GPS Truck Tracking Systems Explained
For today’s successful trucking companies, information is everything. Gathering field data from your fleet can help you make better decisions in real-time, increase operational efficiency, and improve your bottom line. And implementing a truck tracking system is one of the best ways to access this valuable data.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of this technology and how it can help you better manage your fleet.
How does a truck tracking system work?
GPS tracking for trucking companies works by installing a small device into your fleet vehicles. Typically, this tracker is placed under the truck’s dashboard, out of sight so it won’t impede the driver in any way.
GPS trackers collect real-time information from the truck, such as the vehicle’s speed, location, and direction. That data is continuously transmitted via a cellular network to your fleet management system for evaluation. If the truck goes out of signal range, the GPS tracker continues to collect data and sends it once it regains signal coverage.
Advantages of truck tracking
Having a truck driver tracking system in place has many benefits, and it goes beyond just knowing where your fleet is at any given time. Here are some of the top ways truck tracing can help:
Efficient route planning
Delivery delays cost money for trucking companies, so planning the most efficient routes for your drivers is crucial. When a delivery request comes in, a truck tracking service will help you identify the closest driver who can get to that location with the most efficient route. Not only will this help lower your overall costs, but it can also lead to timelier deliveries and happier customers.
A heavy vehicle tracking system can also monitor traffic congestion in the area so dispatchers can guide the driver to an alternate route and keep the delivery on schedule.
Reduced fuel consumption
Fuel costs are a major expense for trucking companies and certain driver behaviors can lead to unnecessary fuel consumption. These include excessive idling, aggressive driving, or inefficient route planning. With a GPS truck tracking system, you can closely monitor your drivers’ routes and address any of these behaviors.
Increased fleet security
A transport vehicle tracking system can enhance the security of your fleet. For example, you can get an alert if one of your drivers gets into an accident. You can also set up geofences to receive notifications when one of your trucks leaves a specified zone, whether due to theft or unauthorized usage.
A truck tracking system is also helpful for investigating complaints like missing packages. You can review the truck’s GPS location throughout a driver’s intended route to ensure packages are actually being delivered.
Improved driver behavior
Tracking trucks in real-time allows you to analyze driver behaviors and determine if they’re operating safely and efficiently. For example, are your drivers taking unauthorized detours during official trips? Are they consistently speeding or rolling stop signs?
This technology is designed to do much more than simply monitor driver behavior; the goal is to collect information that’s useful when coaching drivers, whether in real-time or during planned training sessions. For example, you can set up alerts that will trigger when your driver is speeding so he can slow down.
The data and information collected by truck tracking systems provides an overarching, real-time picture of performance. This can be your key to refining operations to boost productivity. How many miles has each vehicle traveled? When are trucks due for maintenance? Are drivers consistently veering outside geofenced boundaries? Are any drivers mismanaging their hours of service? Having instant access to accurate data points like these will then translate into finally being able to see performance trends. You’ll have the insights you need to keep more vehicles on the road in top condition and more drivers on task and en route.
Top vehicle tracking devices
There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when comparing truck tracking services for your fleet.
One of the most important features is the frequency of the tracking. Do you need the high accuracy that real-time updates offer? Or is intermittent tracking (every few minutes) sufficient?
You also need to consider how the truck tracking system will integrate with your existing workflow. Is the software easy to install and use? Or do you need to hire outside help or training to get everything up and running?
Video is another key feature that’s becoming standard for trucking companies to incorporate in their fleet management solutions. When you have actual, real-time footage of what’s happening in the field, you can more effectively verify service, pinpoint incidents or collisions, track compliance, handle (or dispute) claims, and more. For example, Lytx’s technology uses a fleet tracking map where you can quickly locate video and telematics details from any point along your driver’s route; you can also search for video by address, point of interest, or time frame. Adding video into your technology can take your fleet tracking and operations to an entirely new level.
Lastly, the quality of customer support is essential. Whatever tracking system you choose, make sure it comes with high-quality support, whenever and wherever you need it.
How to explain truck tracking to employees
Implementing a truck tracking system in your fleet operations is a challenge, but one that many companies are finding easier to surmount than they’d think. Employee friction and resistance is the most common obstacle. When drivers find out their employer is installing a GPS fleet tracking system, they might think that management doesn’t trust them and react negatively.
That’s why communication is vital during the first few stages of implementing a new truck location tracking system. Invite drivers and employees to ask questions and answer them as transparently as you can. You need to show everyone in the company how a tracking system benefits them, too, by increasing profits that translate to bigger salaries and bonuses.
By positioning drivers as your partners when using truck tracking, you’ll increase acceptance of this helpful technology throughout the organization.
Lytx offers video-enhanced fleet tracking services for trucking companies of all sizes. We can help you track and manage your trucks and other commercial vehicles with straightforward technology that makes your job much easier.
If you’re curious about how we can successfully integrate GPS fleet tracking into your fleet operations, get in touch with us today.