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Trending News and Stories in the World of GPS Fleet Tracking

Confronting Cargo Thieves With GPS Tracking Software

06/16/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Cargo theft is serious business. From trucks, trains, and ships, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims cargo theft costs the US economy billions of dollars each year. The stolen goods are usually resold online or occasionally directly out of illicit warehouses. Both the FBI and the National Insurance Crime Bureau actively monitor and investigate the problem, treating cargo theft as a threat to the American economy as a whole, not simply the individual businesses whose goods are stolen.

 How much is stolen and what types of goods are involved vary somewhat from year to year. In terms of number of incidents, recent years have seen the food and beverage industry take the hardest hit, with almost twice as many incidents as the runner-up, electronics, according to FreightWatch.

But the food and beverages sector is particularly sensitive. First, these goods are often perishable and the chance of recovering them in a salable state is small. Clothing, for example, does not go bad and become poisonous, as food and beverage items can.

Fortunately, there are a couple of things carriers can do to keep their goods safe.

First, GPS tracking software makes it possible for trucks to alert their owners if they start moving when they are not supposed to or if they leave a given geographic area unexpectedly. With these alerts, fleet managers can discover if a theft has occurred almost immediately, letting the police begin a recovery attempt in a timely manner.

Second, both the manager and the police can use the system to track the vehicle in real-time. Obviously, that makes it much easier for police to catch up with the thieves. The tracking devices themselves are hidden and well-protected so that thieves cannot disable them. A Teletrac customer recently saw this scenario come to life in Southern California with his limousine fleet. After the fleet manager noticed one of his vehicles was missing, he was able to communicate with a police team and guide them during the stolen car event utilizing live interactive mapping. The vehicle was recovered in a short time span thanks to the collaborative effort between the police and the GPS software.  

Third, the software comes in bundles with two-way communication capacity so that drivers can call for help if attacked. Fleet managers can also contact drivers and ask what is going on if the vehicle leaves it’s designated geo-fence zone, indicating to the fleet manager that unauthorized activity has occurred and making it easier to identify a problem as fast as possible.

The bottom line is that the FBI is taking charge of dealing with cargo theft nationwide, but individual carriers do not have to just sit around and wait for the Feds to work. Fleet managers can catch theft before it’s too late.

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What GPS Tracking Solution Is Right For Your Business?

06/12/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Choosing a GPS tracking provider is not as simple as finding the best one, because not all providers serve exactly the same niche. Some focus on serving very large fleets, presenting huge amounts of information quickly and at a glance. Others go more for smaller and mid-size fleets whose managers need a lot of detailed, in-depth data. Some offer full-service packages with a lot of support, while others are simpler platforms that users can customize themselves. Some bundle telematics with other services, such as roadside assistance, while others do not.

The key, then, is not only to identify the provider who does a good job, but the one who does a good job at the particular service the business needs.  And if your fleet hasn’t used telematics before, figuring out what those needs are can be difficult.

There are a few core features in a GPS fleet tracking solution that go beyond easier navigation for drivers and asset locations for fleet managers. These other features are important to consider when choosing a provider that can make your fleet more competitive, no matter the size:

Driver Training

Managers can’t be out on the road with drivers all of the time. So managers need actionable data that can show them a magnified view into their fleet activity. With vehicle analytics data, users can view maps and graphs of events where speeding occurred, harsh braking, stop sign violations, and more. Companies can detect particular drivers practicing poor driving habits so that they can train and coach those drivers to improve their performance.

Reduce Fuel Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Regardless of the size of your fleet, smarter driving habits combined with advanced tools can reduce carbon emissions and promote environmentally friendly fleets. With a GPS tracking and fleet management product, managers can select geo-fence alerts to notify them when an asset in their fleet is traveling after-hours, in unauthorized zones, or sitting idle for long periods of time and burning unnecessary fuel.  

Customizable Reporting Capabilities

Managers need to stay up-to-date with their fleets through reports so that they can track inefficiencies and improve performance. Advanced GPS tracking solutions should provide options that correlate with specific business needs including, mileage data, speeding events, idle time, and fuel consumption.

Lastly, it’s important to think about the future. A company that has five vehicles this year could possibly have fifty next, and five hundred the year after that—or not. If growth is in the business plan, then the telematics solution has to be scalable, able to grow with the company.

For more information about leading GPS fleet tracking software features and vendors, check out Business-Software.com's 2015 edition of Top 10 GPS Fleet Tracking Software Report, showcasing in-depth comparisons of vendors and their services.

To view additional GPS fleet tracking features, visit Teletrac’s 2015 Must-know GPS Tracking Guide

 

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A Strengthening Economy Presents Mixed News for the Trucking Industry

06/11/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Trucking companies have no problem finding business these days. Many carriers are actually turning work away because they do not have enough drivers to meet the increased demand for freight. Meanwhile, other carriers are scrambling to expand in order to accommodate the increased demand generated from an improving economy. The industry as a whole added 8,600 jobs in May alone.

Trucking isn’t the only industry adding jobs. Just one month ago, unemployment hit 5.4%, the lowest it’s been since May of 2008. That’s good news for the economy as a whole, especially since the improvement seems to be part of a continuing trend. But adding new jobs is not necessarily good news for the trucking industry, which doesn’t have the drivers to fill the positions they need.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates that the U.S. will need over 200,000 more truckers by 2022.

The persistent driver shortage has the potential to act as a drag on the economy as a whole, since so many other industries depend on the fast, affordable delivery of goods. And certainly the need to fight for the limited pool of available drivers is changing the game for carriers, which are starting to compete with each other to offer higher pay and better benefits packages. If the competition evolves into a wage war, pay could increase high enough to change the industry.

Part of the problem is that driving is difficult and not everyone can do it. Besides the necessary skill and training, drivers must be physically healthy enough to stand up to the rigors of the job, which tend to tire the body. Another issue is that long-haul drivers in particular must spend a lot of time on the road away from family, battling loneliness, stress, and boredom. Most new recruits leave after just a year on the job.

But the stories of rapidly rising pay actually hides another, possibly more serious problem; even with recent improvements, compensation for professional drivers is much lower than it used to be.

The problem is that driver pay has not kept up with the rest of inflation. Between 2001 and 2013, average annual driver pay rose by well over $7000, but the average U.S. wage rose much faster—in 2001, the average trucker made about 1% less than the average US worker, and by 2013 that gap had widened to 13%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Money is not the only problem the trucking industry has and there are other steps carriers can and should take besides raising pay, such as improving training and recruitment methods and giving drivers more control over how much they earn. But for an already difficult job to pay less in inflation-adjusted dollars every year is a serious issue.

If the increasing demand for drivers forces carriers to raise pay back up to where it was a decade or two ago, that might not be a bad thing.

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Learning the BASICs

06/10/2015 by Sarah Barbod

Professional drivers will soon get accustomed to the FMCSA’s new checklist BASIC, as tracked by the CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) program. BASIC is an acronym for Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. With this new program, drivers operating vehicles in a careless or unsafe manner, and carriers employing unsafe drivers, risk elevated BASIC scores that can ultimately trigger disciplinary action.

BASIC is not itself a safety rule, but rather a clear and simple way to think about issues specified by many different—and sometimes confusing—rules. Learning about the BASICs is a faster, more straightforward way to learn what inspectors are looking for, without having to read and virtually memorize a long rulebook.

There are seven CSA BASICs: unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness (which includes a medical component but does not focus on physical fitness), drug and alcohol issues, cargo related issues, vehicle maintenance, and a crash indicator.

Here, we will focus on three—unsafe driving, fatigued driving, and vehicle maintenance:

Unsafe driving

Violations in this category include improper lane changes and speeding, plus more subtle issues, like not wearing seatbelts. Essentially, drivers need to follow traffic laws and pay attention to the road. If they do not, they can expect the Department of Transportation to take notice.

In order to prepare for inspection in this category, drivers should carry any applicable driver training certifications. And drivers hauling explosives may need to have written route plans.

With GPS fleet tracking software, carriers can get proper insight into vehicle safety, scores and events in their fleet. Teletrac offers analytics features to help businesses monitor their driver’s habits so that they can better train and coach their drivers, and improve safety across the entire fleet.

Fatigued driving/HOS compliance

Hours-of-service (HOS) rules codify an important principle—drivers need to get enough rest or they become a danger to themselves and others on the road. Violating the rules or falsifying HOS, sometimes referred to as records of duty status (RODS), can earn drivers negative points. To prepare for a possible inspection, drivers must have accurate HOS records, plus supporting documents, such as bills of lading, dispatch records, tracking records, freight bills, fuel receipts, and weigh/scale receipts.

To make it easy, Teletrac offers FMCSA compliance solutions and a comprehensive HOS tool to help businesses manage the many moving parts of their operation in a paperless and safe process.

Vehicle maintenance

Vehicle maintenance violations vary and can include problems with brakes and lights, or improper load securement. Drivers should carry roadside inspection reports, vehicle maintenance files, equipment repair receipts, accident reports, and other related documents. Teletrac’s Vehicle Services Report provides users with up-to-date information with an itemized view of a vehicles’ past maintenance services, while tracking due dates for future service needs.

Taking care of the BASICs is the responsibility of both drivers and their employers. Carriers can ensure their vehicles are in safe and well-kept working order, and simultaneously ensure their drivers are well-trained and abiding by the law. Drivers can do their part by working safely, proactively monitoring their hours, and taking care of their equipment.

Carriers can find out what their current BASIC score is by logging in to the SMS (Safety Measurement System) website

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Speeding Up Roadside Inspections

06/08/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Drivers can never really predict the exact day and time when he/she will be pulled over for a roadside inspection. Driving up to a scale house, a mobile roadside inspection, or a surprise on-site inspection, drivers can be stopped by Department of Transportation officials at any time.

One of the DOT’s top priorities is to keep fleet drivers and the general public safe on the road. Regardless of where drivers are, they always need to be prepared with proper documentation of their Hours of Service (HOS), vehicle maintenance, and safety compliance.

With new GPS Tracking platforms, the days of clip boards and stacks of paper logs are gone. Drivers can maintain an exact account of work hours, vehicle status, and safety—easily recording data without the clutter of paper.

Fleet carriers can help their drivers complete inspection processes more efficiently by investing in GPS fleet tracking software that provide tools, including electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR), electronic logbooks (E-Logs), and driver safety software—all of which can help maintain fleet business compliant.

In accordance with these tools, drivers can help speed up the inspection process by following two simple tasks:

Keep the cab clean

Inspectors have a busy schedule too. They don’t always have time to closely examine every vehicle, so they may look for obvious physical appearance issues to assess the degree of a vehicle’s inspection. For example, the appearance of the cab can mark as the beginning point for an inspector. A clean and orderly cab can indicate to the inspector that the driver cares and probably maintains the rest of the truck tidy and well-kept.

Be helpful and polite

It is the inspector’s choice who to detain, so making the inspector’s day run smoothly can speed up the driver’s change of getting back on the road faster. Any display of a negative attitude from the driver could trigger a thorough search for something to cite. DOT employees are human, too, after all. Besides just being polite and professional, a driver can help his or her case by having all necessary logs and reports prepared. Drivers can complete this by proactively filling out their paperless inspection forms at the end of the day’s shift, and before they begin their day.

While roadside inspections can be time-consuming and put a pause on your fleet’s productivity, it is best to keep them in perspective. After all, if no vehicles got inspected, trucks would be breaking down and causing frequent accidents.

With GPS fleet tracking tools, drivers can get back on the road faster, and fleet carriers can reduce fines, tickets, compliance breaches, and other violations on the road.

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Pizza Delivery And Telematics Merge

05/28/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Pizza delivery just became much more efficient and easy in Australia and New Zealand.

Domino’s Pizza is going big in these two countries and is planning to hire 3,000 new delivery staff—that includes both cyclists and drivers. This is the company’s single largest recruitment drive ever. With 30 new pizza stores opening in the next few months, it is unlikely this will be Domino’s last big recruitment effort.

Why the sudden expansion?

Domino’s Pizza has invested in telematics for its entire delivery fleet, a service that will go live in July for Australia, and in August for New Zealand. It has already been rolled out in test markets and customers love it.

The service will principally work to keep delivery staff safe and efficient. GPS tracking will ensure that the staffers do not get lost and that dispatch runs as smoothly as possible; delivery routes will be fast and efficient, and if something has to change mid-run (say, an order is cancelled) the plan can easily adapt. In the event that a driver gets into an accident or becomes the victim of a crime, GPS tracking will speed emergency personnel to the site.

But what really gets customers excited is not just the fast and efficient delivery—it’s the opportunity to use the tracking system to find out exactly where their pizza is at every moment of its journey. Customers in the test markets are so excited, in fact, that Domino’s is opening new stores and hiring new staff just to meet the anticipated demand.

The trackers will work on both delivery cars and the bicycle push carts. By using bicycle delivery, Domino’s is standing up for cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions. That is a pretty good deal—cleaner air and freshly delivered pizza.

So what does all this mean for Americans?                                                                

Australia and New Zealand seem to be setting the new standard for fast pizza deliver. But beyond that, it is a good representation of the potential of this technology. What works Down Under can equally work in the United States. Customers appreciate the reliability and sense of control of being able to track delivery vehicles themselves. And drivers benefit from the added security of knowing that their supervisors can see where they are, communicate instantly through two-way messaging, and help if necessary. 

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Will the City on the Bay Incorporate Telematics?

05/28/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

 

In recent years, San Francisco has become the hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. Top technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber and many others, set up shop (and the standard of technological advancement) in San Francisco. For the public transportation industry, the city uses telematics to manage some of its vehicles, and is now considering expanding a program to cover all of them.

Currently, the city and county combined have close to 8,000 vehicles, including trucks and heavy equipment. However, only 2,331 of those vehicles have telematics devices onboard.

Different subsets of the city’s fleet use different types of telematics services. For example, both the city’s buses and trolleys use a system that records fast acceleration and hard braking. The recordings can then be used for training purposes to inform drivers of productive and/or dangerous driving behavior. These training measures serve as positive incentives to either reward excellent drivers, or present disciplinary procedures to low performing drivers. But the buses also use an additional service that provides reports of each bus’s arrival at stops.

Besides GPS tracking, the company the city contracts with also offer towing, fuel delivery, tire changes, and even lost or stolen vehicle recovery. Not all telematics companies provide such services, though some companies offer additional tracking features that San Francisco’s contractor does not offer.

Telematics providers collectively offer a huge number of programs. Fleet managers can find whichever group of services works best for them by choosing the right company.

The proposal on the table would expend the number of vehicles to 3,108, spread out across 13 different departments—although the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will have more than any other, with 930 vehicles. For the first time, fire, police, and other emergency vehicles would be included.

To grow the program further, to all 8,000 vehicles, would be a substantial expense. That may serve as the long-term goal. An expanded program could pay for itself quickly. Telematics programs typically bring substantial savings through greater fuel efficiency, better maintenance schedules, and better compliance with traffic regulations. San Francisco typically spends millions of dollars a year to resolve vehicle-related litigation alone. With telematics, drivers are more cautious, conscientious, and less likely to inspire any litigation.

Keeping vehicle away from fraud and theft is another great benefit of Telematics, further lowering fleet-wide costs. If a vehicle is stolen, GPS tracking makes it much easier to recover the vehicle quickly.

Not all telematics benefits are financial; safety improves across an entire fleet making roads safer for fleet drivers and the general public on the road. And both fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions drop substantially.

As San Francisco continues to innovate with its many different entrepreneurial companies, city leaders are looking to bring the latest technology to public transportation with Telematics solutions.

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Trucking Operations Simplified With GPS Tracking Software

05/15/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Trucking carriers and managers face daily operational tasks that involve multiple moving parts at one time. Tasks can range from supervising drivers, to vehicle maintenance, and tracking assets.

Managing these business functions does not need to be a challenge. And with GPS tracking technology, carriers can organize their fleet in an easy-to-use software solution.   

John Allen, of the JE Allen Trucking Company, and a Teletrac customer, says:

“We have used Teletrac for 3 years. The seamless integration of HOS, DVIR and fleet tracking are just a few of the features we use every day. I would recommend this product to any company looking to streamline their fleet operations.”

JE Allen is hardly alone. Teletrac’s customers include Ryder, Bancroft and Sons, LeFebvre Companies, Builders FirstSource, Atlas Copco, and almost 22,000 more. Not all of Teletrac’s customers are trucking companies. But as John Allen mentioned, features such as integrated HOS solutions make Teletrac a great match for this particular industry.

Real-time GPS tracking and analytics not only handle many aspects of compliance automatically, but also improve training, dispatch, and security. Teletrac’s Fleet Director records and analyzes driver behavior, flags instances of unsafe driving or excessive idling, vehicle diagnostics and other business intelligence features. Fleet managers can utilize this information to identify which drivers are practicing unsafe driving and need additional training, thus adjusting pay scales accordingly. Given the ongoing driver shortage and high turnover rate, well trained and better informed drivers have a tendency to stay loyal to their employer. Keeping talented drivers on board creates dramatic savings in terms of training and recruitment costs.  

Additionally, knowing where one’s vehicles are located in real time makes last-minute schedule adjustments easier.

And no need to worry about theft. If a vehicle is stolen, GPS tracking can immediately pinpoint the asset and recover the load in a timely manner, as Desert Limo Services, a Teletrac customer, recently experienced. In the worst-case scenario, if a driver is incapacitated in an accident or by a medical emergency, GPS tracking also makes it possible for emergency personnel to find that employee and provide immediate care.

Better driving, more efficient routing, and less idling automatically translate into better fuel economy. With Teletrac’s FleetCard service, automatically tracking fuel purchases and usage eliminates expensive driver habits and prevent further theft.

According to customer surveys, companies using Teletrac’s Fleet Director service consistently see several dramatic benefits:

  • Fuel consumption reduced by as much as 30%
  • Overtime down by 15% (or sometimes more)
  • Unauthorized vehicle use drops by 12%
  • Productivity goes up by 12%

Teletrac’s GPS tracking streamline fleet operations and centralize daily tasks to improve your company’s bottom line.

Perhaps best of all, Teletrac is scalable. And whether a company has two trucks or two hundred, whether it needs just a little help or a lot, Teletrac will be there.

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What Is The Accident Rate Of Self-Driving Cars?

05/15/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

Self-driving cars promise to make our roads much safer. They’ve also been in a number of accidents lately.

In September, officials in California began requiring Google to report any accidents involving the self-driving cars it is testing; since then, there have been three such accidents.

The company has also volunteered that eight other accidents have occurred since the testing program started six years ago—a total of 11, all of them minor and not the cars’ fault, at least according to Google, which has not released actual accident reports.

Google is not the only company testing self-driving cars, nor is it the only one whose cars have had minor crashes. The accident per mile rate works out to 0.6 per 100,000—that’s twice the official rate for normal cars, but since human drivers seldom report minor accidents, it’s quite possible the actual figures are much closer together.

So far, autonomous vehicles have a pretty safe record.

In theory, self-driving cars should have fewer accidents than humans, since computers do not become distracted, fall asleep behind the wheel, drink, or text their friends. Their electronic senses are designed specifically for driving so they have much better road awareness than we do and their reaction times are much faster. In practice these cars still have shortcomings, and their existence opens up major philosophical and legal questions—how does one sue a robot, for example?

For now, self-driving cars always do have a human driver capable of taking over. For the foreseeable future, at least, the best solution may be to keep a human in the driver’s seat while giving technology a greater and greater supportive role.

Already vehicle fleet managers can use telematics to record and analyze employee driving behavior. Although the human driver is completely in control, the human’s supervisor is aware if something goes wrong and can use that information as a training aid and as a way to identify which employees need either special recognition for good driving or more help (or disciplinary actions).  

We’ve also started to see vehicles with a range of features that blur the line between traditional and self-driving cars. These models can slam on the brakes to avoid a collision, warn the driver if there is something in the blind spot, parallel-park themselves, and even stay in a lane unassisted. In the future, we may see cars that communicate with each other before changing lanes, or even maintain safe following distances and speed limits automatically based on road conditions.

Will we ever have cars with no steering wheels or brake pedals? It seems likely the technology will get there, but do we really want to give up the option to control our cars ourselves? Why? Why not?

As with the invention of cars over a century ago, new technology will spur the development of new infrastructure, new legal concepts, and new social conventions. Now is the time to be thinking about what kind of future we want to create.

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How Professional Carpet Cleaners Use Tracking To Declutter

05/12/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

F&F Carpet Cleaning provides much more than traditional carpet cleaning. They take pride in the variety of cleaning services they offer, including area rugs, upholstery, and tile and grout. They install carpets and rugs, take care of pet stains and odors, dry out flooded buildings in order to prevent damage and mold (an emergency service available any day, around the clock), and if mold begins growing before someone calls them in, they’ll remove the mold. They use state-of-the-art equipment and safe, non-toxic chemicals for a thorough, in-depth clean.

Not surprisingly, all of this work requires a fleet of vehicles to transport their special equipment. Those trucks and vans can be costly  to own and operate, and of course they carry a lot of important equipment and chemicals. Keeping track of those assets is critical.

Which is why F&F Carpet Cleaning called Teletrac and got a tracking solution installed in their entire fleet. They happily report a significant savings in fuel costs and a reduction in unaccounted time. That greater security and efficiency frees them to put more of their energy into doing what they do best—providing great service to their customers, the people of Scottsdale, Arizona, and surrounding communities.

The experience of F&F Carpet Cleaning is far from unique. Being able to track every vehicle in the fleet makes routing efficient, and it gives supervisors an important monitoring  tool to train their drivers. Smarter driving behavior is not just critical for safety, but for cutting fuel costs and maintaining their vehicle in top condition. And of course tracking can save the day in the worst case scenarios, such as theft, a traffic accident, or a driver medical emergency while on the job.

F&F Carpet Cleaning emphasizes  that while homeowners can clean floors and furniture themselves, calling for help brings much better results. Professional cleaners have the equipment and the know-how to do a much better, faster job, resulting in more dirt removed and fewer residues left behind. Professional quality care also makes carpets and rugs last  longer, thus avoiding the costs of new installation.

Equally, GPS tracking provides real time results.  Sure, it is possible for a company to keep track of its vehicles using paperwork and cell phone communication. People have done that for years. But incorporating a tracking solution that provides 24/7 vehicle visibility and business data  makes the whole process more efficient and more reliable, thus protecting and extending the usefulness of the entire fleet.

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Inside The World of Private Delivery Fleets

05/01/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

It is a good time right now to be a private trucking fleet.

Overall capacity is down, since both the number of Class 8 tractors and the number of drivers is low, while demand for transportation services is rising. Equipment capacity is recovering rapidly and should stabilize, soon, but the driver shortage is likely to persist long-term. The capacity crunch makes it difficult for shippers to find the carriers they need at a price they want in the for-hire world.

The solution is to fall back on dedicated, private fleets.

Besides plenty of work, private fleets have a number of advantages right now.

First, private fleets are in a better position to compete for the limited number of drivers because their driver pay is typically $20,000 to $25,000 higher than in for-hire companies. As a result, they have a 12% annual turnover rate, rather than the almost complete turnover experienced by the for-hires.

Second, most private fleets use on-board GPS tracking and related services, which dramatically increases their efficiency. Perhaps as a result, 79% of their return miles now carry paying loads—and since the per mile cost is almost as high empty as full, finding a load for both directions is really important. Telematics makes efficient routing much easier.

Many of the costs of trucking boil down to poor driving behavior. Abrupt stops, harsh accelerations, and excessive idling all waste fuel, wear down equipment, and indicate unsafe driver behavior that can lead to dangerous and expensive accidents. GPS tracking addresses these concerns together.

Tracking works as an important training tool by letting supervisors review incidents of unsafe, inefficient, or erratic driving in detail—the same information also makes it easier to identify the most skilled drivers and to reward them appropriately with a higher per mile rate. The result is happier, more loyal drivers and lower fuel and maintenance costs, sometimes even lower insurance costs.

Of course, for-hire companies can even the playing field somewhat by compensating their drivers at a higher rate and by adopting GPS tracking at greater rates. The smaller for-hires especially can benefit from this technology, since costs tend to be more of an issue for small companies.

As long as demand remains high and capacity low, private fleets are likely to have an edge. And economists predict that demand will remain strong at least for the next several years.

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How An Eco-Friendly Landscaping Company Lowered Fuel Costs

04/30/2015 by Sarah Barbod

For businesses with vehicles providing service to a variety of terrains, keeping track of exact costs, insight on driver behavior and mileage per vehicle can be difficult.

Ranscapes Inc., an environmentally friendly landscaping company in Irvine, California, operates a fleet of 40 vehicles traveling to destinations across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.

Their vehicles endure an eclectic array of turf including sports fields, hardscape construction sites, and street sweeping destinations. To keep their drivers safe and monitor each vehicle at their location, Ranscape turned to GPS fleet tracking for a solution, and eventually chose Teletrac. “There were other tracking services we considered. Yet Teletrac’s excellent customer service and prompt response time led us to choose them,” said Daniel Martin, Ranscapes’ Safety Manager.

One feature that motivated the company was Teletrac's Safety Analytics Feature in Fleet Director. Martin and his team are able to track their driver’s speeding, harsh braking, acceleration, and even stop sign violations, which help them monitor risky driver behavior. The software's cluster feature also allows Ranscape to view the proximity of their vehicles to each other, preventing accidents and improving safe driving practices among their operators.

Ranscapes also relies on an idle time report which helps cut back on the period of time their vehicles’ engines are running without moving to a final destination, thus consuming an unnecessary amount of fuel. 

In only a four month time period, “we’ve been able to cut back on fuel expenses, as well as unauthorized stops,” said Martin.

Additionally, Martin and his team have been able to monitor each fuel purchase and accurately pinpoint the location and time of each transaction with Teletrac’s Fleet Card Mastercard. The Fleet Card Reporting feature provides insight into how to regulate their fleet’s fuel consumption, and even eliminate unauthorized card use.  

Keeping so many different vehicles moving safely and cost-effectively in various destinations does not need to be a difficult endeavor. Martin emphasizes, “If you want to know when and where someone is, choose Teletrac. We’ve been more than satisfied with its ease of use and functionality. They have excellent service without all the unnecessary bells and whistles.”

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