Quick Transport Solutions Inc.

How to Optimize Your Fleet with GPS and Other Technologies

Want to operate your fleet with more visibility and a greater peace of mind? You need to consider fleet optimization. When you keep track of what is going on in your fleet, you’ll find more ways to improve safety without having to cut costs or see any hits to your productivity. But how exactly do you go about optimizing your business for the future?

To keep business booming and customers happy, you need to assess your near-term priorities are likely top priorities. GPS fleet tracking helps provide you with the information that allows you to have full transparency into your fleet’s operations. You can track vehicles, improve fuel usage, and get a bird’s eye view of what your truck drivers are doing. GPS systems help fleet managers implement cost-saving measures across the fleet.

That’s why today we want to discuss the different ways you can optimize your fleet, so you can continue to make more, do more and provide the excellent level of service your customers have grown to expect. Let’s take a closer look at the ways GPS monitoring can help your fleet.

Speed, Idling and Fuel Monitoring

Maintaining proper speeds significantly reduces the amount of fuel used by your rigs. Using a GPS fleet tracking solution will help you reduce your speed events per truck driver and allow you to set up alerts to be triggered any time a truck driver passes a preset speed. Reducing speed is not only good to reduce fuel consumption, but it decreases any risk to the truck driver’s safety.

With a GPS fleet tracking solution in place, fleet managers can integrate their fuel cards with the GPS software and generate reports that show how much fuel each vehicle is using, as well as location information when  Having reliable fuel transaction data helps you track miles per gallon, pinpoint causes of high fuel consumption, eliminate fuel slippage (also known as stolen fuel), enforce fuel-saving habits and ultimately reduce your overall fuel costs.

Consider this: According to the US Department of Energy, gas mileage begins to drop as the truck goes over 50 miles per hour. That represents an additional seventeen cents per gallon of gas for every 5 mph you drive above 50. That amounts to a lot of money cross a fleet with hundreds of trucks.

When you can rely on solid fuel transaction data, it helps you better track your miles per gallon and figure out where your fuel consumption pain points are. This way you can eliminate fuel slippage and better enforce fuel-saving habits which reduce your overall fuel costs in the end.

How You Win With GPS

You can’t very well sit next to your truck drivers as they go on every haul. So, having a tool to help you keep track of how your truck drivers are operating is invaluable to preserving fuel and keeping your bottom line intact. Still, the most important takeaway for monitoring your truck driver’s behavior is making sure they get home at the end of the day. Safety should be your number one priority.

When you know which of your truck drivers has a lead foot, you can intercede with a coaching session before their propensity to speed leads to an accident. Many GPS systems provide alerts sent straight to fleet managers. This way they can ensure truck drivers are complying with safe driving habits day-in and day-out.

When vehicles are stolen, everything from productivity to the bottom line suffers. Fortunately, GPS fleet tracking equipment helps fleets find stolen vehicles and recover lost equipment. GPS tracking systems also help law enforcement find missing assets. This means you won’t have to spend unnecessary dollars on replacing stolen equipment or missing rigs.

Keep an Efficiency Checklist

You may want to consider making a checklist of action items that will keep you on track. These are methodologies that transcend GPS systems alone:

  • Aerodynamics: Bad aerodynamics not only looks bad, but it costs fuel. When drag is created, your tractors must work hard and expend more fuel to keep moving forward. It is the same principle as biking into a hard wind. Why not add sleek, new, workable aerodynamics to your vehicles.
  • Oil Changes: Okay, this may sound basic, but scheduled oil changes without delay will keep your vehicle’s engine parts protected. These are your major investments, the workhorses of the fleet. You want to keep their “lifeblood” flowing. As oil breaks down, it becomes less effective. It causes more friction and heat. Keep your shop changing oil regularly to prevent such problems.
  • Go Digital: Is your back office still relying on paper records? Perhaps it is time to go digital! Efficient fleets have already moved their back-office operations off of paper and into the digital realm. This both reduces clutter and costs as you remove the need to use paper.
  • Monitor Tire Pressure: Your entire company is riding on your tires – LITERALLY! Keeping your tire pressure monitored through advanced monitoring and fleet management systems will save you a lot of time, fuel and stress while keeping your vehicles up and on the road, because no one likes downtime.
  • Right Size Your Fleet: If you have vehicles that are not running a lot of the time, your fleet may be too big. Furthermore, if your fleet is idle because truck drivers are waiting to load or unload, it is time to invest in some route or truck driver management systems. Idle time and bloated fleets are what runs trucking companies into the ground.

Modern GPS and fleet management tools also go a long way in helping your truck drivers stay connected. Onboard technology grows by the day and truck drivers can use it to get the most out of their runs. Real-time data allows truck drivers and fleet managers to keep better track of their hauls and their routes.

These systems also allow trucking companies to track truck driver behavior more efficiently. And we aren’t talking about micromanaging your people. This is about helping your trucking company improve its bottom line and provide a better experience for their people. These systems help truck drivers understand their fuel usage and driving behavior. This opens the door to improved training and better benefits in the long run.

There is a big picture to consider in trucking. Fleet managers need to understand what is happening across the fleet and how all the moving parts of a trucking companies interact with one another. Modern technologies allow them to do just that.

Many trucking companies feel intimidated by the tools available today. And certainly, there has been a learning curve as technology improves. But the fact is, times have changes and modern trucking companies really have no excuse not to invest in the tools that will help them become leaner, smarter, and more efficient trucking companies.

Times Have Changed

The fact is, until recently fleet management tools have been the province of large fleets alone. After all, they had the resources to invest in complex systems. These were trucking companies with hundreds of trucks who traveled long-hail routes all over the country. Fleet managers for these companies found themselves struggling to manage these large operations, so they had entire teams working with complicated systems.

These vast, technologically complex systems were delivered though expensive, enterprise IT software systems that required trucking companies to invest heavily in IT staff and training. While the return on investment for these systems was there, it certainly was not an easy task to implement.

The problem was that these systems were impractical for smaller fleets who did not have the resources, whether financially or from a personnel perspective, to implement. Trucking companies operating 5 to 100 vehicles were hard pressed to be able to implement these changes. Such companies included operators running courier services, agriculture businesses, contractors, plumbers, and many, many more. Small transportation companies are often left out of big technology changes.

Fortunately, those times are long gone. With modern fleet management systems combined with advanced GPS guidance technologies, small trucking companies can take advantage of the tools once reserved for the realm of the big players. That means there are no more excuses for your trucking company to not take advantage of them.

Fleet managers and other transportation professionals understand the benefits of fleet management and GPS systems. Not only do they get better fuel efficiency, but they save money, increase employee accountability, and lower overall maintenance costs. In the end, trucking companies deliver a better service for their customers.

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