How to Choose a GPS Vehicle Tracker for Fleet Trucks

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In 2021, the global GPS-Tracking Device market was worth $2.192 billion, yet it’s set to grow to $6.378 billion before 2030. This shows us that there is heavy demand for GPS-tracking devices, which makes sense because of what they provide for companies.

But how do you choose a GPS vehicle tracker? If you’re new to GPS technology, it might be a little confusing to know what makes a good vehicle tracker for fleet trucks. The last thing you want to do is fork out a hefty sum of money for GPS trackers, to later find out they don’t offer you all the benefits you would expect from such a device.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to get in-depth with GPS vehicle tracking technology. By the end of reading this, you should know exactly what you need for your fleet trucks. Let’s get started.

What Is GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is a technology that people use to monitor the location of a vehicle, person, or object in transit. GPS technology can accurately pinpoint the location of something, providing longitudinal and latitudinal information.

GPS technology can also offer real-time ground speed. It can also show the direction of a moving object in real time.

How Does It Work?

There is a “constellation” of 24 satellites orbiting the earth that are the core of the Global Position System (GPS) technology we use today. GPS trackers send their geographical information to one or more of these satellites, and then the satellites relay this information to a ground receiver.

So in terms of fleet GPS tracking, a truck’s tracker will constantly send info to satellites. The satellites then relay that info to your main office (or wherever you keep your receiver) so you can see where all of your trucks are at any given moment.

Some GPS tracking technology is better than others. For instance, some trackers will provide you with accuracy within a couple of matters with few errors. Other GPS trackers may more often provide you with a location accuracy of between 5-10m.

It’s up to you to determine how important location accuracy is for your fleet. If pinpoint accuracy isn’t such an important thing for you, then you can look at saving money by getting less accurate and cheaper devices.

The Benefits of a Fleet GPS Tracking Device

Fleet GPS trackers in a fundamental sense work like any other GPS trackers. They track moving objects (in this case trucks) and provide you with various geographical information about them.

However, these days, fleet GPS trackers have become more specialized and sophisticated. They now offer more valuable insights and info about a fleet of trucks. We’ll know take a look at the benefits you get from fleet GPS tracking technology:

Maximize Your Truck Utilization

One of the great things about fleet GPS trackers is they allow you to monitor the performance and location of your trucks in real time at any time. This means you have valuable data that allows you to improve your truck utilization.

The IoT (Internet of Things) sensors (or trackers) in your trucks let fleet managers work out how they can reduce vehicle idle time, for example. By doing this, they can help maximize company revenues.

Reduce Your Insurance Costs

Insurance companies tend to offer discounts if your vehicles have GPS trackers. There are a few reasons for this.

For example, if one of your trucks deviates from its intended route, you can quickly see this and inquire about the issue. It could be that someone stole the truck, and GPS tracking lets you know this info fast, which then enables you to act on the problem with speed. In such circumstances, you may have a much better chance of recovering the truck compared to the scenario where you don’t a GPS tracker onboard your truck.

Plus, when drivers know that there is a GPS tracker onboard, they are likely to drive with more care and consideration. So it makes sense that an insurance company like its clients to have vehicle trackers.

Reduce Your Fuel Costs

You’ll be surprised how much you can save on fuel when you install GPS trackers in your trucks. This is because you’ll be able to plan routes better and change them in real-time if there are better options on a given day.

An example of this might be if you have a driver going through a busy city and there’s a congestion build-up on the route you have planned for them. There might also be road works somewhere else. Without a GPS tracker, your driver might take a much longer route to avoid these issues, meaning wasted fuel.

In general, GPS trackers will save you time and therefore money in terms of fuel costs. And your drivers will know they can’t deviate from the route you’ve laid out for them because they are being monitored.

Reduce Your Fleet Maintenance Costs

Some fleet GPS trackers allow you to see vehicle diagnostics such as engine temperature and fuel levels among other things. If you have all of this info to hand when your trucks are out on the road, you can identify any potential and looming issues before they get worse.

Say the engine on one of your trucks is overheating, and you can make a quick decision on what the driver should do to resolve the issue. It might be that you tell your driver to pull over and wait for a mechanic to come to check out the vehicle.

Your Drivers Will be Safer

When drivers already have a route planned out using GPS technology, they have no need to refer to their phones or maps anymore for directions. This means their hands can stay on the wheel meaning they drive more safely. it also means they will be compliant with road laws.

Fleet GPS technology also lets you enhance the security of your vehicles and what’s around them. There’s technology now that can tell customers that one of your trucks is about to arrive so they can prepare the drop-off point. You can also set up boundaries for your trucks so that if they accidentally venture off in the wrong (and potentially dangerous) direction, you and the driver will be notified.

Improve Your Business Efficiency

Many GPS technologies allow you to do things like automatic email reports of when a driver clocks in and out of a shift. It can do this using digital timecard software that’s built-in.

This means you’ll be able to ensure your drivers get paid for the exact hours that they work. It also means less paperwork and thus greater business efficiency

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Good fleet GPS tracking will help you to increase customer satisfaction. This is because you can provide up-to-date info to customers about where their shipment is and predictions of when it might arrive.

You can even go as far as allowing customers to see their shipment on the move in real-time online. Allowing customers to see this means that they won’t have unrealistic expectations of your company and they might be less likely to phone you up and complain about “what’s taking my shipment so long?’

How to Choose a GPS Tracking Device

So we’ve now looked at all the potential benefits you can gain from investing in fleet GPS trackers for your trucks. Now it’s time to look at what options you have on the table in terms of fleet GPS tracking features.

Here we have 5 key considerations for you to think about when looking for fleet GPS trackers for your fleet:

1. Choose Between Periodic and Real-Time Updates

So one of the first things you should consider when looking at GPS trackers is whether you’re fine with just having periodic updates or if you need real-time updates. Periodic updates deliver geographical info at intervals about your trucks. Real-time updates will show you what’s happening at any moment (with varying delays depending on your tracker).

If you require in-depth 24/7 info about your fleet, then real-time tracking is the way to go. However, if you wish to save a little money on the trackers you buy, periodic trackers might be adequate for your needs.

You have to be aware that real-time trackers are energy intensive as they send a constant stream of information to you. Periodic trackers use very little energy as they may only relay info a few times a day. However, most real-time trackers will have periodic settings that you can use to reduce their energy usage.

2. Choose a Device Made for Fleet Management

It might sound obvious to choose a specialized fleet GPS tracker, but some companies don’t and miss out on loads of cool features. One way to ensure you get a specialized device for your specific needs is to seek out a professional provider of fleet GPS tracking technology and services.

You also have to consider that there are different trackers to suit various vehicle types. Manufacturers design some trackers for light-duty trucks, while others are best for heavy-duty ones.

3. Think About What You Want to Monitor the Most

It’s clear that you want to track the location of your vehicles, but what else do you want to monitor? For instance, do you want vehicle diagnostics and cargo hold temperature monitoring in your setup?

You can also have trackers that monitor particular assets on their journey. You might, for example, want to monitor livestock or precious cargo in different ways. Make sure to ask about these sorts of things when you contact a GPS tracker provider.

4. Battery vs. Non-Battery Fleet GPS Trackers

You can either get battery-powered, non-battery-powered, or hybrid GPS trackers for your fleet.

Battery-powered trackers are portable options that use rechargeable lithium batteries or older forms of rechargeable batteries. If you intend to get this type of tracker, then you should learn how to change the settings so that you can conserve battery life for longer.

Non-battery powered units just plug into your standard power outlets and are stationary. Hybrid options allow you to have a hardwired configuration or a portable battery-operated one.

5. Make Sure to Get All the Latest Features

If you’re going to invest money in fleet GPS tracking then you should try and get all of the best and latest features possible within your budget. Of course, quality counts as well, so don’t sacrifice this over feature-packed options made by cheap manufacturers.

So some features and characteristics you should look for include:

  • Driver safety tracking
  • Customer support
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Various alert systems
  • Mobile access
  • Communication options

Driver safety tracking is a good feature to have for your drivers. It keeps checks on them such as monitoring whether they are going over the speed limit or following other traffic laws, for example.

With some GPS trackers, you get 24/7 customer support. Most fleet management companies tend to want this, in case they run into any problems.

An easy-to-use interface is a must for anyone wanting fleet GPS tracking capabilities. If it’s too difficult to use, then you’ll likely not make use of all the features and that’ll lead to you sacrificing many of the benefits you can gain from GPS tracking.

You should inquire about what alert systems are available on any GPS tracking technology you’re interested in. Ideally, the company that provides you with the tech should offer training on how to make use of the alert systems along with other features.

Mobile access is another must. You should be able to access all the tracking data through your cellphone or mobile device for convenience. Plus, having various communication options built into the software is useful for running your business.

Fleet GPS Tracking Explained

A GPS vehicle tracker should fit all the criteria needed for your industry. For fleet trucks, it’s worth spending time finding GPS tracking technology that offers you an array of features so you can run your operations smoothly and efficiently.

For more blog posts, head to our navigation menu above to find a topic that takes your interest.

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