7 Reasons to Use Fleet Data

By Emily Newton

“Data is the world’s most valuable resource” is a popular saying among businesses and industry think tanks today. These conversations often revolve around tech companies and information professions, but the importance also extends to heavy industries. Fleet data is a crucial and often underused tool.

Telematics systems make fleet data more accessible than ever, but simply gathering this information won’t produce significant changes. You must apply it to compete in today’s increasingly tech-centric industry. Here are seven reasons why.

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1. It Saves Fuel Costs

The most important reason to use fleet data is to reduce fuel consumption. Fuel typically accounts for 60% of fleet operating budgets, making it the largest ongoing expense category, but analytics can minimize that spending.

Excessive fuel consumption can come from many sources, including poor driving behaviors, long idle times, inefficient routes, and maintenance concerns. Conveniently, telematics systems can track data on each of those categories. You can then use this information to inform more efficient fleet management practices.

You can consider alternate routes to minimize stops if GPS data shows vehicles are idling for long times. Retrain drivers and avoid inefficiencies when telematics systems reveal harsh braking or excessive acceleration. Because fuel spending can rise from so many issues, there are equal opportunities to improve it, but you must collect the right information to quantify those problems first.

2. It Improves Maintenance

Using fleet data can help optimize a fleet’s maintenance schedule. Upkeep and repairs are among the largest ongoing expense categories, and many businesses rely on inefficient schedule-based or run-to-failure methods.

Improve these practices with fleet data through predictive maintenance. This strategy uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor mechanical stress, temperatures, oil thickness, and other performance-related factors. These sensors then alert you when the information suggests a vehicle needs work, letting you fix it as quickly as possible.

Basing maintenance schedules on real-time data prevents downtime from breakdowns and unnecessary upkeep. As a result, predictive maintenance increases productivity by 20% and reduces repair costs by 25% on average.

3. It Increases Safety

Another crucial reason to use fleet data is that it can increase safety for drivers and others on the road. Part of this boost comes from optimized maintenance, which prevents hazardous on-the-job breakdowns. You can also track data points specific to safe behaviors to prevent dangerous driving.

Telematics platforms can track speeding, fast turning, harsh braking, and other safety factors. If this data reveals drivers repeatedly engaging in these unsafe behaviors, you can reprimand them or retrain them to prevent further risky actions in the future. You can also refer to operating logs to ensure drivers take sufficiently long and frequent breaks to minimize risks from drowsy driving.

In addition to protecting employees and other drivers, improved safety increases profit margins and prevents costly incidents. Fewer accidents mean less spending on medical bills, repairs, legal proceedings and lost productivity.

4. It Holds Drivers Accountable

Gathering fleet data makes it easier to hold employees accountable for their actions on the road. This can apply to safety protocols, efficiency targets, or regulatory concerns to ensure your fleet operates as it should.

Because telematics provides hard data on driver behavior, it lets you reward top performers or penalize noncompliance with company policies. You could offer cash bonuses to employees who show the safest driving patterns or make the most efficient deliveries to encourage higher performance in others. Alternatively, you could take action against drivers who repeatedly speed or break labor laws.

Basing these rewards and penalties on hard data gives employees firm, attainable targets. It’s difficult to quantify performance without it, making it impossible to enforce standards fairly, but with it, you can point to specific goals and benchmarks.

5. It Can Reduce Insurance Expenses

Fleet data can also reduce insurance costs in some situations. The auto insurance industry was an early adopter of telematics, with many providers using these systems to customize rates based on driving behavior. Consequently, implementing your own telematics solution can earn more affordable coverage.

Even if an insurer doesn’t offer a telematics program, you can improve rates by preventing accidents. Full coverage premiums increase by an average of 42% after an at-fault accident, so avoiding these situations can significantly reduce insurance spending.

Telematics holds drivers accountable for following safety protocols and encourages safer driving practices. You’ll experience fewer accidents as a result, ensuring insurance premiums stay as low as possible.

6. It Offers Insight into Ownership Costs

You can also use fleet data to better understand your fleet ownership costs. The decision to rent or buy equipment is often complex, with the most cost-effective solution varying widely in different scenarios. The only way to know which is best for you is to compare usage information.

Start by using fleet telematics to track operating hours, maintenance data, and fuel consumption. Compare these to vehicles’ upfront costs, depreciation, rental rates, and insurance premiums. Seeing all this information in one place will let you understand when to rent or buy a vehicle or when it’s time to upgrade one.

Significant increases in maintenance needs and drops in performance will eventually reach a point where buying a new vehicle is more cost-effective. Similarly, comparing operating hours to rental rates and depreciation can reveal which routes require ownership and which are suitable for rentals.

7. It Can Boost Customer Satisfaction

Using fleet data to improve these other operational concerns will positively impact your reputation with clients. Capitalizing on data makes a fleet more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. Those benefits translate into similar advantages for customers.

Spending less on maintenance and fuel lets you offer lower prices and still keep similar profit margins. Those prices could boost loyalty and draw in new customers. Alternatively, you could keep the same rates but enjoy higher profits from current clients.

Fleet efficiency is another critical area of customer satisfaction. Most businesses deliver items in five to eight business days, but 90% of consumers today believe delivery should take less than five. Consequently, boosting fleet efficiency by tracking route data and encouraging faster deliveries from drivers will make you stand apart from the competition.


In light of all these opportunities for improvement, businesses can’t afford to overlook fleet data’s potential. Proper telematics implementation will make a fleet safer, more efficient, reliable, compliant with regulations, and cost-effective.

Using data sooner rather than later is important, too. More fleets will capitalize on it as these benefits become more well-known. When that happens, using this information will become necessary to remain competitive rather than the advantage it is today.

About the Author

Emily Newton is an industrial writer with over five years’ experience writing industrial topics for the construction, manufacturing, and supply chain industries.

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