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In just about any industry, sometimes a business has to spend money in order to save in the long-term.

Government fleets are seemingly always operating under a tight budget. And that’s one of the primary reasons a fleet may immediately shoot down the idea of considering an investment in telematics.

With an upfront expenditure for a large number of devices along with the costs for installation and ongoing tracking, the total amount for the implementation of the system causes many fleet managers to shy away from investing in the GPS-enabled technology.

But with the potential savings on fuel, time, supplies, vehicle maintenance and other items, a fleet’s return on investment can add up very quickly.

How One Fleet Saved Big by Implementing Telematics

The local fleet in Napa, CA was already familiar with telematics when it applied its modern system.

While the original system was able to track vehicles in an efficient manner, it wasn’t able to provide any diagnostic or telemetric data. Since the Napa fleet was plagued by numerous vehicle breakdowns and excessive costs for repairs, the staff members needed to find information that would allow them to perform the correct, preemptive vehicle maintenance.

To do so, the city chose to implement a new telematics system on 66 of its vehicles and leverage reporting to observe any instances of excessive idling, vehicle operation after working hours and mileage inconsistencies.

The result was a significant reduction in maintenance and vehicle replacement costs, along with helping the Napa fleet maintain its vehicles to stay compliant with annual emissions inspection requirements which had been previously adding to the city’s already extraordinary fleet management costs.

Immediately, the city saved $50 per vehicle in annual smog check inspections, which added up to $3,500 in fleet-wide savings. Napa’s fleet also reduced fuel costs by 10 percent and improved operating efficiency, which meant another 10 percent savings by cutting down on the number of vehicles required. The city also was able to decrease its greenhouse emissions by 44,000 lbs. each year since the telematics system was put in place.

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