GPS fleet tracking has a boundless list of benefits. It can improve and optimize vehicle routing in order to increase the number of daily stops your drivers can make. It can help you grow your business by improving customer service and efficiency, improving billing accuracy, and enabling insurance benefits and better premiums. Additionally, maintenance data such as oil change records ensures that your fleet receives timely preventive service to avoid costly equipment breakdowns.
There’s a lot of GPS fleet tracking technology on the market today, so when you’re trying to make the best choice for your fleet, the decision can be daunting. The right choice can depend on your company’s budget as well as your individual needs, but there are certain traits all successful tracking systems have. Choosing a fleet tracking system with these traits will bring businesses the greatest return on investment.
You should already expect your fleet management solution to do more than simple GPS location tracking. Let’s look at four characteristics that route a GPS fleet tracking solution from good to great.
1. GPS tracking hardware that’s ready to use right out of the box
If technology looks clunky at surface level, chances are it’s probably also clunky to utilize. Recent advancements in technology have led us to a point where many fleet tracking solutions can boast premium features as well as a streamlined design. Gone are the days of messy wires and cumbersome devices.
If you’re using a self-installed solution, it should be ready to use right out of the box. The SkyBitz SA2000 is an example of a simple plug-and-play solution that inserts into the OBD-II port of any light-duty vehicle and can provide a stream of tracking data within minutes. Some devices require professional installation, but once installed, they should be able to get to work collecting the information you need.
2. Intuitive software that works with mobile devices
Many businesses are hopping on the trend of mobilizing their workforce by having their employees use mobile phones and tablets on the job. This trend is more applicable in a vehicle fleet than anywhere else as drivers are perpetually on-the-go! Therefore, GPS fleet tracking software should be easy for drivers to use on their mobile devices while they’re on the road. Fleet managers should also have access to the status of their fleet no matter where they are, whether they’re using a desktop or app on a mobile device.
The SkyBitz Ops Center portal and mobile app allow fleet managers to access all the GPS tracking features and data needed to reduce fleet operating costs, improve driver behavior, save on fuel, and improve customer service. Vehicle location, fuel usage, speed, and mileage are some of the real-time automated reports that owner/operators and fleet managers can get from sophisticated mobile fleet software.
3. Electronic driver logs for Hours of Service and more
Smart fleets log hours electronically to ensure compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. Using electronic logging devices (ELDs), also known as e-logs, is far more accurate than keeping track of hours on paper, and if your fleet has already adopted ELDs, you’re ahead of the game. A new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandate will make it more crucial than ever that fleet management technology includes an easy way for drivers to log their hours.
The mandate requires all commercial fleets to switch from paper logs to electronic logging devices by December 18, 2017. If you’re preparing for the switch, you need a reliable solution to help you stay compliant with regulations. In addition to making sure you’re not violating regulatory standards, ELDs can help you improve scheduling by ensuring no one is underutilized or over-scheduled. Complying with HOS regulations is easier when you’re more organized and drivers can make the most of the hours they’re allowed to spend on the road.
4. Access to human tech support
Fleet managers need more than just a fleet tracking solution with state-of-the-art technology. They need access to human tech support to be able to utilize the technology to the best of their ability. While fleet tracking technology should be very easy to use, you can make it even simpler by choosing a provider with a responsive customer support team. Great fleet tracking is more than just technology. You want to work with a company that won’t set it and forget it once your business’ fleet tracking solution is up and running.
Fleet tracking companies that care about your success will help you effectively use the product to achieve tangible performance driven results. It’s best to choose a company that takes a holistic approach to the customer experience. Your provider should be more like a partner who is focused on strengthening your business and driving operational effectiveness through a high level of customer service.
With the right technology and the right provider, you can steer your fleet toward success through your fleet management solution.