Managing a fleet of vehicles can be incredibly challenging. There are always issues with repairs and service work, drivers who don’t adhere to guidelines or planned routes, and the list of potential problems doesn’t end.
Transportation and logistics organizations which rely on their own fleet of vehicles to administer their services and products need the ability to effectively track their fleet.
Fleet tracking involves tracking vehicles using tags and nameplates to provide up to date information.
One of the simplest but most effective resources for fleet managers is simple asset labeling of their vehicles. Metal tags or vinyl-based decals can be applied to a car or truck to individually number or mark the automobile.
This numbering system can be used for basic inventory purposes. A simple check-in check-out system can be implemented if deemed necessary.
Numbered vehicles are easy to check and monitor the status of.
While this solution may seem simple, it is also extremely cost effective. Compared to other high-tech solutions, basic labeling is significantly more cost effective.
This means this solution is often preferable for smaller sized businesses who cannot justify investing thousands of dollars into the highest tech based solution.
Knowing your operation is critical in selecting the right solution. Fleet size can be a major factor as a fleet of 5 vans is significantly different than a fleet of 500 semi-trucks.
A more modernized solution involves the use of GPS tracking tags and software to provide real-time data on the fleet.
Each vehicle can be outfitted with a GPS tracker. This device sends location and potentially other data back to the organization.
The organization can then have access to a wealth of data for the entire fleet at their fingertips.
With all of this information, organizations are able to reduce idling times, prevent unauthorized usage, and track the overall efficiency of their workers.
The biggest downside to the GPS solution is that it is a very expensive solution.
Tracking devices are a significant investment, and may require modification to the fleet vehicles. In addition, workers have to then monitor the trucks in real-time in order to get the most utility out of the solution. This requires additional labor hours.
Another potential downside is worker unease. Some drivers are hesitant to work under the constant watching eye of a monitoring system such as GPS tracking.
Some of these systems track everything from driver speed to fuel levels and more, making drivers feel as though their every single move is being heavily monitored and criticized.
While this stigma is changing due to the amount of technology surrounding us, it is something to be prepared for.
A key component of fleet tracking is providing the safest fleet of vehicles for your drivers. Automobiles, especially those used to haul equipment and inventory are inherently a risk. Everyday there are accidents on our roadways leading to injury or worse.
While some day self-driving automation may lead to the total prevention of these incidents, we are a long way from that.
As such, preventing as many accidents as possible is a major focus for fleet reliant organizations.
Trucks and vans need to be effectively and frequently inspected and serviced for any issues or malfunctions.
By utilizing a tracking system, each vehicle can be repaired and serviced in an organized manner, with accurate information and records in place of each service.
Of course, no fleet tracking solution is a one-size-fits-all. Each company is different with its own unique set of challenges and goals.
Selecting the right tracking method is critical for it to be an effective and useful solution,
For smaller businesses who may have a more confined budget, basic tracking tags and labels are an excellent option. By simply labeling their fleet vehicles, these organizations can effectively track the usage and availability of their assets.
For larger scale operations or those without budget limitations, a full GPS monitoring system may be the perfect fit. Tracking the entire fleet in real-time can have tremendous upside and help lead to greater efficiencies.
The key is to know your needs and operation. Select the solution which best fits those parameters.