June 5th, 2013
Using GPS tracking in fleet vehicles can vastly improve efficiency and lower delivery costs for companies. That’s why many fleet managers are stepping away from radio communication and clipboards to embrace the newer technology: on-board GPS equipment for their vehicles. Advantages are myriad, including greater employee accountability, lowering fuel costs and travel time, and improved customer service. Many GPS platforms can now coordinate a variety of web-enabled communication avenues, including texting and messaging directly to the GPS device in the vehicle, so a fleet manager can always be in touch with drivers.
Tracking technology enables fleet managers to keep an eye on how employees’ travel time is spent. If drivers are accountable via GPS, they are less likely to make unauthorized stops or detours on company time. Furthermore, a fleet manager can analyze a driver’s route and decide whether a new route would save time or gas.
Lowered Fuel Costs and Time Well-Spent
Fuel costs and travel time can be minimized via the use of GPS fleet tracking. If a driver is spending too much time idling or is speeding, both activities that increase fuel consumption, the fleet manager can address the issue so that fuel costs can be kept in line. If traffic is heavy on the current route, a manager can find a way around the obstacle by planning an alternate route, thereby keeping the vehicle moving and on its way rather than consuming fuel by waiting. In addition, managers can get faster roadside assistance to drivers if the malfunction location can be pinpointed. With GPS tracking, a fresh vehicle can be dispatched to the location to get the driver back on the road as quickly as possible, saving time in the process.
Improved Customer Service
Tracking can improve customer service, too. If a customer is waiting on a high-priority delivery or pickup, a manager can locate and dispatch the fleet vehicle in the closest proximity to decrease the customer’s wait time. By having the capability to locate and track a vehicle, a fleet manager can also give the customer an estimated time of its arrival and plan the most efficient routes based on the current location of the driver, getting the vehicle to the destination in the shortest amount of time.
GPS fleet tracking is a viable option for fleets of any size because of its relative simplicity and its potential to give managers the control they need for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
March 30th, 2012
With gas prices on the rise, many businesses are struggling to stretch their dollars. The industries most affected by high fuel costs will need to get creative if they hope to stay afloat during these uncertain economic times. Among other tactics, many businesses are turning to GPS tracking technology to help make the most out of expensive fossil fuels. By monitoring vehicle movement, managers can better see where employees can make changes to save the company money.
FedEx, with its impressive budget, was early to integrate GPS tracking technology. Presumably, part of the reasoning was potential fuel cost savings, but the Fortune 500 company primarily uses the technology to keep track of where packages are as a means of quality assurance. When Michael Gilbert left FedEx in 2011 and became the logistics director at the much more modest Indianapolis Fruit Company, he immediately recognized the potential benefits of integrating GPS tracking to their delivery service.
According to Gilbert, one of the biggest challenges of his job is getting the drivers to understand their inefficient driving habits, such as idling for extended periods of time. Recently, GPS tracking showed one of the delivery trucks had stopped and sat idling for nearly an hour. When confronted, the employee justified the action, explaining that his bathroom break took a little longer than he’d expected. Many of these drivers have formed habits around a lack of accountability, so its a struggle for managers like Gilbert to convince employees to change their ways. “We’re trying to educate the drivers on the macroeconomics of what engine idling does,” said Gilbert. “They look at 50 minutes a day as, ‘Not that big of a deal,’ We’re trying to teach them that 50 drivers using 50 minutes every day all year is a huge number.”
September 16th, 2011
A kayak thief was apprehended at his home in Southborough, MA and pleaded not guilty to the charge of receiving stolen property worth over $250 and possession of burglary tools, despite the fact police used the information obtained from GPS tracking devices placed inside the kayaks to catch him.
Matthew Alexander was spotted getting into a car that just happened to have two kayaks on top, which just happened to contain the GPS devices cleverly hidden inside by owner Michael Aghajanian. He was tired of watching kayaks disappear from his business, a watercraft rental business at Hopkinton State Park. In three weeks time, he’d lost a little over a dozen kayaks and decided enough was enough.
“The fact that you knew someone was coming back, over and over, and there was nothing you could do was emotionally draining for me,” he said. “They were taking stuff and I was powerless to stop them.”
His idea of placing the GPS devices clearly paid off, with police recovering not only the two kayaks on the roof of the car, but 15 more located at Alexander’s residence. They are looking for at least 7 more, but it may be tough, since he’s had kayaks for sale out on his front lawn ever since the thefts started occurring.
The stolen kayaks totaled an estimated $20,000. Aghajanian is proud of taking it upon himself to catch Alexander. “When you’re a small business owner, the only one who looks out for you is yourself.”
Article Written by Khristen Foss
August 7th, 2011
Consider the benefits of GPS tracking for the summer business owners who work while teachers are on vacation. This kind of summer business is a way of life for Americans. Whether it’s that old-fashioned Puritan work ethic or just a love for fun in the sun, we like to get out and do things. Despite the heat, we still find plenty to enjoy in the great outdoors and plenty of opportunities for earning extra cash.
A GPS tracker is a piece of technology with a million potential uses to save a business owner money, energy, time, and stress. These devices are tiny and can fit nearly anything – a vehicle, a child’s wrist, a box of valuables. Once activated, they send signals to satellites, and the owner just needs to access the Internet and see where the device is.
Here are just a few ideas for using GPS for your summer business. If you have equipment such as a lawnmower or other landscaping equipment or an ice cream truck, you may worry about it being stolen. You have a lot of money invested in each vehicle, and they are essential for running your business. A GPS tracker, carefully hidden, can be activated if the vehicle goes missing, and police can easily trace your stolen property and recover it.
If you live in a tourist town and spend your summer days as a tour guide, you can use GPS trackers for several purposes. If you’re at all worried about keeping your group together, you can give each person a tracker so that you can make sure no one gets lost. You can place trackers in special locations and let your group do the exploring to find them. Combining trackers and navigators can lead to a host of other creative ideas.
Finally, when considering summer businesses, we can’t forget the traditional lemonade stand. Maybe your child is just begging to try one, but you have some reservations. You may not have time to stay with them and supervise, but you may not feel safe leaving them to work the stand alone for awhile. A GPS tracking band can give you peace of mind that your child is staying safely where he belongs. You can even set your account to alert you by text message if your child leaves a certain area. So you can let your kid learn the joys of entrepreneurship and independence, while being securely guarded.
Article Written by Kadence Vyra
August 5th, 2011
One of the greatest uses for GPS tracking is theft prevention. Before GPS, if something was stolen, the unfortunate odds were that you wouldn’t get it back. Often the stolen items had already disappeared on the black market, never to be seen again. This was true for everything from jewelry to cars. But GPS has changed the scene, and even owners of the smallest businesses can reap the benefits of a GPS investment.
GPS trackers have a lot of different uses, but for the moment let’s focus on one – protecting yourself against the theft of your vehicle.
- Step One: Purchase a unit and subscribe to an account with a tracking company.
- Step two: Install the unit on the vehicle, preferably in a less-obvious location.
- Step three: Set up your account with the necessary information and features. These may involve inclusion zones, so that you get an immediate alert if the vehicle leaves a certain area. An alternative is to keep the device inactive until you realize your vehicle is missing, saving battery life.
- Step four: Get to the real work of running your business; you don’t need to waste time worrying about guarding your vehicle every second of the day and night. Step five: If your vehicle goes AWOL, start tracking! Just get online, log in to your account, and follow the thief’s every stop and turn. Alert the police, and they can help you recover your vehicle very quickly.
One particular group that is benefiting from this use of GPS is food cart owners. These are the people who set up trailers in parks and other public places, sometimes closed-in trailers and other times smaller stands with bright umbrellas to shade them, and sell everything from hot dogs to salads.
They might not always be able to stay with their trailer every minute of the day, especially if they represent a one- or two-man staff. They also, if the park allows, may leave their food cart overnight, saving the fuel it takes to haul it back and forth each day.
A GPS tracker can be a huge benefit to this type of business. With GPS tracking, food cart owners can recover a stolen trailer within a matter of hours. It doesn’t cost much to get a unit, and it’s a great way to protect a big biggest business investment.
Article Written by Kadence Vyra
September 1st, 2010
Article Written by Greg Bartlett
Times are tough in the business world. Companies continually look for ways to save money while at the same time reducing environmental impact. With gas prices swelling and the cost of doing business increasing, environmental efforts are not always as easy as they seem. Fleet managers especially need a way to evaluate how they use resources and how they can save money and incorporate green management practices at the same time. One of the best ways to accomplish both goals is to incorporate GPS Tracking devices for each vehicle in the fleet.
By equipping each vehicle in a fleet with a GPS tracking device, fleet managers can monitor driver habits and vehicle efficiency accurately. They can determine fuel efficiency, idle time, speed and routes taken. With this information in hand, they can map out a plan to reduce costs by taking shorter routes, reducing idle time, maintaining the speed limit, and using each vehicle to its greatest potential. While GPS tracking systems do require an initial expenditure that can seem daunting, most estimates reveal that companies can recoup their expenses in nine months or less. As savings continue to increase over the life of the system, most companies find that incorporating a tracking system for fleet vehicles is well worth the investment.
In addition to the direct savings garnered by monitoring drivers and vehicles with GPS tracking devices, companies can also realize greater productivity and savings by taking advantage of tracking data. If every driver in a fleet can make one extra stop every day by taking shorter routes, both the company as a whole and the drivers individually will enjoy increased earnings. If vehicles can be used more efficiently, managers can forego additional purchases, resulting in thousands saved each year.
All these cost saving measures also result in greener companies. Reducing idle time and driving fewer miles results in fewer emissions, giving fleet managers an even greater reason for incorporating GPS tracking into their vehicles. As responsible care for the environment becomes more urgent every day, companies looking to go green can take huge steps in the right direction simply by equipping themselves with knowledge. Once they have specific information in hand, it’s only a matter of incorporating new habits and practices into their employees’ training in order to create an environmentally friendly business that operates at its full potential while saving money at the same time.
July 30th, 2010
Are you an owner of a company? Do you use tractor trailers to transport your goods or services? If so, tractor trailers are becoming targets of thieves in various places around the country. Would you like to rest easy knowing that you can track your goods using fleet tracking? It will come in handy not only to assist in the recovery of stolen goods but also allows you to monitor the truck (e.g., going the right direction, validation of time driven, etc.).
Basically, fleet tracking allows you to monitor/track any number of vehicles in real time, indicating the precise location and direction of movement of tractor trailers or other vehicles. They are helpful because they allow a trucking company to monitor and make necessary changes to routes if something unforeseen occurs (e.g., major car accident, bad weather, etc.). Fleet tracking uses GPS technology to monitor the whereabouts of a truck. GPS (global positioning system) units located on assets, people, possessions, etc., transmit a signal to one of the satellites (24 in all) located above the earth. From the satellites in outer space, the real-time movement and location of the asset is transmitted to a GPS-enabled device. This allows tracking of the asset by the person possessing the GPS-enabled device. Certain GPS tracking software allows you to examine a track later and determine the movements of an asset (i.e., tracking in historical time).
Qualcomm Enterprise Services has introduced its new Trailer Tracks 210. It will be officially added at the beginning of 2011. The TT 210 is said to have much better coverage in Mexico, solar energy, Bluetooth capability, more memory, and a more compact design. The TT 210 will allow fleet owners to monitor their assets in transit from one portal. The company also plans to offer its StarTrak Reefer Track System for refrigerated shipments. The Reefer Track system will allow its users to manage its fleet shipments via remote control. It can set alarms, timers, and begin defrosts on refrigerated products in transport. Temperatures and set points are also at the control of customers through their Reefer Track system. Additionally, this new technology on its newer line of trucks allows for tracking of and control levels of fuel consumption.
As technology advances the consumer is the person who wins. Faster delivery times, less food spoilage, tracking fuel usage – all add up to cost savings. Business owners are smart to embrace new technology. Are you keeping up with improvements in your field? Make it your goal for 2010!
July 28th, 2010
Theft in the construction industry is becoming increasingly common as bulldozers and Bobcats disappear from jobsites. Also common is to have parts and doors stolen from heavy equipment to be sold for scrap. Random items such as skid loaders, forks, rims, electric motors, tractor weights, concrete rebar, PTO shafts and more are routinely stolen from construction sites. A GPS tracking device is the key to protecting assets on the job site. In the case of rental equipment, the device can alert you if the equipment leaves a predetermined area. Fleet equipment and vehicles can be closely monitored, also. Real time surveillance of out-of-the way locations can provide additional security. Geo-fencing capabilities ensure that when an asset perimeter is breached – an alarm and text message is generated and you immediately what is happening.
A GPS or Global Positioning Satellite is a navigation system based on twenty-four satellites launched by the U.S. Department of Defense and this world-wide tracking system is now available to anyone who wants to use it. The satellites orbit the earth twice each day, transmitting very precise location information. It is available for commercial use and many businesses are actively using it to improve their delivery times, save on fuel and thwart unnecessary employee activities.
Recently it was reported in New Hampshire that doors had been stolen from Bobcats left at a construction site. Aside from the steep expense, the doors have to be ordered and can potentially delay a job. In fact, because this is such a big problem, the doors are frequently on backorder. This crime was solved with the owner happened to see his door with an identifying mark on it listed on Craigslist and was able to trace it back to the thief. However, most of the time people without GPS tracking devices on their equipment aren’t so lucky.
Up until now, the theft of heavy equipment was a frequent and unfortunate occurrence and a very difficult crime to solve. However, with the advent of GPS tracking devices, a small tracking device can easily be concealed on the heavy front door of a Bobcat which will enable law enforcement to easily find it. The devices are so small and inconspicuous that it will not be obvious they are in place and if a piece of equipment does happen to be stolen, it can be easily recovered.
While the purchase of GPS tracking devices to prevent construction industry theft is an investment it may very well pay for itself in lower insurance rates, less downtime and in the retention of very expensive assets. It is well worth the money spent to prevent theft of valuable equipment.
July 27th, 2010
You know how you immediately change your driving habits when you are being followed by a police car? You are so careful in making sure that each movement is within the law. This is also true when it comes to your work. Employees who are closely watched tend to work better and with more productivity than those who are not monitored. GPS Tracking works in the same manner. Verification of activities is one of the strongest reasons to obtain and implement a system.
Location monitoring is the most valuable of benefits. When assets are outfitted with GPS Tracking devices, monitoring location helps owners keep track of where they are at all times. For employees this means that they must make sure that they are where they should be at all times when using company cars and trucks. Personal use is no longer acceptable and long distance driving to favorite restaurants can be discovered during lunch hours.
If employees use their vehicles in compliance to rules and regulations of the company, there will be no problems, but if they deviate even a little bit, it can be discovered. Company managers can watch to make sure that drivers are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Important tasks like running efficient routes and even monitoring engine idling are now possible. Verifying employee activity keeps them in check.
Along with the implementation of a GPS Tracking system must come an employee meeting so that they know what is coming and what will be expected of them when a system is up and running. What businesses will find is that the greater part of their employees will be compliant and will live within the policies that are set forth. Then, the few that are not will find themselves without a job. And, the other benefit is that profitability will be maintained for the business (if not increased). Being able to better manage assets is a valuable exercise for any business these days, and GPS Tracking delivers. That is, especially when coupled with employee compliance and involvement. It only takes a small amount of time and effort to make this happen.
July 26th, 2010
Truck drivers make their living by driving long hours and transporting large amounts of goods within a state or between states. They are targets for theft because their goods carry significant value. Can you imagine your rather large tractor trailer stolen right from the truck stop while you were dining? It continues to happen, even though safeguards are in place to protect expensive consumer goods traveling cross country.
A GPS tracking system allows a person possessing a GPS-enabled device to track people or possessions that have a GPS device attached to them. The GPS tracking system has twenty-four satellites spread in six orbital spheres above the earth. These satellites provide coverage for virtually every place on earth. The system transmits signals from the satellites to the GPS-enabled device, allowing tracking of a person or possession in real-time. You are able to precisely locate and follow movements through GPS tracking. GPS tracking may be used for historical time. With the assistance of tracking software, you can watch a track later on video and determine the movement of a person or possession.
A GPS tracking system came in handy in a recent theft of a tractor trailer transporting $500,000 worth of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, mostly consisting of vitamins. The Batesville, Arkansas-based truck began its journey in Pennsylvania and journeyed into Virginia where the driver and passenger stopped to eat at a Glade Spring truck stop. It was stolen as they ate inside. The truck driver and passenger later reported they were sure they locked the truck. Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s detective Jaime Blevins tracked the stolen truck using a GPS tracking device placed with the pharmaceutical vitamins. About ninety minutes after the truck was reported stolen, police recovered the truck in Tennessee. Tennessee Highway Patrol officers located the abandoned truck on the side of the road with the cargo left intact. However, the seal on the truck was broken, indicating the robber inspected the goods. The thief abandoned the truck before an interstate truck weighing station so he would avoid inspection by highway officials.
The GPS tracking system set up in the cargo sent signals to Jaime Blevins, his Virginia-based law enforcement partners, and highway officials in Kentucky and Tennessee. Once the truck stopped moving, Tennessee patrolmen recovered the stolen truck. Delay in shipment was the only consequence. They were lucky this thief did not destroy the rig, trailer or the contents. Having GPS tracking find the truck fast prevented further damage of precious goods. Shouldn’t GPS be a part of your delivery process?