Who invented GPS?
It was 4 exceptional individuals throughout history. The invention took decades of advancement before GPS could be the user-friendly technology it is today.
However, simply hopping on Google maps from point A to point B isn't all GPS can do. When you combine GPS devices with a fleet tracking system, you can revolutionize how you do business.
What is GPS tracking? Read on to find out.
Trackers Interact With Software
Using GPS technology and advanced platform features, a fleet management system gives you total control. Instead of wondering where your vehicles are and what they're doing, you'll be able to tap into real-time data. Business owners can then use that data to help their fleet perform more efficiently.
A GPS tracker is only as powerful as the software system it operates with. When you purchase access to a fleet tracking system, you're getting the best of both worlds. You'll have highly advanced trackers, along with user-friendly software platforms.
Software companies understand that business owners don't need another complex platform to navigate. That's why many fleets tracking systems mimic platforms you're already comfortable with, like Google maps. Typically, it only takes a matter of minutes before you can start tracking their entire fleet.
Track More Than Fleets
What exactly can you put a GPS tracker on? Anything you value. If there's an item you want to keep tabs on, there's a GPS tracker that can get the job done.
GPS trackers can receive power from rechargeable batteries, the vehicle's battery, or even solar power. Along with vans and trucks, tracking devices can work with motorcycles, ATVs, utility vehicles, and more. Assets trackers also work for including boats, trailers, and rail cars.
When we say you can track anything of value, we mean it. Some companies use fleet management systems to keep tabs on their electronics.
Let's say, for instance, your company has a lot of laptops out in the field. You can use a fleet management system to pinpoint the exact location and even condition of each computer.
Creating a User Account
What type of tracking device and system would you need? Since not everyone is operating a large-scale business, tracking systems tend to offer flexible accounts.
For instance, let's say someone is tracking a fleet of 10 vehicles. Meanwhile, another company needs to follow a fleet of 1,000 cars. The software setup, and tracking experience, will be much more simplified for the person with a fleet of 10 vehicles.
The smaller company wouldn't need the same amount of extensive scale reports that we need a fleet of 1,000 cars. That's why a lot of fleet tracking systems are entirely customizable.
You can usually get very specific about the type of data you want to track. Then, you'll be able to set up your account to filter that data in a workable way. A small company that's only following a few vehicles might enjoy getting alerts on its phone.
Whereas the larger company could quickly become over well but hundreds of alerts every hour. Instead, they might set the alerts to go up to their email. Then, any house team member can handle the email alerts or even access the tracking system directly!
After establishing your needs, you'll be able to purchase the appropriate trackers. You'll also gain access to the GPS tracking system. Where you access the GPS tracking system is entirely up to you. Phone, desktop, laptop; most tracking software work on a variety of devices.
Installing GPS Trackers
As we mentioned earlier, before you can access the system, you need a GPS tracker. After all, there's no point in accessing data if you're not tracking anything.
Installation is easy if you’re getting standard trackers. You won't need to hire a professional. Instead, fleet owners can handle the installation on their own.
Device Choices for Different Vehicles
Next, you'll have to choose if you want your device to plug or wire into the fleet. Plug-in tracking devices work well for any vehicle manufactured after 1996. If you have an electric car, you'll want to steer clear of the plug-in trackers.
Instead, wire-in trackers work the best for electric cars. Wire in trackers is also great for any vehicle that's older than 1995.
You'll be able to complete the installation in a matter of minutes. If you're getting a plug-in device, you'll simply need to locate the OBD in your car.
Next, you'll plug the tracker into the OBD port. Once it's securely attached, you're all done.
For the wired-in device, you'll need to take the dash off of the car. You'll fuse the tracker wires to the correct wires in the wiring harness. After reinstalling the dash of the vehicle, you'll be good to go.
Reporting With Apps
Are you on your phone all day for work? Sometimes you can track the vehicles from your smartphone. That’s only if the company offers fleet tracking apps, along with PC access.
Fleet tracking systems can use native applications for Android and IOS. This can make the day-to-day workload much easier to monitor.
The applications give you the power to see the location of whatever it is you're tracking. The apps also help you see the direction that your equipment or vehicles are traveling.
However, the direction isn't all you'll see. You'll also get access to the speed things are traveling.
Filtering Vehicle Data
You’ll want to look for a tracking system that lets you use advanced search features. Life’s easier when you can filter the data in the tracking system. For instance, let's say you need to know the vehicle's route taken on a specific date.
Instead of going through the entire vehicle's route history, you could filter the results to cover that date. This way, you can get directly to the data you need faster. You'll be able to see a bird's-eye view of where your equipment or vehicles are, along with the information you want.
Monitor Delivery Timelines
Perhaps you want to cut down on delivery wait times but need a way to track the results. Using vehicle trackers would be the perfect solution. You'd be able to see precisely when customers are receiving their products and when things are running behind.
Since the information is specific for each vehicle, you'd be able to pinpoint any trouble areas your company might have. For instance, maybe the route a driver's using isn't the most efficient for making the delivery.
By tracking the delivery time, and chosen route, you'd be able to offer alternative solutions. Before you know it, your customers will be getting a better, faster service.
Assessing Driving Behaviors
Locations aren't the only thing that you'd be able to use a fleet tracker for. They also provide owners with access to driving behaviors. If anyone on your team is accelerating aggressively or slamming on the brakes, you'd be able to tell right away.
In addition to tracking driving behaviors, you'll also stay in touch with the vehicle's condition. Any maintenance needs will be communicated to the tracking system.
Updates on Movement
Do you always have to search for the data you want in a tracking system? Or will you receive notifications and updates?
When you're tracking vehicles, you'll receive a location update every single minute. As long as the car is moving. If the vehicle is off, the updates happen every hour. After all, you don't need to know the vehicle's direction if it's not turned on.
Are you tracking equipment? GPS tracking systems provide daily reports using the equipment battery. When the equipment is on and moving, the alerts happen every 10 minutes.
Accommodating Fast Response Times
Fleet Management systems are beneficial for companies that aren't able to verify their daily routes in the morning. For instance, let's say you offer emergency support to your customers.
By knowing the location of each driver, you'd be able to dispatch the closest vehicle at a moment's notice. You'll also be able to see what the current traffic conditions are.
Rewatching Routes to Identify Pain Points
Let's say you wanted to review a driver's performance over a period of time. Instead of simply reading the reports, you could watch them happen.
As long as the software’s equipped with playback features, you see the past. For instance, some tracking systems use an animated interactive route. This allows the history of the vehicle will replay for you.
Live View With Dash Cams
Do you want to keep an even closer eye on things? Then you’ll want to combine the power of dash cams with a fleet tracking system. It's best to use dash cams that are GPS enabled.
You'll be able to literally see what the drivers are seeing live. You'll simply log into the fleet's tracking system and click to access the dashcam footage.
Look for a system that uploads to the cloud, so you don't have to worry about it taking up space on your hard drive. The best live views are active when the vehicle’s stationary. Good systems will also let you upload the dashcam videos while the vehicles are off.
Mark Key Locations
Are there opportunities hiding in your driver's route? Fleet management systems let you review each driver's course to identify areas of importance.
Does the system you’re using offer geo-fencing? Then you can mark critical locations such as customers' residences. You can also customize fences to cover a specific area.
For example, let's say you want to know when one of your drivers gets back in town. You can set your geofence up to cover your hometown. Whenever a vehicle enters through the geofence, you'll receive an immediate alert.
Basically, you can think of a geofence as a particular area of your choosing. Anytime the equipment or vehicles you're tracking enter or exit that specific area, you'll know about it. Geofences are especially helpful if there's a piece of equipment that isn't allowed to go off company premises, such as laptops with sensitive data.
Monitoring Vehicle Conditions
Next, if one of your cars needed an oil change, a GPS tracking system could send you an alert. How does this work exactly? It all comes back to the tracking device.
Remember how you have to plug the tracking device in under your dashboard? The plugged-in GPS device links with your vehicle's diagnostic system.
If your check engine light goes off, the device will be able to register that data. Then, the data is immediately sent to the tracking system. After receiving the diagnostic trouble code, the tracking system will give you more details.
For instance, you can find out exactly what the trouble code is saying and
We suggest setting up your software account to send you text messages or app notifications. That way, if a check engine light is active, you'll find out sooner rather than later.
GPS Tracking Lowers Fuel Costs
Do you live in one of the states with the highest fuel cost? Rising gas prices are a major problem for a lot of business owners.
Thankfully, the right tracking system can help you cut down on lost fuel, due to idling. You'll be able to generate reports to show you what vehicles tend to idle the most.
Simply set the tracking system to notify you after a vehicle has been idling for a specific amount of time. If you find one vehicle idles a lot more than another, talk to the driver to find out why. Sometimes, all it takes is one short conversation to help drivers understand the impact idling has on the company budget.
Understanding Fleet GPS Tracking Systems
Now you know what a fleet tracking system can do for your company. Knowing how fast your vehicles travel and what routes work best can help you structure your company for success.
Here at Linxup, it's our goal to make complicated things simple. That's why our tracking system is easy to use and perfectly customized. Reach out to us today for a quote, and see what Linxup solution is right for your tracking needs.