Fleet managers are constantly trying to figure out ways to increase productivity while cutting costs. The global economic recession combined with rising fuel costs has made fleet management more challenging than ever. With fuel topping $3 a gallon or more in some regions, fleet operators are searching for ways to make their drivers more efficient, while also abiding by strict legal requirements that restrict vehicle idling and hours of service. Considering the current economic times, even a small decrease in costs can mean the difference between a profit or a loss for many fleet operators.
The challenges facing fleet managers are becoming increasingly difficult. A fleet tracking system that lowers operating costs can help many companies to not only survive but thrive in today’s tough economic climate. A fleet tracking system can provide a return on investment in approximately four to nine months, depending on your industry. Modern fleet tracking and management systems are making it possible for managers to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, while simultaneously improving safety and legal compliance, and optimizing vehicle and driver operations. A GPS tracking system helps dispatchers to route the nearest vehicle to a specific location, navigate the best route, and minimize maintenance costs. Fleet managers can also reduce truck driver overtime and administrative costs by automating fuel costs and tax reporting with electronic truck driver reports.
Fleet tracking systems are available with a diverse range of functionality, from basic GPS tracking and navigation to feature-rich communications tools permanently placed inside the vehicle or equipment. Basic fleet tracking systems usually have GPS navigation and two-way communications between drivers and dispatchers. The next tier of fleet tracking systems usually includes tools for performance management and increased safety. The more robust systems provide features such as asset management optimization, arrival and departure monitoring, critical event reporting, driver email or notification alerts, and vehicle performance monitoring.
They enable managers to see information on gas mileage, idle time, speeding, and route measurements. These metrics are very helpful in reducing fleet operating costs. Better vehicle utilization can help a company avoid the cost of purchasing a new truck or hiring additional drivers when they really don’t need to. Fleet tracking systems can also help to ensure fleets are operated in compliance with stringent state and federal transportation laws, which is particularly helpful in case of an audit.
Monitoring safety issues and vehicle diagnostics is a critical part of a fleet manager’s job. Knowing where your mobile assets and employees are at all times adds an increased level of safety and security. Managers need to be notified of over-speed alerts to the driver. Plus they want to automate the hours-of-service process and to see fault codes indicated by the engine.
In addition, fleet tracking systems can help fleet managers to reduce their fleet emissions, which is becoming increasingly important in light of today’s environmental crises. Driver buy-in for fleet tracking systems has increased over the years because many drivers realize that reducing their fuel consumption while increasing the number of stops they can make per day puts more money in their pockets at the end of the week. Telematics technology can actually help truck drivers increase their productivity and therefore make more money.