Oct 11, 2023

The Dos and Don'ts of Using a Commercial GPS Tracker

GPS trackers have emerged as a pivotal tool in fleet management. From ensuring timely deliveries to enhancing on-road safety, these devices have proven invaluable.

However, as with all powerful tools, it's crucial that businesses deploy them in a responsible and ethically sound manner. Leveraging the full potential of GPS trackers, while also respecting privacy and compliance guidelines, is the cornerstone for businesses aiming to achieve optimal benefits.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing all the dos and don’ts of implementing vehicle tracking devices across your fleet.

The Dos of Using a Commercial GPS Tracker

Ensuring Compliance with UK Vehicle Tracking Laws

Ensuring your vehicle tracking complies with relevant UK tracking laws and regulations is crucial, especially when it comes to privacy.

Firstly, it's essential for businesses to fully grasp the nuances of GDPR, which protects individual data and mandates the secure storage, handling, and processing of such information.

When using GPS trackers, businesses must:

By aligning tracking methodologies with GDPR stipulations, businesses not only avoid potential legal repercussions but also bolster their reputation as responsible entities.

Emphasising Transparency with Drivers

Under GDPR, drivers must be made aware of and agree to being tracked. Drivers, the heart of any fleet, must be taken into confidence. Not only is this a legal requirement, but transparency fosters a sense of trust with your drivers, who are ultimately the heart of your fleet.

Here are some ways in which you can open up discussion around implementing trackers with your drivers:

Leveraging Tracker Data for Operational Efficiency

Merely installing a GPS tracker isn't the endgame. The true magic lies in harnessing the deluge of data it offers:

By continuously analysing and acting on tracker data, businesses can sharpen their operational acumen, ensuring efficiency, and profitability.

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The Don'ts of Using a Commercial GPS Tracker

Avoiding Invasive Surveillance

In today's data-driven world, technology allows businesses to keep track of their assets more closely than ever before.

However, it's crucial to distinguish between efficient tracking and invasive surveillance. While GPS trackers in commercial vehicles primarily serve a legitimate business interest, misusing them can easily invade a driver's privacy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) emphasises the right to privacy, even when it concerns commercial activities. Businesses should ensure that trackers are used only to the extent necessary for legitimate purposes, like ensuring the safety of the fleet or optimising routes.

Regular check-ins with drivers, informing them about the purpose of the tracking, and ensuring that the data is not used for any non-business related purposes are crucial. Respecting driver privacy isn't just a matter of legal compliance; it's about fostering trust within the organisation.

If you allow your drivers to use company vehicles for both business and personal use, it is absolutely essential to ensure you are not using data from private journeys. Fortunately, Fleetsmart’s driver privacy switch add-ons offer the ultimate solution, helping you to avoid breaching GDPR laws.

Once fitted, a driver can flick the switch on and off to ensure only business journeys are being tracked and recorded.

Sidestepping Common GPS Fleet Management Mistakes

While GPS fleet management systems offer numerous advantages, it's essential to be wary of common pitfalls. One of the primary mistakes businesses make is not regularly updating their software or understanding the full functionality of their trackers. This oversight can lead to missed opportunities for optimisation or even misinterpretations of data.

Over-reliance on Automation

Technology has undoubtedly made fleet management more efficient, but it's crucial not to become overly dependent on automation. A GPS fleet tracking system can provide valuable data, but it cannot replace the nuances of human decision-making.

For instance, while a system can suggest the quickest route based on current traffic data, it might not account for upcoming weather changes, local events, or the specificities of certain deliveries. It's up to human managers to consider these factors and adjust accordingly.

Moreover, automated alerts and notifications are beneficial, but they shouldn't replace regular manual checks and communication with drivers. There's a wealth of knowledge and real-time understanding that drivers bring to the table, which a system might miss.

In essence, while automation and GPS tracking are valuable tools in the arsenal of fleet management, they should be seen as aids, not replacements, to human insight and oversight.

Fleet Tracking with Fleetsmart

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