Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
Fleet managers are caught between customers who want lower costs and increased costs for everything from insurance to labor. The best solution is to look for ways to cut costs without sacrificing safety or performance. Let’s learn how fleet managers can cut their costs with vehicle tracking.
Vehicle Trackers Lower Fuel Costs
Vehicle trackers will help your drivers lower their fuel consumption. They won’t waste time and fuel getting lost. If they take a detour around an accident or traffic jam, they’ll know how to get back on track without driving an extra 20 miles. You can also identify drivers who spend unnecessary time idling rather than turning off the engine.
Vehicle Trackers Reduce Miles Traveled
Almost every vehicle tracker on the market today ties into traffic reporting apps and navigation systems. This allows your drivers to find the best route around a traffic jam or gets them back on track after they’ve taken a detour. While you can’t prevent all idling, they won’t waste any more time than necessary sitting in traffic. This has the added benefit of reducing wear and tear on engines and tires. Or they’ll get guidance on how to get to an underpass under the highway that their rig will fit under. That in turn reduces the risk someone tries to drive under a bridge that’s a tight fit because they’re on an equally tight schedule.
Trackers Lower Maintenance Costs
Vehicle tracking devices are often tied into a system that monitors the rest of the vehicle’s performance, as well. Fleet managers will know when a truck’s engine is overheating or experiencing excessive vibration. You can engage in preventative maintenance before your drivers are stranded on the side of the road. Furthermore, you can analyze the information to look for ways to lower your maintenance costs further. Know when a particular rig is experiencing more wear and tear or more repairs than average. You may need to teach the driver the importance of not riding the brakes. Or you may be able to identify the trucks that are requiring more work than they’re worth and replace them.
Trackers Reduce Crash Costs
Fleet vehicle tracking can lower your crash costs. How? You’ll be able to dispatch a tow truck to their exact location if they’re experiencing problems. You can also send someone else with a truck to take their load, if that is necessary. If they’re in an accident, you know where they are and can take appropriate action with minimal delay. You could even receive automatic notifications if someone is in a serious accident.
The data recording functionality built into vehicle tracker may allow you to monitor driver behavior and could reduce the odds of a crash. For example, the systems can alert you to drivers who are speeding. When the vehicle tracker can capture data on braking and acceleration, you can identify drivers who are waiting until the last minute to hit the brakes or driving too aggressively. You could send them back to training or require them to drive less aggressively if they want to keep their jobs. If you can lower the accident rate for your fleet, you’ll reduce your commercial auto insurance rates. The data stored by the recording devices may provide the information required to prove that an accident isn’t their fault, too. You’ll have additional protection from liability if you can demonstrate that you’ve been monitoring drivers for reckless driving and fired those who were driving dangerously.
Given the cost of trucking accidents, you can’t afford to ignore technology that lowers the risk of accidents and lessens the literal impact of these incidents when they occur.
Trackers Establish Standards of Proper Vehicle Use and Identify Driver Misuse
One of the benefits of GPS tracking for company vehicles is the ability to see where your drivers and your loads are at any given time. You’ll know when your drivers are stopping to hit the bathroom and grab a snack, and you’ll know when they’re taking the truck to run personal errands. A side benefit of fleet tracking devices is that you can locate trucks when they or the driver go missing. You’ll be able to locate a truck when the driver is not available, whether it is because they’re taking a nap on the side of the highway or the vehicle has been stolen. You’ll recover more vehicles and cargo before they’re stripped. This in turn lowers your insurance rates.
Furthermore, vehicle trackers can be used to reinforce company policy. You’ll have independent verification of hours worked and the routes they’ve driven. You can verify they took the legally mandated breaks. And you’ll have proof that your driver or their load was late. All of this results in increased driver compliance with both the law and corporate rules than simply using an ELD.
Fleet Managers Need Trackers
Vehicle tracking devices allow fleet managers to reduce costs while improving public safety and driver performance. You can’t afford not to have vehicle trackers in your trucks and vans.
© 2020 Tamara Wilhite