After reading the title you might be wondering if spending money on tracking your fleet of trucks, vans or other vehicles could really save your company money? The simple answer is of course. Yes. Yes, it does.
And there you have it. Article finished. Thank you for your time; enjoy the rest of your day.
All kidding aside, now that you have the simple answer, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and go over 3 ways an investment in a good GPS fleet tracking system now will save you money. As is the case with many long-term expenses, this isn’t something akin to a tax refund, with a nice chunk of change suddenly falling into your lap in one fell swoop. The savings will trickle in over time — a slightly lower fee here, a reduced average there — and leave you by the end of the year with a tidy extra sum tucked away.
1. How much does fleet tracking cost?
The upfront and subsequent costs of setting up a tracking system will naturally vary from company to company, depending on the size of your fleet and the quality of the technology. The most basic form of GPS, while cheaper, will only give you the basic benefits of real-time monitoring: location of your trucks, their speed, and direction. The more expensive arrangements will give you all kinds of additional information: fuel levels, driver behavior, mechanical conditions, traffic updates, and more. Here’s a general breakdown of what these fleet tracking costs can look like:
(Monthly, Per Device)
|Basic||$100 – 250||$15 – $30||$100|
|Advanced||$300 – $600||$30 – $70||$100 – $150|
While purchasing it outright can keep it taken care of all at once, many companies will choose to rent their equipment, even if it ends up costing more in the long run. Reasons for doing so include getting upgrades to the technology automatically as systems improve, and regulating the responsibility for maintenance and repair to an outside party. Also keep in mind that, depending on the package you get and the frequency that you want to be updated on your fleet’s whereabouts and goings-on, there may be a recurring monthly charge for service as well, which can range between $15 to $30.
2. How does investing in fleet tracking save money?
Now that you’ve seen the cost breakdown, let’s get into the why and how of fleet tracking’s bottom line. We’ve already covered the benefits of GPS in previous posts, so here we’ll summarize how they relate to putting money back into your wallet.
This is the easiest one to quantify since it’s the most direct source of savings. Because GPS tracking is designed to monitor and discourage habits that increase your chances of an accident — including speeding, vehicle malfunctions, and distracted drivers — many insurance agencies can offer discounts of up to 15% on premiums. Companies that offer variations on this include Liberty Mutual, Travelers, The Hartford, and Zurich North America. We all know how costly insurance is for even a single vehicle: that’s a serious bit of necessary budgeting that you can shave off every year.
One of the biggest expenses of any transportation company is fuel; you’re burning through a lot of it in numerous vehicles every day. The trucking industry as a whole consumes a ridiculous amount of it: over 50 billion gallons every year (which contributes to over 10% of the country’s total usage) to the tune of 100 billion-plus dollars.
GPS’s ability to calculate ideal routes based on distance and traffic and alert you of idling vehicles may only get rid of a few miles here and there, but those miles will add up quickly, considering just how much driving is involved in this profession. Less driving overall means less gas consumed, which means savings for you. A single semi-truck uses more than 25,000 gallons of the crude stuff each year; even if the price of gas averaged to about $2.50 throughout the year (a vain hope if there ever was one), that would still leave you with a $62,000 price tag for a single vehicle’s fill-ups. Reducing even a small portion of that off across multiple trucks could save you thousands by the new year.
Those many, many miles traveled are going to wear your trucks down no matter how sturdily they’re built, and it’s going to be more cost effective to regularly fix smaller issues and perform upkeep than to wait for something big to break and leave you stranded. Transportation companies are only making money when they’re actually transporting something: having a key player in that system stuck in a shop with enormous charges for replacements, towing, and labor is costing you money upfront and in the long run by putting deliveries behind schedule.
Fleet monitoring lets you keep an eye on the major components beneath the hood and create a timeline for when you should replace parts before they cause problems. And because you can individually track each of your vehicles, you’ll be able to note what habits your drivers may need to fix while on the road and only work on the parts that you know need it on a case-by-case basis.
Last one! Without getting too Big Brother about it, GPS tracking is a useful tool for making sure that your drivers are staying on track even when they’re hundreds of miles away. Alerts of excessive idling (a big waste of both time and gas), hours of service, and going off-route can help you make sure you’re both paying your workers fairly and making the most of their time. And this productivity is something that trickles down further, all the way to your customers. Higher competence means smoother and faster deliveries, which means happier clientele, which means a greater chance of repeat business or recommendations to new clients.
3. Does Fleet Tracking Really Save You Money?
Now that we’ve expanded on our initial claim a bit, we feel pretty confident in reinforcing it again here at the end. Does fleet tracking really save you money? Yes. Yes, it does. When it comes to innovation and cost/reward considerations, a transportation company really can’t do much better. Plus, you get to play around with all kinds of fancy technology. A real win-win no matter how you look at it.
We want to hear from you! What’s your experience when it comes to fleet tracking? Has it helped you save money in the long run? Have questions about fleet tracking? Leave your comments and questions in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going!
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