Are you battling to stay on top of paperwork, or struggling to keep tabs on your fleet? GPS tracking systems could be for you. Enabling almost total fleet management, modern GPS systems are more than just location devices. They can help you control running costs, driver behaviour and overall safety. Below, we’ve explored the biggest reasons to implement a GPS tracking system.

Better dispatch and routing

A GPS system locates fleet vehicles at all times - so both you and the system always know where your assets are. When a new job rolls in, GPS can be used to identify the closest vehicle, or the vehicle with access to the most efficient route. Some systems even give automatic dispatch options based on the locations of vehicles and the address in question.

The power of your GPS system’s mapping dictates the accuracy of your dispatch. It’s important to use a system that is regularly updated and complete. The more powerful the mapping, the more help it will be in determining quick dispatch, or altering routes to account for road closures and accidents.

Eliminate unauthorised vehicle usage

Some GPS systems deliver vehicle activity alerts, which tell HQ when fleet vehicles are entering areas designated as off limits, or are being used out of sanctioned hours.

As well as an early warning system for potential vehicle theft, the activity alarm acts as a deterrent for unauthorised usage by drivers. This kind of usage can occur during fleet business hours, for example in situations where drivers take time out from their planned routes to socialise with other drivers, or to run errands not connected with fleet business; and out of hours, when drivers may be using company vehicles for domestic or extra-curricular work purposes.

The more they are on the road, the more fleet vehicles are at risk of accident and wear. Monitoring and eventually eliminating unauthorised usage has the long-term effect of increasing vehicle life, as well as ensuring drivers are working on your time, for you.

Monitor inefficient employee practices

It’s a known and observable fact that people work better when they know they are being monitored. GPS tracking gives you a picture of where, when and how your fleet vehicles are driven. You’ll be able to tell whether drivers are sticking to their approved working hours, following planned routes - or if their habits include regular deviation and unexplained destinations.

Some GPS systems can activate warnings when vehicles leave planned routes, or enter prohibited locations. Use them to find out when your key assets are being used for purposes other than fleet business.

Improve safety and breakdown recovery

The safety of your drivers, and the public, is paramount. A GPS system is able to pinpoint a vehicle in real time, which is useful for the prevention of theft and the monitoring of your employee’s behaviour and driving style - but in an accident situation it could mean the difference between life and death.

If you know the precise location of a fleet vehicle that has been in an accident, you’ll be able to alert emergency services and direct them to the spot quickly. Similarly, if breakdown recovery is required, GPS tracking can save time and money by leading the contractor right to your damaged vehicle.

Safe driving is also linked to driver behaviour. GPS can show if your drivers are speeding up and slowing down erratically, routinely breaking speed limits, or failing to take their legally prescribed breaks.

Reduce fuel consumption

Fuel consumption in fleet vehicles is linked to three things: the ways in which those vehicles are maintained and driven, and how routes are planned.

Good planning means taking advantage of local knowledge and up to date traffic information to design and alter routes, giving drivers the best chance of reaching their destination on time and without over-consuming fuel. GPS can give on the spot suggestions for efficient routes in the event of delays or road closures, and can also identify when vehicles are driven in a way that drives fuel consumption up.

Improve your record keeping and time management

Record keeping doesn’t have to generate a mountain of paperwork, which takes time to sort through and is easy to lose. GPS driven fleet management systems are capable of delivering detailed reports on many fleet metrics, retrievable using easy GUIs.

Consider time sheets and wages. They’re a vital element of your business, and difficult to manage when drivers are logging hours in multiple destinations. The time spent by your drivers on the road can be automated using a quality GPS tracking system, which starts tracking your vehicles from the moment they are started to the time their engines are switched off.

Know where your vehicles are at all times

Theft, damage, interrupted service - these are significant problems for businesses who make their money on the road. In any unusual situation, the ability to locate and retrieve your vehicles is key. Having GPS is more than simple peace of mind, though. It also represents a deterrent to thieves, who may be less likely to risk stealing a van if it can be located rapidly by the authorities.

Do you have a GPS vehicle tracking system? Share your experience of GPS onTwitter and LinkedIn.

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