Guide to best telematics for your business
We have joined forces with one of our partners, Azuga, to bring you a new series focusing on the telematics aspect of managing your companies’ fleet of vehicles. Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing multiple articles, giving you tips and advice on how to add and use this tool to improve your fleet management process. Today we focus on Choosing the Best Fleet Tracking Device for Your Business.
As a fleet manager, you know how important it is to remain compliant and avoid penalties. You also know how difficult it is to optimize your fleet, reduce costs, and monitor your drivers. There is so much that goes into what you do. Fleet tracking devices help to make your fleet efficient, safe, and compliant. If you want to learn about some of the best fleet tracking devices, check out our detailed list below.
Tracking Devices for Fleet Vehicles: More Than Just Compliance
The ELD mandate requires all fleets to electronically log Hours of Service. Many fleet managers choose a device based solely on this requirement. But elog devices (ELD) offer so much more to managers, drivers, and fleet companies. Many devices offer the following:
- Real-time GPS location
- Route optimization and planning
- Hours of Service logging
- Idle time tracking and trending
- Driver behavior reports and trends
- Emergency services
- Vehicle diagnostics
- Preventative maintenance scheduling and alerts
- Fuel card integration
- Fuel consumption reports
There are many benefits of using fleet tracking devices. Perhaps the most important being fleet optimization, which helps with reducing costs to your fleet.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a GPS Fleet Tracking Device
Purchasing a GPS fleet tracking system isn’t as simple as choosing an authorized ELD device. Before you invest in an authorized ELD and system, evaluate your fleet. It’s important that you choose a device to suit your company’s needs best. Consider the following before choosing a fleet tracking device:
The type of device you choose will likely be determined by the size of your fleet. A telematics system with several advanced features may not be financially suited to a smaller fleet. There are, however, some devices that are more specialized in certain areas than others.. For example, if fuel consumption is important to your company, make sure it’s a focus when choosing a device. It’s important to remember that larger fleets will not have the same needs that smaller fleets may have. So just because a large company is using one type of device doesn’t mean it’s best for yours.
Budget is one of the most important factors in making any decision in fleet management. Asking for a budget increase for fleet management software may seem impossible. Especially if you’re already working under restrictions. To decide on a fleet tracking device, consider your budget as well as what the device could save you overall.
Do you just need ELD compliance? Or, are you focused on fuel consumption, visibility, and route planning? To decide on the best fleet tracking equipment for your team, you need to consider your fleet’s needs. Examine all areas of your fleet: fuel consumption, maintenance costs, customer satisfaction, and more. Telematics systems are comprehensive and often solves multiple issues for fleets. But they aren’t all made the same. Compare your needs with what’s provided by the telematics system you’re most interested in. This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s an important step in choosing a system for your fleets. Remember, a fleet management system has the ability to solve many issues, so take your time when considering your needs versus what each device offers.
What to Look for in Fleet Tracking Devices
As mentioned, all fleet tracking devices are not made the same. Some of them are built solely for compliance. Others cater to small businesses while several can adapt to business needs as they arise. No matter what your needs are, your ELD system should have the following features:
One of the top features in telematics systems is the GPS tracking. It grants you visibility of your fleet in ways that no other feature can. With GPS tracking, you won’t need to concern yourself with calling drivers for location updates. You’ll know if there is a delay due to traffic or construction and be able to check their location in real time. GPS tracking allows fleet managers to know when and for how long drivers have been on the road—or if they take an unauthorized detour. No matter the size of your fleet, GPS tracking is something your team shouldn’t be without.
Many telematics systems offer a variety of alerts. Often these include accident alerts, poor driving behavior, maintenance alerts, and much more. For instance, with maintenance alerts, you’ll be notified when the vehicle is set to be at the shop. You’ll also receive alerts for vehicle issues, due to vehicle diagnostics monitoring. With a system like this, you’ll never miss your scheduled preventive maintenance again, saving the company valuable time and money.
Mobile Access & Ease of Use
One of the greatest things about cloud-based software is that you can access it anywhere. The software compiles data into easy-to-read reports that anyone can use and understand. This means that your drivers will be able to see and read many of the same reports you can. You can allow them to see their driving behavior reports, idle time, and fuel consumption. This visual is a great way to keep team members ontarget as well. But not all GPS ELD devices are cloud-based. Before you buy an ELD device, ensure that you and your drivers can access the information needed.
Although technology makes our everyday lives easier, it doesn’t always work the way we want it to. Which means a good customer service team is imperative when choosing a fleeting tracking device. So, choose a vendor that provides support when you need it most.This can take many forms, such as a help center with FAQs, email, chat, or phone. No matter how you communicate, you’ll need access to a live representative at all times.
We hope you found this information from our partners at Azuga very beneficial. If you’d like to learn more about the Azuga product, and how we are able to implement it into your fleet management program at Union Leasing, please contact us.
In the meantime, keep on the look out for more collaborative telematic blogs in the coming weeks.