Fleets of vehicles are a common sight as we travel along America’s highways. With the shear number of trucks, vans, buses and cars used in fleet operations, you have to wonder how companies keep track of them.
Hundreds of U.S. businesses depend on their fleet of vehicles to provide goods and services to their customers. Fleet operations are logistically complex, and expensive to maintain. However, satellite technology has given fleet operators the tools to reduce costs and increase productivity.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was initially developed by the military to track thousands of mobile assets deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Once the system was operational and thoroughly tested, it was made available for commercial use.
GPS consists of a network of 27 communication satellites that orbit the earth. Each satellite weighs almost two tons and is solar-powered. They complete two trips around the globe per day at an altitude of approximately 12,000 miles.
The GPS satellites are arranged so at any given time, and any given place around the world, at least four are “visible” in the sky. A GPS receiver on the ground, locates four or more of the satellites, determines the distance to each, and then uses a mathematical formula to calculate its location on earth.
With a GPS system, fleet operators can achieve tangible financial benefits. The system allows them to capture valuable “on-board” data that help them to reduce costs, increase productivity, improve safety and provide better service to their customers. The system essentially places the fleet operator next to their drivers to give them complete control over their vehicles.
A GPS fleet tracking system can deliver the following benefits for fleet operators:
Reduced Fuel Costs
An advanced GPS system can track a vehicles location and provide management with information concerning vehicle speed and idling time. Each of these can significantly impact fuel usage.
By tracking driver speed and idling time, management has the opportunity to review the results and take corrective actions.
Improve Driver Behavior
Unauthorized vehicle use and improper driver behavior are two major issues that elevate fleet costs. The on-board GPS receiver collects and transmits detailed information concerning driver speeds, idle time, engine start-up and shut-down, route times, break times and other key operational data.
This technology provides both driver and management with “real-time” analysis of operator productivity and compliance.
Increased Safety and Security
GPS deters theft. Criminals know that hidden GPS devices can help law enforcement officers pinpoint the location of a stolen vehicle.
It can also alert management in situations when a vehicle is being used at unauthorized times or locations.
GPS systems monitor a vehicle to ensure they are scheduled for maintenance on a timely basis.
Enhanced Customer Service
GPS coupled with mapping software gives dispatchers the ability to efficiently direct their drivers and vehicles to where they are needed. This results in improved customer service.
GPS fleet solutions deliver fleet operators with an attractive return on investment.