<img src="https://www.req12pkgb.com/66602.png" style="display:none;">

Top 5 Myths About Fleet Telematics (+ Benefits of Fleet Tracking) Rastrac Team | Nov 18, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Myths are created from stories, not facts. As with any early technological developments, GPS fleet tracking history—and telematics, in general—is rife with misguided assumptions that take hold in the industry. Though this technology only became fully operational in 1995, it’s come a long way since then. It’s smaller, cheaper, more powerful, and highly versatile than ever before! Keep reading to learn more about fleet telematics and how this technology can greatly benefit your fleet operations.

Quick Links:

What Is Fleet Telematics?

The word telematics is a portmanteau of the words telecommunications and informatics. It’s officially defined as “the blending of computers and wireless telecommunications technologies, with the goal of efficiently conveying information over vast networks to improve a variety of services.” In other words, telematics streamlines communication through many routes of information.

“Telematics” was coined first in a 1978 French government report about the computerization of society; against the backdrop of the Cold War, GPS was in its infancy and primarily implemented in military or global intelligence operations due to national security and nuclear threat concerns. In the following decade, the European Union would be the first to commission research dedicated to how telematics could be integrated with vehicles to better improve road safety and environmental impact. 

In the 21st-century, the meaning of telematics is largely associated with its use in tracking vehicles and assets when real-time information on location or exact status is needed for daily business operations. One example of telematics as it applies to modern fleet management is GPS tracking.

How Fleet Telematics Works

Essentially, telematics systems work by connecting a device, like a GPS tracker, to an asset or vehicle. Performance data—and other information as determined by the fleet manager—is then collected regarding the asset or vehicle; these figures are then aggregated into a comprehensive dashboard for interpretation and tracking patterns over time. 

Fleet telematics takes this process and applies it to however many vehicles your fleet has so that you can gain important insight into individual vehicle performance as well as operations as a whole. Once the data has been uploaded, the fleet manager can access it via the telematics system’s software—the specific operation of which may vary depending on the telematics solution used.

Benefits of fleet telematics

Benefits of Fleet Telematics

Fleet telematics has a variety of benefits to your daily operations, including:

Driver Accountability

This benefit of fleet telematics keeps your employees safe and accountable for their work; for example, utilizing fleet telematics can help you ensure they’re following rules like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Hours of Service (HOS) rules—and prove it to regulators with logged data! Telematics solutions enable you to track when drivers and equipment operators start or stop work, which additionally verifies timesheets. This data can then be compiled into a comprehensive report to provide to auditors, in the case your operations come under inspection.

Incorporating fleet telematics also means you can monitor driving patterns that might be dangerous or prove wasteful to your fleet operations. For example, are drivers accelerating too fast or braking too harshly? Making reckless turns? With a fleet telematics solution, it’s possible to track driver behaviors in real-time so unsafe behaviors can be identified and steered in the right direction, while good drivers are rewarded for safe driving. This helps to reduce dangerous driving risks so drivers, vehicle assets, and products arrive safely and on time.

Secured Vehicles

There were 873,080 auto thefts in 2020, a 9.2% increase over 2019. Vehicles are always at risk for theft and your employees can’t perform services out in the field without them, which is why fleet telematics is so important to integrate into your operations! Fleet vehicles tempt thieves for their value as parts or for the cargo they hold; with fleet telematics, you can always know the exact location of the vehicle which deters thieves since they won’t get away scot-free.

Automated Maintenance

How long would it take you to individually track down the maintenance records for each vehicle in your fleet? With telematics solutions, the answer would be almost no time at all with automated maintenance! You want to get the most life and use out of your fleet vehicles possible and committing to a timely maintenance schedule is a crucial factor in bringing that goal to fruition. However, manually tracking maintenance takes way too long and risks missing receipts or misremembering service dates. With fleet telematics, you can establish alerts for maintenance needs that keep your vehicles safely operating on the road and avoid unexpected breakdowns or unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicle.

Boosted Efficiency for Your Fleet

Regardless of what your company does or who your work serves, the efficiency of your fleet vehicles has a direct impact on the overall customer service experience you deliver. For example, if your drivers are constantly caught in traffic or have to criss-cross town every day due to inefficient routes, your customers will be unhappy with delays and fewer in number due to poor route planning.

Fleet vehicle telematics enables you to deliver fantastic customer service by keeping your vehicle fleet moving on schedule and tracking movements in real-time. GPS tracking solutions allow you to instantly track the position of each of your fleet vehicles so that if one gets stuck in traffic, you can direct them to a detour.

fleet tracking

Top 5 Myths About Fleet Telematics

Now let’s dig into the common misguided assumptions and myths about fleet telematics and how your business can optimize operations with a fleet tracking system:

Only Large Fleets Benefit from GPS Tracking

Whether your fleet is comprised of fifty vehicles or just two, it can still greatly benefit from utilizing a GPS tracking system. No matter your budget—which is likely stretched as it is—your savings can be significant in the short-term and long-term for your operations as routes become optimized, fuel consumption is reduced, and insurance premiums are lowered. 

In fact, GPS technology gives a small fleet a competitive edge in numerous ways, such as improved customer service. Since customers want to know where their load is, and what time it will arrive, with telematics systems, you can pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle and its cargo, and give accurate times for estimated delivery

GPS Tracking Systems are Too Complicated

Telematics solutions are comprised of a tracking receiver, which is installed in every vehicle, and a user interface that collects, organizes, and presents the data. Installation is a simple process and most devices require very little maintenance.

While advanced features, like geofencing, may require some time to assimilate, the learning curve is short for GPS basics, such as vehicle location, usage, and driver behavior. Fleet managers are presented data in a dashboard view by simply logging onto a website from their computer or smartphone. The user interfaces are highly intuitive, which makes them easy to use for all essential personnel.

GPS Tracking Doesn’t Benefit Fleets that Drive the Same Route Every Day

Drivers who follow the same route daily can certainly benefit from the route optimization features of a GPS tracking system and performance insight provided by telematics solutions! For example, traffic conditions, accidents, or construction can delay drivers for long periods of time. GPS navigation systems can detail alternate routes to avoid trouble areas and keep the vehicle on schedule to complete the job.

The individual progress of each vehicle can also be observed so that a fleet manager is able to monitor job completion and note problems early on should adjustments need to be made or work redistributed. The smallest of fleets will realize higher productivity, less fuel consumption, and greater customer satisfaction when optimizing routes in real-time for pickups and delivery.

GPS Tracking Systems are Too Expensive

Unfortunately, many fleet managers have bought into the myth that GPS systems are too expensive, when actually there is a rapid return-on-investment in savings. Areas that realize cost reductions include:

  • Fuel consumption
  • Travel distance
  • Labor
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Insurance premiums

Alerts can be established that save on fuel consumption, allowing managers to curtail excessive idling, speeding, and side trips by drivers; notifications can also be set that proactively address all vehicle maintenance and repair needs.

Drivers May Take Offense and Quit

While telematics systems do offer features that help fleet managers monitor and track driver performance and activity, they also offer many advantages that directly benefit the driver! For example, route optimization and efficient dispatch help drivers complete more jobs per day while lowering frustration levels associated with delays.

Plus, driver safety is enhanced as aggressive driving and speeding habits are lowered, often just by the fact of being monitored. Vehicles are made safer due to strict preventative maintenance inherently built into the system. The economic advantages offered by GPS systems work to increase job security for drivers and typically offer them opportunities to earn more money. Reluctance turns to reliance for most drivers after using a GPS system for only a short period.

Get the Truth About Telematics with Rastrac Today!

Get started with fleet telematics by reaching out to the Rastrac team today! Rastrac is a leader in the field of fleet telematics and has helped many companies and government organizations realize new operational efficiencies that save time and money while improving productivity.

Subscribe to Our Blog

fleet management software demo

Related Articles