Tracking vehicles for any fleet manager is a major concern. However, this task is especially important for tracking taxpayer-funded vehicles that are operated by government employees. This is where equipping local government and municipality vehicles with global positioning system (GPS) technology can be a lifesaver — figuratively and literally in some cases.
This all boils down to how GPS vehicle tracking is used by these organizations. From a municipal risk management perspective, the use of GPS technology and telematics can help to reduce many of the risks facing your fleet and costs that can result.
Here are a few ways that GPS tracking solutions for municipalities can help your vehicle fleet:
1. Managing & Monitoring Driver Activities and Behaviors
An efficient GPS fleet management system provides enhanced visibility of your vehicles and driver behaviors, which contributes to achieving safer and more efficient fleets. In addition to knowing where your vehicles are at any given moment, this allows municipal fleet managers to know whether their drivers are safe, on schedule, and driving competently.
Through the use of a helpful tool called geofencing, fleet managers can choose to receive text or email alerts whenever a vehicle arrives or departs from a specific location.
2. Optimizing Dispatch of Maintenance Vehicles
The responsibility of maintaining public infrastructure is important. When there are emergency calls for handling situations like road maintenance issues, you need to get a vehicle out quickly to respond. To save both time and resources, this (ideally) would mean sending the closest available vehicle to the service area.
When using conventional, non-GPS tracking methods, this task often would require contacting different drivers to find out their locations to discover who is closest to the location. GPS for municipalities simplifies this process.
However, using a GPS fleet tracking solution for maintenance vehicles now makes this possible without the hassle and time spent dealing with respondent-to-respondent discussions about who is closer.
For other fleet vehicles that handle non-emergency services such as snowplowing, sanitation, and street sweeping, Rastrac’s StreetComplete tool can be incredibly helpful. This color-coded and customizable map system helps municipal fleet managers track many key pieces of information, including:
- Which streets have been serviced.
- Who serviced each specific area(s).
- How long ago each area was serviced.
This powerful and versatile tool takes the tracking and distribution of fleet assets to a whole new level. This way you can ensure that areas receive coverage without overlap that wastes resources.
3. Monitoring Remote Vehicle Performance
Keeping track of the mileage and maintenance dates of fleet vehicles and equipment presents quite a challenge for municipality fleet managers. After all, you can be dealing with a fleet of hundreds of vehicles that are put through the rigors of daily use on a limited budget.
This is where GPS fleet management software simplifies the process and makes it more manageable. With GPS fleet tracking for municipalities, you can:
- Track the total mileage of each vehicle.
- Monitor key performance metrics.
- Track the vehicle’s hours of operation.
By triaging vehicle maintenance in terms of which vehicles need to be serviced first, this will help you to prevent vehicle breakdowns that often can result in expensive repair costs and vehicle downtime.
4. Increase Safety of Law Enforcement Personnel
It is no secret that law enforcement personnel have incredibly dangerous jobs. By optimizing how marked and unmarked police vehicles are dispatched, police dispatchers can provide greater support to their police comrades and help to increase their safety in the field. Patrol car route optimization helps your department maximize coverage by making the most of the units that are available.
One example is if an officer calls for backup, a dispatcher can quickly and efficiently locate the next closest available officer to respond to the scene. Another example would be that police can coordinate with the dispatcher for a chase to cut off a fleeing suspect with the greatest efficiency and safety for everyone involved, including innocent bystanders.
5. Reducing Fleet and Overhead Costs
As you can see, each of these different uses for GPS tracking can help your organization and department — as well as the taxpayers — save money in both the short term and long run.
Your department or organization can reduce costs by:
- Monitoring and addressing risky driver behaviors that create unnecessary wear and tear on vehicles and increase the risk of accidents and potential lawsuits.
- Reducing wasteful assignments or route overlap.
- Reducing the need for expensive repairs through regular fleet maintenance.
- Decreasing gas usage with optimized patrol routes.
These are just a few of the ways in which municipalities and local governments can use GPS vehicle tracking systems to their advantage to accomplish their goals of serving and protecting the community.
Learn more about the benefits of GPS fleet management today by clicking on the image below.