6 Must-Have Features in a Fleet Vehicle Tracking System

Fleet management is a critical aspect of any business with a sizable fleet. With the growing number of vehicles on the road, it has become increasingly challenging to monitor and manage fleets effectively. According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, the global fleet management market is expected to grow from $19.9 billion in 2020 to $34.0 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.2%. To effectively manage their vehicles, businesses need to implement an efficient fleet vehicle tracking system. 

What is a Fleet Vehicle Tracking System?

A fleet vehicle tracking system is a software application that uses GPS technology to monitor and manage the movement of vehicles in a fleet. These systems provide real-time information on the location, speed, and other critical data of each vehicle in the fleet. 

According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global fleet management market size was valued at $16.3 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $34.05 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.5% from 2020 to 2027. The implementation of a fleet vehicle tracking system can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line. 

These systems can help reduce fuel consumption, vehicle wear and tear, and maintenance costs. They can also improve driver safety and productivity, which ultimately translates into better customer service and increased revenue. Fleet tracking also allows managers to optimize routes, monitor driver behavior, and provide real-time alerts for critical issues such as accidents or breakdowns. 

The Importance of Fleet Vehicle Tracking Systems in Telematics

Fleet vehicle tracking systems use GPS technology, which plays a crucial role in telematics – the integration of telecommunications and information processing technologies in vehicles. These systems enable fleet managers to have real-time visibility and control over fleet operations by monitoring and tracking the location and movement of vehicles.

The implementation of fleet vehicle tracking systems can help fleet managers optimize routing and dispatch, reduce fuel consumption, and improve vehicle maintenance. According to a report by Verizon Connect, fleet managers who leverage telematics data insights can reduce their fuel consumption by 15.8% and lower their vehicle maintenance costs by 14.2%. 

By utilizing telematics technology, fleet managers can stay ahead of the competition in the constantly evolving transportation industry, with a report by ResearchAndMarkets projecting the global telematics market to reach $233.24 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 20.7% from 2021 to 2026. 

The 6 essential features that should be included in a fleet vehicle tracking system

This revolutionary technology provides fleet managers with real-time visibility and control over their operations, helping them optimize routes, reduce fuel consumption, improve safety, and increase efficiency. However, not all tracking systems are created equal. 

Below, we’ve outlined six essential features of a comprehensive vehicle tracking system in detail, and explain how they can help businesses optimize their fleet management. Whether you are a small business with a few vehicles or a large enterprise with hundreds of vehicles, understanding these essential features will help you make an informed decision when choosing a vehicle tracking system.

1. Real-time location tracking to monitor vehicle movement and location

Location tracking is one of the most critical features of a vehicle tracking system. It allows fleet managers to monitor the movements and locations of vehicles in real-time, providing them with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their operations. 

With this feature, fleet managers can track vehicles’ movements and ensure that they are staying on course, avoiding traffic congestion, and adhering to safety guidelines. 

Real-time location tracking also enables businesses to respond quickly to any unexpected events, such as accidents, traffic jams, or road closures. This feature can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line, as it enables fleet managers to optimize their operations, reduce fuel consumption, and improve customer satisfaction. 

2. Customizable alerts for instant notifications on vehicle status or driver behavior

Fleet managers can set up alerts to notify them of specific events or behaviors, such as speeding, harsh braking, or unauthorized vehicle use. With this feature, management can receive real-time notifications when an issue arises, allowing them to take immediate action to rectify the situation. 

Customizable alerts can also be set up to notify managers when a vehicle is due for maintenance, reducing the risk of breakdowns and increasing the overall reliability of the fleet. According to a report by Fleet Management Weekly, customizable alerts can help reduce accidents by up to 50%, making them a vital tool for improving driver safety and reducing liability for businesses. 

3. Vehicle maintenance scheduling to keep track of repairs and avoid breakdowns

By keeping track of each vehicle’s maintenance schedule, fleet managers can ensure that they are serviced and repaired regularly, reducing the risk of breakdowns and increasing the lifespan of the vehicles. 

With this feature, fleet managers can schedule maintenance appointments, track vehicle usage and performance, and receive notifications when vehicles are due for service. Automated maintenance scheduling can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line, as it can reduce the risk of unexpected repairs, increase the reliability of the fleet, and lower maintenance costs over time. According to a report by Automotive Fleet, regular maintenance can reduce vehicle breakdowns by up to 75%, making this feature a crucial tool for ensuring the reliability of the fleet. 

4. Route optimization and scheduling to optimize the fleet’s driving routes for better efficiency

Route optimization and scheduling is another crucial feature of a vehicle tracking system. With this feature, fleet managers can optimize their fleet’s driving routes to reduce travel time, fuel consumption, and vehicle wear and tear. Route optimization can also help businesses improve their customer service by ensuring that deliveries or services are completed on time. By analyzing traffic patterns and driver behavior, fleet managers can identify the most efficient routes and make real-time adjustments as needed. Additionally, route optimization and scheduling can help businesses reduce their environmental impact by reducing emissions and fuel consumption. A report by Geotab found that route optimization can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%, making it a valuable tool for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint. In summary, route optimization and scheduling is an essential feature of a vehicle tracking system that helps fleet managers optimize their operations, reduce fuel consumption and environmental impact, and improve customer service.

5. Measuring vehicle utilization to efficiently allocate resources

Measuring vehicle utilization allows fleet managers to improve the efficiency of their fleet by tracking how often each vehicle is used, how long it is used for, and how it is being used. By analyzing this data, fleet managers can allocate resources accordingly. For example, if a vehicle is found to be underutilized, fleet managers can consider reducing the size of their fleet, potentially saving money on maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs. 

In addition, measuring vehicle utilization can help businesses optimize their operations by identifying areas where they may be able to consolidate trips or share vehicles between departments. 

A report by Fleet Management Weekly found that businesses can reduce their fleet size by up to 20% by measuring vehicle utilization, making this feature a valuable tool for reducing costs and improving efficiency. 

6. Driver behavior monitoring to track driver performance and improve safety, compliance and fuel efficiency

This feature allows fleet managers to identify risky driving behavior on the road, such as speeding, harsh braking and rapid acceleration. These data sets enable fleet managers to identify areas for performance improvement or additional training to ensure compliance with safety regulations. 

Additionally, monitoring driver behavior can help businesses reduce their fuel consumption by encouraging more fuel-efficient driving practices, such as reduced idling and smoother acceleration. According to a report by Geotab, monitoring driver behavior can help reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. 

Furthermore, this feature can help businesses reduce their liability by ensuring that drivers are following safety guidelines and adhering to traffic laws. 

Other Critical Features

In addition to the six essential features mentioned, there are several other critical features that a comprehensive vehicle tracking system should include. 

Firstly, a good tracking system should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, allowing fleet managers to access data quickly and efficiently. It should also provide historical data on vehicle performance and driver behavior to help fleet managers make informed decisions about operations.

Secondly, an effective tracking system should offer data analytics and reporting capabilities to help fleet managers gain insights into fleet operations and identify areas for improvement. For instance, a report by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that a fleet vehicle tracking system with data analytics and reporting capabilities can help reduce fuel consumption by up to 6%.

A reliable tracking system should also offer geofencing capabilities to help fleet managers set up virtual boundaries around specific areas, such as customer locations or restricted zones. Geofencing enables fleet managers to monitor vehicle movements within designated areas and receive alerts when vehicles enter or leave the designated zones.

Finally, a good vehicle tracking system should be scalable and customizable, allowing businesses to adjust their operations and requirements as their fleet grows or changes. With the global telematics market projected to grow at a CAGR of 20.7% from 2021 to 2026, according to a report by ResearchAndMarkets, businesses must ensure that their tracking systems can accommodate their changing needs.

3 Important questions to ask before you buy a fleet vehicle tracking system

With so many fleet tracking options available, it can be challenging to choose the right system for your business’s unique needs. Before making an investment, there are three essential questions that fleet managers should ask to ensure that they are selecting the best solution for their operations. 

By understanding these critical questions, fleet managers can make a more informed choice when selecting a vehicle tracking system, ultimately leading to improved fleet management, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction.

1. What are the objectives of integrating a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system for your business?

Organizations should understand their business objectives, and how a fleet vehicle tracking system would meet those needs.

Understanding the objectives of integrating a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system is essential for potential clients because it allows them to evaluate the system’s benefits, compare different vendors and offerings, and determine the return on investment for their business. 

By understanding these objectives, potential clients can determine if a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system aligns with their business goals and objectives, making an informed decision about which vendor and offering to choose. 

Some objectives of integrating a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system may include optimizing routes and dispatching, improving driver safety, reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs, and improving customer satisfaction. 

2. How many vehicles need to be tracked?

To ensure that the vendor’s offering can accommodate their specific needs, and to determine the scale and scope of the GPS fleet vehicle tracking system that they require, businesses need to identify the number of vehicles that need to be tracked. For example, a small business with a few vehicles may only require a basic tracking system with minimal features, while a large enterprise with hundreds of vehicles may require a comprehensive system with advanced features such as route optimization, driver behavior monitoring, and customized alerts. 

Knowing the size and scope of their fleet means that potential clients can ensure they are selecting the right system for their business’s unique needs, avoiding unnecessary expenses or limitations that may arise from selecting a system that is either too large or too small for their operations. 

In addition, knowing the number of vehicles that need to be tracked enables the vendor to provide a more accurate quote for their services, ensuring that potential clients can make an informed decision about which vendor and offering to choose. 

3. What is the budget, including upfront and monthly costs?

Understanding the costs associated with a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system is essential for potential clients because it enables them to evaluate the system’s value and compare different vendor offerings. In addition, knowing the upfront and monthly costs ensures that the GPS fleet vehicle tracking system is affordable and fits within their financial constraints. 

By asking vendors about the budget, potential clients can gain a clear understanding of the costs associated with implementing and maintaining a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system, including upfront hardware costs, software costs, installation costs, and ongoing monthly fees. 

By evaluating these costs, potential clients can determine if the system’s benefits outweigh the price tag, ensuring that the system is a worthwhile investment for their business. Additionally, knowing the budget allows vendors to provide tailored solutions that meet the client’s financial requirements, such as offering different pricing plans or customization options to fit within the client’s budget. 

Conclusion

Implementing a fleet vehicle tracking system is a complex process. The features to look for as outlined here can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line. 

Real-time location tracking, customizable alerts, vehicle maintenance scheduling, route optimization and scheduling, measuring vehicle utilization, and driver behavior monitoring can help businesses optimize their fleet management, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction. 

By leveraging data-driven insights and making informed decisions, fleet managers can stay ahead of the competition in the constantly evolving transportation industry. Are you ready to take your fleet management to the next level? Contact us today to learn more about how our GPS tracking solution can provide you with the must-have features you need for optimal fleet performance. Schedule a demo now and take the first step towards improving your operations!

COVID-19 Recovery: Why Your Vehicle Data Is More Essential Now

The past few months have been an unsettling time for many workplaces as the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected businesses. Since this global pandemic started, Geotab recorded and reported on datasets to help fleets better understand the current landscape. As we are on the road to recovery, it is important for businesses to review how the commercial transportation sector is performing in relation to their own performance. Reviewing industry trends alongside personal vehicle data can allow fleets to make actionable decisions moving forward. 

Below we use Geotab specific data that was updated on May 29, 2020, to help our readers better understand current commercial transportation activity, industry-specific activity, and fuel fill-up activity in relation to their operations. 

 

Commercial Transportation Activity: A Slow Increase 

With a baseline of February 2020 being used, it is clear to see in the image below that in comparison to the lowest dips in April 2020 (when many cities were in peak-response to COVID-19), there is a slow increase happening across the world. This is seen specifically in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. While there appears to be a rise and dip effect occurring, many view it to be a good sign that the dip does not last for long, as well that the rises are gradually increasing. 

Source: Geotab 

When speaking about the future, many believe that when businesses begin to reopen, their activity will drastically affect this graph. It is predicted that with more businesses reopening and requiring more inventory, stock or supplies, more vehicle use will occur. 

 

Industry Vehicle Activity: What Is Happening During The COVID-19 Recovery

 

While the above graph may show positive signs that vehicle traffic is increasing, it’s important to note that it is not the case for all industries. Since February 2020, there are a number of industries where vehicle activity has not recovered as much as others in North America. These industries include non-freight transportation, healthcare services and business services. Many account this lack of recovery to be due to many unique businesses not reopening, or being unable to reopen to full-productivity. An example where this is visible is in the public transportation sector which has seen a continual decrease in activity as public transportation use is low (possibility as a result of the public not commuting to work as they are working from home). 

Source: Geotab 

Some industries to highlight that are steadily increasing are construction, government, freight transportation, retail and telecommunications. This slow increase is typically due to the reopening of many businesses that could no longer hold off operations and were approved by governments to slowly reopen. For example, within the construction industry, the longer work was paused, the longer the delays for construction to be completed. When speaking about condo developments or other development projects, many companies could not financially afford to hold off construction due to financial and contractual responsibilities to home buyers. 

 

Fuel Fill-Up Activity: What Increases Can Mean 

In North American the vehicle telematics data gathered by Geotab confirms that fuel fill-ups of varying larger-sized vehicles are increasing. The data shows that since the end of April, there has been a noticeable increase in the usage of LDT (light duty trucks) and MDT (medium duty trucks) vehicles. This is likely in accordance with traffic increases for industries who are looking to resume operations. It is important to note however, that there are some vehicles such as MPV (multi purpose vehicle), passenger and bus that may not see such increases in fuel fill-ups until there are less restrictions on public contact and public outings. The steady increase in varying industries is important to monitor because it allows for vehicle-based businesses to see how their specific industry is performing overall. 

Source: Geotab 

 

What Your Vehicle Data Means 

Properly Collecting Data 

With all of this information available, it’s important for businesses to use it to their advantage. Specifically, by reviewing the vehicle telematics data of their own business in accordance with industry competitors. By using telematics solutions businesses are able to review current operations and see whether their organization is on par with industry trends.

 

Collecting Your Own Data 

In order for businesses to truly see results from the data gathered by Geotab, there must be processes in place to collect information related to their fleet. If no solutions are currently in place, or businesses are unsure about what should be used, the first step is to use a GPS tracking device like the GO9. For the purpose of this discussion, the GO9 can be used to record the GPS location of vehicles and depict usage within detailed reports. As well, it allows for easy add-on hardware through an IOX expansion port to allow for future tracking of HOS ELD, auxiliary, temperature monitoring as well as other third party monitoring solutions.

 

An additional tool to use to properly measure against the industry trends mentioned above, is to implement a fuel card integration. Using a tool like FuelBi allows fleets to better track the fuel fill-ups of company vehicles. While the device initially focuses on tracking and visualizing important fuel KPI’s and transactions, it is also used to monitor how frequently company vehicles are being filled. This directly shows the usage of company vehicles.

 

Comparing Company Data To Industry Data

When businesses reach the point that they have accumulated enough data to properly view how their fleet is performing, it can then be compared to the industry trends above. After reviewing the data in accordance to current industry trends, business owners and managers are encouraged to adjust their operations accordingly. What this means is that if businesses see that they are performing at a lower rate than their industry, they need to research why. Sometimes a lack of operational customers or possibly a decrease in availability of your team are the answers. As there are various reasons for why your business may not be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic at the same rate as competitors, it’s important to work with professionals who can point out why this may be happening and offer solutions that drive results. 

Interested in working with a team who can help? Contact GoFleet today. Our team is experienced in data analyzation and consultation as our goal is to have every customer outperform their competitors. 

How Commercial Transportation Is Impacted By COVID-19

In recent news, not only has the medical community been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus, but the global supply chain as well. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the recent outbreak of COVID-19 as a pandemic due to its sudden and concerning spread. In order to combat the spread of the virus, the public has been told to practice social distancing and many businesses have even been told to close their doors. However, it’s important to note that these are not the only changes that are happening as a result of the outbreak. In fact, the commercial transportation sector is finding that the public’s new way of living (as a result of being impacted by COVID-19) is also changing their operations. 

 

Below we discuss an overview of how the transportation industry is affected by leveraging fleet data provided by Geotab via intelligent solutions. Please note that the data was gathered on April 10, 2020, via their blog

 

How The World Is Impacted By COVID-19

 

With coronavirus infection numbers growing, there have been numerous efforts put into place to limit the spreading of the virus. One effort, the closing of numerous borders, may have affected travel, but not commercial transportation. Borders still remain open for those transporting goods because of the increased need of supplies and equipment in wake of the city lockdowns, community social distancing and more. 

 

Initial Changes In Commercial Transportation 

 

When discussing how essential the transportation sector is, as they are still able to travel across borders for deliveries, it’s important to highlight how there has even been movements towards making transporting essential cargo easier. Specifically the Emergency Declaration issued by the FMCSA and the Essential Freight Transport Exemption which was put into effect by Transport Canada. Both of which focus on adjusting the hours of service (HOS) regulation that drivers within the transportation sector must abide to. These changes allow drivers to drive over the maximum HOS in their country (meaning strict HOS regulations have been changed as a result of COVID-19). However, even though transportation seems more important than ever as they provide relief to communities needing essential supplies, it’s important to look at how the volume of commercial transportation vehicles may be changing. Specifically how the volume (which includes the number of trips and the amount of fuel used) has changed since the month of February.

 

Affected Volume In Activity 

 

As one can imagine, there are countless changes happening to various industries. But when speaking to transportation, a decrease in commercial vehicle activity has been noted. Analyzing data that was collected from Geotab (from the dates March 15 to April 10), a noticeable decrease can be noticed in the percent of normal activity. With a baseline starting before March 15, continuing to April 10 – the time when many countries and industries started to be greatly impacted by COVID-19. Below is a graph which depicts the longitudinal view of commercial traffic volume that is being discussed. Specifically measuring the number of trips relative to normal activity, as well as the type of vehicle used. 

Source: Geotab; The impact of COVID-19 on commercial transportation and trade activit

 

As illustrated on the graph, various vehicles including heavy-duty trucks (HDT), medium-duty trucks (MDT), light-duty trucks (LDT), multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), as well as cars declined over time in regards to the amount of activity tracked. 

 

This decline is visible in a heatmap provided by Geotab when looking at data in regards to operating percentages and locations (micro regions in the U.S. and Canada). The chart compares what the normal operations percentage was in February 2020, to currently, in April 2020. 

Source: Geotab; The impact of COVID-19 on commercial transportation and trade activity

Source: Geotab; The impact of COVID-19 on commercial transportation and trade activit

 

In terms of Canadian changes, when looking at data from most recent weeks, compared to data from February 1 to March 15, Canada appears to be operating at 74% of normal commercial transportation activity. It’s important to note that the Maritimes is operating at the lowest when compared to normal – 67%. In comparison, the U.S. has also felt a large impact. The U.S. is operating at an average of 75% of normal commercial transportation activity. Reporting that the State of New York and New Jersey are the most impacted. They are only operating at 55% of normal activity. 

 

In brief, some other changes to highlight are; 

  • Ontario operating at 76% in comparison to 97%
  • Quebec operating at 68% in comparison to 99%
  • The West (US) operating at 68% in comparison to 100%
  • The Mid-Atlantic (US) operating at 74% in comparison to 100% 
  • The Midwest (US) operating at 76% in comparison to 98%  

 

Affected Fuel Usage 

 

With countless vehicles contributing to the commercial transportation sector, it’s also important to look at how these vehicles and usage are changing in terms of fuel during this time. Specifically looking at how fuel usage may be impacted by COVID-19 through decreasing commercial transport activity. 

Source: Geotab; The impact of COVID-19 on commercial transportation and trade activity 

 

The graph depicts that at the start of March 2020, there was a steady quantity of fuel being used among commercial vehicles. The data focused on vehicles that included buses, HDT, LDT, MDT, MPV, and passenger. A general decrease started on March 15, and continued until March 26. Since the end of March, the use of fuel in most cases did not recover to quantities previous to COVID-19, but is occasionally going through dips.

 

It is important to note that decrease was not as apparent within the trucking economy. Some may assume this is because while some operations may have changed, many commercial vehicles are still essential to transport supplies and equipment during this time. When reviewing the data of how the fuel usage of buses and passenger vehicles has dropped greatly, many assume it is because those vehicles are typically not operating at a high frequency due to health and safety recommendations. This includes how the public has been told to work from home (so there are less commuters) as well how the public is told to socially distance themselves from each other and stop public gatherings or events (so there is less travelling for leisure purposes).  

 

During This Change, Safety Is Critical 

 

With commercial transportation still remaining steady (with only minor dips) in terms of fuel use and volume, it’s safe to say that the industry is still steady. What this means is that even at a time where so much is in flux, the transportation sector is critical for many communities as they can provide essential supplies among other necessities.  

 

However, with so much uncertainty surrounding coronavirus and how businesses are impacted by COVID-19 in terms of safety and the length of the pandemic, it’s important for those who are on the frontlines to do what they can to stay safe. One way when speaking to the transportation sector, is for drivers and other delivery personnel to monitor for potential symptoms. Proactively monitoring for coughs, fevers and other signs of viruses can help reduce the possible and unknowing spread of the virus. Especially when speaking about individuals who are travelling constantly and moving cargo. Tools like ZenduCheck, a digital symptom monitoring app, allows drivers and other essential personnel to monitor their health. To learn more about how symptom monitoring can be useful in promoting safety in fleets, click on the button below. 

Competing With E-Commerce Delivery Giants

With so many products available on the internet, there are varying factors that influence consumers with completing online purchases. While price, quality and features are a few factors, it’s important to note that delivery time is a large factor. In fact, 50% of respondents of a recent survey conducted by Toluna found that due to an unsatisfactory delivery option, they abandoned their cart and decided to go with an alternative option that delivered sooner. As some businesses can’t risk losing customers over delivery options, they must do everything they can to stay competitive with e-commerce delivery giants. One thing that businesses must do to stay competitive is to utilize telematics solutions to their advantage.

ASAP E-Commerce Delivery: The New Norm

ASAP delivery has been an ongoing revolution for consumers as, over the years, it has been perfected and desired. Two ASAP delivery giants to focus on normalizing this is Amazon and Walmart as they both cater to this quick e-commerce delivery need. Recently, Walmart was reported to have made its same-day delivery option available for approximately 75% of the United States while Amazon similarly delivers to approximately that same amount within 24 hours. 

Below we discuss some ways that transportation and logistics businesses can compete in the age of Amazon Prime or 24-hour delivery services by using innovative telematics solutions.

Real-Time Tracking 

One way to stay competitive with companies who offer ASAP e-commerce delivery is to use a telematics solution, as previously mentioned. Specifically by utilizing real-time tracking features to provide consumers with up-to-date information about shipping. This stems from the theory that the more information you provide to your customer, the more that they will trust you and as a result, do business with you. So even if you are unable to compete with the quick turn around of shipping time of other businesses, you could still stay relevant to consumers as you are honest and transparent (a quality that many look for in a business).

Route Optimization 

Another way that small business owners can stay competitive in an age that relies on ASAP e-commerce delivery is to take advantage of route optimization. Specifically by using telematics information to help maximize their efforts while scheduling routes. With telematics solutions, dispatch managers have been able to successfully take into consideration and communicate traffic, weather and other delays with drivers so they can coordinate around such issues. Ensuring that businesses are always offering their consumers the quickest and most efficient delivery options. Not to mention, dispatch managers can better group deliveries and add to deliveries within the same geographic location. Making their efforts more optimized in regards to time and resources used.

Fleet Maintenance 

The final way that many small businesses can compete with e-commerce delivery giants, is to ensure that their fleet is always in peak working condition. Meaning, drivers and vehicles are always ready to work. Not only does this include having enough delivery teams to complete shipments regardless of the season or shipment demand, but completing preventative maintenance so breakdowns on the road are reduced. Using telematics solutions that focus on preventative maintenance allows fleets and vehicle conditions  to be automatically monitored for current errors. Additionally, telematics solutions can automatically complete and schedule preventive maintenance with algorithms so drivers are not surprised by engine errors or breakdowns. Essentially keeping fleets in peak working conditions to maintain productivity.

Since consumers are always looking for the best and quickest options when it comes to buying online, businesses must do what they can to compete with e-commerce delivery giants. While these are only a few ways that even small businesses can see benefits from, it’s important that dispatching managers always stay on top of new technology trends that can help them.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your business can boost its delivery options by using IoT and telematics solutions, contact us today!

Taking Your Fleet Telematics to the Next Level

With basic telematics implemented into your fleet, you are now able to track the location, movement and speed of all of your vehicles, which helps your organization increase efficiencies, and effectively, reduce wasted time and improve costs.

So, what comes next?

Advanced Fleet Tracking
Once you have the basics in place, you can start to dive deeper into telematics technology in order to really fine tune and optimize your fleet operation.

Check out these major benefits your company can gain by implementing advanced fleet telematics solutions.

Increased Safety
By monitoring driver behaviour – things such as how fast your driver is driving and how aggressive their driving may be – you can use technology that allows you to talk to the driver and coach them through safer driving practices, thereby increasing safety for them and for your vehicle.

It has been shown that drivers who are aware that their driving habits are being monitored, are more apt to perform safer behaviour which not only increases their safety, but also reduces accidents and damage to vehicles and freight.

Increased Efficiencies
By using real time communication as an add-on to your basic telematics, and adding in some routing apps, you can manage driver routes more efficiently – if there is an accident, you would be able to re-route the driver and eliminate wasted time having them stuck in traffic with high priority loads on the vehicle.

By using some of these type of add-ons to your basic telematics, adding a few minutes more to your driver’s HOS (Hours of Service) can really increase your fleet efficiency and delivery rate.

Reduce Operating Costs
In being able to track even the smallest things, such as idling time and minimizing it, a fleet can increase savings by reducing fuel costs. Other things that can be looked at are tracking at a more granular level, such as live movements on a map, maps routing, stopping vehicles, accidents and who’s responsible, which allows for increased productivity thereby reducing costs.

Optimize Vehicle Performance
With advanced telematics, sensors can send out alerts about engine issues and other diagnostic problems. Further to that, the data can be used in a predictive manner to determine when service should happen on a vehicle and allow for advanced planning in order to ensure as much uptime for the fleet as possible and manage the expenses related to repairs.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint
It’s a hot topic these days more and more companies realize that not only is this good for business, it’s good for the planet as well. By reducing your fleet’s idling time and decreasing speeding (thereby reducing the amount of exhaust and CO2), not only are you increasing the safety of your fleet and drivers, increasing your efficiencies and reducing your costs, you are also helping to do your part in reducing emissions in the air for our future generation.

Streamline Compliance
With the Canadian ELD mandated for June 21st, 2020, it is imperative that fleets ensure they are compliant and implementing advanced telematics not only ensures this but provides many other benefits previously mentioned. In addition to the benefits, the cost of not being compliant is expensive and can be avoided with the correct telematics solutions in place.

Do you need to upgrade your telematics plan for advanced fleet tracking?
Some features are already built into your tracking device that collects the data and some solutions require you to step up to the next level of offered services and products.

In order to get the most out of your fleet telematics so that you can save your company time, money and increase efficiencies and safety, give GoFleet a call. We are here to help create a customized and fully integrated telematics solution that is specific to your needs and lets you get the most value for your money.

Advanced fleet tracking is much more than GPS services and with the telematics of the future, there are and will be so much more you can do in order to continually create the best fleet management company you can envision.

GoFleet – Connected Technology. Smarter Solutions.
Discover more about GoFleet and its Telematics Services

Top 3 EMS Fleet Tracking Needs

Over the past few months, superheros are re-emerging! For instance, we had several debates at GoFleet on which recent superhero movie was the best. Was it Wonder Woman? Or maybe Black Panther or Avengers? However, there’s one thing we all agree on: some of GoFleet’s biggest superheros are our EMS clients. Let’s take a look at how we helped our superheroes with EMS fleet tracking.

Top 3 EMS Needs

EMS fleet tracking

I recently studied our EMS clients and compiled a list of common needs. What were the 3 most common needs? They include:

1. Live EMS Fleet Tracking

2. Driver Habits

3. Workform Management

In this post, we will cover all of these needs.

1) Live EMS Fleet Tracking

Challenge: Meeting strict response rates.

By far, live EMS fleet tracking is the #1 EMS request. And this makes sense! Quick responses to emergencies strongly affects medical success.

To illustrate the importance of response rates, take a look at a EMS compliance report. A Manitoba hospital grades EMS teams by measuring how quickly they respond to each job. For instance, for Priority 1 to 3 jobs, teams need to arrive within 7 minutes if they are in the area.

“Real time response needs real time data,” said a EMS manager. “I simply cannot afford non-real time tracking because I might choose the wrong crew and waste valuable minutes.”

Solution: Live tracking and routing

Live tracking

live ems tracking

In order to meet strict timeframes, EMS fleets use active live tracking. Active live tracking expands on 15 second GPS lag-times by using a predictive algorithm. In other words, the software predicts the next 15 seconds by using a formula from existing data. As a result, EMS users are able to follow live animated vehicle icons.

Routing

After finding a driver, the next challenge is planning the quickest route. EMS teams would then look at route optimization. Route optimization is a two-step process. Firstly, the program chooses the closest available driver. Secondly, the program calculates and shares driver’s optimal route.

2) Driving Habits

Challenge: Safety first!

Another EMS challenge is balancing quickness with safety. “A lot of our passengers are vulnerable,” said an EMS dispatcher. “We might be carrying injured people or children and seniors. Drivers need to be mindful of safety and prevent further injuries to our patients.”

Ignoring safety can lead to severe consequences. Recently, an ambulance was carrying a pregnant woman and rear-ended a vehicle. That caused the baby to be born prematurely, but thankfully, both the mother and the baby survived. However, as a result of the crash, a $117-million lawsuit was filed against the EMS.

Solution: Driver monitoring and driver coaching

Driver monitors

Two common driver monitors include vehicle trackers and cameras. Both of these devices capture driving events such as speeding, harsh braking, and harsh acceleration. Managers then review reports or footages to train drivers and promote safety.

In-cab coaching

In-cab coaching focuses on prevention rather than detection. For instance, some EMS equip their vehicles with GoTalk. GoTalk is an in-vehicle coaching device and audibly alerts drivers when they speed, harshly accelerate or harsly brake.

3) Workforms Management

Challenge: Tightening teamwork

Thirdly, EMS are always looking for ways to improve communication and teamwork. After all, EMS success requires teamwork! After dispatching an ambulance and picking up a patient, another team at the hospital takes care of the patients!

“Hospital staff find it very helpful when they receive more information,” said an EMS manager. “What are a patient’s symptoms? What tools do we need to help the patients?”

Solution: Mobile communication

ems digital work forms

Some EMS teams use mobile apps alongside EMS fleet tracking. Mobile apps are a great way to share patient notes. For example, some teams take pictures of patients or share notes of their symptoms. As a result, hospital staff can prepare for patients before they arrive at the hospital.

Links:
Government of Manitoba: Response Compliance Report
EMS1: $117M crash lawsuit: A dose of reality

How to Use Privacy Mode on Fleet Vehicle Tracking

What are your thoughts on fleet vehicle tracking? You might get different responses when talking to different people.

For instance, some businesses will tell you that fleet vehicle tracking is a necessary tool. Fleet managers are able to plan their work, measure assets, manage drivers, and reduce downtime.However, some drivers will strongly disagree. For them, fleet vehicle tracking is a spying tool. Some drivers might nicely say that “it invades my privacy” while others bluntly call it “a piece of #@#@”.Is there a medium ground?

Privacy Mode for Fleet Vehicle Tracking

Some fleet vehicle tracking systems like Geotab have a Privacy Mode. Privacy Mode is a tool that disables vehicle tracking functions such as live map monitoring, trip history reports, and driving habit reports during “exception periods”.And what are exceptions? Exception periods are any defined time periods. For example, a business may label anytime between 5pm and 8am as an exception period.

How do I use Privacy Mode on Geotab?

A great resource is Geotab’s User Guide. The guide outlines how to enable Privacy Mode, disable Privacy Mode, edit Privacy Mode and set up exemptions. Here are some highlights on how to enable Privacy Mode:

1) Firstly, from your main menu, go under Rules & Groups and select Rules.

2) Once you are on the Rules page, go to Exception Rules and press Add.

3) Then, set your exception conditions by pressing Conditions.

4) Go to the Notification tab, select More, and then click Assign as Private/Not Private.

5) Finally, save your new rule by pressing Add and then selecting Save.

What does Privacy Mode Look Like?

When vehicles are on Privacy Mode, the Geotab unit will not record any GPS related events. In trip history or driving behavior reports, any trips under Privacy Mode will be marked as “Private Trip”.

Who Should Use Privacy Mode?

Privacy Mode would make sense in a few situations. Here are two examples.

Unions

Some fleets are restricted by unions. For example, the Massachusetts State Police union recently objected against the department’s fleet vehicle tracking project. According to the union, the police department acted in bad faith because they never gave the union a chance to negotiate a GPS tracking policy. In some fleets, the union ends up winning. However, because of Privacy Mode, fleets were able to keep vehicle trackers in their vehicles. As a result, even though fleets couldn’t measure driving productivity or safety, fleets can still monitor things like preventative maintenance.

Personal vehicles

Another good example includes employees that use personal vehicles. In some companies, businesses will ask employees to use their own vehicles for business. However, the company will reimburse drivers for fuel. The next question, then, is how can companies measure fuel reimbursement and compensation? After all, since employees are using their personal vehicles, it would be unreasonable to track employees on their personal hours. Privacy Mode allows businesses to make that compromise. Employees can turn off tracking during their personal hours while businesses can still track work hours.

Links
The Boston Globe: State Police union files complaint about GPS vehicle tracking

2017 Was a Big Year for Electric Vehicles (Pt. 2) | GPS Tracking for Electric Vehicles

“Does GoFleet provide GPS tracking for electric vehicles?”, a customer asked this year.

That question is a fantastic sign for electric vehicles! EVs are gaining steam with the general public and with fleets.

For example, a number of city fleets are planning to mass purchase EVs. Major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland plan to add electric police cruisers, street sweepers, and trash haulers.

What if their next step is installing GPS tracking? Then there is good news! GPS tracking for electric vehicles is totally possible and is a good solution for common EV issues.

GPS tracking for electric vehicles solves the following issues:

 

1) How can I plan routes so electric vehicles do not run out of battery?

Battery life is one of the biggest barriers to running a EV fleet. A lot of EVs have limited range and need to recharge during the day.

This causes headaches for route planners. Which vehicle should I assign to the job? When does the vehicle need to recharge? What if the vehicle gets stuck on the road? Indeed, route planners can spend hours or days answering these questions.

Thankfully, route management tools answer these questions.

Here’s an example of how route planning works. First, all jobs are imported into the the system. Then, restrictions such as vehicle range are entered. Afterwards, the software calculates each vehicle’s route. Finally, drivers receive the route on in-vehicle displays.

 

2) How can I maintain my electric vehicle?

One of the benefits of EVs is that it requires less tinkering than regular vehicles. This doesn’t mean EV maintenance should be ignored!

Battery, motor, and tire checkups are all important areas to look at. Some EV fleets use CMMS to track these jobs.

CMMS is a computer software that tracks vehicles and schedules their maintenance. For instance, fleets can digitally remind and track motor checks. As a result of using CMMS, fleets extend a EV’s useful life.

 

3) How can I protect my vehicle from theft?

Owners need to protect their electric vehicles from thieves. EVs are an attractive target because of their high value … except for this one!

Thieves avoid the Tesla Model S like the flu! It’s not because they think the Model S is a piece of junk. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Most thieves know that the Model S has built-in GPS tracking. Stealing a Tesla S is an invitation to get caught!

However, what if tracking devices are not included with the EV? In that case, installing a GPS tracker is the best move.

A lot of GPS trackers are easily installed. For example, Geotab units can be discreetly installed in about 15 minutes. After installation, owners get peace of mind – the tracker will quickly locate and recover stolen vehicles.

4) How can I keep a strong battery life?

Similar to anything that’s battery powered, EV owners need to prevent battery drain. Some tips to preserve battery life includes:

Batteries should be kept away from hot temperatures. EV batteries are damaged by overly hot temperatures.
Stop charging the battery once it’s full. Battery damage can occur by overloading the battery with voltage.

GPS tracking is a great way to implement these tips. Consider the following example.

Example

Geotab can prevent overcharges by creating voltage level reports:

  • The first step is creating and checking voltage alerts. Let’s say the manager notices that a particular driver has a lot of alerts.
  • The manager can then check the location of these alerts. Voilà – the manager then notices that these alerts occurred at a charging station.
  • What does this mean? It means that the driver is charging the EV, even when it’s full! The manager can now train the driver to stop overcharging.

We’re excited for GPS tracking for electric vehicles to grow even more in 2018!

Links:

IEA: Electric vehicles have another record year, reaching 2 million cars in 2016

Geotab: Drivin Smart Deliveries

Tech Times: Everyone loves Tesla Motor S except thieves: Here’s why

CleanTechnica: Battery Lifetime: How Long Can Electric Vehicle Batteries Last? https://cleantechnica.com/2016/05/31/battery-lifetime-long-can-electric-vehicle-batteries-last/

CRS Automotive: What Maintenance Do Electric Vehicles Need?

Geotab: Telematics for Hybrid & Electric Vehicles 

2017 Was a Big Year for Electric Vehicles (Pt. 1) | Electric Truck

The electric truck, led by the big Tesla reveal, is making a big buzz!

Earlier this year, Elon Musk dazzled the audience by revealing the Tesla Semi. The Tesla Semi is Tesla’s all-electric truck and is an amazing feat for electric vehicles!

What’s with the electric vehicle buzz?

Electric vehicles are soaring in popularity. A lot of people wrote off electric cars. Just a few years ago, there was even a documentary called “Who Killed the Electric Car?”. For a long time, electric cars were slow selling and were tagged as a toy for green geeks.

This isn’t the case anymore! For instance, there are now at least 34 electric vehicles on the American market. In the last few years, engineers designed electric cars to be affordable, quick charging, and powerful.

In addition to regular people looking into electric vehicles, many fleets are doing the same. Let’s take a look at why fleets are excited about the Tesla Semi.

year of electric vehicles

Highlights on Tesla’s big electric truck reveal:

Pure electric

The Tesla Semi is fully electric! The truck can be used for both short haul and long haul jobs.

For short-haul jobs, the Tesla Semi can be used on a single charge per day. This is because its battery life has a range of 500 miles. How convenient!

What about long haul? Long-haul truckers can quickly charge their Tesla Semi throughout their route. The Tesla Semi uses Megachargers, which are mega powerful solar-powered battery chargers. As a result, truckers can fully charge their truck during their 30-minute break.

Economical

Elon Musk promises that the Tesla Semi will save money from the start. He went as far as saying that using diesel trucks would be “economic suicide”.

To Tesla’s point, a lot of people were surprised at the Tesla Semi’s affordable price tag. The trucks start at $150,000, which is in line with some diesel models.

The real savings, however, start after using the truck. The Tesla Semi only has a cost of about $0.85 per mile. This is lower than diesel trucks and rail alternatives.

Super performance

Sure, the Tesla Semi runs on electricity and might be cheaper per mile. That’s all cool, but how does the Tesla Semi perform against traditional trucks?

Alas, the Tesla Semi does not disappoint. Onlookers felt giddy about the technical specs. For example, the tractor can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds! Musk also promised that the truck is sturdy enough to have 0 breakdowns in its first million miles.

Safety and autonomous driving

Another big part of Tesla’s reveal is autonomous driving. In addition to just being an electric truck, Musk said that the Tesla Semi can drive itself on the highway.

Indeed, to the crowd’s amazement, the Tesla Semi uses collision avoidance and lane assist technology to get the job done. These tools ensure that Tesla Semis can drive safely and avoid accidents.

Also, it allows Tesla Semis to “platoon”. Platooning is where trucks are connected together and drive in a line. As a result of platooning, driving efficiency and traffic flow is improved.

How are fleets reacting to the Tesla Semi?

The Tesla Semi is popular among fleets and will soon be on the road. Production is scheduled to start in 2019 and some fleets already committed to adding these trucks.

Just like digital products, fleets eagerly pre-ordered the Tesla Semis. Companies on the preorder list include JB Hunt, Walmart and Loblaw.

Electric vehicles are indeed alive!

Check back in for part 2 of our electric truck series, where we explore tracking for electric trucks!

Links:

Truck News: Tesla semi hits the streets

BGR: Tesla reveals pricing for the Tesla Semi and it’s surprisingly competitive

Wired: Meet the Tesla Semitruck, Elon Musk’s Most Electrifying Gamble Yet

Mashable: Tesla’s new ‘Megachargers’ will give its Semis power for 400 miles in 30 minutes

The First 365 Days: Vehicle Tracking Solutions

Many fleets – small and big – are installing vehicle tracking solutions. Whether it’s for compliance or for improving productivity, fleets are noticing big changes.

That being said, people usually think about what happens next when a new idea is being implemented. How will the idea fit in immediately? In a week? In a month? Over the next year?

Let’s walk through the first year of using vehicle tracking solutions.

365 days of vehicle tracking

Day 1 to 7: Getting Started.

Onboarding and training

Vehicle tracking solutions are supposed to be easy to use. During the first week, a team of trainers from the fleet solution provider onboards the program. Users can arrange a training meeting is so everyone learns how the program works.

In addition to training, onboarding also involves setting objectives. For example, GoFleet consultants work with fleets to figure out what they want out of the program. After objectives are set, consultants recommend KPIs and set up a dashboard to monitor these areas.

Installation

The other big event is setting up hardware for each vehicle. Depending on the solution, this could mean either professional or self-installation. For example, since GoFleet uses plug-and-play solutions, fleets are able to use their own staff to install devices.

Day 8 – 39: Fixing Immediate Issues

During the first month, immediate issues such as unproductive drivers or unsafe driving are fixed. Here are 2 examples.

Naughty Drivers

After the first month of vehicle tracking, several fleets caught drivers that broke company rules. For example, some drivers were caught taking vehicles on long breaks rather than going to customers. The business quickly moved on to new employees and improved customer satisfaction.

New Driving Policies

In another business, they found that many drivers did not wear their seatbelts. After the first month of tracking, the fleet followed up with individual drivers who failed to wear seatbelts. As a result, seatbelt violations quickly dropped to 0.

Day 40 – 364: Working on KPIs

After fixing immediate problems, fleets can now focus on achieving KPIs. This involves using the vehicle tracking solution to analyze data, create policies, and measure success. Here are a few examples.

working on KPIs

Creating a Driver Engagement Program

Rather than focusing on punishing drivers, some fleets set up reward programs. This is where clean driving reports lead to bonuses. As a result, drivers are encouraged to drive safely and this reflected in a reduction in tickets, accidents, and fuel usage.

Reducing Fuel Usage

Another huge area of opportunity is reducing fuel. For example, one company set idling as a KPI and noticed that they were falling behind. The company responded. They set a no-idling policy and enforced this by sending idling alerts to drivers. By the end of the year, idling dropped to under 10 minutes per day.

Protecting Assets

Vehicle tracking solutions can also increase asset life. For fleets that prioritized preventative maintenance, ideas like active engine checking and service reminders help accomplish this goal. After using these ideas, mechanics found the new process to be easier and more effective.

Day 365: Reviewing Results!

For many fleets, the benefits of vehicle tracking solutions quickly outweighed the cost. For example, for the city of Charlottetown, their system helped improve processes in salt monitoring, idling, and preventive maintenance. This easily saved over $100,000 per year.