Ever since companies started using cars, trucks, and vans to conduct their business, vehicles have been a great tool. Their use has also been a challenge to manage. With large companies that have hundreds of vehicles, fleet managers have their hands full. Luckily, modern vehicle tracking systems have emerged with GPS technology that can make life easier and save the company money in the long run too. Implementation of such a system requires an investment and a leap of faith that it will be worthwhile.
How the Tracking System Works
With a GPS system installed on the vehicles, there is nothing a driver needs to do to maintain the system. A wireless network like a cellular provider transmits data to a computer network. The fleet manager can log on to the tracking system and with the software provided, access data sent by the vehicle transmitters. Then he can make decisions based on that data. For example, when a client calls to ask if another batch of blueprints can be picked up that afternoon, the manager can quickly find the closest driver. Then the manager can use the system itself to contact the driver, rerouting her to make the pickup. If he had to make radio calls or cell phone calls to contact drivers, it would take much longer to figure out who was closer.
Other Practical Benefits of GPS Tracking
Companies with large fleets are also able to examine their routes and schedules to modify them based on GPS location of their vehicles and customers. Matching scheduling needs with available vehicles can create greater efficiency. GPS tracking systems are also able to monitor vehicle maintenance issues. This might include some of the following:
- Oil changes
- Tire Rotation
- Air and filters
- Snow tires
- Battery checks
When a vehicle crosses a certain mileage threshold such as 5000 or 10,000miles, a message is automatically sent to the computer system. When the fleet manager logs on to the network in his office, there will be maintenance alerts. For example, there may be a prompt for the fleet manager to have the transmission serviced on a certain car or truck. In addition, the same general program looks out for maintenance emergencies. It is like having a diagnostic tool in each company vehicle. So when the electrical system is having problems, the manager may be able to quickly tell that it is the battery, the alternator, or an electrical relay. The prompts for preventative maintenance in conjunction with prompts for emergency repairs make the tracking system keep vehicles on the road more, saving the company money.
Encouraging More Efficient Driving Habits
Another feature of modern GPS vehicle tracking is ability to track the driver’s habits. This can be a safety as well as an efficiency issue. For example, the system can detect hard acceleration or sudden braking. Everybody has to slam on the brakes occasionally and sometimes even the most casual driver is in a rush, accelerating a bit more rapidly than usual. These actions, however, can be habitual for certain drivers. Top speed is also tracked with these systems. This is hard on the vehicle as well as creating safety risks. Because the fleet manager can now detect these trends, he can mitigate the issue with education or punitive measures.