It used to be the case that GPS for large commercial fleets were just navigation devices. Their only function was to help the driver get from point A to point B. This has now changed, and GPS provides significantly more assistance to the driver, along with providing data to fleet managers back at base.
Despite now providing more information, the crucial navigational element of many GPS’ is still in place. Commercial drivers often have to make long and complicated journeys, combining multiple stops in different locations along a route. Having a GPS navigation system which can provide accurate traffic updates along with the most up-to-date maps is vital. For commercial drivers, it is also important to receive clear directional information. When delivering a product or a service, delays can be costly, so it’s crucial drivers don’t miss an important turnoff as getting back on track or finding somewhere to turn around can be difficult and time-consuming.
A more recent development similar to GPS, is a telematics devices which provide driver feedback. These coaching systems are installed in the cabin of a commercial vehicle and provide audio and visual feedback to the driver. There are several benefits to both individual drivers and a commercial fleet as a whole from installing these business vehicle tracking systems.
Improvements to safety is one of the key benefits of installing an in-cab coaching device. Drivers are alerted whenever they are speeding, accelerating or braking harshly and cornering too aggressively. All of these actions have been shown to contribute to accidents on the road. As a result, reducing the number of these actions not only improves the safety of commercial drivers but also that of all road users.
The main benefit to a commercial fleet as a whole from installing in-cab coaching devices is improved efficiency. Fuel usage is a crucial area of concern for any fleet manager, and lowering the usage across their fleet is a priority for many. In-cab coaching devices can reduce fuel usage but improving the driving style of commercial drivers. As mentioned above, the systems alert drivers to any actions of speeding, harsh braking and acceleration. Not only does reducing these actions improve safety, but it also improves fuel consumption. By improving the fuel usage of each commercial vehicle, even just a little, the impact across an entire large fleer could be significant. Not only does this improve the environmental impact of a commercial fleet, but it can also provide a significant financial saving.
From a fleet managers point of view, having GPS telematics systems installed across their commercial fleet, particularly large fleets which could be hundreds of vehicles, is of vital importance. It simply isn’t possible to keep track of the movement and activity of hundreds of vehicles. GPS telematics systems provide fleet managers with highly accurate location data which shows where the vehicles have been along with other journey information.
The advantage to a fleet manager being able to see the routes that their drivers have taken is that often they can be improved. Most GPS devices provide drivers with the fastest predicted route, and while they are getting better at understanding traffic flow and congestion, improvements can still be made. If the route data shows that drivers are consistently choosing routes which are predicted to be faster but actually encounter more traffic, fleet managers can step in and implement a new route. Improving the routes drivers take can not only save fuel but also improve the journey times, which can improve productivity.
Overall GPS can be incredibly valuable to companies who operate large commercial fleets. Telematics has shown to improve the flue consumption of vehicles along with improving the safety and productivity of drivers.