Louisiana has had a budget problem for a while now, and it’s getting worse as the state legislature further restricts the finances of some state government departments. But problems have solutions. Five years ago the states’ Agriculture Department moved to cut expenses by right-sizing its fleet, reducing personal use of department vehicles, and investing in a GPS solution to minimize fuel waste. In the first year alone, the fleet reduced its fuel consumption by 15 percent, saving $1 million. This savings alone is an important reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well, which proves to be especially influential in a low-lying state like Louisiana where climate change and rising sea levels threaten the state.
Louisiana’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission then adopted the same program and got very similar cost savings. Now, the state as a whole is following suit by adopting a centralized GPS tracking system for all state government vehicles.
State officials estimate that the system will pay for itself three times over in the next five years.
GPS tracking systems save fleets money by drawing attention to driver behavior. Speeding, harsh acceleration and braking, and excessive idling, all waste fuel. When these actions occur, the GPS tracking system can send an alert to the fleet manager immediately notifying him, or her, when a driver is engaged in these behaviors.
There are numerous GPS tracking systems that provide various tools. Teletrac offers a Driver Safety Analytics feature that detects poor driving habits, recording instances of wasteful or unsafe driving that identifies which drivers have persistent bad habits. With this information, fleet managers can direct additional training or disciplinary measures to drivers who need help. Or provide recognition and rewards to drivers who have been performing well.
GPS tracking solutions at their core serve as navigation tools to help improve efficiency for both fuel and time. With Teletrac, an open line of communication with drivers and dispatch is seamless with Two-Way Messaging. The tool serves as a helpful device to send key customer information or updated routes to drivers.
GPS-based fleet-management systems are not new, but Louisiana’s centralized system, which follows the recommendation of an efficiency study commissioned by the governor, is unusual. Normally, each government agency manages its fleet separately. A combined system has the advantage of allowing agencies to share both resources and data, reducing redundancy and further reducing fuel consumption—and ultimately lowering insurance premiums. Other states may soon get in on the act.
Teletrac already helps over 22,000 customers with GPS tracking and fleet management. With features from Safety Analytics, to Two-Way Messaging, fleets cut waste, and financially strapped states do a better job of serving their residents.