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4 ways to prevent EPA fines with fleet tracking

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Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recent settlements with three carriers that violated California’s Truck and Bus Regulation, which require diesel trucks and buses operating in California to be upgraded to reduce diesel emissions. The three companies “either failed to install particulate filters on their own heavy-duty diesel trucks or failed to verify that trucks they hired for use in California complied with the state rule.”

The penalties totaled $201,000.

Many fleets run cross-country and, even if registered outside of a state, a truck is still subject to its regulations when traveling through. Between national and state-specific rules, keeping up with compliance isn’t easy. 

But it can be made easier. GPS fleet tracking provides real-time, vehicle-by-vehicle insight for dispatchers, fleet managers, owners and drivers to understand potential risk of an environmental violation and prevent them. Here are four ways it can help.  

Insight to assign the right asset to the right job

If dispatchers don’t have the right information, a job assignment can easily lead to a violation. Fleet tracking gives them driver-by-driver, truck-by-truck data for smarter, faster decision-making.   

If a fleet is mixed with newer and older assets, some vehicles may be compliant with a state requirement, like California’s. Some may not. Insight into specific asset locations  lets dispatchers make assignments based on multiple factors – proximity to the job, whether the vehicle can be compliant throughout the entire trip, driver hours and more – without ever having to make a call to drivers.  

Emissions and maintenance tracking for violation prevention

Fleet tracking is also inclusive of engine diagnostics. It provides constant oversight with regular reports on CO2 emissions and maintenance needs from each fleet vehicle. 

Daily, monthly and yearly reports broken down by individual vehicle type or across an entire fleet helps carriers see trends over time and identify problem vehicles and drivers. With electronic maintenance records and real-time engine data, they can prevent violations and resulting down-time of assets before they happen.  

Routing and vehicle monitoring to reduce idling and engine hours

One way for carriers to be compliant with new and future environmental regulations is to reduce their trucks’ miles and engine hours. GPS fleet management helps dispatchers and drivers ensure they take the shortest and most effective route to stay compliant and improve the bottom line.

Traffic alerts, for example, lets drivers avoid congestion to reduce vehicle idling and minimize fuel usage and emissions. Dispatchers can also use the data to reassign routes and assign closer jobs to minimize off-the-job travel time.

Real-time violations alerts for immediate correction

Violations do happen. With fleet tracking, those on the road and in the office can swiftly amend them. Real-time alerts of a violation (or one about to happen) lets dispatchers and managers stop drivers from continuing with that violation. They can re-route the vehicle, re-evaluate how to complete the job and avoid racking up fines.

There are plenty of business benefits beyond compliance. Better monitoring of emissions data lets carriers pinpoint areas to minimize waste, down to the vehicle and driver-level, for improved corporate social responsibility (CSR) and improve profits. It can help win new contracts, as more and more shippers, especially in urban environments, require carriers to have a CO2 policy when bidding. And, it helps them avoid hefty fines with a better view of all the moving parts of their fleet.

To learn more about the benefits of GPS fleet tracking beyond compliance, visit: Vehicle Tracking Systems


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