Whether you own a trucking business or run one, there are some alphabetic combinations that are top of mind — for example, ROI, EBIDTA and P/L. You’re on the lookout for ways to make positive cash flow more positive. In that light, adding GPS fleet tracking to your vehicles can be a powerful tool.
Some of the areas in which GPS-based fleet management can squeeze more dollars out of your operations include:
We’ll begin with the obvious: fuel is one of the biggest expenses in your business, which means that eliminating excessive fuel consumption can be a major cost savings. GPS fleet tracking helps you cut down on petroleum combustion in more ways than one.
With GPS route planning and on-the-fly rerouting to avoid traffic jams and weather blockages, you can shorten distances and travel times, and reduce engine idling. You realize additional gains in fuel management when you can respond to customer requests by dispatching the vehicle and driver who are currently closest to that location.
One more benefit in GPS fleet tracking is in engine data collection that allows you to see when a driver accelerates rapidly, brakes harshly, or practices other fuel-wasting habits. You’ll also know when a vehicle is used for unauthorized travel. Promoting more economical driving and shorter routes can save hundreds or thousands of gallons — in financial terms, hundreds or thousands of dollars.
This is another biggie in terms of out-of-pocket expense. It costs money to keep your vehicles in good repair and it costs you still more in downtime while they’re in the shop.
A GPS-based fleet maintenance program can include digital monitoring of vehicle miles and hours, so you’ll be able to exercise proactive care and automate service schedules. Fixing issues before they become major problems will go a long way toward keeping your maintenance bills down. And you’ll be able to deploy your fleet more efficiently when you can keep track of which pieces on the big board are due for a stopover at the garage.
Regarding pieces on the board — GPS fleet tracking lets you see everything at once, an overview of the entire operation. Instead of dealing with one truck at a time you’re marshaling your resources in a coordinated fashion, spotting areas that need more support and allocating vehicles and personnel efficiently. Fleet tracking is a set of eyes and ears that gives you instant data and allows you to rely less on memory, more on information. The smoother your fleet operates, the more money accrues, day after day.
While it’s true that mobile phones have made driver-office communication much easier than it used to be, this doesn’t mean that you can’t improve on efficiency and free up more working time. Drivers won’t have to interrupt what they’re doing to check in with the office, when you have a tracking system that tells you precisely where they are.
You’ll also be able to see how long each trip or stopover takes, and that gives you a better handle on how productive your drivers are. A workday expressed in the number of hours on the job is an imprecise measurement of productivity. Knowing when a truck is in motion and when it is idle is a better snapshot of how that driver’s day is progressing.
Driver and vehicle safety is a worthwhile goal in itself, but unsafe driving behavior can cost you in more ways than one. GPS tracking with fleet safety management features can help drivers avoid racking up hours of service (HOS) violations (which are expensive as well as dangerous).
GPS fleet tracking supports safety in those contingencies when a driver needs assistance on the road. A GPS fix can pinpoint the location, perhaps saving time when it is most crucial.
A commercial motor carrier that implements safe driving policies across its fleet has the potential to save money on insurance. Businesses that use GPS fleet tracking technology gain visibility over unauthorized vehicle use and driver behavior on the road. With this data, top insurance providers recognize the technology as a risk management system that helps users reduce accidents, road violations, possible theft, and ultimately prevent unnecessary costs. Fleet owners can earn insurance discounts, lower premiums and protect themselves against liability risks. When risk is decreased for all concerned, it is a win/win, boosting the insurance company’s balance sheet and yours.
To learn more about GPS fleet tracking technology, visit: Vehicle Tracking Systems