What Is a GPS Fleet Tracking System?
GPS fleet tracking systems are a combination of hardware and software that allows you to track the vehicles of your fleet, monitoring the efficiency and routes of drivers. These systems are a great way to improve the overall productivity and safety of your business.
Different types of systems have different requirements, so the type of hardware your GPS tracking system needs depends on the plan you choose. Many services have simple hardware that plugs into a vehicle’s OBD II port, while others require hooking up sensors to the information centers of a vehicle. You can install either hardware type on your own, or have your provider do it for you.
Regardless of the hardware setup you have, the tracking component takes the information obtained from the global positioning system (GPS) and renders it on the software platform. This gives you a central hub for the data to flow through, providing real-time alerts and updates about your vehicles in the field.
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Benefits of a GPS Fleet Tracking System
A properly installed GPS fleet tracking system should bring your business nothing but benefits, including:
- Asset awareness: Fleet tracking lets you know where your vehicles are at any time. Not only is this useful for ensuring your drivers take the best possible routes, but if a vehicle is lost or stolen it’s much easier to locate.
- Improved safety: Real-time alerts keep you as up-to-date as possible with the happenings of your fleet. In the event of an accident, you can provide direct assistance to your staff and communicate with them as needed. Trackers also have a habit of improving safety simply because drivers know they are being monitored and typically take extra precautions.
- Lower maintenance costs: Most GPS tracking systems include vehicle diagnostic features that allow you to monitor fluid levels, fuel consumption, and overall vehicle health. Rather than waiting for an issue to arise and spending the money to repair it, stay ahead of the game and fix problems before they start.
- Lower operating costs: A tracker allows you to significantly reduce operational costs by providing data that gives you more insight into your daily operations. With the ability to plan better or shorter routes, you cut down on hours behind the wheel and overtime costs. And shorter routes use less gas, lowering your fuel consumption.
- Staff management:Staff management: The data provided by a GPS fleet tracking system lets you see how each individual driver is performing, showing you which drivers need to improve, which ones are doing fine, and whether corrective action or training are required.
How Much Do GPS Fleet Tracking Systems Cost?
Fleet tracking costs depend on the type of system you choose (active or passive) and the vendor. Active systems, also known as real-time systems, provide instant information and typically come with a contract for monthly tracking services. Passive systems store the data, which can be retrieved by removing the device from the vehicle.
- Both active and passive systems have similar base prices, with equipment and installation having an average cost between $200 and $700 per vehicle.
- Active systems have an additional cost between $25 and $50 per month, per vehicle.
- Some dealers charge a one-time activation fee, which typically costs between $30 and $100.
- Some dealers offer unlimited tracking in their monthly fees, while others charge based on the number of locates you use each month. For example, checking the status of your driver 1,000 times can cost $25 to $50 per month, with additional checks adding to the price.
- If you decide to terminate your contract for an active system, termination fees cost between $100 and $200.
Some companies that sell active GPS fleet tracking systems offer the equipment for free if you are willing to sign a long-term contract for their monthly monitoring services. It is a good idea to ask your dealer if this is an option.
Things to Look for in a GPS Tracking System
Your GPS system should be worth every penny, so there are some features to keep an eye out for when purchasing. Look for systems that have alert systems and mobile access. You want to know if something is wrong with your drivers or vehicles and alert systems may even let you program specific things to qualify as alert-worthy. And mobile access lets you monitor your fleet from anywhere at any time.
The system should also be fairly easy to use. There’s not much point in getting one if you can’t figure out how it works. Support is also important, as you need to be able to contact a representative anytime you need help. Remember that, while price is important, cost should not be your only deciding factor. Find a system within your budget, but make sure that it fits the needs of your fleet.