The Benefits of GPS Tracking for Firefighters

Fire departments in the United States receive tens of millions of calls every year. Are all these directly related to fires? The truth is—no. The majority of calls are from people requiring medical aid. You can see how important it is for firefighters to know the locations of the callers and get to where they’re going quickly.

How Fire Departments Use GPS Tracking

Global positioning systems and fleet management software can save lives. That’s because GPS tracking allows departments to:

  • Track Assets and Communicate – Supervisors can easily see where fires are and communicate with teams in the field. This makes it much easier to find people who may be trapped and get to them before it is too late.
  • Find More Effective Routes – View traffic, weather, and road conditions in real time to avoid hazards and traffic jams; the best route for firefighters helps those in danger and the company because it increases efficiency and reduces costs.
  • Monitor Progress – By tracking progress every step of the way, departments are better able to respond quickly and more effectively identify and implement strategies for improvement. The hardware needed is also simple and efficient.

Could your fire department benefit from improving its response to emergency fire and medical situations? Learn more about how GPS tracking works and US Fleet Tracking can assist you by checking out our infographic.

infographic - benefits of gps tracking for firefighters

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Increase Cash Flow with a GPS Tracker: GPS ROI Calculator

Managing a fleet is costly, plus there are many factors that can negatively impact cash flow. An ROI tracking system can help you find opportunities for cost savings. Unauthorized trips, extended breaks, and poor route management are just a few examples of wasteful spending that can be avoided. By tracking ROI and installing a vehicle tracking device in every asset, and connecting it to an internet-based tracking system, your business can see significant cash flow improvements.

Tracking a vehicle using GPS can increase a fleet company’s productivity by 7%, lower service costs by 4.9%, and reduce fuel expenses by 5%.1 Drivers are more likely to be efficient if their status, speed, and location are known at all times. The condition and use of vehicles can be tracked, which can reduce maintenance costs. These are just some factors that impact ROI, and which can make the fleet GPS tracking system cost practical for your company.

Female Truck Driver Standing Near Semi-Truck

Reducing Labor Expenses with GPS

In addition to fuel costs and mileage, an ROI tracking system can account for driver wages. There are various factors that impact labor expenses, but GPS can help you:

  • Verify work hours: Trip data can be used to view travel and stopover times. Instead of just the number of hours worked, you can see when drivers are in motion or their vehicles are idling.
  • Hold drivers accountable: If a timesheet is inaccurate, you’ll know right away and, if a vehicle is being used in an unauthorized location, the GPS system will notify you. The same goes if a vehicle operator speeds or drives aggressively.
  • Assist drivers: If drivers are lost, GPS can help get them to their destination, or direct them away from congested routes so jobs can be completed faster. Reliable information can mean more hours getting the job done rather than dealing with hold-ups.
  • Improve productivity: Thanks to GPS tracking, business opportunities are in place to serve customers more efficiently. A tracking system can allow you to send and receive messages, so you can communicate directly with employees in the field. You also eliminate undesirable activities, such as side jobs and workers who perform personal errands during the workday.

Reliable tracking can ultimately lower payroll costs and improve driver safety. You can use the data to improve training or reward drivers who operate vehicles safely. If objectionable driver behaviors are identified, you can take measures to correct them.

Event data can be used to verify timecards and discourage unwanted use of time, reducing overall payroll costs. Additionally, managing drivers’ workloads can prevent them from being overworked, thereby improving productivity, efficiency, and customer service.

Speedometer Inside a Semi-Truck

Reducing Operational Expenses with GPS

With a reliable means to track fleet activity, ROI can be improved, thanks to lower operational costs. Fleet managers gain insights necessary to identify excessive spending. They can then choose where to take action and cut costs. Some ways GPS and ROI tracking can benefit include:

  • Improved logistics: An overview of all operational parameters is available. GPS tracking for business allows managers to coordinate activities and manage all assets at once, rather than one truck at a time, and provides support at the proper place and time. You can allocate vehicles and personnel as needed.
  • Reduced downtime: Limiting the amount of downtime increases vehicle availability and efficiency. Routes and schedules can be optimized by fleet managers and dispatchers, while scheduled maintenance helps avoid more time- and cost-consuming breakdowns and service calls.
  • Decreased fuel usage: Drivers’ speeding, idling, and braking habits can increase fuel costs by 20% and waste as many as eight gallons per month, per vehicle.2 By recognizing the patterns, fleet managers can act accordingly and deter wasteful activities, thereby seeing additional savings.
  • Manage fuel costs: For any fleet-based business, fuel is a major expense. By shortening distances, avoiding traffic and bad weather, and finding other ways to reduce travel times, fuel management is possible. Engine data collectors let you analyze driver activity, which can help save up to thousands of gallons by promoting more economical driving.
  • Route monitoring: The progress of every job can be viewed, thanks to GPS fleet tracking. You’ll know when a delivery or job is completed and where your employees are. Also, scheduling changes can be made and communicated as soon as they’re needed.
  • Communications: With GPS fleet tracking, a small business can track drivers in the field, rather than constantly check in with them by phone. It also improves customer communications. You can provide real-time status updates, notify clients when a job is completed, and provide more accurate invoicing.

Male Courier Delivering Package on Time

In terms of business opportunities, GPS vehicle tracking for small businesses can facilitate communication with sales teams. Tracking software can, therefore, be used to track revenue generated with each job. Software features may be used to create territory maps to identify high revenue generating customers.

US Fleet Tracking’s product includes a geofencing feature that enables users to define virtual fences; in addition to enabling alerts as to where vehicles are in relation to these boundaries, this can be used to pinpoint which customers are where.

However, there’s even more you can do with a GPS track manager. You can estimate arrival times of trucks, drivers, and technicians. Automated messages or emails can be sent to notify a customer an asset is nearby. Often the more information customers have, the more likely they are to be satisfied, loyal, and refer your business to friends. All these equal more revenue-generating opportunities.

Other Benefits of ROI Tracking Software

An ROI tracking system works in conjunction with your GPS tracking in many other ways. If a vehicle is due for an oil change or brake service, a tracking system can notify you. Regular maintenance means fuel savings and less downtime. Fuel level, temperature, and engine oil indicators provide insights into vehicle health and diagnostics. Global positioning and vehicle data can factor into operational parameters an ROI tracker that can analyze for precise estimates.

Reduced insurance costs are yet another benefit. If your vehicle fleet is equipped with GPS technology, most insurance companies will reduce your rates. They see it as a risk management system your business has in place to reduce theft, accidents, traffic violations, and other costly issues. With GPS, there’s a higher likelihood of:

  • Stolen goods being recovered
  • Drivers operating trucks safely
  • Drivers avoiding accidents
  • Reduced insurance claims

Vehicle maintenance and insurance cost fleet companies significantly. You can factor the savings from a GPS vehicle tracking device and software into your ROI calculations.

Improve ROI with US Fleet Tracking

The powerful tools included with our GPS tracking service enable you to experience all the benefits in terms of ROI. Speed, geofence, maintenance, idle, and ignition alerts enable you to track driver activity and vehicle status, while live traffic and radar enable your company to know where fleet assets are, direct them to more efficient routes, and avoid hazardous weather conditions. Detailed reports allow you to identify aggressive driving, device mileage, and a variety of other metrics on a computer or a mobile device.

White Semi-Truck in Snow

Electronic logging and detailed reporting allow fleet managers to have all data available, at all times. The system also integrates with Google Maps, popular fuel cards, and service call systems to maximize efficiency. In addition, it stores contacts and addresses to improve dispatching. Remote access is another potentially cost-saving feature, which allows doors to be unlocked remotely (avoiding a locksmith) and ignition to be disabled (if a vehicle is stolen).

Fleet Tracking App on Mobile Device

The average cost of GPS installation is typically reduced when you factor in ROI. If your business is on a budget, a GPS tracker may be affordable for every vehicle when potential labor, operational, and insurance cost savings are considered. An ROI tracking system is your best tool to estimate how much you can save.

Contact US Fleet Tracking for information on our web-based product and its features, and GPS fleet tracking pricing, by calling 405-726-9900 today.

Sources:

  1. https://clearpathgps.com/can-gps-vehicle-tracking-pay/
  2. https://www.techwalls.com/gps-tracking-devices-improve-business-performance/

 

Top Tips for Installing Your GPS Tracking Device

Ready to install your GPS tracking device but don’t like using instruction manuals? Then this infographic is the perfect solution for you! Get helpful installation tips, including: tools to use, location, and wiring – all in an easy-to-read graphic.

top tips for installing your gps tracking device (infographic)

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<a title="top tips for installing your gps tracking device (infographic)" href="http://www.usfleettracking.com/blog/2018/06/29/top-tips-installing-gps-tracking-device-infographic"><h1>Top Tips for Installing Your GPS Tracking Device</h1></a>

What Business Owners Need from Fleet Management Software

For many companies, properly managing and maintaining a fleet of commercial vehicles is a key aspect of their business’s success. From major trucking companies with dozens of semi-trailers to small businesses with delivery trucks or specialized vehicles for site visits, many business owners and management teams have turned to GPS trackers and fleet management software packages to keep tabs on their vehicles, inventory, and employees.

Two Semi Trucks From a Company's Fleet

As with any technology in business, fleet tracking software is only as good as the data it’s able to provide. A company that pays for a fleet tracking service only to get occasional location updates with no additional capabilities is probably getting a very poor return on their investment. To get the most out of your fleet management and get the best value for your money, look for a system that offers the following essential features.

Fast, Real-Time Tracking Capability

When you want to know where your assets are and what they’re doing, you don’t want to have to wait 5-15 minutes for an update. With today’s satellite systems and GPS technology, you shouldn’t have to. When choosing a fleet management software, it’s important to have a system that offers genuine real-time tracking with short intervals between updates. For the fastest feedback and most accurate location tracking, choose a software package that is capable of providing updates every 5-10 seconds at an affordable price.

Fleet of Trucks on a Map

Being able to closely track every vehicle’s position allows you to stay on top of your fleet’s activities and more accurately estimate the timing of arrivals, departures, and deliveries. Receiving truly live information also makes it possible for you to quickly re-route vehicles around traffic or direct authorities to a vehicle in an emergency. Put simply, the more often you’re able to receive tracking updates, the more direct control you have over your fleet’s activity.

Ideally, your software should also be able to display this GPS location and movement information visually with up-to-date, scalable maps. Even with the shortest intervals, the data doesn’t serve you well unless you can interpret it quickly and easily.

Integrated Data Collection and Reporting

In addition to fast GPS updates, decent fleet management software and devices should be able to automatically record and store a variety of other data. Business owners and managers should be able to collect information on things like speed, gas mileage, vehicle usage (starts/stops), maintenance history, idle time, route deviations, etc.

Automatic data capture not only provides powerful insight into vehicle activity but also allows you to keep a close eye on employees for management purposes. When employee reviews come around, you’ll also have a complete history of their driving records, giving you a holistic view of employees’ work efficiency and driving habits. Automatic recording also eliminates the risk of error or intentional falsification by employees that can occur with manual data entry.

Of course, the data collected by the system can only reveal trends and inform decisions through analysis. As such, business owners should be able to use their fleet management software to easily filter data and create custom reports. With thorough data sets and in-depth reporting tools, you’ll be able to effectively identify opportunities for improvement, investigate suspicious activity, keep up with vehicle maintenance, provide records for billing disputes, and present concise, easy-to-read information to customers, vendors, and business partners.

Easy Data Access and Compatibility with Multiple Devices

Drivers, managers, and other staff should be able to access the fleet management system easily and quickly whenever they need it. Systems that can only be accessed from specific terminals or device types create unnecessary limitations that can leave important business decisions at a standstill.

A web-based tracking software that can be accessed from any internet-connected device allows businesses to make time-sensitive decisions from anywhere in the world. This can be especially valuable for business owners and executives who travel internationally for work.

Location Pins on a Map

Using fleet tracking software with a simple, web-enabled interface also reduces the burden on company IT systems, as it doesn’t require the installation of hefty programs on multiple computers. A fleet management system that can be accessed from a mobile app is an ideal choice for businesses that want to keep up with a constantly connected world without sacrificing feature quality.

Customization, Geofencing, and Other Management Tools

Look for fleet management software that offers additional tools and features to give you the most for your money. Your methods for success are different from those of other businesses in your industry—that’s why it’s important to have flexible fleet tracking software that can be customized to meet your unique needs.

Business managers should look for systems with useful features like weather and traffic overlays, activity playback and custom notifications. With fleet management software that can interface directly with smartphones and other mobile technology, management can receive instant alerts on their preferred devices. Users should be able to set notifications for critical events like off-hours ignition, speeding, excessive idling, and more.

Another great feature to watch for is geofencing, which gives management the ability to define set geographic boundaries for drivers that can be monitored and enforced during tracking. When a user sets a geofence in the software, the system automatically keeps a record of every time a vehicle crosses a boundary (with some user-defined leeway).

A system with notification capabilities can also send alerts for these events. Proactively setting these boundaries allows businesses to easily identify unnecessary diversions, route inconsistencies, and employee misuses of vehicles.

Get Cutting-Edge Technology, Real-Time Updates, and Accurate Data with US Fleet Tracking

No matter what you do or how many vehicles you manage, US Fleet Tracking offers the state-of-the-art technology, flexible web-based interface, and truly real-time updates you need to stay at the top of your game. We’ve helped businesses across a wide range of industries crack down on misconduct, improve fuel efficiency, secure their assets, and keep records of important data easily and automatically.

US Fleet Tracking’s feature-rich fleet management system and tracking devices provide all the benefits you need:

  • 5-10 second updates
    Experience genuinely fast tracking with location updates at 5-10 second intervals—significantly faster than other trackers on the market. Live GPS tracking matters to your business.
  • Custom notifications
    Receive instant alerts for a variety of tracking events so that you can make quick business decisions and stay up to date on driver activity.
  • Live weather and traffic information
    Quickly re-route drivers around delays and dangerous road conditions with information from live traffic and weather overlays.
  • Geofencing
    Easily set geographic areas along driver routes and track when assets leave, enter, or approach a boundary.
  • Activity playback
    Dig down into the details with the ability to instantly replay any vehicle’s activity as needed.
  • Reporting capabilities
    Run custom reports directly from our tracking interface for analysis at any time, on demand, or on a set schedule.
  • Automatic data-capture
    US Fleet Tracking devices automatically collect important vehicle data such as mileage, fuel usage, ignition events, idling, speed, and more.
  • Worldwide, web-based access
    Never worry about traveling during business hours again—you can manage your fleet from any internet-connected device around the globe with no proprietary software installation.

With US Fleet Tracking technology, you can get automatic tracking data, powerful software capabilities, and convenient mobile access at a price your business can afford. Browse our selection of leading-edge GPS trackers to find the right device for your vehicles. When you’re ready to get started with our live tracking services, give us a call at (405) 726-9900.

How Police Use Fleet Tracking Systems

Today, 69% of U.S. law enforcement agencies use GPS tracking systems. Fleet management systems are effective at helping first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics be quick and resourceful. With law enforcement GPS tracking, police are better equipped to serve the community.

Officer Safety

If an officer is injured, dispatchers can locate them quickly and send backup. GPS improves safety on many levels, from the dispatch of ambulances to the scene, to instant location of vehicles. If a criminal steals a patrol car, a GPS tracker can pinpoint exactly where this expensive piece of equipment is.

Efficiency

Police GPS tracking boosts efficiency because:

  • Dispatchers can route calls to patrol cars closest to an incident.
  • Pursuits are monitored in real time, so criminals are apprehended faster.
  • Efficiency and 24/7 monitoring also save money.

Accountability

With GPS tracking for police cruisers, fleet trackers can issue alerts when officers exceed the speed limit, drive aggressively, get into an accident, or neglect their duties.

Fleet tracking also aids communication. Dispatchers can direct, warn, and navigate patrol cars. Officers traversing unfamiliar areas can remain in direct communication and receive accurate instructions, thanks to their GPS location always being known.

U.S. Fleet Tracking has the expertise, experience, and dedication working with law enforcement. Our Back the Blue program demonstrates our support for law enforcement nationwide. Read more about our police GPS tracking solution below.

infographic - how police use fleet tracking systems

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How the ELD/AOBRD Mandate Will Affect Your Fleet | US Fleet Tracking

What is the ELD/AOBRD Mandate? In the field of fleet tracking, electronic logging devices (ELDs) and automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) have long been used to automatically record electronic records of truck usage, driver activity, gas mileage, driving routes, stop locations, and other information. These devices have been subject to the AOBRD rule since 1988, and they are now subject to the ELD rule as part of a 2012 congressional bill.

1988, the AOBRD rule was introduced to govern the use of onboard recording devices for the first time. This initial mandate required devices to have integral synchronization and to record the location of commercial vehicles at each change of duty status. The term “integral synchronization” was not officially defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations at the time, however, and the recording of information was allowed to be either automatic or manual.

With the passing of the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” bill (MAP-21), the newest ELD mandate was developed and finally published in 2015. As of December 2017, companies were expected to meet the first compliance deadline.

Semi Truck Hauling E.L.D. Letters

The 2015 ELD mandate focuses primarily on replacing manual paper logbooks in an effort to bring fleet tracking into the 21st century and improve data accuracy. Requiring electronic logging of information should help provide good data for business analysis, as well as prevent individuals and companies from manually recording false information in order to avoid recompense.

Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the mandate requires companies to comply with the following:

  • All Hours of Service (HOSs) must be electronically recorded via certified ELDs to ensure an accurate snapshot of hours worked. This was the first part of the mandate to be rolled out, and all companies were required to install appropriate ELDs for HOS recording by December 2017.
  • All Records of Duty Status (RODSs) must now be electronically recorded via ELDs. This is a change from the 1988 AOBRD rule, in that companies are no longer allowed to manually record this data.
  • Location information must also be automatically recorded every 60 minutes while the vehicle is in motion, whenever the engine is turned off or on, and whenever the vehicle is used for authorized personal reasons.
  • Personal use of commercial vehicles is now defined as any time the reason is not directly work-related; this differs from past rules, in which it was only considered personal use if the vehicle was not loaded with goods and the trip was a relatively short distance.
  • All ELD/AOBRD devices must be integrally synchronized with the vehicle’s engine so that important truck activity (e.g., engine power status, miles driven, engine hours, vehicle motion status, etc.) can be accurately recorded and measured. Engines manufactured before the year 2000 are exempted from this aspect of the mandate.
  • All ELDs must be capable of producing a graph of a driver’s RODS changes either on-screen or via a printout.
  • ELDs must provide an advisory warning of unassigned driving time or mileage when a driver logs in.
  • ELDs must also record any incidents where a driver is on-duty, has not been driving for five consecutive minutes, and does not respond within one minute to device prompts. This allows business managers and other entities to identify when a driver was away, sleeping, or otherwise not performing his or her duties while on the clock.
  • All ELDs must be set to observe Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and must not be more than 10 minutes off from this time.Person Using GPS on a Cell Phone

How These Changes Will Affect Fleet Tracking—Including Yours

As with any change in federal regulations, the new ELD mandate presents both challenges and opportunities to commercial businesses, truck drivers, and the fleet tracking industry at large. As things move forward in the next few years and companies are expected to comply with the rest of the mandate, there will likely be a great deal of effort, investment and adjustment required on the part of businesses and drivers. However, the benefits of moving to a standardized, fully automated digital record-keeping system could give the industry a major boost.

As your company is required to meet the standards of the new ELD mandate, it may affect your fleet and business in a number of ways:

  • You may have to purchase and install new ELD technology that is capable of meeting all of the mandate’s requirements. Depending upon the size of your fleet, this could be a major investment.
  • If you do not already use ELDs/AOBRDs for the required data, you will need to train all of your drivers and other appropriate staff on proper use and mandate compliance.
  • Fully electronic records are more easily accessible for analysis, allowing your company to easily run reports, improve efficiency, and audit driver activity.
  • Electronic records also reduce the need for physical storage, saving you space and money in the long run.
  • More rules mean a heavier focus on compliance. You may need to run regular self-audits to ensure that your team is using the ELDs properly and that your company is in line with the federal mandate.
  • Automated recording of data like engine status, miles driven, and non-responsive idling time allows you to keep an eye on driver behavior and identify employee misconduct.
  • Electronic device reminders should help your drivers remember to assign Hours of Service and enter any requested manual information at appropriate times.

Ultimately, although the mandate requires an initial investment in technology and may lead to major process changes, the new ELD rule should help with fleet tracking by providing more accurate data on a regular basis.

GPS Navigation Display in Truck Console

The Importance of Choosing High-Quality Technology

Because the new ELD/AOBRD mandate relies so heavily upon the features and capabilities of the devices themselves, it is more important than ever for companies to choose high-quality fleet tracking devices that can provide all the necessary functionality in a reliable manner. If an ELD/AOBRD struggles to capture location information properly or has poor synchronization with the vehicle’s engine, its value as a recording device is essentially lost.

When seeking appropriate tracking technology for your fleet, look for devices that have been designed for fully automated function and live real-time tracking of the mandated information. Make sure that the devices are durable, easy for drivers to use, and easy to interface with via existing software or web-based applications.

Find Equipment That Meets the ELD/AOBRD Mandate at US Fleet Tracking

For years, US Fleet Tracking has been at the leading edge of ELD/AOBRD technology—that’s why we’re an ideal choice to help your company prepare for the ELD mandate. As the developer of one of the first truly live fleet tracking systems, we strive to provide the industry’s best technology at the most affordable ELD price. Need to have mandate-ready trucks ASAP? Try these US Fleet Tracking products:

  • OBD-J9: An easy-install device that simply plugs into a vehicle’s OBD port for easy tracking and recording (wiring harness optional).
  • ECM-Link ELD Interpreter: A Bluetooth device that connects to already-installed tracking technology and adds electronic logging device capability to your existing system.

Explore our other tracking devices online and learn more about how US Fleet Tracking is helping customers like you prepare for the upcoming ELD/AOBRD rule changes. Not sure exactly what you need to meet the ELD mandate? Call us at (405) 726-9900 or fill out our online form to discuss your options and find what you need to be compliant!

Map of Fleet Tracking Routes

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How Fleet Tracking Technology Has Improved the Last Decade

Fleet tracking technology resembles nothing like it was 20 years ago or even what it was a few years past. The greatest benefits lie with accuracy, which has experienced exponential improvements since 2000.

Yet it’s more than navigation, as this infographic from US Fleet Tracking shows. The playing field is a different beast with enormous potential for many ways to improve business efficiency. Numerous opportunities exist to improve productivity and effectiveness that no one thought possible. A lot of factors affect tracking. The technology has answered the call in several ways.

Now, you can plan for things that can affect your bottom line, including traffic, weather, and employee performance. It gives you a measurable and tangible way to gauge how your employees do their jobs, along with ways for you to help them get the job done.

The benefits range from cost savings to improvements in productivity, to better planning. The common denominator is information and awareness. That is exactly what tracking technology provides on so many levels.

The improvements come from an awareness of the things that can affect your business’s operation. You needn’t navigate those waters without a compass. New technologies point you in the right direction to make more informed decisions. After all, knowledge is power—and now you have it.

That means more money in your pocket and satisfied customers. However, the advantages extend beyond the monetary gains. It also means a safer environment for your employees, which has a direct impact on morale and retention—and it doesn’t end there. The technology continues to evolve to address the barriers to ensure a better-run operation.

It begins with making good choices. US Fleet Tracking can put you on the right track. Contact us today at 405-726-9900 to learn how the tracking technology can work for you. Forget the guesswork. Get the facts.

infographic - how fleet tracking tech improved the last decade

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Managing Fleet Tracking Systems During the Winter | US Fleet Tracking

Taking Care of Your Fleet Tracking System in Cold Weather or Over the Winter

When you invest in GPS fleet tracking technology, you want to make sure it lasts so that you can truly get your money’s worth. While it’s relatively easy to prevent physical damage to your devices with proper installation and protective cases, there are certain hazards that are much more difficult to control. When it comes to electronics, exposure to extreme temperatures is one of the greatest of such hazards.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how winter temperatures can affect your GPS tracking system, as well as how you and your company can prevent weather-related issues before they can start.

GPS Device on Map

How Fleet Tracking System Technology Works

The actual specifications of fleet track technology vary between GPS companies, but systems typically include a GPS tracking device that stays in the truck as well as some manner of wireless receiving device to obtain the data. In a US Fleet Tracking system, the recipient device can be any internet-enabled device that can access our convenient, web-based tracking and GPS fleet management interface.

Depending upon the intent behind the installation or the policies of the company, such GPS trackers can be installed with the drivers’ knowledge or covertly (to monitor potential issues with drivers). Once installed, these systems provide GPS location updates at regular intervals. US Fleet Tracking’s AT-V4 4G LTE tracker, for example, provides a live tracking feed that can update in either 5- or 10-second increments.

Why Is Cold Weather So Harsh on the Equipment?

The main reason cold weather can be so tough on electronic equipment is that it can affect the internal components. While many of today’s ubiquitous technologies can be quite resilient in cold, other devices can be susceptible to significant issues in above-zero cold temperatures.

Batteries in many devices struggle to function properly in extreme, cold temperatures; think about your car battery, for example. LCD screens can also fail in below-freezing temperatures, making reading information or navigating menus near impossible.

In devices that have a hard disk drive (in particular, one that uses fluid dynamic bearings to spin), single-digit Fahrenheit temperatures can cause the fluid to thicken and the drive to fail to boot. Usually, this problem resolves after the device is brought into a warmer environment, but repeated switching between extreme cold and warm areas can cause severe damage.

There is a risk of such damage whenever you bring GPS monitor equipment indoors after having been outside in a freezing truck for several hours. Have you ever noticed that when individuals who wear glasses step indoors after being out in the cold will suddenly find themselves dealing with fogged up lenses?

Yes, just like on a cold beverage, this is caused by the condensation of water in reaction to the cold temperature of the glasses lenses. While you may not notice it, this can happen to the interior workings of electronic equipment, too, introducing damaging moisture.

Car Driving Through Snow

How to Avoid System Problems in Low Temperatures

Now that you know how cold temperatures can affect electronics, let’s talk about how you can avoid disaster altogether. The following are just a few of the ways in which you can prevent both your GPS tracker and receiving devices from dropping too far in temperature:

  • Install devices in a location in the truck that will not be easily affected by changes in temperature (e.g., somewhere in the cabin).
  • Keep truck cabin temperatures above freezing by running the heat appropriately.
  • Consider using an electric heating pad or blanket to keep equipment warm in severe temperatures or when the truck is not in use.
  • Invest in a high-quality, durable truck tracking system that is more resilient to lower temperature (e.g., the CloudSat3).
  • Keep all sending and receiving devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc.) indoors or in a warm area and avoid moving them between extreme cold and warm temperatures if possible.

Some of these suggestions may be difficult to employ if your trackers are installed covertly, so it may be worth your while to consider how you can keep your GPS equipment warm before it’s installed.

Winter Driving Risks

The effect of winter weather on electronic equipment isn’t the only potential risk to your fleet GPS equipment, of course; poor driving conditions, low visibility, and icy roads can be just as dangerous for your equipment—not to mention your drivers.

Always make sure that your fleet is properly winterized and prepared for snow, ice, and slush in the colder months. Keep vehicle maintenance up to date, change out tires as needed, check brakes and ensure that headlights and windshields allow for maximum visibility.

Hire drivers who have good driving records and a strong sense of responsibility and respect for safety. Continue to keep all of your drivers trained on safe driving, and keep an eye on their GPS tracking information to make sure that they aren’t prone to speeding or making other unsafe choices with their truck.

Although your fleet efficiency and timeliness are extremely important to your business, it’s also important to know as a company when to keep your drivers off the road. Have a discussion with the appropriate staff to determine at what point you’ll say driving conditions are too dangerous to continue. Ultimately, ensuring the safety of your employees and other drivers on the road will give your company a positive reputation for responsibility.

Person Driving at Night

Invest in Durable, High-Quality Fleet Tracking Systems from US Fleet Tracking

At US Fleet Tracking, we offer a range of wireless, versatile GPS trackers that interface easily with our online tracking and management system. Our unique tracking interface is completely web-based, which means you’ll never have to install software or worry about whether a given computer or mobile device can run it properly.

US Fleet Tracking offers the following models of GPS trackers that will  all operate in temperatures as low as -30° Celsius for fleet monitoring and management:

  • AT-V4: 4G LTE connectivity and live 5- or 10-second tracking updates
  • AT-V3: Water-resistant housing, great for marine vehicles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.
  • AT-V3 Pro: GPS and 3G connectivity with live 5- or 10-second tracking updates
  • NT-V3: GPS and 3G connectivity, dispatch, and communications capabilities
  • NT-V3ia: GPS and 3G connectivity, provides Geofence/speed alert notifications
  • OBD-V3: Snaps into OBDII port of most vehicles, can be used to monitor fuel usage
  • PT-V3: GPS and 3G connectivity, transmits every 20 feet on foot and every 5 or 10 seconds in a moving vehicle
  • PT-V3 Pro: Same as PT-V3, but with extended battery time of 75 hours
  • CloudSat3: GPS and satellite connectivity, can operate at temperatures as low as -30° C (-22° F)

For years, US Fleet Tracking has been helping companies around the world manage live asset and vehicle tracking with great coverage and strong reliability. We’ve even been the tracking choice of a number of major events, including 11 Super Bowls, one Pro Bowl, one NHL All Star Game, two Olympics (winter and summer) and even the Republican National Convention.

If you’re looking for a trusted, experienced GPS company to help you keep track of your fleet for any reason, we’re here to help. To learn more about what we can do for you or to purchase a GPS tracking system today, give us a call at (405) 726-9900.

Delivery Trucks on Map Routes

Sources
1. http://www.userbytes.com/how-cold-weather-can-affect-electronics/
2. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/dangers-of-winter-driving

Idle Trucks Are a Fleet’s Liability

It may not seem like a big deal, but idling vehicles incur costs that can add up to thousands of dollars off your bottom line. The details may surprise you. First, there are the major losses in employee productivity. In this case, time is literally money.

Then, consider the other tangible costs. Even a single truck idling just a few hours a day uses up valuable fuel. If you have a large fleet, your losses can reach five figures or more, depending on how many vehicles you have—but it doesn’t end here.

There is also the potential for additional lost revenue in fines with idling a violation in most states. You also have to take into account the additional wear and tear it puts on your vehicles that can drive up your costs even further.

The environment also suffers from the impact of contamination from the exhaust. Idling also worsens climate change from the release of greenhouse gas emissions. The human factor also plays a role with increases in health risk for several serious diseases, including premature death.

This infographic from US Fleet Tracking shows the sobering facts, and we’re here to help with real-time GPS tracking and asset management. Our systems offer reliable and accurate reporting, as well as live traffic and weather conditions and other features.

Reduce the impacts of idling on your fleet and the environment. Call us today at 405-726-9900 or chat with one our team members online. Let us help you get on track with a solution that will save you time, fuel, and money.

Idle Trucks Are a Fleet's Liability

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

<img title="Idle Trucks Are a Fleet's Liability" src="http://www.usfleettracking.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/idle_trucks_fleets_liability_infographic.png" alt="Idle Trucks Are a Fleet's Liability" />
<a title="Idle Trucks Are a Fleet's Liability" href="http://www.usfleettracking.com/blog/2017/11/21/idle-trucks-fleets-liability"><h1>Idle Trucks Are a Fleet's Liability</h1></a>

GPS Tracking Increasingly Used by Wide Range of Industries

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.

Satelitte's Provide the Tech Needed for GPS Tracking

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.

GPS Tracking Found in Cars

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.

Who's Using GPS Fleet Tracking

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.

GPS Tracking Technology Comes Standard in Today's Cars

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.

What Industries Could Be Using GPS

  • 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.

Courier Services Can Take Advantage of GPS Tracking

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.