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A Fleet GPS Tracking Solution needs to be more than a dot in a map

  • By Ryan Skidmore

More than a dot on a map

Lots of fleet GPS tracking services will give you a location on a map. They will take your money and give you access to a system that connects to their app. No installation, no downtime for your vehicles. However, that dot in a map is just a phone. If you are tracking a fleet, your driver can leave that phone at home, turn it off, or invent an infinite number of other ways to fool you. You are not tracking the vehicle. You are tracking the phone. From a systemic stand point the goal of the GPS tracker is a failure. You are paying for an incomplete service.  It will not answer your calls when something inevitably does awry. Additionally, without reports and tools of a high end GPS systems, a low end system is not powerful enough to mean anything. Keeping track of vehicle locations will require something like taking screen shot through out the day. Tracking mileage will require recording the start and end mileage each morning and night from the system in a spreadsheet. Such features are only a few more hours of development time for a programmer. Not having them undermines the utility of software to fleet manager.

Getting hard data on your fleet

Guessing and perception based on what your drivers tell you leads to a misconception. They may be truthfully recounting the day to you based on what they perceived, but they lightly (or heavily) bias the story to not incriminate themselves and they can only recount what they noticed (because they are preoccupied with the tasks at hand). They can’t possible notice every little thing; details that may be a big deal to you. Fleet GPS solution management helps you measure what is really happening. Every little piece of data is stored as a nugget for you to dig up later, devoid of bias and the shortcomings of human perception. In the raw data, you will notice the details important to you. Just watching will force you to make changes for the better. Also consider, simply watching all that goes forth will reveal problems and inefficiencies, prompting you to make change. Facts are a wonderful motivator.

Shielding from liability

Seeing bad moves by drivers can stave off problems that could have otherwise festered for years. Because we come to trust employees and coworkers like friends and family, rose colored glasses can cause us to miss red flag. Granted these red flags are hard to pick up on because we don’t see them happening in the field. Fleet GPS tracking give you 20/20 vision window into the field. This makes it possible to have a driver safety program with real world focused training and repercussions for infractions. This is a sure way to improve drivers’ behavior over time. Anything less systematic cruelly exposes your drivers to the whims a manager frantically trying to bring the beast under control. Lastly, a driver safety program can shield you from the worst if you are sued. Drivers will ultimately do what they are going to do in the field, thus taking demonstrable steps to mitigate their bad actions will show you are not negligent if disaster and ruin should try to prey upon your livelihood.

Improve efficiency in small places

You notice things because you have a view. Anyone who has kids will know when their kids are up to something devious or mischievous simply because they are familiar with the nature of their children, home dynamic, and their station requires them take responsibility or suffer what fate holds for them. Example, Fleet GPS management will record when drivers are idling, instantly revealing why your fuel bill is so high each month. As an expert in your industry, you will pick up small things that only you, a business owner and practitioner of you craft will notice.

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