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Leveraging Tech for a Safer Landscaping Fleet

By Kevin Aries November 7, 2018

When it comes to managing safe driving behaviors in your landscaping fleet, many factors come into play. From weather events to how well drivers follow the rules of the road, and even vehicle maintenance protocols, there’s a lot to monitor. And given that many landscaping operations are small, locally-owned businesses, fleet managers are already stretched thin trying to ensure optimal site visits and a high level of productivity in what’s unfortunately a highly season-dependent industry.

This is where investing in technology has the potential to make a significant impact and can be accomplished with minimal disruption. The latest GPS fleet tracking solutions can help today’s landscapers enhance fleet safety and achieve a more productive workforce while streamlining fleet management and, ultimately, improving the bottom line.

4 ways GPS tracking helps you “sow the seeds” of fleet safety

1. Insight into driver behavior

A commitment to the safety of trucks and drivers is an investment in the long-term success of your landscaping business. By using a fleet tracking system, you and your managers are able to monitor critical safe driving metrics encompassing everything from speeding, hard stops and excessive acceleration to whether seat belts are being worn, and all from the comfort of your office.

With this around-the-clock fleet tracking capability, you can more effectively mitigate and prevent unsafe driver behavior, unauthorized vehicle use and deviations from any standard procedures you’ve established. You can even set up automated alerts to trigger as an unsafe driving behavior occurs.  

GPS tracking helps you to create a culture of safety with your drivers, staff and the general public, it also helps you promote a positive reputation within the community. Your vehicles essentially act as moving billboards for your business, erratic driving or signs of aggressive behavior on the road could alienate potential (and even current) customers, maybe even effecting your bottom line.

2. Improvement to the bottom line

Taking proactive steps to prioritize fleet safety with your team can increase your overall bottom line by helping to:

  • Lower insurance costs by tracking safety KPIs and results in near-real time. With data-backed reports on driver performance and landscaping vehicle use, you can deliver metrics directly to your insurance agent to help negotiate reduced rates and discounts.
  • Reduce repair spend by coaching drivers on dangerous and damaging driving habits. Speeding, harsh braking and cornering and quick starts can cause premature and aggravated wear and tear on your vehicles. With more stringent safety guidelines in place, you can prevent unexpected downtime and keep your trucks on the road longer.
  • Improve vehicle maintenance by setting alerts to trigger when it’s time for routine truck servicing. By proactively keeping on top of maintenance, you can extend the life of your vehicles and prevent more costly repairs down the line while minimizing the disruption to your business by appointments in advance at the most convenient times.
  • Lower your risk of fines and accident costs by tracking and coaching driver behavior. Your management team can identify areas where drivers need coaching to help you create customized—therefore, more effective—ongoing education and training.
  • Protect valuable assets by setting up alerts to trigger when a vehicle or asset has been moved without authorization or outside the approved area or time frame. Every vehicle and piece of equipment is a significant investment, and being able to mitigate risk when it comes to the actual physical security of these assets is crucial.

3. Enhanced customer experience

Though a cliché, “time is money” is a phrase every landscaping company knows to be true. GPS fleet tracking technology helps lighten the burden on landscaping team managers who are tasked with keeping track of multiple crews and company vehicles through automation and reporting, practically eliminating the need for multiple phone calls and data mining.

By utilizing a GPS fleet tracking solution designed specifically to help businesses operate more efficiently, you can help your landscape crews improve arrival times, optimize driving routes and confirm instantly where they are (which is especially helpful if they are late to an appointment) or how long they serviced a customer – all capabilities that ultimately help you deliver better results and increase customer satisfaction in a highly competitive industry.

4. Identification of safe driving trends for greater productivity

GPS fleet tracking technology can help you evaluate how each specific team member is performing behind the wheel, allowing you to uncover both safe and unsafe trending driving behavior. This data can then be used to support ongoing safety improvement initiatives across the organization by identifying desirable benchmarks for drivers and staff to achieve – encouraging team members to take vehicle safety more seriously via customized safety and education programs tailored to your drivers’ needs.

In time, having your crew achieve consistent safe driving behaviors will lead to streamlined internal operations and the ability to schedule more appointments in a certain timeframe – allowing you to realized enhanced productivity and supporting increased revenue.

Look for a comprehensive solution

For landscaping companies, it’s not just about having GPS tracking technology in place—choosing the right solution for your business’s unique needs and goals is critical. In general, it’s good to keep an eye out for technology that gives you seamless mobile access from anywhere and the ability to view data on any device at any time. In addition, having access to detailed maps showing you the near real-time activity and current status of all vehicles, workers and equipment is key.

How Verizon Connect Can Help

Make sure to that your fleet tracking and asset tracking solutions are designed specifically for service industry professionals, allowing:

  • Fleet managers to access to a single dashboard to monitor worker locations and movements in near-real time
  • Owners and managers to configure easy-to-use dashboards showing current fleet analytics
  • Landscape supervisors to view near-real time location and activity for every tracked vehicle on the road
  • Managers and supervisors to track vehicles to understand how crews spend their days
  • Dispatchers and office managers to develop the best routes to minimize travel and idle time

Learn more about how GPS fleet and asset tracking technology can “mow down” the challenges standing in the way of taking your landscaping operation to the next level.

Kevin Aries

Kevin Aries leads Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that optimize the way people, vehicles and things move through the world.

Tags: Dispatching & Scheduling, Field management, Performance & Coaching, Productivity & Efficiency, Revenue & ROI, Safety, Routing, Team Management, Vehicle Maintenance

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