Running a business always comes with inherent risk. But for businesses with vehicle fleets, there are additional risks associated with having drivers in the field. How can you be sure your drivers are obeying the rules of the road? How can you be sure employees are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there? And how can you defend your business from frivolous damage claims?
Plote Construction Inc., based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois found answers to these questions, and were therefore able to reduce their risk and gain control of their fleet by installing GPS fleet tracking on their vehicles.
Fleetmatics Comes Highly Recommended
Plote Construction is a family-owned construction company with more than 45 years of experience in heavy highways contracting throughout the Chicago area. The company specializes in various projects including roads, highways, airports, lifestyle centers and housing developments.
Even with the company's success, Eric Villa, Dispatcher at Plote Construction, realized that the business could boost its bottom line by installing a reliable vehicle tracking system.
After talking with colleagues in the industry, Mr. Villa settled on the Fleetmatics GPS Tracking Solution. Several companies had recommended Fleetmatics and Mr. Villa was impressed with what he saw. "The Fleetmatics solution is very user-friendly with great mapping," said Mr. Villa. "Other systems were way too congested."
With Fleetmatics installed on 119 of its vehicles, Plote Construction began to immediately experience the benefits of high-quality GPS vehicle tracking.
Winning in Court and Reducing Liability
According to Mr. Villa, one main reason for installing GPS tracking was to gain better knowledge of their vehicles' locations at all times. While this helped improve dispatching and ensured drivers did not take unauthorized journeys, it also helped them win in court.
Two years ago, one of Plote's trucks was involved in a serious accident. According to Plote's driver, a car was weaving in and out of traffic. The vehicle pulled in front of the truck and slammed on the brakes. The truck swerved to avoid hitting the car and the Plote driver lost control of the truck, rolling the semi over.
"Without Fleetmatics, we could have lost that case," said Mr. Villa. "It really worked out great for us."
In addition, Plote Construction will get an occasional call from the general public complaining about cracks in their windshields, claiming rocks may have fallen off the company's trucks. Mr. Villa is able to pull up the Route Reply to see if a truck was even in the area at the time of the complaint. "Many of these types of complaints are blatantly false," said Mr. Villa. "When I tell the person that the GPS says no one was on that road at the time, they just hang up."
Improving Employee Performance
Plote Construction also uses the Fleetmatics GPS fleet tracking solution to significantly improve employee productivity. With Fleetmatics, Mr. Villa can be sure his drivers do not take excessive breaks or take unauthorized journeys during work hours. The company knows the exact start time and end time for every vehicle and can match them to drivers' time cards.
"I've had drivers tell me that they were at a job site, but by looking at Fleetmatics I can tell they were sitting at a gas station or taking a long break," added Mr. Villa. "With the mapping capabilities in Fleetmatics' solution, I can see exactly where the drivers really are compared to where they say they are."
By reducing liability and improving productivity, Plote Construction has been able to increase their bottom line. Fuel usage has decreased, routing has improved and Mr. Villa has experienced better time management.
"Fleetmatics works great, just as we expected," said Mr. Villa. "Fleetmatics is a smooth running operation that provides great service to its clients."