When you own a fleet of vehicles, you need to do everything you can to optimize efficiency and keep costs down. When it comes to making the most of your fleet, data is your friend. The more of it you have, the better off you’ll be.
How can you collect data on how the cars and trucks in your fleet are being driven, where they’re going, and what condition they’re in? You need a GPS fleet tracking system. Such a system can help you monitor the location and status of all of your fleet vehicles, including information like fuel and battery levels, mileage, speed, and unauthorized use. GPS fleet tracking is so helpful that 98 percent of companies that used it in 2019 said they benefited from it, and 45 percent of those fleets saw a positive return on their investment into GPS tracking within 11 months.
But how can you choose the right GPS tracking system for your fleet? Some of the factors you should consider include ease of use, mobile app or web interface options, the degree of customer support you will receive, available features, and fuel card integration capabilities.
Get the Features You Need
What do you want from a GPS fleet tracking system? If you’re like most fleet owners, you probably need information about how your vehicles are being operated on a daily basis, such as where they’re going, how fast they’re being driven, how much time they spend idling, and how many miles are being put on them. This information can help you make changes to your vehicle use policies to cut costs. You can also pinpoint unauthorized use of your vehicles, erratic driving behaviors, and driver braking and acceleration habits.
But you might also need information about fuel efficiency, emissions, and engine performance — stuff that’s not necessarily within your drivers’ control. Many tracking systems also offer alerts that let you know when a vehicle needs service or repair.
Make sure to choose a fleet tracking system that offers the data collection and alert features your organization needs. A real-time alert feature can be vital — it can send you notifications letting you know when scheduled stops and pick-ups have been made, as well as monitoring driver habits and behaviors, and alerting you to unauthorized use, accidents, and unexpected route delays. You can monitor where vehicles are going and even set up alerts that let customers know when a vehicle has entered their vicinity.
Consider the System’s Ease of Use
The easier any tool is to use, the more you’re going to get out of it. GPS fleet tracking systems vary in their ease of use, with some devices designed to be hardwired into vehicles and some designed for plug-and-play. In this day and age, you should look for a plug-and-play device with a vehicle tracking app that allows you to monitor your vehicles and receive alerts from any location, via tablet or smartphone. Centralized software should provide historic and real-time vehicle data in a single location. Plug-and-play devices are easy to install, too.
Fuel Payment Tracking Is a Useful Bonus
You need to be able to monitor what your drivers are spending on fuel to make sure that they’re following your policies. Look for a fleet management system that integrates with your fuel card program to bring in data on fuel usage and spend.
Vet the Customer Service
Can you handle installation, setup, and ongoing data management and analysis? What if something goes wrong? You may want to work with a fleet management company that will not only install and activate your devices, but will help you analyze the data, identify trends, and optimize your fleet’s performance. You’ll also appreciate strong customer service when it’s time to make adjustments to your new system, work through growing pains, solve problems, or eventually update the system.
GPS fleet tracking can give you a depth of data about your fleet that you never imagined having access to before. With full transparency on where your vehicles are going and when, how much fuel they’re using, what condition they’re in, their mileage, and more, you can cut the fat from your fleet management budget and improve your fleet’s performance — all from your smartphone or tablet.