Commercial GPS tracking serves a valuable purpose in the trucking industry. By knowing the exact location of your drivers, you can optimize your supply chain and driver workflow.
In this article, we’ll explain the basics of GPS tracking for commercial trucks as well as what to look for when considering GPS tracking for your fleet.
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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
Some fleets require real-time tracking. Other fleets can get by with a unit that simply pings each driver’s location every ten minutes or so.
You’ll have to balance the needs of your fleet with the cost of these advanced devices. Real-time data can provide companies with the most accurate information, but it comes with a cost, and it’s important to make sure the prices are affordable before incorporating high-quality GPS tracking units within your fleets.
Many GPS tracking units will offer some form of simple plug-and-play installation, though the simplicity of the installation will vary by brand. It’s important to know the installation requirements ahead of time so that you can appropriately plan to equip your fleet with this new technology.
Pay particular attention to the mounting mechanism. Some devices are magnetic, some have a suction cup, and others are equipped with a mounting arm. You’ll need to match these mechanisms with the interior geometry of your vehicles.
Great Customer Support
The best GPS devices offer 24/7 customer support. Before you make your purchase, investigate the type of customer support that the manufacturer of the GPS tracking unit that you’re considering offers.
This may be particularly important when it comes to technical support. Many companies will want to pursue a manufacturer that offers live customer support that is based in the United States to help customers with their troubleshooting needs.
Complex devices may require training time for your employees. Some drivers may resist using these features altogether. Aim to find a GPS unit that offers a simple user interface, ideally with voice-input features for hands-free capabilities.
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 provides knowledge about every driver who is part of your fleet. This information creates a composite picture of your entire company’s workflow. With the use of this high-quality data, management teams can stay on top of the supply chain and quickly respond to problems as they arise.
Intelligent Route Planning
GPS tracking systems can analyze traffic patterns and vehicle data to plan out better transportation routes for the drivers. Intelligent route planning saves you time, ensuring greater customer satisfaction and increasing your capacity to take on more shipments. Intelligent route planning can also help you cut fuel costs and reduce wear-and-tear on commercial vehicles by selecting routes that yield the greatest fuel efficiency.
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!
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