Oct 04, 2023
Commercial vehicle tracking has transformed the way businesses operate their fleet. With the surge of on-demand deliveries and increasing importance of logistics, keeping real-time tabs on a fleet has never been more critical.
Whether you’re looking to improve operational efficiency, ensure security, or maintain punctuality, commercial vehicle tracking has proven to be indispensable.
In this guide, we’ll be explaining all you need to know about commercial vehicle tracking and why you should implement Fleetsmart’s advanced trackers into your fleet.
Fleet GPS Management, at its core, is a system designed to monitor and manage vehicles in a fleet using GPS technology. This involves equipping each vehicle with a GPS device that transmits its location and other vital data to a centralised management platform.
The primary function of this system goes beyond just location tracking. It delves into enhancing vehicle safety by keeping tabs on driving behaviours, ensuring vehicles stick to their designated routes, and alerting the fleet managers about potential issues.
Its role in boosting efficiency cannot be understated either. Fleet managers can re-route vehicles on-the-fly based on traffic conditions, ensuring timely deliveries and pickups. Moreover, the real-time monitoring feature allows businesses to respond swiftly to customer queries about delivery times or vehicle locations.
Traditionally, fleet tracking was a cumbersome process, often reliant on manual logs, regular check-ins via phone, or even rudimentary tracking devices that provided minimal data.
These methods were prone to errors and lacked the immediacy required in today's fast-paced business environment.
Modern fleet tracker apps, on the other hand, are a game-changer. These applications are designed to be accessed from computers, smartphones or tablets, providing fleet managers and drivers with instant access to a wealth of data, no matter where they’re located.
From real-time location tracking, journey replay features, to efficient route mapping tools, advanced tracking solutions such as Fleetsmart can provide all of this valuable data at the touch of a button.
What’s more, with cloud integration, all of this data is stored securely and can be accessed from anywhere, ensuring that as a fleet manager, you are always in the loop, even when away from the office.
Incorporating commercial vehicle tracking systems into a business model doesn't merely provide real-time insights on vehicle locations – it revolutionises the entire operational workflow.
By tracking vehicle routes and times, fleet managers can pinpoint inefficiencies, whether they're in the form of prolonged stops, unoptimised routes, or preventable detours.
A classic real-world example of efficiency improvement is the notable reduction in idle time. By monitoring when and where a vehicle idles, businesses can implement measures to reduce such occurrences, ultimately saving on fuel costs.
Additionally, with the integration of traffic data, route management becomes a breeze. Instead of drivers getting stuck in traffic jams or taking longer routes, tracking systems can offer alternative routes in real-time, ensuring timely deliveries and pickups.
The mere presence of a GPS tracking system acts as a deterrent for potential thieves. They're well-aware that stealing a vehicle with a tracking device dramatically increases the odds of getting caught.
But the security benefits don't stop at deterrence. In the unfortunate event of a theft, the real-time location data can be shared with law enforcement to aid in quick vehicle recovery, reducing the chances of the vehicle being damaged or goods being stolen.
Another fantastic security feature is the ability to set up geofences. Geofencing involves designating virtual boundaries around specific areas, such as a warehouse, office, or designated delivery zones. If a vehicle crosses these boundaries without authorisation, instant alerts are sent to fleet managers.
This not only aids in vehicle theft prevention but also ensures drivers stick to their designated routes, offering a layer of operational security.
One of the underrated benefits of vehicle tracking systems is the sense of accountability they instil in drivers. When drivers know that their driving habits – be it speed, route adherence, or idle time – are being monitored, they're more likely to adhere to best practices. This not only ensures safe driving but also boosts overall operational efficiency.
Furthermore, real-time data isn't just about locations and routes. Advanced tracking systems can also provide insights into vehicle health, from battery status to engine performance. By analysing this data, businesses can create predictive maintenance schedules, ensuring that vehicles are serviced before potential issues become major problems.
This not only reduces the risk of breakdowns – which can be costly in terms of both money and time – but also prolongs the life of the vehicles. Regularly maintained vehicles also pose less of a risk on the road, ensuring the safety of both the driver and the public.
Selecting an appropriate vehicle tracking system for your business is more than just picking the first option that appears. It's a blend of understanding your needs and finding a system that aligns with those needs. Here are some key factors to weigh in on:
Not every fleet is the same. A company that manages heavy machinery might have different tracking needs than one that focuses on delivery vans. The ideal system should cater to specific vehicle types, ensuring you get the most accurate data for your fleet.
Fortunately at Fleetsmart, we have all of your tracking needs covered. From car and van trackers to HGV and plant machinery trackers, you can get the full picture of your fleet.
While it's essential to have a budget in mind, it's equally crucial to consider the return on investment (ROI) when assessing the cost of vehicle tracking. While fleet tracking may seem like an expensive investment, it often offer features that lead to significant long-term savings.
At Fleetsmart, we expect a return on investment for a typical business to be within 90 days, which includes any initial payments and also covering a full year's subscription.
This of course varies depending on internal business management practice with larger fleets, whereby completing the installations may take longer. Fleets with a more significant potential for improvement can expect a much quicker return on investment; typical savings experienced per vehicle are £1,000-£2,000 per annum.
Depending on the system you opt for, the installation might vary. At Fleetsmart, we offer plug-and-play devices requiring minimal setup as well as professionally installed devices.
If you opt for professional installation, we will work with you to ensure minimal disruption and downtime for your vehicles.
If your business relies on drivers and vehicles to transport goods to and from your customers, you will need to ensure a company vehicle policy is in place, detailing all aspects of company vehicle use.
Everyone must be on the same page to prevent misunderstandings about the rules and expectations. This should include the necessary information about any vehicles trackers fitted in company vehicles.
With GDPR regulations in place, it's vital to ensure that any data collected is stored securely and used ethically. Training sessions should include an overview of how the company adheres to these regulations, ensuring that personal data is not misused.
Adding on Fleetsmart’s optional Driver Privacy Switches can also be beneficial, allowing drivers to turn off tracking during personal use if the company policy permits.
Remember, the goal of implementing vehicle tracking is not just about monitoring but fostering an environment of transparency, safety, and efficiency.
Find out more about our commercial vehicle trackers by reaching out to our team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.