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Fleet Tracking: Insider Tips from GoFleet’s CEO

At its core, the fundamental goal of fleet management software is to ensure the proper utilization and protection of every driver and vehicle. Managers can leverage fleet tracking data to evaluate the demand for vehicles throughout all four seasons, predict growth, and track driver safety. Most important to effective fleet management? Choosing the right software to support their specific industries.

ACHR News recently sat down with Vishal Singh, CEO of GoFleet, a provider of industry-leading digital fleet tracking technology. They asked Singh for some pro tips on strategies for fleet management, and what to look for before you invest in fleet tracking software.

 

Fleet Management Responsibilities: 5 Key Areas

 

“Fleet management is about responsibility,” says Singh. While ensuring the safety of each driver and vehicle is the top priority, Singh believes any proactive focus should concentrate on:

  1. Safety: The primary responsibility; making sure drivers and vehicles are kept safe. 
  2. Productivity: Keeping fleet operations productive and on target. 
  3. Compliance: Assuring compliance, not just on the road but with regards to company policies.
  4. Maintenance: Being proactive instead of reactive and decreasing vehicular down time. 
  5. Sustainability & Growth: Making sure fleet scalability is integrated so it can expand as your business grows.

“When I’m looking at fleet management software, I’m thinking, ‘how can I best manage these five key areas?’” says Singh. “You need to think about what’s best for you and ask yourself ‘what suite of tools can best help me operate in my industry?’” 

 

Choosing Fleet Management Software

 

Digital fleet management software has expanded since general GPS tracking, first introduced two decades ago. “Today, we can track a lot more than dots on a map,” says Singh. Using two-way dashboard cameras, fleet managers can actually observe drivers and their driving habits and prevent emergencies before they happen. 

Collecting the right data is perhaps the most important criteria for choosing fleet management software, and the data you need will depend on the industry in which you operate. “If it’s for food delivery, I need something to monitor the temperature of the food,” Singh says. “If I’m in a high-risk area, where I’m delivering something of high value, I need cameras. I might also want to monitor and have video recordings, which can connect to the on-board devices for live-streaming.”  

For example, if you are an HVC contractor, Singh emphasizes having good maintenance routines and a proactive seasonal maintenance strategy. “With fleet management software you can set up maintenance reminders to service every vehicle,” he says. Singh also warns that failure to do regular checks means you might miss something, leading to costly repairs. 

 

The Advantages Of Fleet Management Software

 

Electronic tracking devices are essential tools for locating vehicles and monitoring road safety, but they can’t operate alone. When paired with fleet management software, companies can access a rich ecosystem of telematics data. “Fleet management software allows companies to monitor vehicle faults, making sure there are no issues with the vehicles,” says Singh. “We can also, depending on the software, have software that signs work orders for the vehicles.” This can simplify regular seasonal maintenance, routine inspections and more. 

Predictive maintenance is a major benefit of fleet management software. Plugging an electronic tracking device into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics provides a holistic overview of that vehicle’s health. “We can measure how well they’re being maintained, or if there are faults on the vehicle,” Singh explains. “Understanding those faults can tell us if we need to troubleshoot.” 

What does tracking actually measure? ” measure the actual behaviours that can help me in each of those key areas,” says Singh. This can include monitoring the temperature of goods being transported, the safety of your drivers, allocating resources — the list goes on. 

“With this technology you can create a way to engage keyless ignition, making it easier to pool vehicles,” Singh says. “People can share vehicles a lot easier if anyone can use their phone to start the vehicle.”

Also important, says Singh, is knowing exactly where the failure points are in fleet operations. For fleet managers, the benefits of streamlining records collections for rich, actionable data improves operational efficiency while making the best use of your fleet.

 

Managing Fleet Safety And Liability

 

Managing a fleet is about more than paying attention to the state of each vehicle, says Singh. It also means managing and coaching safe driving behaviours

Singh goes on to explain how an integrated system of dashboard cams, video recordings, sensors and management software can all work together to protect company liability and improve safety. “Vehicle tracking is one thing; tracking the behaviours, harsh breaking and all those conditions,” says Singh. “But having video evidence helps people be more accountable.”

How? “Having cameras onboard limits your risk,” said Singh. “If there’s an accident and you have video evidence, you’re going to avoid a potential lawsuit.” Having video footage of road incidents can also help exonerate your driver “so you don’t have to deal with investigations and claims. Now, if the driver was at fault, you can deal with the payout or settlement and then move on,” he adds. 

Moreover, this niche tech an help avoid accidents altogether. “When you have all this data —cameras, video — you don’t need to wait for the accident to happen. You can proactively know who your at-risk drivers are,” he says. “Then, you can work on coaching them and help them take the necessary steps to improve their driving habits.”  

 

Knowing When To Expand

 

To evaluate when it’s time to expand, he recommends first measuring vehicle utilization. “Generally, companies will set up a threshold where if the utilization is above a certain amount, it’s a trigger indication that they need more vehicles,” says Singh. 

“Using fleet management software, I can evaluate the demand of my vehicles through my seasons,” Singh says. “When you evaluate things like engine usage, or miles driven, you want to evaluate that against the total available hours you can drive these vehicles.” 

While utilization metrics will vary with each industry, Singh recommends the following: “If you feel that utilization is above, say, 80%  or whatever metric — you can then evaluate the utilization to determine how many more vehicles you need to purchase.” 

With the current supply chain challenges due to COVID-19, he notes it has become more difficult to acquire new vehicles, making it even more important to plan ahead. “If you see some vehicles are not well utilized, you can cut vehicles from the fleet by pooling them,” he advises. Singh also suggests leasing additional vehicles from pools to expand fleets in a cost-effective manner.

 

Sustainability & Beyond

 

While fleet managers look to the future, there has been a big move towards electric vehicles. Singh warns, however, that there are a lot of things to consider before plugging into the electric vehicle trend. “You have to consider installing electric chargers and charger sites. You have to consider how many miles or kilometers you are driving each day,” he says. If vehicles are traveling more than 200 to 300 miles, that might be more travel time than the range of the battery can offer. 

For those transitioning to electric vehicles, Singh recommends adding one vehicle at a time. Despite the initial investment, Singh says the cost savings on electric vehicles is impressive, including lowered fuel, vehicle usage and maintenance costs.

Whether you have a few vehicles or an entire fleet, electric tracking devices paired with fleet management software provides your business with benefits that are scalable, cost-effective and safe. The real beauty of fleet tracking, Singh explains, is that “when you’re evaluating this data on a monthly basis, you’re going to be ahead of the curve.”

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Vehicle Tracking Devices 101: What They Are, And Why Your Fleet Needs Them

Running your commercial fleet requires more than simply sending vehicles from point A to point B. The success of your drivers and your business depends heavily on optimizing the things you can’t see once a vehicle leaves your warehouse. Vehicle Tracking Devices can optimize your fleet by providing real-time GPS updates, collision notifications, and even engine fault detection.

In this post, we’ll break down what Vehicle Tracking Devices are, the latest generation of tracking devices currently available, and how your business can benefit from this advanced fleet protection.

 

What Are Vehicle Tracking Devices?

 

A vehicle tracking device is like the black box of an airplane; it receives GPS signals, collecting and sending navigation data and other critical vehicle information. This small piece of hardware can be as small as a matchbox, or as large as a shoebox.

Most tracking devices come equipped with a SIM-card slot and an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) plug to connect to your vehicle. Once connected, it receives GPS signals and sends vehicle information — such as vehicle location or driver speed — using the internet, satellite networks or cellular services. Tracking devices differ with regards to the data collected, how they attach to the vehicle, and their respective power source. Types of devices include:

  • Factory-fitted Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) devices
  • Plug-In devices
  • Hardwired after-market devices
  • Smartphones or tablets enabled with real-time GPS tracking

 

Installing tracking units can be as simple as plugging into a vehicle’s OBD-II port, or may require a qualified technician to connect the tracking device to the wiring harness of the vehicle. Most light commercial vehicles purchased since 1996 already have an internal OBD-II port, often found behind the panel below the steering wheel.

Once connected, GoFleet’s specialized tracking software can collect GPS and vehicle data. It then transmits the data in real-time to a wide variety of pre-programmed devices, such as a cell phone or a computer IP address.

 

Internal Data-Protection Safety Features

 

Each of our vehicle tracking devices has a unique code, known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This allows GoFleet’s patented tracking software to match the unique code of each vehicle, preventing confusion and maintaining fleet management integrity.

The information collected and sent from GoFleet’s tracking devices also has a range of security features that prevent third-party penetration. These cryptographic features include:

  • Data encryption
  • Authenticated end-to-end telematic security
  • Verification of message integrity and unique IMEI tracker codes
  • Non-static security keys, which impede faking a device’s unique identity
  • Firmware with digitally-signed pre-programming to verify the source of updates
  • Validation of technology by independent third-party experts

 

What Type of Data is Collected?

 

GoFleet’s vehicle tracking devices collect and transmit a rich array of information. Even when the vehicle is parked underground or indoors, the telematic tracking unit begins recording the moment the key turns in the ignition.

Using AI and the enhanced data security features, some of the telematic information collected by GoFleet’s tracking devices include:

  • Precise Vehicle Tracking: This includes vehicle location, driving speed, engine idling, trip distance, time markers, driver ETA and more.
  • Fleet Health Assessments: Our software extracts and collects essential vehicular information such as engine faults, odometer readings, service maintenance needs, vehicle VIN, even risky driving habits such as acceleration, fast cornering or harsh braking.
  • Advanced Telematics Capture: Our trackers receive data from a variety of internal vehicular sources, such as the engine, instrument clusters, drivetrain, diagnostics and other subsystems. This allows for methodical and data-driven dashboard reports.
  • Collision Notifications: If a collision is detected, GoFleet’s superior tracking devices use AI and patented algorithms to collect and send detailed forensic data. This allows for forensic reconstruction of road events, including in-vehicle reverse collisions. This data is automatically uploaded from the tracking device, and collision notifications are sent in real-time via email or desktop alerts.
  • Driver Coaching: By providing your drivers with immediate feedback, you can improve fleet integrity and security, reduce risk to your drivers, and encourage immediate corrective action. Visible or audible alerts, as well as spoken guidance, can be given in cases of speeding, excessive idling, or unsafe driver behaviour.

 

GoFleet’s Advanced Vehicle Tracking Devices

 

Below are the latest and best vehicle tracking units available on the global market. They also come equipped for IOX expansion. This means that your tracking system and third-party integration management can expand with your fleet, allowing for scalable telematics solutions and greater fleet flexibility. IOX add-ons include: satellite tracking, driver ID, temperature tracking, hours of service (HOS), dash cam systems and more.

 

GoFleet’s GO9+

 

Welcome to the future of vehicle tracking devices. The GO9+ is the most advanced telematics device on the planet, providing industry-leading insights on the health of your fleet vehicles, as well as trip details, driver safety and much more. The GO9+ provides everything needed for advanced telematic capture and transmission, all in a tiny, compact package.

Best of all, the GO9+ brings its own Wi-Fi hotspot on-board, allowing your vehicle to stay connected to high-speed Internet without siphoning data from individual plans. In addition to reliable Wi-Fi wherever your drivers go, GoFleet’s GO9+ offers the following state-of-the-art features:

  • Unparalleled GPS tracking technology
  • G-force monitoring
  • LTE connectivity and secured communications capability
  • Intelligent in-vehicle driver coaching and alerts
  • Advanced collision detection and notification
  • Expandability of the external device via IOX Technology
  • Built-in gyrometer and auto-calibrating accelerometer
  • Instant vehicle data, including engine and battery health assessments
  • Accelerated GPS acquisition time via Almanac OTA support
  • GPS+GLONASS support and connectivity
  • Advanced native support for a variety of vehicle protocols
  • End-to-end cybersecurity measures, including non-static security keys
  • Easy installation

Recommended for: Small businesses, heavy-truck fleets, corporate vehicles and ride sharing.

 

GoFleet’s GO9 RUGGED

 

If you need a vehicle tracker built for harsh environments, meet the GO9 RUGGED. This device is designed to withstand external installation, protecting against elements such as dust, water, dirt and other solids. 

The GO9 RUGGED builds on the GO Rugged family, providing even more speed, reliability, security features and telematic power. That’s because the GO9 RUGGED is powered by a 32-bit processor, offering 4 times the memory and 5 times the RAM of its predecessor, the GO8 RUGGED. Using GoFleet’s AI algorithms and tracking platform, the GO9 RUGGED can accurately recreate vehicle trips, analyze incidents, provide in-vehicle alerts to notify drivers of infractions in real-time, and provide end-to-end data encryption. Features include:

  • State-of-the-art GPS technology
  • G-force monitoring
  • Simple and sturdy design for covert installations
  • Smart, live in-vehicle driver coaching capacity
  • Industry-leading collision detection and notification
  • Instant vehicle data, including engine and battery health assessments
  • On-board auto-calibrating accelerometer and gyrometer
  • Accelerated GPS acquisition time via Almanac OTA support
  • GPS+GLONASS support and connectivity
  • LTE connectivity and secured communications capability
  • End-to-end cybersecurity, including authentication, encryption, message integrity verification, and non-static security keys
  • Advanced native support for a variety of vehicle protocols
  • Expandability of external device via IOX Technology
  • FIPS 140-2 validated by the NIST
  • IP68 & IP69K certified for protection from water, dust, sprays and other external pressures
  • Does not require a dash-mounted antenna or wire splicing for installation

Recommended for: Fleets using heavy equipment, farm machinery, powered trailers, yellow iron and other major assets.

 

Main Benefits of Fleet Vehicle Tracking

 

GoFleet’s tracking devices provide businesses with the hard data required to ensure smooth operations and peace of mind. Our software works seamlessly with vehicle tracking units to integrate command centre visibility into your fleet operations.

We recommend using tracking devices for businesses that manage fleets of any size, including cars, trucks, limousines, ride-sharing, pickup trucks, trailers, farm equipment, plumbing, roofing or construction vehicles. Our devices are scalable and can connect you to your vehicles, whether you have one or 100.

Among the most prominent benefits to using vehicle tracking devices are improved fleet management and maintenance, enhanced driver safety, lower labour costs, reduced fuel costs and superior theft deterrence. Additional benefits include:

  • Precision GPS technology, eliminating guesswork
  • Live updates and visibility, providing regular updates as often as every 2 seconds
  • An integrated, user-friendly fleet command dashboard; giving you access to your fleet with just a few swipes
  • Individualized regular servicing dashboard with service records for your vehicles
  • The ability to capture and view telematics data such as vehicle speed, direction, and fault codes
  • Asset monitoring, such as temperature data and asset location
  • Immediate 24/7 support for fleet owners

 

Integrated Software and Dispatch Performance

 

GoFleet’s tracking units let you view your entire fleet simultaneously, regardless of their location. Our devices work synergistically with individualized driver management software, letting you streamline and fine tune your fleet’s performance to ensure peak performance and compliance.

Our integrated software monitoring system allows businesses to capture when the driver’s workday starts and ends, displays routes in real-time, and records driver stops — both scheduled and unscheduled. Our data captures also record idle periods, fuel consumption, driving speeds, mileage, and even provides alerts on lost drivers or thefts.

The benefits of our integrated platform command centre to monitor dispatch performance include:

  • Ensuring drivers are on schedule and automatically sharing ETAs with customers
  • Confirming driver HOS & PTO availability, which reduces check-in calls
  • Recording Driver Scorecards and 365-day performance history
  • Alerting to acceleration, harsh breaks and collision detection
  • Streamlining routing options and dispatch management
  • Recording miles-by-state for IFT
  • Assuring FMCSA 395.15 compliance
  • Locating lost drivers and aiding the recovery of stolen property.

 

Ready to Protect Your Assets?

 

With all of the benefits of vehicle tracking devices, can your business afford not to invest in a telematics solution that saves you time, money and resources? Our experts can help you determine which asset tracker best suits your fleet’s needs. Schedule your free consultation and demonstration today. 

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What Is Telematics? An In-Depth Look

In the most general terms, telematics is the fusion of telecommunications (e.g. phone lines and cables) and informatics (computers) to create a holistic overview of one’s enterprise. Most often, telematics solutions are applied to commercial fleets, automating and leveraging the collection of GPS data across any number of assets.

While certainly not a new industry, the telematics field stands at the precipice of massive growth opportunities. The following is GoFleet’s primer guide on telematics; we’ll show you how it works, the types of data sets that are collected, and how to harness the power of telematics to increase your productivity and profitability. 

 

How did telematics start?

 

The digital science of merging telecommunications channels with information technology (or informatics) began In the 1960s, when The Department of Defense in the U.S. developed GPS — the Global Positioning System. GPS was created specifically to trace the movement of their domestic military assets and improve internal communications.

As the internet expanded, more telecommunications networks went up, transferring data in real-time and enabling information to travel remotely, automating the capture of detailed data for a variety of purposes. Telematics was also made possible due to technological breakthroughs in machine-to-machine communication (M2M) — highly intelligent computer devices that gather and analyze mass data to manage real-world systems.

Today, vehicle telematics integrates wireless communications, GPS navigation, third-party software platforms, hands-free cell phones, automatic driving assistance systems and message encryption. Telematics systems can report on a vehicle’s speed, idling, tire pressure, driver habits, engine fault codes, collision detection and much more.

Added to the tracking device hardware, GoFleet’s software platform, AI algorithms and other patented knowledge allows for accuracy, quality and protection of GPS and other data transference. Known as ‘curve-logging’, this allows our software to discard unnecessary information, while preserving and logging the most useful vehicle maintenance data.

 

How telematics works

 

With regards to fleet tracking, vehicles equipped with Vehicle Tracking Devices; small, durable black boxes that provide superior GPS and asset tracking technology. These telematics devices often plug into an OBD II or CAN-BUS port in the vehicle. Paired with a SIM-card and on board modem, the units enable constant communication across all cellular networks.

The asset tracking, vehicle information recording, and communications transmission devices involved in telematics logging include the following key components:

  • GPS receiver
  • Engine interface
  • SIM card
  • Accelerometer
  • Buzzer or other audio messaging
  • Interface for input/output (expander port)

The devices then retrieve and record an enormous amount of data generated by a vehicle, and transmit that data through cloud technology, providing fleet towners with dashboard reports and command-centre visibility into their operations.

Since telematics devices connect to a vehicle’s sensors and hardware, the type of data they process and analyze includes:

  • Real-time GPS positioning
  • G-force and vehicle speed, measured by a built-in accelerometer
  • Trip distance, routing and time
  • Idling time records
  • Fuel consumption
  • Harsh braking, hard cornering, rapid acceleration and other bad driving habits
  • Seat belt usage
  • Vehicle faults, engine light information and other engine data
  • Battery voltage and vehicle temperature
  • Service reminders and other vehicle maintenance warnings

All of that data is captured, encoded and then transmitted through fleet management software. It is then decoded for authorized, preprogrammed users, allowing for secure transmission of actionable data to IP addresses or cell phones.

This provides the command-centre data needed for generating, viewing and exporting dashboard reports. Business intelligence insights can even create driver scorecards — identifying safe drivers, speeding incidents, or opportunities for scheduled maintenance.

 

Telematics in fleet management

 

Telematics has become an essential tool for commercial and government fleet management. In addition to tracking major assets across the globe using GPS, advances in machine learning and data analytics mean improved fleet performance and productivity. Fleets can even use benchmarking measures to compare safety, fuel consumption or other standards against similar fleets.

One indispensable feature of telematics in fleet management is the creation of advanced analytic comparisons. This provides fleet managers with hard data that can be used to identify optimal travel routes, deter theft and protect assets.

Though telematics data can be stored and sent from closed-vehicle systems, most often a fleet’s telematic technology is shared through open platforms via proprietary software. This allows businesses to integrate other hardware, after-market accessories, and third-party apps for greater efficiency, expandability and insight into business operations, while retaining data privacy.

As telematic devices continue to improve, the most popular telematics integrations for fleet management currently include:

In fact, vehicle security and identification sensors have improved so much that fleets can now authenticate a driver’s identity before they are able to start the vehicle.

Every day, more businesses, nonprofits and government agencies move toward the hard data and superior protection that telematics affords. According to Allied Market Research, the automotive telematics market was valued globally at $50.4 billion in 2018. By 2026, experts believe it will reach $320 billion. 

The benefits of telematics are self-evident; they offer diagnostic tools that prolong the life of vehicles, warn of pending issues and identify areas of concern. Telematics contribute to ROI and savings so exponentially, Verizon recently wrote: “32% of fleets using fleet management technology achieved a positive ROI in less than a year,” sharing this and more data points in their 2021 Fleet Technology Trends Report.

Industries currently employing telematics for their fleet tracking include:

 

The benefits of telematics for commercial fleets

 

The applications for telematics cannot be understated; it harnesses a rich ecosystem of information — from granular drivetrain details to post-collision reconstruction of driving events — ensuring the health of your vehicle and the safety of everyone on the road.

 

Safety tracking:

 

Fleet managers can use telematics to monitor the speed and location of their vehicles, as well as ensure that drivers employ good driving habits now and in the future. In the event of an accident, telematics can help identify who was at fault and what the road conditions were prior to the event, ensuring the safety of their drivers and preventing future incidents.

 

Maintenance:

 

By understanding the entire operational life cycle of their vehicles, including hours of service (HOS), warranty recovery and preventative maintenance scheduling, managers can find areas of improvement and identify problems before they occur.

 

Insurance:

 

Insurance companies can leverage telematics data to assess risk factors within a fleet and adjust premiums accordingly. Factors such as accidents, fuel consumption and engine wear can all determine — and possibly lower — insurance rates for your fleet.

 

GoFleet telematics support

 

GoFleet and our trusted partners have identified seven key areas where fleet management receives the greatest direct advantage from telematics support:

  1. Improved Productivity: Using real-time GPS tracking and automatic trip reporting, fleets can greatly improve dispatching, routing, ETA notification and customer service.
  2. Increased Safety: In-vehicle driver coaching alerts to drowsiness or other risky driver behaviours; collision reconstruction and theft location notifications help protect your assets.
  3. Optimization of Fleets: Streamlining vehicle servicing with predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics improves fuel management, driver habits and vehicle integrity.
  4. Fleet Compliance: Automates FTA reporting, inspections and compliance logging.
  5. Platform Integration: Makes sure all your mobile asset apps and equipment communicate seamlessly, integrating camera, sensors, CRM technology and more.
  6. Adaptable Sustainability: Reduces the environmental impact of carbon emissions, adapts to emerging power sources, and analyzes the cost effectiveness of electric vehicles.
  7. Insurance Premiums: Because fleets can now share their safety compliance data as proof with insurance companies, risk assessments often generate lower premium costs.

 

The future of telematics

 

As GPS tracking systems and M2M technologies advance, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow; every advance made brings us closer to the edge of a telematics revolution. From enhanced collection and capture of intelligence data to performance benchmarking and reporting for fleet optimization, the future of telematics is bright. Contact your GoFleet consultant to discuss how telematics can bring tomorrow’s technology to your fleet, today. 

fleet maintenance, gofleet, zenduma, maintenance, predictive, repair

How CMMS Software Can Ensure Proper Fleet Maintenance

How CMMS Software Can Ensure Proper Fleet Maintenance

Fleet managers often overlook maintenance procedures as well as maintenance solutions because of the challenges that come with introducing a new software solution to the fleet. Managers need to research vendors, go through sales processes, justify the cost and then train their team. What fleet managers don’t realize is the potential of Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) solutions and how they can prevent issues that would otherwise create great challenges for fleets to deal with.  

 

Mistakes That Can Be Avoided by Leveraging Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) Solutions

Automation

Remaining on top of fleet maintenance tasks is challenging, independent of the number of mobile assets. Fleet managers using outdated processes to manage vehicle maintenance spend a long amount of time manually entering data and trying to get in touch with mechanics.

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software automates fleet maintenance tasks to maximize efficiency. Fleet managers can put together maintenance workflows to eliminate manual data entry, improve communication, reduce downtime and control expenses. 

Automating fleet maintenance saves countless hours by streamlining maintenance tasks. Whether a fleet manages their fleet maintenance in house or outsources it to a third party, CMMS allows you to automate tasks to improve fleet uptime. 

 

Expenses and Reporting

Computerized maintenance management software is most important for its ability to aggregate all fleet data and provide hard numbers for analysis and improvement. Measuring the success of your fleet maintenance program is imperative, as vehicle maintenance is the largest ongoing cost for fleets. 

This type of software provides valuable insight into the maintenance program by providing a service history from repairs completed to detailed cost reporting. Fleet managers can create and share reports regarding key data that includes: 

  • Service line items and cost summaries
  • Lifetime service costs by asset
  • Downtime Reporting
  • Scheduled vs unscheduled maintenance
  • Most common service activities across a fleet
  • Vehicle operation costs
  • Total fleet operating cost by month

Software solutions like this provides a deep look at a fleet’s performance and automatically calculate a fleet’s true total cost of ownership (TCO). By automating fleet maintenance processes, fleet managers have the time to analyze the reports and determine the best strategies to improve operations.  

 

Integrations

Fleets utilize a GPS and telematics system to track vehicle location or use fuel cards for ease of use and fuel perks. Pairing these tools with CMMS software, like ZenduMaintenance, or otherwise known as ZenduMA, can boost fleet maintenance procedures. It will allow fleets to capture all fleet data in one place and get a complete view of a fleet’s overall health. 

Using computerized maintenance management system software will allow the capturing of odometer readings, making it easier to keep up with maintenance tasks. The telematics tools being used can also send diagnostic trouble codes and engineer fault alerts to the CMMS software, so the fleet will be alerted immediately. 

 

Mobility

The problems with fleet maintenance on paper and spreadsheets is the lack of visibility and communication across a fleet. Whereas, using a mobile app will help managers track and manage their fleet independent of the location. It allows operators to conduct mobile inspections in the field to instantly notify fleet managers of any issues. Using a CMMS software with a mobile app, users can view and access real time maintenance data including:

  • Vehicle specs
  • Service and renewal reminders
  • Inspection results (DVIR)
  • Work orders
  • Service history
  • Engine fault alerts
  • Parts and inventory levels
  • Repair requests
  • Vehicle recall notices
  • Maintenance costs

 

Ease of Use

CMMS software like ZenduMA is one that is intuitive and simple to use. ZenduMaintenance uses a dashboard for users to view all fleet maintenance data at a glance, as well as easy to use features like streamline work order creation and performing vehicle inspections through clicks and swipes. 

To begin using a computerized maintenance management system, fleets should first bulk upload the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) into a VIN decoder. Almost immediately, over 90 vehicle specifications are instantly populated into CMMS for creating service schedules based on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations. 

 

How ZenduMaintenance Is A Great CMMS Option To Be Considered

The biggest challenge with proper maintenance to take place is the extensive amount of work required by the fleets, which is why ZenduMaintenance is a great option to be considered. It provides fleets with work order management, preventive maintenance scheduling, inventory, and parts management, purchasing, custom reporting and maintenance cost accounting tools. 

ZenduMA is great when it comes to preventing downtime, faster repairs, increasing fleet visibility, and providing real time vehicle diagnostics. When discussing the diagnostics provided, it automatically captures odometer readings, engine hours, voltage, temperature, fuel consumption, power takeoff (PTO) and tire pressure, directly from the vehicle engine control unit (ECM).

It specializes in creating custom list views and reports with the advanced filtering system to improve your equipment reliability, streamline processes and reduce costs. Good maintenance means good business, and ZenduMA will ensure your fleet follows proper maintenance procedures and improve performance while saving on costs by solving problems before they worsen. 

Implementing proper maintenance procedures is hard because maintenance procedures often tend to get overlooked, but the story is different with CMMS software. Implementing a strong maintenance management program is quite the challenge – especially given how complex the logistics industry has become, but the ROI is worth it. To learn more, GoFleet is readily available to help you deal with your pain points. Contact us today.

maintenance tracking, cmms, Computer Maintenance Management Systems, fleet

How CMMS Stands Up Against Old Fashion Maintenance Tracking Methods

How CMMS Stands Up Against Old Fashion Maintenance Tracking Methods

Fleets are trying to gain more profits and they try to do so by all means, especially when it comes to increasing efficiency. But efficiency is also impacted by the level of proper maintenance taking place. If improper maintenance takes place, efficiency is reduced and costs increase.

Even though improper maintenance only has negative impacts, why do fleets not ensure proper maintenance takes place? It is because having a proper maintenance procedure requires a great amount of effort and with human errors happening, several mistakes occur making it impractical. 

However, with technology evolving, there are software and solutions that are able to automate this whole process, so fleets can easily keep up with the work while being assured that there are no mistakes. 


Pen and Paper vs Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) – The Showdown

Proper maintenance leads to less downtime, resulting in lower costs, better labour efficiency, reduced backlog and greater asset reliability. Switching from pen and paper to maintenance software is one way to achieve these benefits. But taking a deep dive into comparing both methods will give fleets a better look at what steps they should take moving forward.

 

1. Filling Work Orders 

With pen and paper, a technician, operator or manager fills out a paperwork order form by hand, whether it’s for preventive maintenance or an unplanned breakdown. The work order is then delivered to the technician in an emergency. If a work order comes from outside the maintenance team, they use the software’s work request portal to submit a request and it then gets forwarded to the maintenance team via the CMMS. 

With a maintenance software in place, work orders for unplanned repairs are done remotely through mobile CMMS software. In cases of preventive maintenance, work orders are triggered automatically through maintenance software. Using CMMS, the time taken to create work orders and submitting them is reduced and it helps to set mandatory fields on work request forms to prevent any back and forth in clarifying the request. By reducing the process by 5-10 minutes for each work order, the fleet can gain hundreds of hours of extra production every year. 

 

2. Assigning Work Orders

With outdated tracking methods, either the technician needs to be found if the work order is an emergency or the technician regularly checks the office, sorts through work orders and figures out which ones to prioritize.

With maintenance software, technicians are assigned work orders and alerted to their duties through their mobile devices. Technicians can see which work orders are outstanding, their priority levels and their status. Clearly with a digital platform, there is less time between work orders being submitted and a technician being alerted. Being able to see the status of a work order also allows technicians to check or repair assets that are most important to production. 

 

3. Finding Data For The Work Order

With non-digital reporting, technicians make several visits to the asset, stock room, office and colleagues to assess the task, check the availability of parts, access manuals and discuss the asset’s repair history. They can then lay out a strategy for working on the asset. 

With maintenance software, the technician can review the work order, work history, root cause analysis and standard failure codes of the asset through the mobile interface. Using the available data, the technician then lays out a strategy for working on the asset. Multiple trips around the facility, missing parts and lengthy searches for information could add up to hours of extra downtime, if not days, without using maintenance software. Such a solution groups all asset information in one, remote accessible place. 

 

4. Working On The Work Order

With pen and paper, the technician troubleshoots the problem using information from manuals, standard operating procedure (SOPs), conversations with colleagues and/or memory. The technician can complete PMs from memory or from a written checklist. They then visit the office again to sign off on the work order. 

With maintenance software, the technician repairs the problem using root cause analysis, standard failure codes and/or corresponding checklists and manuals, all accessible through the digital platform. Predictive maintenance is completed using predetermined checklists. The work order is then signed and closed in the software and the users are notified. CMMS clearly wins when it comes to addressing unplanned downtime. It gives technicians a much clearer path to a solution than pen and paper troubleshooting and results in less downtime.

 

5. Work Order Aftermath

When CMMS is overlooking for maintenance tracking, predictive maintenance tasks are put into a paper calendar based on a review of SOPs, production schedules and going through past schedules and asset history to determine how often equipment should be maintained. 

With maintenance software, reports are created based on asset history and SOPs. This data is then used to determine preventive maintenance triggers, which are then added to the software’s calendar. Production schedules are also added to the calendar, and this gives maintenance software a clear advantage over pen and paper methods. 


CMMS Software – Why ZenduMaintenance Should Be Considered

With all the benefits that come with a CMMS solution, fleets who haven’t already implemented a solution to address maintenance procedures should start looking into. A CMMS solution to start looking at is ZenduMaintenance or otherwise referred to as ZenduMA. ZenduMA makes maintenance management easy and lowers repair costs. 

Using ZenduMA helps reduce equipment failure by reducing downtime and increasing equipment availability to boost production, quality, safety and cost efficiency. It also boosts productivity by managing all the workers more effectively and helps fleets in rapidly finding parts, tools and information they need to save time and get the job done right the first time. 

This CMMS solution provides technicians with detailed work instructions created from standard job lists. It manages suppliers and requests quotes quickly and easily. It also manages all the MRO inventory with the ability to quickly add missing technical data, pricing and supplier information to assets and supplies records. 

ZenduMaintenance will help fleets follow the best practices in maintenance, improve performance in organizations and save money by solving problems before they get worse. With tools to help recognize failure codes and track part and vehicle inventory, ZenduMA will streamline a fleet’s entire maintenance process. 

Pen and paper methods have become an old school method and there are several better alternatives to it that raise standards in efficiency and productivity such as CMMS software. Fleets need to start moving forward with the changes in technology as it will help them in the long run and keep them competitive. To learn more about how your fleet can start making use of ZenduMA, contact us now.

asset trackers, fleet management,

Asset Trackers: How Smart Utilization Leads To Efficiency And Cuts On Costs

Today, all businesses including fleets, are trying to rapidly improve their efficiency to cut down on costs and raise productivity. When addressing fleets, many times the asset utilization rate goes unnoticed, and this causes a lack in efficiency that can be avoided.

Smart Utilization

Ensuring that the usage of each asset is maximized but not going overboard is simply called ‘Smart Utilization’. There are several scenarios when assets just catch dust and don’t get utilized because there’s an excess of that asset, and vice versa with ones being over utilized. 

Fleets often overlook this strategy making it a critical strategy to review and implement. Doing so will allow fleets to expect to see visibility of finances, unnecessary costs and gaps in maintenance procedures.

 

What Is The Smart Utilization Strategy

If all assets are tracked based on their utilization rates, fleets can figure out which assets are being under and overused and make decisions accordingly. If assets are being underused, this means there’s an excess of the resource and it’s being wasted. If an asset is overused, this will create maintenance issues with it as it’s being used way too much and will be prone to breaking down. This will provide fleets with the information of how many assets they need to add or remove from their fleet for maximizing efficiency and staying within budget.

Key performance indicators for vehicles include days driven, drive time and mileage while key performance indicators for other assets include operation duration times and location tracking. Fleets can easily view these statistics from their telematics system online.

 

Smart Benefits of Smart Utilization 

By using a smart utilization strategy, fleets actually implement a smart cost management solution because they use all their resources to their maximum capability and get the highest return on investment.

With the additional data on the number of resources required, fleets can ensure there are enough resources to run at maximum efficiency to get the best results in the long run. Since all assets will now be properly used and no longer overused, they will have a long lifespan.

 

How Smart Utilization Can Be Beneficial

Utilization reports show which assets are hardly used or overused, or in downtime for maintenance or repair. Monitoring this activity will help fleets improve on replacement cycling and will also quickly point out areas of opportunity to re-deploy vehicles into other areas of the business. Consistently tagging, giving a title and insuring unused assets is expensive and renting would be a better business decision during surge times.

 

The Right Asset Tracker For Your Fleet

The benefits of smart utilization can be provided by most asset trackers, but each track excels in different situations. To determine which asset tracker a fleet would find most beneficial, let’s have a look at the different types of trackers available to take advantage of.

 

The Flex Solar-Making Use Of Free Energy

The Flex Solar is a solar powered asset tracker designed to track bulk cargo containers, vehicles and other large assets with no direct power supply. Solar energy is a great source of energy for large assets travelling far or being stored outside for long (like shipping containers) because they are often standalone assets with no power supply. 


The ZenRemora – A Simple Solution To Asset Tracking

The ZenRemora is a great alternative to the Flex Solar if you have to rely on an ion battery if solar energy is challenging to depend on. On top of general asset monitoring, it also has additional features including anti-theft mode, tamper detection, geo-fence awareness and expandability opportunities with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons.

 

The ZenFalcon – Temperature Is Now A Known Variable

The ZenFalcon is a temperature-sensitive asset tracker allowing fleets to monitor temperature and humidity. Fleets can continually monitor these variables with the 5-year battery life and hourly reporting ZenFalcon has to offer. If ensuring that the goods/assets are in proper temperature and humidity conditions, the ZenFalcon should be taken into consideration.

 

The BlackBerry Radar – Prioritizing Load Management

The BlackBerry Radar focuses on asset tracking for cargo, vehicles and non-motorized assets like bulk containers, trailers and various equipment where content capacity has to primarily be monitored. Implementing this allows fleets to properly plan their loading process for improved efficiency. 

 

ZenBeacon – Asset Tracking Independent Of Cellular Coverage

The ZenBeacon provides data on light exposure, temperature, asset impact and provides an alternative to Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) tracking via BLE beacons. Designed to have a long battery life, this would be beneficial for assets traveling to locations with no cellular coverage.

 

The SmartOne’sC – Reliability Outside Of Cellular Coverage

The SmartOne’sC is a self-charging solution to support long term remote deployments without the need to replace the battery. Using a highly efficient solar cell, it can continuously charge the battery and maximize operating life, even under extreme weather conditions.

Using any of these trackers will shed light on what assets are truly being used, allowing for decisions about renting, selling and purchasing to be made. For example, if there are certain assets not being used enough to justify the purchase and upkeep costs, operators may decide to only rent the assets during peak times. In comparison, fleets who see some assets being overly depended on, will allow them to see whether they should consider renting or even purchasing additional assets to alleviate stress and maintenance requirements on the assets already deployed. 

All these trackers can determine the utilization rates of an asset, but they each excel at different things. Depending on what matches your fleet’s needs, that would be the asset tracker to learn more about. Improving utilization rates for each asset in a fleet will help financially and improve overall management in the long run. For further learning about the specifics and details of these trackers, contact us now.

A Strategy To Reduce Fleet Collisions

When businesses require a fleet of vehicles to move their products from one location to another, it’s critical that they are focusing on promoting safety while on the road. When they are not doing this, sometimes drivers can accidentally drive in dangerous ways. Putting everyone on the road around them at risk. With technology improving to boost safety and reduce fleet collisions, managers and business operators must use it to their advantage.

 

Where The Concern Comes From 

 

Any vehicle accident is concerning. However, when a commercial motor vehicle is involved, sometimes the outcome of the incident can be much worse. As the size of the vehicles and the cargo carried are factors into making the collision worse for all parties involved, it sheds light on why commercial trucking is considered to be in the top 10 most deadliest jobs. In fact, in 2017, FMCSA reported that there were approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks. 

 

With the most common fatal accidents being transportation incidents, managers and drivers themselves can’t be forgoing certain precautions to reduce the risk of collisions and accidents. Below we list various ways fleet employees at every level can do their part to reduce fleet collisions. These tips must remain top of mind as by 2030, it is predicted that road crashes will be the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. 

 

Commitment From Management 

 

Firstly, in order to reduce fleet collisions, there must be a specific level of commitment from management in regards to maintaining safety. This means that management must continually put the right enforcement in place. This can vary from strict policy to the adoption of new technological solutions, and everything in-between – all of which we touch upon later in this article.  

 

How Managers Can Reduce Fleet Collisions In Their Fleet

 

Enforcing Strict Policy

 

Strict policy enforcement by management is critical to lowering the risk of collisions in fleets. As fleet drivers represent a business, they must act responsibly and abide by company policy at all times. This includes when commercial vehicle drivers are behind the wheel of a company vehicle as they travel to a new work site or when they are delivering cargo. Such policies should look to reduce any risky behaviour like; distracted driving, driving under the influence (regardless of if the substance is legal), driving tired, or even driving over the set hours-of-service (HOS) in your country. 

 

While some of these policies could be hard to enforce and rely largely on trusting your drivers, it’s important to know that there are technological solutions available to help you! When monitoring the behaviour of your drivers, there are innovative dash camera solutions available that use facial recognition to watch facial movements as well as the vehicle movement on the road. So when a driver appears to be distracted, under the influence (swaying over the line), or even tired, managers can be notified to make contact with the driver to ensure they are okay to drive. As well, many ELD and GPS tracking tools like the GO9 device are designed to track not only driver movement, but compliance to HOS. So drivers are well aware whether they are compliant.

 

Pre-Trip Inspection And Proper Maintenance 

 

In addition to enforcing strict policies, managers must also reiterate the importance of keeping company vehicles in tip-top condition. This includes not only educating drivers on how to perform proper pre-trip inspections of vehicles, but scheduling maintenance so all commercial motor vehicle parts are in good condition, are working properly, and are safe to use. Doing this can lower the risk of a collision (that is caused by malfunctioning or broken parts). Such inspections should look at visually checking the engine, checking fluid levels, the wheels, the brakes, and more. A more extensive list about what should be checked can be found here

 

 

If a vehicle is placed on the road when there is a pending problem that requires repairs, it places the driver and others around the vehicle at risk. One way to combat the issue of poor maintenance is to use a maintenance management software solution. Solutions like Zendu Maintenance monitors not only the activity of the vehicle but it places the data in algorithms to determine and schedule when preventative maintenance should happen.

 

 

Proper Incident Investigations And Training 

 

As briefly mentioned, to reduce fleet collisions, managers must not only offer the right training, but complete proper investigations into driving incidents when they are reported. This includes using all of the available data and reports to determine what the cause of the incident was and put efforts in place to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident happening again.

 

For example, if an incident occurred because your driver was distracted and speeding while on the road, you can review dashcam footage as well as engine data to confirm the speed they were travelling at, as well how they were distracted (whether they were looking at scenery or even a mobile device). After this is confirmed, the information can allow for a new training module to be created and assigned to the driver to complete. This ensures that they are aware of how their behaviour puts themselves and others around them at risk, while showing how they can act more safely. 

 

Encouraging Safe Driving Habits

 

Similar to the above tip of management conducting proper investigations into driving incidents and implementing new driver-focused training, management must also encourage overall safe driving habits! This means constantly having drivers review training material surrounding this topic, sending out internal communication with tips or even conducting one-on-one driver driving to highlight poor driving trends that are happening. 

 

Some safe driving habits that can reduce fleet collisions are: 

  • Following distance while driving
  • Maintaining visibility 
  • Anticipating turns 
  • Keeping attention forward

 

 

Tech Adoption Via Telematics

 

The last way management can reduce fleet collisions is to adopt and embrace new technologies. This not only speaks to hardware solutions that have been designed to boost safety (such as dash camera solutions or electronic logging devices) but telematics software solutions as well! While some newer commercial motor vehicles are being fitted with such innovative tools while at the factory through OEM (original equipment manufacturer) programs, it can still happen for fleets with older vehicles. There are now a number of simple-to-install plug-and-play style devices that can have software solutions integrated via satellite connectivity. Such hardware and software can automatically collect data about the trip route and driver behaviour so management can always know how their drivers are performing. So when an incident happens and management is alerted by the telematics solution, they can quickly and efficiently address it. Not to mention, there are innovative devices that can be installed within vehicles to monitor the road ahead, alerting the driver if the sensors detect a possible collision coming. 

 

Safety should always be a top priority in fleets regardless of their size or purpose. Whether the driver is transporting large amounts of cargo or the driver is a technician who is travelling to their next site visit, you can’t risk them behaving dangerously on the road. With the above tips management should have the right insight to begin to reduce fleet collisions. However, if you’re looking for a little more guidance in how you can increase safety in your fleet to reduce accidents and dangerous behaviour, contact us today! With our experience and knowledge of nearly every industry, we’re confident that we can address all of your safety concerns with cutting edge technology.