Fleet tracking via GPS helps businesses with large capital assets keep better track of those assets and the employees using them, allowing greater efficiency and accountability. Transportation and government agencies are already using GPS trackers for fleet management to great effect, but many other industries can benefit from this technological marvel.
What Is GPS?
The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a network of satellites that transmit precise information concerning their position in space to receivers on Earth. These receivers use the information transmitted from the satellite to determine their own position and speed, and the current time where they are.
GPS was born of the Cold War and the space race between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. The military initially proposed a satellite tracking system to help guide missiles to their targets, and the first navigational satellites were launched in the 1960s. What we know now as GPS began with a series of launches in the 1970s, and it includes more than 24 satellites providing accurate locational data to civilian and military users. Europe, China, Russia, and India are developing or have developed similar systems of their own.
What Is GPS Fleet Tracking?
GPS fleet tracking uses GPS receivers and the GPS system to provide information concerning fleets of vehicles to their owners or managers. With GPS fleet tracking, managers can always know where their assets are and where they are headed, and details about time and speed. By compiling and analyzing data gathered by commercial GPS tracking systems, these managers can identify ways to better use their resources. Tracking also helps prevent assets from going missing or being stolen.
Some benefits of GPS tracking include:
- Reducing fuel costs – Smarter routing and policies to improve driver efficiency resulting from information gleaned from commercial GPS tracking can help companies reduce their fuel costs. While gas prices are cheap right now, reducing fuel costs will help save some money now and, potentially, a lot in the future when gas prices rise again.
- Improved maintenance – GPS tracking can help companies better track vehicle usage and performance, allowing them to develop a more effective upkeep plan. By using smart, proactive maintenance, companies can reduce expensive and time-consuming repairs and increase the longevity of their fleet.
- Cut insurance premiums – Many insurers offer discounts of between 25 and 35 percent for vehicles outfitted with GPS trackers. This can be very helpful to companies with large fleets they must insure.
- Avoid loss and misuse of resources – Being able to track vehicles no matter where they may be can help companies avoid loss and theft of these important assets. It can also help ensure that vehicles are not used for non-work-related purposes.
- Improved safety – Fleet tracking applications allow companies to track speed. As excessive speed is a leading contributor to accidents, keeping tabs on driver speed and encouraging safe driving habits can reduce crashes.
- Paperwork reduction – GPS tracking system can reduce the paperwork load of dispatchers and managers by automatically recording details formerly documented by these workers.
Who’s Using GPS Fleet Tracking?
Commercial trucking companies are among the biggest customers of GPS tracking services. Thanks to GPS tracking, commercial truck companies have a way to gather data that managers can interpret to track patterns and establish plans to improve efficiency and safety.
For example, GPS tracking can be used to determine whether truckers are following company policy regarding speed and break time. Companies can also use GPS tracking to determine which routes are efficient and which are not, and develop ways to boost efficiency.
Government entities are also increasingly jumping on the GPS tracking bandwagon. Law enforcement and public safety entities can use GPS tracking to more quickly and efficiently dispatch units to respond to fire, police, and emergency medical calls. The information provided by GPS can also help these entities better plan patrol routes and help units find their way when traffic jams and other events may bar main roads and highways.
Government agencies have lots of vehicles and heavy equipment to keep track of, and some of that equipment sometimes becomes lost, stolen, or forgotten. Just recently, federal prosecutors convicted an auto seller of working with a government insider to sell vehicles stolen from the U.S. State Department. GPS tracking helps deter this activity and ensure theft is detected more quickly.
Courier services also are finding commercial GPS tracking to be helpful in their endeavors. Good courier companies are obsessed with shaving time off deliveries and finding small, incremental ways to improve safety and efficiency.
While improving a delivery time by a few seconds, or using just a little less gasoline may not seem like much, when applied many times throughout a large company these tiny savings can add up to big money. GPS tracking can help courier companies find the best routes, encourage safer, more productive driving by employees, and ensure the most efficient allocation of company resources.
Who Else Can Use GPS Tracking?
Businesses large and small can make use of the efficiency and accountability commercial GPS tracking can bring to the table. Consider these examples of how GPS tracking technology can benefit business:
- HVAC and plumbing companies can use information gleaned from GPS tracking to provide better, faster service. By using GPS tracking solutions to monitor company vans in real time, these companies can work to improve response and repair time.
- School systems can use fleet tracking to monitor their school buses and maintenance vehicles. Live vehicle tracking can provide important information to law enforcement in emergency situations such as severe weather events or hijackings. More prosaic benefits the technology can provide are improved route planning and monitoring of driver behavior.
- Utility companies can use GPS tracking to immediately find the nearest maintenance truck and dispatch those workers to rapidly respond to customer needs. Real-time monitoring also helps these companies promote a culture of safety by keeping tabs on driver behavior.
- Food delivery services, much like courier services, can benefit from GPS tracking to better route their drivers and to encourage safer driving habits among their employees.
The bottom line is that if your company uses vehicles or heavy equipment, GPS tracking solutions can help you improve the safety and efficiency of your operations.
More and more companies are discovering the tremendous benefits offered by GPS fleet tracking services. A study by C.J. Driscoll & Associates found that more than 8 million vehicles and pieces of equipment are now outfitted with GPS trackers. The study predicts that by 2019, the GPS tracking industry will cover 14 million vehicles and pieces of equipment and will turn a profit of more than $4.7 billion. Regulations requiring interstate trucking fleets to use electronic logging devices for keeping tabs on driver service hours are helping to fuel growth, as is greater awareness concerning the benefits of GPS tracking applications.
The commercial GPS tracking industry is rapidly growing, and many new companies are entering the market, making it tough for companies that desire this service to find the right partner. US Fleet Tracking is a well-established provider of GPS fleet tracking solutions. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, US Fleet Tracking has a global reach and provides the widest coverage area with the best reliability of any GPS fleet tracking product.
For reliable and accurate tracking services at a highly competitive price, contact US Fleet Tracking for a consultation. Customer service representatives can outline how the company’s services can benefit you. The company also provides a helpful tool on its website that can help you determine how much money you could save by equipping your vehicles with GPS tracking devices.