021, and it goes beyond protecting drivers from COVID-19. According to Rand McNally's 2021 Trends in Fleet report, there will be a focus this year on new tech that helps keep drivers safe. For instance, companies will be able to receive alerts if drivers are speeding, not wearing their seat belts, or engaging in moving violations.

Remote fleet management is another area that is expected to be huge this year and into the future. Thanks to cloud software, fleet managers can send alerts to drivers and track mileage, routes, and a bunch of other data anywhere they have internet. This enables fleet management to be completely remote without any downtime in productivity. All of this will give small businesses more control over their drivers and cargo.

Donna Fuscaldo
business.com Staff
Donna Fuscaldo is a senior finance writer at business.com and has more than two decades of experience writing about business borrowing, funding, and investing for publications including the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Bankrate, Investopedia, Motley Fool, and Foxbusiness.com. Most recently she was a senior contributor at Forbes covering the intersection of money and technology before joining business.com. Donna has carved out a name for herself in the finance and small business markets, writing hundreds of business articles offering advice, insightful analysis, and groundbreaking coverage. Her areas of focus at business.com include business loans, accounting, and retirement benefits.
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