Category Archives: Fleet Management

GPS Tracking Software – Buyers Guide

gps-fleet-tracking-software-buyers-guideGPS tracking software is growing in popularity with fleet owners as they discover the benefits, making better use of their resources – vehicles, drivers and mobile technicians.

Frost and Sullivan report very real savings after deploying fleet management using GPS tracking.

  • 25% decrease in fuel spend
  • 30% reduction in unnecessary idling
  • 10% drop in daily mileage
  • 20% increase in asset utilization
  • 15% saving on auto insurance
  • 15% boost in workforce productivity

*Source: “Benefits After Effective Deployment of Fleet Management System” – Frost & Sullivan 2015

These sorts of savings are encouraging a large number of fleet owners to look into purchasing GPS fleet tracking, and this is increasing the number of providers popping up, offering a variety of different GPS tracking solutions.

Choice is good but too many choices can make it confusing for buyers. If you’re currently searching for the best GPS tracking software solution, then all the different suppliers out there are probably starting to bring on a headache – what’s an easy way to filter out the suppliers that aren’t worth wasting time on? Try this handy checklist of questions to make sure you’re getting a GPS tracking product that will help you find a solution that will achieve the desired result – both now and into the future as your fleet grows and meets new challenges.

Questions to ask providers of GPS tracking software:

  1. How old is the architecture of your hardware? Older hardware can limit your options, increase procurement costs and prevent you from taking advantage of cheaper Android or Apple handheld devices.
  2. How many product releases do you have a year? More frequent software releases mean more innovation and quicker access to the latest technology.
  3. Do you have mobile apps? BYOD (Bring Your Own Device; allowing workers to use their own Apple or Android devices) is significantly lowering hardware costs for fleets, increasing adoption and reducing training requirements.
  4. Are you ISO accredited? ISO is an independent quality accreditation given to organizations that have systems and processes of a high standard.
  5. How much do you charge for onboarding? Onboarding is an important part of adopting fleet tracking software to make sure you get the best return on your investment.
  6. Does your software only run on your hardware? If you are locked into using their hardware it will increase costs, reduce flexibility and limit features you can access.
  7. Do you require additional hardware than what is in the truck? If so, it will mean more downtime and cost getting additional hardware installed.
  8. What industries is your software designed for? Some software is not flexible enough to adapt to different industries, or particularly caters for a specific industry.
  9. Has your customer support received awards? Aftersales support is important to avoid, or at least minimize, downtime.
  10. Do you have to touch every truck to activate? The larger your fleet the more disruptive it is to get every vehicle into the shop to get activated.
  11. Can your product be financed as part of a truck purchase? Financing your software as part of the vehicle’s purchase can improve cash flow and offer tax advantages (see OEM telematics below).
  12. Are you a hardware company or software company? What is the focus of their business? This determines how much effort they dedicate to improving their software and how much they spend on research and development.
  13. Will you be compliant with the new ELD HOS mandate? The new ELD mandate is requiring all drivers who currently complete Hours of Service paper logbooks to have their driving hours automatically tracked.

These questions (or, more particularly, the answers to these questions) can help you determine the quality of the solution, and whether the company will provide you with a solution that doesn’t deliver (even if it is cheap) or a solution that will help your fleet perform better and more efficiently than ever before, delivering a solid return on investment.

Ask the right questions, get the right solution

The key to purchasing the right product or service is knowing the right questions to ask. It’s no different with getting the best GPS tracking software solution for your fleet – know the right questions to ask and you can quickly sort out the time-wasters from the providers that know what they’re doing and will deliver quality results.

GPS tracking software that doesn’t need aftermarket hardware

Most GPS tracking solutions you buy today require you to purchase expensive hardware. It’s not only an expense but it means downtime for your vehicles while they get fitted. The good news is that more and more manufacturers are offering pre-wired or installed options on commercial vehicles that are built-in from day one.

OEM telematics means you can activate your new vehicles online and from the moment you drive them off the dealer’s yard you’re benefiting right away from GPS fleet tracking.

OEM telematics solutions, such as Ford Telematics, offers other additional benefits including richer data diagnostics and tax advantages. It’s quickly becoming the preferred choice for a lot of fleet owners looking for GPS tracking software and it’s worth considering if it’s right for your fleet too.

Why every trucking fleet needs a fuel card plan

There’s no question that fuel is a precious commodity. Rising gas prices only make it more crucial for trucking fleets to carefully manage how fuel is acquired and consumed. Fortunately technology is making it a lot easier for fleet owners to control their fuel purchases, with greater accountability and reporting to highlight areas that need attention.

Why consider switching to using a fuel card program to manage and monitor your gas purchases?

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HOS Ruling Cuts Driver Hours by 15%

The FMCSA has released their final ruling on the maximum number of driving hours from 82 down to 70 in an effort to combat accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers.

The ruling comes after many months of public consultation and modifications to CSA 2010.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the final HOS ruling on December 22, 2011, basing it on the latest research in driver fatigue and replacing the existing FMCSA hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers.

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Oil prices reach new high. How can truck drivers stay profitable?

Truck owners know that when you pay all the bills you realize how costly running a truck can be. Multiply that by hundreds and it’s not surprising to know that trucking fleet owners are constantly keeping an eye out for ways to reduce fuel costs.

With oil prices topping $95 a barrel recently, pushed by higher seasonal demand and hints of stability in European financial markets, it is just another reminder to truck owners, in fact anyone in the freight industry, that fuel costs need to be managed if a fleet (or single owner/operator) is to remain profitable.

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CSA 2010 – Safer trucking?

It has almost been a year since CSA 2010 was introduced to all carriers throughout the U.S. It was progressively rolled out through 2010 and modified several times to make the system more workable for both government agencies and truck owners.

Has it been successful? Has it achieved its aims of Compliance, Safety, and Accountability? Many experts in the industry have warned of the dangers of receiving a poor CSA ranking, but how has it really affected fleets? Is it taking dangerous drivers, or unsafe carriers off the road?

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Is it possible for truck fleets to go green and still make money?

If you’re a fleet owner then no doubt you’ve come up against the Green Fleet issue at some point. It might have come up at a board meeting, prompted by a VP keen to do more environmentally-friendly initiatives, or marketing may have suggested it as a way to improve the company’s brand image.

Whatever the prompt, you’ve likely asked yourself whether becoming a green fleet is a good option for your fleet. In fact, you may be unsure exactly what a green fleet is. If that’s the case then here’s a good definition of Green Fleet.

How many fleets are going green?

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Triple Fatality Shows Need For Fleet Tracking

A triple fatality on the I-40 has highlighted the importance of truck driver safety, and the strict compliance codes introduced with CSA 2010.

The collision happened on the Interstate 40 in Durham between a tractor-trailer truck and three other vehicles. A witness described the accident as a ‘vision of hell’ with bits of metal, fuel and other debris littered for hundreds of yards.

Despite rescue services being on the scene within minutes little could be done for the three victims.

Truck driver charged

Investigation into the accident uncovered that the truck driver was under the influence at the time. Ronald Eugene Graybeal, 50, is in the Durham County jail after being charged with driving while impaired and three counts of felony death by vehicle.

Graybeal was driving a truck owned by an East Tennessee company, Hawley Transport, that has been cited for dozens of violations related to fatigued drivers and unsafe driving, according to federal inspection records.

In 11 fatigue cases, inspectors pulled Hawley drivers out of service and did not allow them to continue driving. Those violations include driving more than 11 hours without rest and providing false or incomplete records to show how many hours the driver had been at the wheel.

Prior to this accident, Hawley trucks had been involved in two crashes in early 2010 in Kentucky and Tennessee, including one that involved an injury.

Unsafe truck drivers are killing innocent people

This unfortunate incident has highlighted the critical need for both truck drivers and trucking companies to be on top of safety. Don’t wait for people to die before implementing safety measures.

While truck driving can be a dangerous job (and some truck driving jobs more dangerous than the rest) there are some key things that both drivers and trucking companies can do to maximize both their own safety, and that of the general public.

Truck GPS systems save lives

As DOT and FMCSA continue to tighten up regulations around driving conditions and driver safety records, fleet owners can stay a step ahead with a GPS fleet tracking solution such as Telogis Fleet. Telogis Fleet, along with Telogis Mobile, contributes to driver safety in several ways.

HOS – Telogis Mobile automatically tracks individual driver hours and provides a logged safety record that cannot be falsified. It provides an accurate and reliable way to make sure your drivers are complying with the maximum number of driving hours.

Pre and Post Trip Inspections – Telogis Mobile provides a way to have your drivers complete safety inspections and submit these electronically using their electronic navigation device.

Safe Driving – Telogis Fleet can monitor dangerous driving including harsh braking or acceleration as well as speeding. These are often symptoms of a driver more likely to be involved in an accident.

Workload Balancing – Overworked drivers are a hazard to themselves and other road users. Telogis Route offers advanced scheduling of drivers to make sure no one is overworked and routes fairly distributed among staff.

Improving the reputation of truckers

Unfortunately it’s accidents such as this, caused by a drugged-out driver, that give good truckers a bad name. You can do your part in promoting truck drivers and trucking industry as safety conscious by employing good driver systems to make sure one bad apple doesn’t spoil it for the rest of us.

 

 

Government fleets – The easiest way to switch on to telematics

The old image of government departments being the epitome of inefficiency are rapidly disappearing as public spending comes under closer scrutiny, along with greater accountability and transparency on all fiscal activities.

This has had a direct impact on government fleets, forcing them to do more with less and work hard to improve efficiency in all areas of their fleet operation. If they hadn’t already it’s likely they’d be looking for a system to help them cut costs and boost efficiency – what they’d be looking for is a telematics system.

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Four reasons why training your staff will pay for itself

While fuel is one of the highest operating costs facing trucking fleets today, labor costs can also make a significant impact on a fleet’s profitability. So while you’re doing everything you can to run a fuel-efficient fleet, are you overlooking another way of trimming fleet costs – investing in your staff?

To train or not to train?

Many managers struggle with the decision to provide specialized training for their staff or not. Some drawbacks to staff training can be:

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Pushing your trucks uphill? You don’t have to!

Hill driving is not ideal for getting the maximum fuel efficiency from a vehicle. Most drivers know that. Endless gear changes, the extra fuel burned dragging a heavy load up the hill, then using engine braking or gear changes to slow your descent on the other side. But what can you do about it?

Not a lot if there’s only one way to your destination but now there’s advanced GPS routing that could show you a better way.

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