Using a Small GPS Tracker to Optimize Your Fleet

Using a Small GPS Tracker to Optimize Your Fleet

7 minute read

Listen to article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's Blog Voice AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

A small GPS tracker placed in each of your fleet vehicles can work wonders to improve and optimize your fleet performance. They take the guesswork out of what happens when a vehicle leaves your warehouse by providing up-to-the-minute details of a vehicle's location, speed, acceleration, and even condition.

Running a successful business requires refining and enhancing at every stage of the process. If you rely on any kind of transportation then optimizing your fleet is a crucial, easy win that doesn’t have to cost the Earth. You want your fleet to operate more efficiently, with greater clarity, while complying with laws and regulations but how can you if as soon as the truck pulls out of the yard, everything is a mystery?

The answer is a simple GPS tracking device. There are some fleet management systems that can tell you every single detail about your fleet, right down to the flavor of soda your drivers are drinking. Most of this information is completely useless and will leave most managers wading through, and ultimately ignoring, a vast sea of data. 99.9999% of the time all you need to know is where the vehicle is. This is why simple a GPS tracking device, costing less than a couple of hundred bucks, beats a few thousand dollar system hands down.

Why do you want a truck tracker?

The first thing to think about when deciding if a small GPS tracker will do the job is to think about the reason people use these trackers in the first place. Here are a few reasons that our customers use GPS trackers on their fleets:

Optimizing Logistics

The first thing you need to do when optimizing any business is to establish a thorough analytics program. You need to collect information about the company at strategic, tactical, and operational levels so you can identify what information to act on in line with broader business goals. 

The exact same thing applies to the transport and logistics side of things. Fitting small GPS trackers to each vehicle equips your staff with the ability to gather reliable, relevant information while not impeding their workflow. When you have all the raw data you can begin to identify opportunities to improve. As you make changes to your operations you can A/B test, or conduct more of a longitudinal study to see if these changes are having the effect you want.

The most important thing about this in terms of logistics is that you have accurate information at all stages of the process. To let you know what changes you should make and to tell you if these changes have been effective. 

Say for example that your first deliveries of the day go out at 8 am and you think that your drivers are getting caught in rush hour traffic. You have your driver drive their route at the normal 8 am time for a week and monitor how long it takes and how much fuel they use. Then repeat the test at 7 am the following week and 9 am the next week and see how much faster or slower they finish the deliveries. The important thing is that by using a small GPS tracker, you are relying on actual, empirical data rather than anecdotal evidence from your drivers to plan your next steps.

You can use this A/B testing procedure to organize schedules, route planning, reduce vehicle downtime, and reduce fuel consumption among many other optimization metrics. But all of these hinge on having reliable location data.

To improve security

If a vehicle is stolen, having a tracker is obviously the easiest way to recover the vehicle quickly. Just give the location information to the police and let them recover the vehicle. Some integrated GPS systems can even be used to remotely deactivate a vehicle when it is stolen.

Insurers love these little gadgets and installing them can reduce your monthly premium so that the cost of the tracker and cellular subscription is completely offset by the reduction in premium. Why not give your insurer a call and see if the trackers pay for themselves before you even start using them?

If you are looking for the most secure tracker we offer you should consider the Commuter Hardwired GPS tracker. This is one of the best GPS trackers on the market and is wired directly into a vehicle’s electronics so it never runs out of battery and can be well hidden behind the dashboard so you would have to dismantle the interior of the vehicle before you could find it.

Another great feature is to set a geofence around the area where the vehicle is kept when not in use. Usually, you need to log into the system to get vehicle location information but with geofencing enabled, an alert is sent to your phone and email to let you know that someone is moving the vehicle when they shouldn’t be.

Notifications also appear when the vehicle is returned to the area that has been geofenced off. So you know exactly when the vehicle is returned to the yard, potentially out of hours. This brings us to the next benefit of having a small GPS tracker…

Reducing timesheet fraud

GPS trackers keep an exact log of where they have been and when from the moment the vehicle is switched on in the morning to the moment they are switched off in the evening. You can review a location history or look at the real time location from your phone or computer using an interface just like Google Maps.

Taking the familiar example described above of a driver getting back to base after hours. If that driver knows for a fact that there is a GPS tracker on the car they will be far less likely to incorrectly log their hours or overtime. That is key when installing a GPS tracker, make sure to inform all of your drivers that they are being installed. This is great because there is some transparency between workers and management, but it also means that your drivers will self-police. 

The fact that they know you could be keeping track, means that you don’t actually have to. If it dissuades just one driver from knocking off an hour early per month, then the subscription has paid for itself. Even setting aside all the other benefits of geotracking.

Improving customer service

Have you ever had to wait around all day at home for an important delivery that could arrive between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm? It's infuriating, right? Don’t let your company do that to your customers. 

Sometimes a customer will call you up looking for an exact delivery time and it really improves the perception of quality service if you can give them an answer. You might not know the exact time that their delivery will hit their doorstep but if you are able to check the real time location of your vehicles you can give them a pretty good idea of the drivers' ETA without having to hop off the call to contact the driver and then get back to your customer. Your life is easier, the driver’s life is easier and your customer is that little bit happier.

We hope these reasons to install a GPS tracker have given you some idea why they would be an asset to your business. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with us via the chat box or check out our shop for the range of great trackers we stock.

« Back to Blog