DOT & ELD Guidance Blog

Improving Your Business with GPS Vehicle Tracking

No employee is more remote than a commercial driver and staying in touch with their whereabouts is critical.

J.J. Keller Editor Rick Malchow

Rick Malchow - Industry Business Advisor, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

May 11 , 2020

Global positioning system (GPS) vehicle tracking has been around for a while. And with good reason. It is a powerful tool that you can use to improve your business, especially when most of your employees don’t work in the office.  

No employee is more remote than a commercial driver. By definition, commercial drivers are remote workers:

  • Using vehicles to move someone else’s product or people from Point A to Point B,
  • Using vehicles to move your product or people, or
  • Using vehicles to get to Point B to work.

To make matters more critical, these types of workers aren’t just out there with a modem and laptop. They have your equipment – expensive equipment. Each day you send the worker out, you’re likely committing over a half-million dollars of assets between the vehicle, equipment, driver pay, driver benefits, and maintenance.

It’s not a situation where you should hand them a work assignment, send them out the door, and hope for the best. You need to ensure a return on your investment.

How to Manage Your Fleet from Afar

Every day you probably wonder: How do I know they are productive? How do I manage their productivity and workflow? Do I trust when they say they hit a snag and weren’t able to accomplish the assigned tasks?

The answer? GPS.

GPS data can be used to measure productivity and manage risk in numerous ways:

  • Verify the driver took the most effective route, did not make any unplanned stops, and is productive while on-site.  GPS data can be used to compare the actual length of time at a location/stop compared to the expected time. By identifying delays immediately, you can investigate the causes and determine corrective actions, including driver detention pay for lost productivity at a shipper, or, if at a work location, what caused the job to take longer than expected.
  • Verify that the routes used are rated for the truck's weight and that the driver didn't speed on the way to their Point B. Avoid fines and tickets by reviewing trip history captured by the GPS.  Whether the GPS is built into an ELD, a telematics solution, or working independently as a freestanding device, it can help you ensure safety.
  • Verify vehicle location. As mentioned earlier, you can have hundreds of thousands of dollars wrapped up in every unit you put on the street. From insurance to customer satisfaction, you need the ability to say definitely, “I know where every vehicle is at,” and be able to estimate arrival times, pick-ups, and deliveries.
  • Immediate visibility to vehicle activity.  From a leadership perspective, GPS data is powerful because it’s delivered in real-time, or near real-time, depending on the solution. What company can wait until the end of the week (a month or quarter) for soft productivity reports or fallout from customers?  Working backward to determine the causes and make corrections usually yields mediocre results at best. GPS data allows leadership to uncover root causes of poor service closer to the event, shoring up greater success for corrective action or accolades.

If you aren’t using GPS to track your vehicles, talk to one of our compliance specialists today to learn how Encompass® Vehicle Tracking can help you improve your driver productivity, and manage your vehicles. Or visit JJKeller.com/VehicleTracking.


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