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Van tracking system benefits for your fleet

By Simon Austin July 16, 2020

How GPS van tracking systems benefit fleets

Small businesses that rely on vans and other vehicles to provide products and services to their customers can experience tangible financial benefits with GPS tracking software. Fleet tracking solutions help you to gain complete control over your entire fleet and improve its productivity.

Reducing fuel costs

Almost everything monitored by GPS van tracking systems can work to help reduce fuel costs. Speeding is a huge factor in high fuel usage. Maintaining proper speeds can significantly reduce the fuel consumption of your vehicles. Many telematics solutions provide speed information and alert you when a van exceeds set speed thresholds.

Excessive idling can contribute to high fuel costs for many businesses. When drivers unproductively waste fuel by using their van as a climate control system, you lose money. Van tracking solutions can help reduce idling times by alerting you when vehicles idle longer than a predetermined duration so you can take corrective action. Van GPS tracking systems also provide location-based information dispatchers can use to provide proper routing information to technicians and vehicles in the field. In addition, many GPS tracking systems have the ability to locate the closest vehicle to any specific job site. You can dispatch the technician that will arrive on the site first, thus further reducing fuel usage.

Improving driver behaviour

Other major contributors to high fleet costs are unauthorised vehicle usage and improper driver behaviour. Vehicle tracking systems can relay a variety of information regarding driving behaviour including speed, engine start-up and shutdown times and idling time through a GPS tracking device connected to your business vehicles on-board diagnostic (OBD) port.

Fleet managers can use this information to enforce driving policy and curb unwanted behaviours like excessive speeding, heavy braking and extended idling. Studies show that tracking your vans and other vehicles encourages employees to work more effectively and stop utilising company vehicles for personal use.

Quality vehicle tracking solutions can also provide the ability to automate timesheets. You will know exactly when employees start work, how long they take for lunches and breaks, and when they stop working for the day, without relying on manual timesheets. Accurate and verifiable timesheets will streamline payroll processes. This helps you avoid paying excessive overtime due to inaccurate timesheet data.

Read more about improving driver behaviour and safety by downloading our free eBook.

Increasing safety and security

Although not a security device per se, a GPS tracking solution can play a part in improving the security of your fleet. For example, GPS tracking can provide information to help you recover assets in the event of theft. In addition, some systems offer features that alert owners immediately if a vehicle is used during off-hours or leaves an unauthorised area by using geofences.

Some telematics providers feature alerting functions to let you know when vehicles are due for routine maintenance. Proper vehicle maintenance ensures that your fleet is compliant with safety guidelines and can help reduce repair costs in the long run.

Better customer service

With proper mapping software, fleet owners and managers know the exact location of every vehicle in their fleet in near real-time. This gives dispatchers the ability to effectively direct drivers to any job site. In addition, you can locate and dispatch the closest vehicle to any job site. Van GPS tracking provides better routing and dispatching which reduces fuel usage and mileage and increases the number of jobs completed in a day.

Fleet management solutions can incorporate a number of features that help improve customer service. Better routing and dispatching helps you to get to your customers more quickly. You will also be able to determine when a vehicle arrived on a job and when it left, providing accurate and verifiable proof of services.

Active vs. passive vehicle and van tracking

This means that the data from the vehicle tracking device is transmitted to a remote user at regular intervals to give you near real-time location data.

For passive tracking, all the GPS data is stored in the vehicle tracker and must be downloaded once all the vehicles return to the office. Be cautious of van tracking systems with ‘updates’ every 5, 10, or 15 minutes as this isn’t truly live tracking, and often, you can be charged for additional pings if you need to locate your vehicle between intervals.

Near real-time (active) tracking has become the most popular method for tracking vans despite its higher cost because of the huge benefits to having near real-time vehicle location information to make on-demand fleet management decisions.

Web-based vs. client-based van tracking

Many van fleet tracking systems utilise proprietary software that requires installation on your computer. Often, these solutions also require frequent manual upgrades and downloads. Another drawback to proprietary software is that the interface can only be used on computers with the proper installation.

GPS fleet tracking solutions can provide information securely over the internet. As long as you know the login and password, you can access your account from any internet-enabled computer. The flexibility and 24/7 accessibility of an internet-based solution makes it the far superior choice when deciding on a specific GPS tracking solution.

The importance of mapping

Fleet tracking requires current and clear mapping. Some fleet tracking software have partnered with well-known mapping providers for the most accurate and up-to-date mapping available.

The best mapping features allow you to zoom all the way down to street level and provide street, terrain, satellite and hybrid street/satellite views. In addition, you should be able to get near real-time traffic information via the mapping in order to help drivers avoid delays.

Using reports and alerts

GPS tracking solutions, like the Reveal platform allow you to automate concise and easy-to-understand reports on a weekly or monthly basis. In addition, you have the ability to generate reports instantly. The data can be organised to give you information about daily vehicle or driver activity, speeding violations, violations of company driving policy, a complete list of jobs, excessive idling times and much more.

Van location tracking solutions also have extensive historical reporting functions. You can compare the performance between two employees, or compare an employee’s performance against the company average in areas such as speeding, idling, miles driven and engine-on or off times.

Alerting features can easily notify you of unwanted behaviour. Alerts should be flagged in relevant reports and you have the ability to be notified of any alerts via email or smartphone app as soon as a violation occurs. Alerts can also be triggered for excessive speeding and idling, engine start-up or shutdown times, after-hours unauthorised van usage and the moments a van enters or exits specific locations.

Explaining van GPS tracking to employees

Once you’ve decided to track your vans, it’s important to get your drivers and staff on board. Tracking is a way to reward hard work and eliminate bad habits that can lead to serious financial loss.

Let your drivers know that vehicle tracking provides an important safety function for your business and the drivers as well. GPS allows you to keep up with proper maintenance, keeping vehicles safe on the road. In addition, fleet van tracking will allow you to recover any stolen assets more quickly, which will help keep your business from incurring losses.

Vehicle tracking is also an essential customer service tool that can lead to happier customers and additional business. Having a solution in place can also protect drivers against false complaints about overcharges and services not rendered.

Most importantly, tracking your vehicles provides numerous benefits that help increase revenue. Increased revenue adds to a company’s financial stability and provides drivers with job security. Many businesses use the increased revenue to reward employees with bonuses. Rewards based on tangible van tracking data can boost morale and help gain acceptance of the solution.

While vehicle tracking may be new to your business, GPS is a proven technology  that is fast becoming the industry standard for businesses with fleets. By not tracking your most important assets, you could be putting your business and employees at risk.

Got a large fleet to manage? Our GPS fleet tracking can help make a vital difference. Download our eBook to find out more.

Simon Austin

Simon is the Associate Director, International Marketing, EMEA & APAC. With over 20 years marketing experience in the IT software and business analytics industry, Simon believes passionately in the power of data and how it can help business realise their full potential faster.

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