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TAKING ADVANTAGE

GPS Tracking Is More Than Location Awareness

The use of modern GPS tracking technology stretches far beyond the inherent location-based offerings. Let’s consider the ability to monitor your vehicle’s maintenance needs, reminding your team to take care of any and all service requirements for your entire fleet. Add to this the power of applying this technology to non-moving assets, recording hours of operation to determine the need for general maintenance, preventive action, or outright replacement. This technology now exists and is being fine-tuned continually to predict needs before they arise.

THE GIFT OF FORESIGHT

Of course, GPS tracking technology is still associated foremost with identifying and tracking location of vehicles and assets, as well as aiding in smooth navigation and determining best available routes to take. Much of this strategy is geared toward safety of mobile team members and timeliness of achieving tasks involving your equipment or moving assets.
A feature being used more and more by fleet owners and operators is the vehicle maintenance feature of live GPS tracking technology. One central point of data gathering assists with the ability to foresee and handle maintenance concerns regardless of vehicle or equipment manufacturer. This feature lends not only the ability to determine when maintenance is due, but can also prompt to automatically trigger alerts in the form of warnings when actions are nearly due, and continual reminders that assure these items don’t fall through the cracks. Multiple sources from the vehicle or asset trigger these alerts, but are most often triggered by miles driven or hours of operation. For this reason, GPS tracking updates that are live or sent instantaneously will provide a more accurate representation than systems that update less frequently.

KEEPING ALERT

Maintenance alerts can be set for any type of reminder desired, whether it’s a simple oil change or more proactive preventive actions, such as transmission inspections or parts inspections. As well, PTO devices can monitor hours of operation or number of engagements and send alerts forewarning about scheduled maintenance. The inherent data gathered establishes usage trends, aiding in business decisions going forward and noting where changes would benefit operations.
Using the alerting and reporting aspects of a GPS tracking vehicle maintenance feature offers a fleet operator the ability to monitor daily operations without the need of constantly being tied to a computer. This typically lends peace of mind to decision-makers and guarantees that all best efforts are being taken to avoid unnecessary expenses, as well as downtime of equipment; both very direct influencers to a company’s bottom line.
Reports generated from GPS tracking systems can quite literally mean the difference of a company plateauing or growing. The reports are designed to make hours—sometimes days—of paperwork a simple click of a button.
GPS tracking reports help fleet owners forecast their fleet’s needs and prepare for them months before action is required. Think of these reports as an ongoing, in-depth look into your fleet that, over time, uncovers trends for the company to implement into its strategic planning.

DATA RETRIEVAL

While management can always opt to view everything happening in the field on any given day as it’s happening via a live streaming map, there may be a need to retrieve this helpful data later. When this information is needed, it can be easily generated into a populated report. Automating report generation on a regular schedule causes the onslaught of data to be manageable and not a dump of all data. This automation is unbeatable as drivers travel throughout the day, simply allowing the GPS trackers to record thousands of data points, such as driver speeds, idling times, start times, stop times, and more.
Having this data captured automatically and easily reported when requested is what’s driving the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) mandate for electronic logging and ELDs.
GPS tracking having both live features and stored data provides a double punch to productivity. Now that you know you can view simple reports online, you might be able to save yourself some time. If you’re a large fleet frequently running enormous reports, then you’ll want to automate as many of your reports as possible.

TRACKING COVERAGE

With GPS tracking reports, users have the option to pull data for an individual device or an entire device group. In part one of this series, we talked about how viewing reports online would be a great choice when viewing data for one vehicle at a time or, possibly, very small reports for the entire fleet. If management finds that they need to go back and review large chunks of data for the entire fleet or need to constantly run larger reports, then downloading the GPS tracking reports is a better choice.
For example, if you desire to see historical playback data from the previous 90 days in its entirety or the tracking data of all the vehicles within your fleet, this amount of data is best pulled into a report that will be downloaded. The sheer volume of data you want on your report may bog down your computer. In some cases, downloading your report also gives you the ability to simply save the data within a spreadsheet and review it years after it was originally needed.
Taking advantage of GPS tracking will help you optimize the way your fleet operates—the staff and assets that impact its productivity.
Imagine the power behind your record keeping when tracking, maintenance alerts, and reports are integrated with your other business software. Accounting for deliveries and service calls is more accurate. Providing your customers with the best experience you offer becomes easier. Billing is faster. It all depends on what you need a GPS tracking system to do and how you take advantage of it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sam Sims is the director of public relations and marketing at US Fleet Tracking. Find out more about US Fleet Tracking, visit www.usfleettracking.com.
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MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: JANUARY 2017 ISSUE

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