GPS Tracking is a relatively new technology that has made huge improvements to vehicle monitoring, by giving full transparency to where vehicles are, and how they are being driven. Company Vehicles are one of the most vital assets used for daily business functions. Whether you have sales reps who travel to see clients, or your technicians need to run multiple service calls a day, knowing where your drivers are, and how they are driving has become an increasingly important factor in safety, and the efficiency of small business fleets.
The best GPS tracking solution is one that is simple, easy to use, and easy to understand. The other side of the coin, and the success of a good GPS tracking system depends on how your company implements safety policies and creates a culture around safe driving. Your drivers may resist the idea of being monitored. Often drivers feel that it is intrusive, and they refer to this as “big brother” watching to closely. This may temporarily lower morale, but the benefits far outweigh the growing pains.
Creating a culture around safety is key. Reward safe driving through a bonus structure, where drivers feel they can benefit. Use driver scorecards or gamification to create adoption. An example of creating a culture around safety would be having your drivers sign an oath such as: “they will refrain from texting and driving”. It may sound silly, but this speaks volumes, because it lets your drivers and employees know where your company stands on safe driving. Also, make a Vehicle safety checklist that the drivers fill out weekly or monthly. See copy of one here.
A privacy option is available to turn on during non-work hours. This should put your drivers at ease.
A daunting aspect of Telematics is the intimidating amount of data and information that is out there. You don’t know where to start, or what information to collect. There are multiple providers, each one claiming to be better than the next. A good GPS provider will have simple ways of implementing this great tool, making it as easy as logging in, and seeing an interactive map with all your “live” vehicles.
For a small business this is important. Having the ability to track where a driver is and dispatch them to the nearest job is a huge benefit. Create daily routes for your drivers. Routes can be mapped for scheduled appointments that day and organized accordingly. By doing this you save time, save fuel, and create happy customers because your drivers make it to their appointments on time! Furthermore, Idle hours can be monitored, and GPS helps you see where time is being lost in the day. NHTSA Research has shown that GPS tracking can reduce fuel costs by over 14%. Simplified routes can be created that day, so the driver knows exactly where they are going before they start their day.
Driver behavior such as harsh cornering, harsh braking, speeding, and seatbelt usage are easily monitored and corrected with GPS tracking. It is very important to mitigate the risk of accidents caused by unsafe driving. In the future, companies may be held negligent for not opting to have a GPS tracker installed, since they are readily accessible. An accident can cause thousands of dollars in damages. According to NHTSA, the average cost of a collision to an employer is $16,500 for on the job accidents. This number goes up to $74,000 for an accident resulting in injury. Most accidents are caused by careless and unsafe driving. Don’t wait to start coaching your drivers, the sooner you start the better.
Lower Insurance premiums:
Using GPS tracking not only corrects unsafe driving habits, it lowers your insurance premiums and increases the resale value of the vehicle. Auctions and dealerships see the value of GPS tracking and will usually pay more for a vehicle, knowing that GPS was installed, and used to its full benefit.
By reducing your aggressive driving habits, you reduce overall maintenance costs around parts & repairs such as tires, brakes, etc. Research has shown that GPS tracking can reduce maintenance and repair costs by over 23%. Since a GPS tracker is installed into the Vehicle’s OBD II port, the ability to collect engine diagnostic information and make informed decisions on your vehicles is now possible. So, not only does GPS tracking provide understanding of driver behavior, and location data, it provides insight into the health of the vehicle through engine diagnostics.
Ease of use:
GPS Tracking does not have to be difficult to implement. Partnering with a Fleet Management company that tailors a solution to fit your needs will bring greater success. Find a company that will patiently work with you to interpret as little or as much data needed on your vehicles. Usually the interactive map and exception reporting on driving behavior is all that is needed. Utilize daily reports to see rules that were broken by what driver with all the specifics.
Once you find out where your drivers need help improving, administer driver safety courses that help correct unsafe driving behaviors. Reward improved driving behavior. Driver scorecards are very popular too! Positive reinforcement does wonders and creates a positive work atmosphere. If you make it known that you care about the safety of your drivers, they feel valued and are more likely to adopt safer driving habits.
Leasing Associates specializes in helping small to midsize businesses manage their fleets. We have been helping businesses for over 60 years. Let us become your trusted partner and help you navigate the use of GPS tracking, making it work for your business. Call us today to discuss options that are available. We are partners with Geotab telematics, providing our customers with the most robust, up to date technology at a competitive price. Geotab is one of the most secure options on the market, as they hold the highest standard for data security. Their system is straight forward, the reporting makes sense, and can be implemented easily.