FreightWaves Ratings cuts through the noise of freight technology product reviews to make you a smarter buyer

What is commercial GPS tracking?

Commercial GPS tracking plays a vital role in the trucking industry, offering valuable advantages for businesses. By having real-time knowledge of your drivers’ exact locations, you can effectively streamline your supply chain and optimize the workflow of your drivers.

In this discussion, we will explore the basics of GPS tracking for commercial trucks and highlight key factors to consider when implementing GPS tracking for your fleet. If you’re looking for the best overall GPS for your fleet, check out Samsara GPS Fleet Tracking.

And when you’re finished reading, explore the other articles in our ‘GPS tracking’ series:

How Does Commercial GPS Tracking Work?

A GPS unit is designed to communicate with satellites in order to determine the exact location of the device. When the GPS device is located in a commercial vehicle, it can determine the truck’s location, speed, and other important pieces of data. 

Many modern GPS systems also record information such as:

  • The vehicle’s current speed
  • Engine data
  • Ignition status

Some GPS units can provide drivers with advanced data, like traffic reports and trucking points of interest, all while also permitting vocal input so that drivers can operate the device hands-free while on the road.

What to Consider with Commercial GPS Tracking

If you’re looking to implement GPS for commercial trucks, there are several features that make for a top-quality system. These include location data quality, easy installation, great customer support, and simple usage.  

Location Data Quality

The tracking requirements for fleets can vary. While some fleets necessitate real-time tracking, others can suffice with devices that periodically ping the location of each driver every ten minutes or so. It is crucial to strike a balance between your fleet’s needs and the costs associated with advanced tracking devices. Real-time data offers the most precise information, but it also comes at a higher price. Before integrating high-quality GPS tracking units into your fleet, it is essential to ensure that the prices are affordable and align with your budgetary considerations.

Easy Installation

The installation process for GPS tracking units typically involves a simple plug-and-play setup, although the ease of installation may vary depending on the brand. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific installation requirements in advance, allowing you to effectively plan for equipping your fleet with this innovative technology.

One aspect to pay close attention to is the mounting mechanism offered by the GPS tracking unit. Different devices may feature magnetic attachments, suction cups, or mounting arms. It is important to ensure that the chosen mechanism aligns with the interior geometry of your vehicles, enabling a secure and suitable installation.

Great Customer Support

When considering the purchase of a GPS tracking unit, it is crucial to prioritize manufacturers that provide 24/7 customer support. Before making your final decision, it is recommended to thoroughly investigate the type of customer support offered by the manufacturer of the GPS tracking unit you are considering.

In particular, the availability of technical support becomes a significant factor. Many companies prefer manufacturers that offer live customer support based in the United States to ensure prompt and efficient assistance for troubleshooting needs. Prioritizing a manufacturer with robust customer support can enhance your overall experience and provide reassurance in addressing any potential issues that may arise.

Simple Usage

Implementing complex GPS tracking devices may necessitate training time for your employees. Additionally, some drivers may initially resist utilizing these advanced features. Therefore, it is advisable to seek out a GPS unit that offers a user-friendly interface, preferably with voice-input functionality to enable hands-free operation.

By opting for a GPS unit with a straightforward user interface, you can minimize the learning curve and facilitate easy adoption among your employees. Voice-input features further enhance convenience and safety, allowing drivers to interact with the device without manual input. Striving for simplicity and hands-free capabilities will promote efficient usage of the GPS tracking unit within your fleet.

How Does GPS Truck Tracking Benefit Commercial Fleets?

GPS for commercial trucks can benefit your entire fleet in more ways than one. Fleets that implement this technology can optimize their workflow and improve efficiency in the following ways.

Real-Time Operations Visibility

Commercial GPS tracking offers a comprehensive view of your fleet’s workflow by providing insights into every driver’s activities. This high-quality data enables management teams to stay on top of the supply chain and respond quickly to any issues that arise.

Intelligent Route Planning

GPS tracking systems have the capability to analyze traffic patterns and vehicle data, enabling the planning of optimized transportation routes for drivers. Intelligent route planning saves valuable time, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased capacity to handle additional shipments. Moreover, it aids in reducing fuel costs and minimizing wear-and-tear on commercial vehicles by selecting routes that prioritize fuel efficiency. With intelligent route planning, businesses can enhance their operations while achieving cost savings and maximizing their transportation capabilities.

Cargo Safety

GPS tracking units can send real-time alerts when a vehicle deviates from its route. This can be particularly important in the event of a breakdown or a traffic accident. Having the ability to immediately respond can help your company make sure that the cargo reaches its destination on time and in good condition.

Vehicle Maintenance Improvements

When you keep tabs on truck locations, speeds, and ignition statuses, you’ll be better equipped to address safety flaws and mechanical defects. This information can also be used to construct a maintenance schedule to ensure company assets remain in peak condition.

Reducing Fuel Costs

Just as your GPS unit can optimize route planning, it can also reduce fuel costs. GPS devices can ensure that the drivers’ routes are planned to optimize both speed and fuel efficiency, which can reduce company costs overall. Additionally, GPS monitoring can discourage your drivers from speeding, allowing you to avoid tickets and expensive fines.

Preventing Unauthorized Vehicle Usage

By monitoring the locations and ignition statuses of the drivers in your fleet, you’ll immediately be alerted if a vehicle is being used beyond its designated service area or outside of its regular service hours. 

This can be especially useful in regard to preventing theft and minimizing the likelihood that your drivers will use company resources for personal or unauthorized uses. This strategy can also be used to ensure that company employees stay within their mandated hours of service.

Removing Manual Administrative Tasks

Most modern GPS tracking systems have digital solutions for fleet documentation. This means that companies will ultimately devote less time to manual tasks and paperwork, reducing operating expenses and personnel costs in the process. By reducing the need for manual data entry, companies can eliminate mistakes caused by human error, too.

Enhanced Customer Service

Perhaps most important of all, equipping your fleet with GPS devices can improve your customer service abilities. With careful route planning and real-time location data, your company can make deliveries quickly and efficiently, more so than ever before. 

This can increase the number of jobs your fleet will be able to perform, as well as the speed at which your company delivers cargo to your clients. Your clients will also appreciate the accurate reporting that you’ll be able to provide along the way!

We are excited to announce the launch of move.freightwaves.com, a revolutionary resource designed to transform how consumers choose auto-shipping companies. Check it out today!

Motive–Everything you need to manage your fleet. All in one place.

Create a safe, efficient fleet with reliable ELD compliance, advanced GPS tracking, and the AI-powered Smart Dashcam.