Sep 29, 2012
Vehicle tracking has come quite a long way since the old days of having your drivers call in whenever they made stops. Various technological improvements have brought with them higher standards of excellence that make it easier to improve your fleet’s overall efficiency.
Although there are definitely a lot of great fleet tracking add ons that lead to operational improvements, some are more popular than others. Here are five essentials that truly make a big difference.
GPS fleet tracking allows you to pinpoint each vehicle in your fleet with extreme precision. The best tracking systems also allow you to plot this data on a regular digital road map so that you can easily find your drivers at all times. Not only can you pinpoint their locations, but you can also use Advanced Mapping to plot specific journeys on a map, making sure drivers are taking the quickest routes possible so they aren’t wasting time by taking longer routes.
If your driver is approaching an accident sit or traffic jam, you can also use GPS tracking to divert them via a less busy route, saving time that would otherwise be spent queuing in traffic, particularly if they don’t know the area well enough to navigate it themselves.
As a fleet manager, you have a busy role and might not always be in your office, or your drivers may continue to operate outside of your working hours. Mobile reporting conveniently allows you to check in on your fleet at any time from your device of choice, meaning you are always kept up to date with important information about your fleet, so long as you have an internet connection.
One of the most popular features of modern tracking systems is the inclusion of the engine start and stop record. This ordered information logs the exact time when your vehicles were turned on and off. This feature makes it much easier to see exactly how your drivers are using your vehicles and if any are making unnecessary stops.
It’s important to know not only where your fleet is but also how it got there. Travel usage reports allow you to view daily records of your GPS fleet tracking data so that you can analyse the paths your drivers took. You can thus learn to avoid highly congested routes and modify your shipments so they reach more consumers per trip.
A favourite feature among fleet managers, driver analysis lets you pull up numerous driver statistics instantly. You can see how long trips took, how much time drivers spent idle and how fast they went. Driver analysis reporting makes it easy to compare your employees side-by-side.
The way in which your drivers drive the vehicles can have an enormous impact on the amount of petrol or diesel used. Idling consumes a great amount of fuel in the long run and according to Confused.com, drivers could be burning between 1.077 to 2.13 ounces of fuel for every minute they spend idle, adding up to around half a gallon to a gallon of fuel every hour.
Similarly, drivers who accelerate and brake harshly use more fuel than those who drive smoothly. Vehicle tracking can spot when drivers are being heavy on the pedals through accelerometers. This information can be found in the detailed vehicle reports, which also show idle time, speeding, start and stops and much more.
With the information about your drivers’ behaviour and habits, you can take the initiative to give your drivers extra training, where needed, to reduce these driving mistakes, all of which make your vehicles less efficient. According to the Energy Saving Trust, through higher productivity and increased vehicle utilisation, operating costs can fall by 10% every year and fuel use by 15%.