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The Best GPS Fleet Tracking Services of 2020

By
Matt D'Angelo
,
business.com writer
|
Oct 16, 2019
Home
> Technology
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Fleet Tracking Comparisons

Small businesses can use GPS fleet tracking services to keep tabs on their vehicles, assets and drivers. These services have easier scalability than many other industries because, whether you have a fleet of three or 300 vehicles, the hardware and software setup remains largely the same. You may need to build in other features – like driver IDs – with larger fleets, but the services are the same. At their core, GPS fleet tracking services allow a business to keep its drivers accountable and get meaningful data on its fleet in real time. The services can be built out to adhere with reporting and compliance laws relevant to the trucking industry.

These services are ideal for the trucking industry, but they also make sense for delivery, ride-sharing and customer service businesses. Basically, if you have multiple vehicles and want to learn more about your fleet's performance to help you save money or coach your drivers, you can use a fleet tracking service to fully understand how each vehicle impacts your bottom line.

Best Picks

Editor's note: Looking for a GPS fleet tracking system for your business? Complete the questionnaire below to connect with vendors that can help. 

October 2019: Despite wage concerns and driver shortages, the GPS fleet tracking industry is rapidly expanding. According to a study from Adroit Market Research, the GPS fleet tracking market is expected to grow to almost $4 billion by 2025. That means that, as technology improves, finding the right GPS fleet tracking service is essential for staying competitive in the trucking industry. Using data can also allow fleets to optimize fuel and increase efficiency.

Pricing and Contracts

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

We reviewed some companies that don't operate on long-term contracts. Instead, they charge clients month to month and allow 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.

Our Methodology

We initially considered around 50 GPS fleet tracking companies. We came up with this initial list by identifying top industry players, companies currently on the Business News Daily vendor list, companies we found on other review sites and other reputable GPS fleet tracking companies. We whittled this list of 50 down to 32 by judging each company's web experience, reporting services and support options, and determining whether the company is geared toward small businesses and based in the U.S. From this list of 32, we determined 13 companies that stood out as having great service. Some of the factors we considered were the type of tracking services, safety features, overall dashboard and interface, pricing and contract structure, and whether we had reviewed the company in the past.

From this list of 13 companies, we determined six best picks based on standout features in each company. We considered contract length, software usability and refresh time, installation fees and setup, minimum vehicles required, safety details, the integrated GPS software, and customer reviews. We also made customer service inquiries via email and live chat with each of the 11 companies. We analyzed the six finalists based on more specific criteria related to their service. For example, we delved deeper into contract length, cancellation policies, support options and software usability. We tested customer service over the phone and did software demos for companies that allowed us to. For companies that couldn't offer demos, we analyzed video overviews of their software. The six final companies endured this test and hold up as our best picks for GPS fleet tracking services.

Reviews

Below are all our reviews for GPS fleet tracking services. Our coverage includes reviews of the best for small business, best value, best safety features, best reporting and best asset tracking.

Negotiation Tips

As you search for a GPS fleet tracking service, you can do a few things to ensure you're signing up for a service that's ideal for your business. Keep your needs in mind as you search for a service – you want to partner with a company that can provide everything you need and also scale with your business as it grows. Here are some factors to ask about:

  • Trials: Some companies offer businesses a 30-day trial of their hardware and software. This is crucial if you're dealing with a company that only offers long-term contracts. Make sure you ask the sales representative if the company provides a trial to let you see how the services work directly for your business. Even if you're dead set on one company, still take advantage of the trial period.

  • Refresh time: A lot of the software, while it's described as "real-time tracking," is not technically in real time. GPS fleet tracking software may refresh anywhere from every second to every three minutes, depending on which company you partner with. Of all the companies we reviewed, only Samsara and Fleetistics offer real-time, second-to-second tracking. The rest offer tracking between 30 seconds and two minutes, allowing breadcrumb trails as opposed to real-time tracking.     
         
  • Hardware and software: The service offering generally includes both hardware and software. Your vehicles are outfitted with hardware devices that send data back to a central hub. This information is accessible via the software the company provides you. The 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.

State of the Industry

Digital platforms have replaced paper operations and hold both drivers and companies to a higher standard than ever before. With GPS fleet tracking software, it's harder to fudge data and easier to keep a close eye on how your fleet is being used. There are countless applications for this technology, from improving fuel efficiency to ensuring vehicle and driver safety.

The most important aspect of fleet tracking, however, is the increased flow of data. The reports give fleet managers real-time data on their vehicles. You can leverage this opportunity in several different ways, but the big takeaway is that more information on your vehicles and drivers leads to better decision-making for your business. That's why, if you sign up for a fleet tracking service, you should make sure you use all the areas of your plan, not just to understand where your vehicles are at a given time. You can gather and analyze data to increase safety, optimize routes and hold drivers accountable. You can also track vehicle maintenance information with many of these services, and several of the companies in our review provide engine fault codes, which can help your mechanics quickly identify the problems that arise in your vehicle.

Downloadable Guides

Fleet Management Buyer's Guide
Fleet Management Buyer's Guide

Get Up To Speed Fast on GPS Fleet Tracking

Download Now

With all the GPS tracking solutions on the market, choosing the one that’s right for your company can seem overwhelming. But when you know how to identify the benefits that are important to you, you can make a more informed and confident decision.

The 2018 GPS Fleet Tracking Buyer's Guide will help you:

·         Understand how GPS tracking works and its benefits for businesses like yours

·         Learn the right questions to ask

·         Discover the options and add-ons that matter to you

·         Evaluate reporting, dashboard and alert capabilities

·         Get the most out of system demos, and more

Get your copy now.

The Top 20 Features for the Most Efficient Fleet
The Top 20 Features for the Most Efficient Fleet

Fleetmatics for Better Vehicle Tracking

Download Whitepaper

Businesses that offer delivery, have commercial vehicles, or manage fleets of company vehicles want to know where their fleet is for a variety of reasons, including those that are legal and logistical. Driver safety, business productivity, and asset protection are usually top-of-mind for managers in charge of tracking fleets.

There is no "one size fits all" GPS fleet tracking solution and te features that make a fleet more efficient are what distinguishes one solution from another. Not every business needs every feature, but it's important to be informed so you can determine which product features are "must haves" and which are "nice to haves".

Networkfleet
Networkfleet

Fleet Management System Implementation: How to Improve Your Fleet Management System ROI

DOWNLOAD

It’s increasingly common for companies to invest in a telematics fleet management system to cut costs, improve productivity, and manage their fleets more efficiently. But when you purchase such a system, what steps should you take to ensure a smooth implementation? And how do you know if you’re getting the best return on your investment (ROI)? To some extent, improving your ROI depends on what you hope to achieve with your GPS vehicle tracking system. For example, some fleet managers focus exclusively on cutting costs in a few areas, such as fuel, labor, and maintenance expenses. Others are more concerned with meeting government regulations regarding fleet size, greenhouse emissions, and vehicle utilization efficiency. 

Common GPS Fleet Tracking Service Questions & Answers

Have a GPS fleet tracking service question of your own?
Ask an Expert

What is the best way to monitor employees during a shift?

5 responses
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My gut instinct is that if the trust level is that low, management is doing a poor job recruiting good people and earning the trust and respect of those employees. You have uncovered the tip of a much deeper issue.

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Hi, I was looking at your website through your profile. Your business concept is for limited certain region only. Also, you expect your customer to order some time prior to deliver freshly prepared stuff. This is an excellent idea. But, you are missing those customers who do not have prior plan to order dinner i.e. unplanned, urgent and immediate delivery order! Also, I suggest you to get an user friendly app prepared for your customers to enable them to order while they are on move i.e....

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