Today’s fleet managers are very lucky to have truck tracking systems and software to make their jobs a whole lot easier. You get all the information you need and more. Plus, all that data can help you make timely decisions that are based on accurate and up-to-the-minute information.
Any company that has a fleet of vehicles, big or small, can benefit from lorry tracking systems.
Why should a business use lorry tracking systems and software? The answer is, overall, you get to improve your fleet performance. Using the different features of your truck tracking system, you can get statistics, information and reports on different things, including the actual location of your lorries at a certain point in time, thus letting you dispatch the nearest lorry to a customer. In short, you have more eyes on your fleet and, as a result, more control over it. You get an updated view of what’s happening to your fleet on the road anytime you want or anytime you need to.
Specifically, you can benefit from having truck tracking by getting:
- Lower fuel costs. Using GPS, the lorry tracking software can then estimate the shortest routes possible, or those routes that would allow you to use as little fuel as possible. More than that, your truck tracking system can help fleet managers forecast fuel costs, helping them come up with a much more accurate budget.
With FleetMatics’ truck tracking software, fuel cost went down from $2,750 to $2,465 a week. Photo courtesy of Jake-Weird.
- Safer driving behaviors. As you can see with usage-based insurance (UBI), having a truck tracking unit on your vehicles can help your drivers become more aware of their bad driving habits and correct them.
There is also a psychological component to having a lorry tracking installed in your fleet. With your drivers being aware of the tracking and monitoring mechanisms you have installed in their trucks, they are more likely to be more cautious and avoid risky driving behaviors when driving. The driver becomes more alert and self-aware and thus less likely to get into a collision.
These would in turn help the company save on repair costs, replacement costs and even expensive liability litigation. It would also help preserve the brand’s image, helping you cultivate an image of being safe and trustworthy, rather than a company that frequently gets into accidents and destroying customer cargo in the process.
Not only that, you also get to save on insurance premiums. Your insurance company can check your truck tracking data and you could show them that you have safe drivers on your team, which would in turn give you the chance to have lower insurance premiums.
Over time, your drivers will be overconfident with their driving. They will tend to break posted speed limits and start over speeding. Your drivers might think that they can justify over speeding because they need to make timely deliveries, but this is just wrong. Over speeding can seriously increase your insurance premiums and puts your drivers more at risk to get into an accident.
With a lorry tracking unit installed, you can record and monitor the truck’s speeds, even in real time. You can even set up your software to alert you when a driver is breaking speed limits in a certain area. This way, you can immediately correct your driver’s behavior.
You can also use your lorry tracking data to reward good driving behavior and train your drivers to avoid common bad driving habits.
- More ways to lower your insurance premiums. Safe driving is not the only way to convince your insurance company to lower your premiums. With a truck tracking unit on your fleet, you can also be sure that you can recover your cargo or your truck in case it is stolen. It used to be that recovering a lorry is difficult, because law enforcement agencies often put a low priority on stolen goods. So most fleet managers just write off the loss and go file the insurance claims. The insurance company would not be happy in this situation because it would have to pay for the loss, and fleet managers would see an increase to their insurance premiums. If you have truck tracking technology installed on your fleet vehicles, you can easily track and recover stolen trucks and cargo.
Anti-theft devices mean more discounts for you, and a lorry tracking unit is considered as an anti-theft device. In some states in the United States, insurance companies are required to give discounts to fleets that have this technology on board.
How big are these discounts? It is sizable! Imagine saving one third of your insurance premiums when you insure your fleet with USAA Insurance, or how about taking off a quarter of your insurance premiums when you go with Liberty Mutual. Meanwhile, AAA Insurance gives you discounts of around 18% to 20%.
- Less wear on your fleet. At the same time, improving your drivers’ driving behavior would mean less wear on your lorries. A lorry tracking unit could be used to pinpoint and correct any bad driving habits that your drivers may have. You can now know if the driver has the tendency to brake too hard, or if they let the fuel gauge run very low before filling up. These bad driving habits eventually damage your trucks and if not corrected, you will end up with repair costs well before they should have been necessary. So instead of being blind to what is happening outside of the office, you can check the data that your truck tracking software is giving you and correct these bad behaviors before it causes damage to your truck in the long run.
- Knowledge of road conditions. Using your truck tracking units, you can find out in advance anything about traffic problems, road conditions, road closures, diversions and other difficulties outside. This way, you are able to react quickly and maximize your truck’s use for the day.
Photo courtesy of San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
- Know when to maintain your trucks. With a large fleet, it might be difficult to keep track of mileage and find out when a truck is due for preventive maintenance and regular check-ups. A lorry tracking system can alert you of your truck’s mileage, ensuring that you can have the vehicle serviced before minor problems become a major issue. This also helps you make sure that your truck’s resale value is not badly affected. You can also avoid tax penalties and bald tires. What’s more, it would prevent the instances when a truck would break down while delivering cargo and goods, which would be a hassle for both you and your customers.
- Keep track of your drivers’ productivity. Is your driver goofing off on the clock? A lorry tracking system can instantly tell you when he or she does. A lorry tracking system can monitor unauthorized stops, insecure loading of goods, prolonged lunch breaks, excessive speed, offhand parking and other misbehaviors. It would feel like you are there on the road with your drivers, helping you keep an eye on their activities.
- Reward good behavior. On the other end of the spectrum, you can use your truck tracking data as a basis for rewarding good employees. You can implement a point system for every excellent driving behavior. For instance, 10 points for every on-time delivery, 5 points for using less fuel or 20 points for every excellent mechanic recommendation. At the end of the month, quarter or year, you can give the reward to your drivers.
- Serve customers better. When you use real time lorry tracking data, you can serve your customers better. You are better informed about the exact locations of your trucks and give your clients a more accurate estimate of when their cargos would arrive or when the truck will be able to pick up their parcels. You can even give them the exact location of your trucks (in real time) so that they would know when to expect it. What’s more, you have all the information you need in one screen, giving you access to all the relevant information you need to know when answering customer queries. When your customers are happy, your business is happy.
- Less paper, more details. Instead of filling out tremendous amounts of paperwork, you can just use the records and logs created by your truck tracking software. This will help your drivers become more productive and you get a more accurate record of their day’s activities. And you get to help the environment too.
If you are not using lorry tracking software now, then you are really missing out on a lot of things. These are just some benefits that you can get from having such a system installed for your fleet. Yes, it may cost you a good deal of money upfront, but the return on your investment is just tremendous. You simply cannot be on every truck that you have at all hours of the day, so the next best thing is to have truck tracking installed.