There are many companies in this country that rely on the transportation of goods for the conduct of their business: trucking companies and bus companies, for instance. The fleets of vehicles owned by such companies represent a considerable investment on the part of the company, so it’s only natural that a company would want to protect that investment by monitoring the performance of every vehicle in the group.
Over the past decade or so, a great many more requirements have been imposed on trucking companies and other transportation businesses, and these must all be complied with in order for them to stay in business. So that all these requirements can be met by a transportation company, and so vehicles and drivers can be closely monitored for performance, fleet management systems have been developed to track all that needed information.
As the needs of the industry have grown, so too has the sophistication of vehicle management software, which is now capable of monitoring virtually every aspect of vehicle operation and performance. This, in turn, has led to greatly increased productivity and many more competitive companies in the business of transporting goods and people.
What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management encompasses a wide range of functions, and it allows companies that rely on transportation in their business to reduce the risks associated with vehicle investment. It can help improve productivity and efficiency, lower transportation costs, and ensure that all vehicles are in compliance with any legislation in effect locally or on a national level.
Although vehicle group management can apply to ships, rail cars, and aircraft, it is generally referred to in the context of commercial motor vehicles like cars, vans, and trucks. Fleet management can be accomplished either in-house by using a software system dedicated to the purpose, or it can be outsourced to a company that specializes in fleet management.
One of the biggest components of fleet management is vehicle tracking and monitoring, which provides a great deal of information regarding driving behaviors, geolocation, and engine diagnostics. However, there is a great deal more involved with fleet management, and all of this information must be gathered in order for there to be truly effective management of a group of vehicles. It will be necessary to maintain data on repairs, vehicle registrations and titles, travel permits, warranties, supply chains, and a whole catalog of separate information about the vehicle’s driver as well.
What is GPS Tracking?
The global positioning system is a modern miracle of technology that can pinpoint your position on the globe to within one foot of accuracy. As incredible as this sounds, it is made possible by a whole string of satellites that have been placed in orbit around the earth and are operated by the United States Air Force. It requires at least three of these satellites to triangulate the position of any given object on earth, and when you consider the fact that there are a number of interfering forces between those satellites and the planet, such accuracy is impressive.
At the present time, there are 33 of these Global positioning system satellites in orbit around Earth, and although not all of them are needed to accurately identify positioning, some of them are redundant and are in place to guard against failure in the original units. Another 25 of these satellites will eventually be launched, and when they are in place, resolution will be even greater and much more traffic will be able to be handled.
Other countries have launched their own satellites to provide global positioning information, including Russia, China, Japan, and the European Union, so as to reduce the dependency on U.S. satellites. Global positioning satellites orbit the earth at a height of about 12,000 miles, and when you compare that to the height of the International Space Station (a mere 490 miles above Earth), it’s easy to see that GPS satellites are very, very high above us, constantly circling.
Because they are so high up in the atmosphere, they only orbit the earth twice each day, but there are still at least four satellites in line of sight with you at any point on the planet at any given time. GPS tracking works by listening for the transmissions of these satellites, which are constantly broadcasting their position and their speed as the travel.
With this information, it only takes simple mathematics to calculate an exact location for any point on earth. Because the speed of light is a known certainty, the time it takes for the signal to travel back and forth between a satellite and earth can accurately be determined. When three or more satellites coordinate their information with your GPS tracker, it becomes possible to determine your position.
What are the Benefits of GPS for Vehicle Group Tracking?
It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that GPS tracking almost literally places you right in the truck along with the driver, because virtually every piece of information the driver has access to will also be accessible to a fleet management system with global position system tracking. There are some tremendous advantages to using GPS tracking, and all of these are worthwhile to a trucking business or busing company.
First of all, it saves a great deal of time and money on fuel costs, because driving at high speeds can be virtually eliminated so that less fuel is consumed on every trip. Many fleet management systems are capable of providing automatic alerts to drivers when they’re going too fast and will warn them to reduce their speed. Excessive idling time is also a big source of fuel consumption, and this too can be monitored and advised against by a good fleet management system with GPS.
Another big advantage of having a global positioning system in your group is that it will allow you to take a proactive approach to safety because you’ll know where your vehicles are at all times. Behaviors such as speeding, inappropriate acceleration, cell phone usage, and hard braking can all be detected by the system so that corrective measures can be imposed.
And if any of the vehicles in your group are stolen, your global position tracking system will always be able to monitor the vehicle’s location so that authorities have a better chance of retrieving it. With no tracking system in a vehicle, it could be transported almost anywhere without your knowledge, and you would have virtually no hope of ever finding it again.
Many insurance companies take the measure into account if you have a GPS monitoring system installed in your vehicle group, lowering your Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) score and in turn significantly lowering your monthly premiums. You’ll also be able to achieve better customer service when you have a GPS system installed in your fleet because you will be able to provide up-to-the-minute updates to customers about delivery times and statuses. Rather than providing vague answers or a range of time when deliveries might be made, this information can now be provided to customers with accuracy and precision, and your customers will undoubtedly be very appreciative of this.
Where Can You Buy Fleet Tracking Devices?
One of the best providers in the country for fleet management systems with global position tracking is GPS Technologies, and it will be up to your company to enable as many monitoring features as you require. You can choose to take advantage of only the most basic information, or you can enable virtually all tracking data so that you have extremely accurate information about your fleet of vehicles.
Global position system technologies is one of the most respected manufacturers in the country due to its high-quality GPS systems, which are known to provide all of the necessary information for remaining competitive and complying with government regulations. One of the things that companies can appreciate most about GPS Technologies is the flexibility of its monthly service plan, which is as affordable as any other vendor in the marketplace today.
All devices manufactured by GPS Technologies are also small enough to be easily concealed on vehicles so that they can remain undetected by drivers and others. Meanwhile, your company will be provided with a steady stream of information about stops and starts, mileage, speed, address locations, rapid acceleration, hours of service, and other important driving statistics.
Competition grows fiercer every year among transportation companies, and it seems that new government requirements are being imposed every year as well. In order to stay abreast of all of these modern developments, it is almost essential to have a good fleet management system with global position tracking installed with your company. All of the benefits of a reliable system ultimately mean making a business more productive and more efficient through more accurate and persistent monitoring for vehicle and driver performance. With this kind of information at your fingertips, you should find it much easier to make any of the adjustments necessary to help you keep your company functioning at peak performance. In such a competitive field, it would be dangerous not to be!
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