Every day, drivers are confronted with multiple situations that are beyond their control. When your goal is to quickly and safely get from point A to point B, it can become complicated. Frequently, routes turn into rather treacherous obstacle courses that seem to be specifically designed to delay or prevent your goals from being achieved.
Maybe it is inclement weather that makes the road hazardous. Or it could be congestion, construction, accidents, detours, or breakdowns. When the first delivery is delayed, drivers must play catch up all day. This, of course, is bad for drivers, bad for customers, and bad for the business, which is where GPS tracking comes into play.
While the common thought is that drivers will resist being tracked via GPS, there are numerous reasons why your fleet drivers will love GPS tracking.
GPS tracking systems with route optimization map the best routes from A to B after taking into consideration a range of variables that could potentially influence the drive. With GPS tracking route optimization, drivers and managers can see where school zones, traffic delays, and road construction are occurring in real-time.
Route optimization details the routes and stops that will total the least number of miles and time on the road possible. On the business side, this reduces fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear. For businesses and drivers, route optimization reduces the driver’s exposure to risk. This has a bearing on the number of violations and accidents, the driver’s fatigue, and the increase in insurance premiums caused by accidents.
Route optimization systems can be integrated and correlated with other fleet information. For example, drivers love that routing information can be integrated with fueling data so that optimal routes can also identify time-saving fueling opportunities.
It has been said that the most expensive and dangerous mile is the one that you didn’t need to drive. Safety is one of the major advantages of GPS tracking. The ability of GPS tracking to fix optimal routes provides drivers with the most effective and safest way to get their work done, which boosts morale. Along with routing, GPS tracking provides real-time information about the driving performance of individuals. Safety information includes such factors, as:
- Breaking practices
- Hours of service
While drivers may initially balk at losing some autonomy, most come to realize that real-time monitoring not only improves their own driving performance, but helps them stay safer on the roads, which they will most likely appreciate.
GPS tracking devices provide data that can be used as training tools, focusing on the development of better driving habits. Fleet managers become quickly aware of drivers who need coaching, those that are improving, and which drivers are performing safely in all aspects. Coaching is more effective because it is based on actual recorded events and instructions can be delivered in real-time, while the driver is in the vehicle.
Compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulations
To remain legal, drivers and fleet managers must comply with DOT requirements. Noncompliance could mean a loss of license, a heavy fine, or a fleet losing its ability to continue operating. GPS systems combined with compliance regulation software contain features that help drivers attend to DOT requirements so they can avoid various violations that they otherwise may overlook. These compliance features, include:
1. Hours of Service (HOS)
Since the Electron Logging Device (HLD) Mandate, all commercial trucks and buses are required by law to use ELDs for recording HOS. GPS tracking eliminates any incorrect timesheet entries as it records the exact moment the engine is turned on, the hours worked, and the precise time the engine is turned off.
Drivers can produce error-free timesheets that update automatically, that:
- Are current with the most recent HOS rules and exceptions;
- Comply with the ELD mandate; and
- Automatically report to the back office.
Violations are avoided as HOS-limit warnings are provided, prompting the driver to modify his behavior before breaching a regulation.
2. Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR)
Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports are federally-mandated records that must be completed and submitted by drivers for their vehicles on a daily basis. These logs note vehicle safety and operations issues that the driver has identified during the vehicle inspection.
|These features include:
All identified defects or deficiencies on the DVIR that may affect the operation or safety of the vehicle must be repaired before the vehicle can legally be allowed to operate again. Compliance regulation software allows drivers to:
a) Conduct a walk-around inspection while digitally recording the details;
b) Sign off after a full inspection; and
c) Attach photographs.
Drivers will often appreciate anything that can make this process just a little bit faster and easier to deal with.
GPS tracking makes a driver’s route from A to B faster and more efficient. It saves time, and money. And, the increased peace of mind for both your company and your drivers is priceless.