Apr 04, 2024

Comparing Vehicle Tracking Systems: Key Features to Consider

Installing a commercial vehicle tracker can cut down on costs, boost safety measures, and guarantee happy customers by making sure deliveries and services are always on time. In this guide, we’re going to be looking at some more of these key features in detail, and which you should be considering when comparing vehicle tracking systems.

How Vehicle Tracking Systems Operate

Vehicle tracking systems rely on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track vehicle locations and movements in real-time. They employ a GPS device installed in the vehicle, which transmits location data to a central server. This data is then analysed and made accessible to fleet managers through specialised software applications or web-based platforms.

In addition to tracking locations, contemporary systems come with a range of features aimed at streamlining fleet management, improving safety measures, and offering detailed insights into fleet operations.

Feature #1: Real-Time Tracking

Of course, the key feature you should be looking for when shopping for commercial vehicle trackers is the capability to receive live updates on the location and status of every vehicle in your fleet.

Real-time tracking is vital for enhancing operational efficiency, enabling fleet managers to make well-informed choices regarding routing, dispatching, and handling emergencies.

This instant access not only simplifies operations but also facilitates dynamic scheduling and route optimisation, resulting in decreased fuel usage and greater customer service.

Feature #2: Driver Behaviour Insights

Keeping an eye on driver behaviour is crucial for upholding safety measures and minimising the likelihood of accidents. Vehicle tracking systems have the capability to scrutinise driving habits such as speeding, abrupt braking, and rapid acceleration.

Moreover, these behaviours are not only unsafe but also highly inefficient, resulting in increased fuel consumption and substantial financial losses for the business.

Data from this analysis can be utilised for personalised training and constructive feedback, fostering safer and more fuel-efficient driving practices.

Feature #3: Geofences

Geofencing capabilities allow you to establish virtual boundaries around specific geographical areas. Whenever a vehicle crosses into or out of these zones, the system promptly sends an alert to your mobile device. This functionality improves fleet security measures by monitoring unauthorised vehicle activity and contributes to asset safeguarding.

In terms of productivity, setting up geofencing can automate driver timekeeping, monitor durations spent at client locations, and refine route planning, thereby amplifying overall operational efficiency.

Feature #4: Fleet Analytics and Reporting

The significance of data in fleet management cannot be emphasised enough. Cutting-edge vehicle tracking systems come equipped with thorough analytics and reporting features, furnishing fleet managers with practical insights into fleet performance, efficiency, and areas needing improvement.

These reports encompass various facets including fuel consumption, idle durations, maintenance timetables, and driver conduct, empowering strategic decision-making and operational streamlining.

These analytics should be a non-negotiable feature when shopping for fleet trackers for your business.

Feature #5: Vehicle Maintenance Notifications

Staying ahead with proactive maintenance is key to minimising vehicle downtime and prolonging your fleet's lifespan. Fleet trackers can be set up to issue maintenance notifications triggered by mileage, engine usage, or predetermined time intervals.

These alerts help you to stay on track of your vehicle maintenance schedules so that vehicles receive timely servicing, thus lowering the risk of breakdowns and expensive repairs. By ensuring your fleet remains in peak condition, you can sidestep disruptions and uphold a consistent service.

Things to Consider When Comparing Vehicle Tracking Systems

What’s the Size of Your Fleet and Its Vehicle Types?

When comparing vehicle tracking systems, it's crucial to consider the size and of your fleet. The tracking requirements for a small fleet of delivery vans will differ from those of a larger, diverse fleet comprising HGVs, vans, and cars.

Fleets with a large number of vehicles to manage are likely to find greater value in more advanced systems with a plethora of features, including comprehensive analytics and driver management tools. Fleets with fewer vehicles may find simpler systems that prioritise essential tracking and reporting to be more cost-effective and easy to handle.

What are Your Business’ Needs?

Your business's unique operations should guide your selection of features in a vehicle tracking system. For example, if punctual delivery is paramount, consider systems with advanced route planning and real-time traffic updates, like those available at Fleetsmart.

In industries such as construction, tracking systems equipped with robust plant tracking devices for heavy machinery will of course be more appropriate. Evaluating your business goals and daily activities will aid in determining which tracking system features are essential, desirable, or irrelevant for meeting your specific needs.

Can Your Vehicle Tracking System Be Scaled Alongside Your Business?

It's vital that your vehicle tracking system has the capacity to expand alongside your business. Scalability is key, ensuring that incorporating new vehicles or expanding into new operational areas doesn't require a complete system revamp.

Seek out solutions that enable seamless addition of more devices or features as your fleet grows.

What’s the Best Method for Installation?

The process of installing vehicle trackers can vary greatly among providers and significantly affect your fleet's operations. Some systems need professional installation, potentially causing vehicle downtime but ensuring seamless integration and immediate functionality.

Alternatively, some providers offer self-install devices that your team can swiftly and easily set up, minimising disruptions to your daily activities. When assessing options, consider the logistics of installation tailored to your fleet size and vehicle availability to minimise impact on your business operations.

Here at Fleetsmart, we provide both professionally installed and self-fit vehicle trackers to accommodate your business needs seamlessly.

Vehicle Tracking System Features FAQs

What insights can fleet analytics and reporting provide?

Fleet analytics and reporting offer practical insights into fleet performance, efficiency, and areas needing improvement. They cover various aspects including fuel consumption, idle durations, maintenance schedules, and driver conduct, empowering strategic decision-making and operational streamlining.

Why is monitoring driver behaviour essential in fleet management?

Monitoring driver behaviour is vital for upholding safety standards and minimising the likelihood of accidents. Vehicle tracking systems can analyse driving habits such as speeding, abrupt braking, and rapid acceleration, providing insights for personalised training and fostering safer driving practices.

How can vehicle maintenance notifications benefit fleet management?

Vehicle maintenance notifications help minimise vehicle downtime and prolong the fleet's lifespan by issuing alerts triggered by mileage, engine usage, or predetermined time intervals. By ensuring timely servicing, these notifications reduce the risk of breakdowns and expensive repairs, contributing to consistent service reliability.

What factors should be considered when comparing vehicle tracking systems?

When comparing vehicle tracking systems, consider the size and composition of your fleet, your business's unique needs, the system's scalability, and the method of installation. Evaluate whether the system aligns with your fleet's requirements, offers scalability for future expansion, and provides installation options that minimise disruptions to your business operations.

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