10 Reasons Why Your Fleet Needs Vehicle Tracking Devices

Regardless of your industry, if your business relies on a fleet of vehicles to function, installing and using vehicle tracking devices is one of the smartest commercial decisions you can make. Not only can vehicle tracking systems generate driver timesheets automatically and reduce fuel consumption, they can also drastically improve productivity and manage risk professionally.

What is a vehicle tracking device?

A vehicle tracking device is a piece of hardware installed inside a vehicle. It transmits data to cloud-based software, where you can monitor your fleet and view useful data and information. A vehicle-tracking account can be accessed around the clock on any internet-enabled device.

As well as tracking where your fleet vehicles are in real-time and allowing you to view this information on a map, vehicles tracking systems collect data on harsh acceleration, abrupt braking (which may indicate a collision has occurred), speed (and speed limit breaches) and abrupt cornering. 

This data can be viewed online within the vehicle tracking account in formats that include maps, charts, data lists and graphs. This gives you a transparent top-down view of your fleet and the performance of your drives.

Vehicle tracking devices have absolutely zero control over your vehicles and they do not affect your drivers or physically control them in any way — they simply monitor and report.

Why your vehicles need vehicles tracking devices

There are many benefits to using vehicle tracking devices in your fleet. Here is a list of 10 reasons we think are the most noteworthy.

1. Timesheets and records are kept automatically 

Vehicle tracking systems create 100% accurate driver timesheets in real time, with exact details of all locations visited and roads used. This entirely replaces manual records which always involve errors and increase workloads.

These timesheets build up in the vehicle tracking account in real time and can be downloaded as spreadsheets or CSV files. 

A manager can easily check when a location visit was made, where a driver was at a specific time, and his total working hours. He can see which roads his driver used and when, knowing he is using technology that cannot make mistakes. 

2. Reduce fuel consumption

Vehicle tracking systems allow you to monitor and reduce the amount of fuel that your vehicles burn through. This is primarily achieved through the way these systems promote safer and more responsible driving. Drivers that are using the right gears, aren’t leaving the engine idling for too long, don’t speed, and don’t accelerate harshly use less fuel.

Vehicle tracking devices and the platforms that power them can also be integrated with fuel cards and their data. This means you can see the real-life miles per gallon performance of each vehicle and driver, identifying drivers who are most prone to wasting fuel or vehicles that are inefficient to run. 

Two vans parked in a warehouse

3. Increase productivity with more efficient routing 

You might not want to hear this, but just because you have designed a route does not mean it is the best and most efficient one. You could easily be sending your drivers on a route when there is a 25% quicker one, and not even know about it.

Fortunately, the GPS technology that is used by vehicle tracking devices enables you to plan the most time and fuel efficient routes possible. This can be done both in advance and adjusted in real time. So, if you spot a traffic jam on a route that many of your drivers use, you could reroute them. 

4. Manage risk professionally and improve driver safety

As a business owner or fleet manager, the safety of your drivers should be at the top of your agenda. 

Vehicle tracking solutions help you break down driving behaviour that could lead to serious accidents. They provide data that lets you spot trends and patterns of bad driving for individual drivers. You can take away actionable information that can lead to improvement. 

As soon as drivers are aware that their actions are being recorded and are traceable, they are far more likely to use vehicles in a safer manner. This naturally lowers the risk of accidents.

If you need to know where a driver is, would you call his mobile? Clearly this would mean he had to pull over and call you back, taking more time to reach his destination. With a vehicle tracking system you could easily see his real-time location with no need to ask him. 

You can also locate your vehicles and therefore their drivers when communication is lost. If a driver was incapacitated after a collision, you could find out immediately and send emergency help. 

5. Save money on insurance premiums

Fleet insurance is a significant cost, and it can get very high if you have a record of making claims. 

However, many insurance providers will give discounts to companies that install vehicle tracking devices in their fleet vehicles. This is because vehicle tracking devices can record three factors that influence the way insurance prices are calculated: how much time is spent driving at night (when accidents are more likely), how fast the driver goes and how many country roads are used (as opposed to motorways and A-roads which are safer). 

Depending on how much you pay for insurance, the discount you receive could actually pay for the initial cost incurred when installing your vehicle tracking devices. 

If you are interested in discounted fleet insurance and vehicle tracking as a bundled product, we can get you some quotes.

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

GET QUOTES

If you prefer, you can read more about how we get insurance quotes or vehicle tracking quotes.

6. Keep an eye on all vehicles and employees for tighter fleet management

When you install vehicle tracking devices, you will be able to see their location on a map at all times whether you are in or out of the office. In addition to this, you will be able to see how long a vehicle stays at a location and where else it has been on its journey, and how long it has been at each place. 

A very useful feature called geofencing means you can set up alerts that are emailed to you whenever a driver goes to a place of interest, such as your depot or that of an important customer. 

You can use geofences to receive alerts if a vehicle goes where it shouldn’t, or at a time you do not expect, such as leaving the night depot outside working hours or straying too far from its usual working area. 

This does not just add an extra element of safety but also discourages drivers from moonlighting with your vehicles, wasting your fuel or reducing your company productivity.

A van driving down a road with forest trees in the background

7. Help recover stolen vehicles

It goes without saying that vehicle theft is very expensive for businesses. There will inevitably be a period of time when your driver cannot work while you wait for a replacement vehicle. Your insurance premiums at renewal will be affected and you may lose valuable tools or merchandise as well. 

If a vehicle theft is immediately discovered and reported, its GPS location device can be used to guide authorities to it, greatly increasing the chances of recovery. 

“Professional” vehicle thieves often know how to remove a vehicle tracking device. However, with a separate asset tracker you can still locate your stolen vehicle. This uses a device that can be attached to any part of the vehicle and therefore easily hidden, because asset trackers designed specifically for security rely on their own battery. They are separate from normal vehicle tracking systems and, when theft is a significant concern, they are usually used along with them. 

Some vehicle tracking systems can include key fob ignition, which make them harder to steal. The driver has to identify himself with a driver ID key before he can begin using the vehicle. This technology is also useful to separate two drivers’ data in your vehicle tracking system if they both use the same vehicle on different shifts. 

8. Your vehicles will last longer

Vehicles that are treated well and are driven sensibly last longer. Gearboxes, steering components, suspension and other parts are very vulnerable to damage from careless handling. Of course, when your vehicles are off the road, it’s not just the price of the repair itself that loses you money but loss of business too. 

Using your vehicle tracking system to identify and deal with careless drivers can save significant fleet costs over time. 

Vehicles that are driven responsibly are also far less likely to be involved in an accident. Avoiding tailgating and speeding gives drivers more reaction time, and taking corners at an appropriate speed reduces the chances of an accident.

9. Communication will be improved

The GPS tracking system in vehicle tracking devices automatically records data on your vehicle’s location and its arrival and departure times from specific locations. This information is then sent to your fleet management dashboard where it can be viewed immediately. 

With this information readily available at all times, you spend far less time chasing drivers up and enquiring where they are and what their estimated departure and arrival times are, for example. 

10. Reduce CO2 emissions

Speeding, unnecessary idling and harsh acceleration are all examples of driving habits that waste fuel and add to your fleet’s carbon footprint. Idling alone can cause an average-sized fleet to waste thousands in fuel per year. 

With vehicle tracking devices installed, these issues can be easily identified and rectified. Every unnecessary mile that is eliminated from your fleet’s journeys, every driver that makes a conscious effort to drive more responsibly, and every engine that is turned off instead of idling helps to reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint. 

Interested in learning more about vehicle tracking devices?

If you would like quotes for vehicle tracking solutions, fill in iCompario’s quick quote form for product recommendations and advice. Hundreds of thousands of businesses across the world have relied on iCompario to be matched with the right fleet solutions. Will yours be next?

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

GET A QUOTE