Fleet Preparation for Hurricanes

Fleet Preparation for Hurricanes

Fleet preparation for hurricanes and other natural disasters is a necessary step in general fleet management. Your GPS system is an invaluable tool in this preparation. From vehicle and equipment locations to current fuel levels, your GPS system provides the tools necessary to prep for the hurricane as well as the tools necessary to manage in the aftermath.

Vehicle driving in storm

Fuel Availability

The first step in Fleet preparation for hurricanes hurricane is to ensure the availability of fuel. In the aftermath of a hurricane or large tropical storm, rarely do fueling stations have the power necessary to pump fuel from storage tanks. Prior to the hurricane, make sure all vehicle and storage fuel tanks are full. If your organization maintains a local fuel supply, top off your vehicles at local gas stations to preserve locally stored fuel for after the hurricane. After a hurricane, the issue isn’t a lack of available fuel, it’s the inability to pump the fuel due to lack of electrical power. Most GPS systems report fuel levels of vehicles. This feature simplifies determining the vehicles that need fueling as well as the ability to monitor fuel levels in remote vehicles.

Missed Business Opportunities

If your business is one that will be in high demand after a hurricane, you should plan to capitalize on the situation as quickly as possible. To be ready you need three things in place. Inventory, people and systems. Determine what items are going to be in high demand and stage them at a safe location. Competitors who do not do this will not be able to get inventory for days or weeks and your business can thrive. People must be ready to return to work. Knowing who will be available will determine how much post hurricane work you can get done. Last is business systems must be in the cloud so they can be accessed from home or from any computer based on where Internet and power is available. Fleetistics uses Microsoft 365 from IGTech365 so employees can work from anywhere, anytime, with an Internet connection. Files are backup to the cloud using Azure and servers are virtual or co-located to avoid flood damage.

fuel level in tank

Fleet Preparation for Hurricanes -Staging Location

The next step in fleet preparation for hurricanes is to stage your fleet location. Make sure vehicles are protected from wind and water as much as possible. The primary danger to vehicles from the wind is falling trees or power lines. Hurricane force winds may not be high enough to affect the vehicle directly, but even a category one hurricane has winds high enough to take down power lines and trees. Power lines can take a vehicle out of service by blocking the vehicle’s path or by falling on the vehicle. After a hurricane, downed power lines are a danger because many times they are live. Falling trees are directly responsible for more damage to vehicles than wind. Stage your fleet in a location that mitigates the effects of downed power lines and falling trees as much as possible. Your GPS system provides the tools necessary to monitor your vehicles whether the staging area is at your location or a more secure remote location.

vehicle locations fleet management preparation for hurricanes

Organizationally, designate a disaster manager. This position should be the single point of contact for all fleet preparation for hurricanes and communications. The disaster manager and their team should have a reliable communication system that isn’t dependent on power from the electrical grid. In the case of cell phones, backup power sources for charging should be available. In many situations the fleet vehicles can be a source of power to recharge communication devices. Cell phones and tablets provide access to your GPS system. Since GPS systems are hosted, they will be available to internet connected devices. Many GPS systems offer a mobile app. Most of the mobile apps do not provide access to all features of the system. Using¬≠¬≠ a tablet provides a more convenient way to access the full GPS system by using a browser.

After The Hurricane

In the aftermath of a hurricane, the security of vehicles and equipment is paramount. Theft is a major concern after the hurricane passes. A GPS system provides the ability to create zones or geofences. This provides the ability to designate and monitor approved locations for vehicles and equipment. GPS systems can provide notification when vehicles or other device equipped assets are removed from designated areas.

After the storm

Many organizations use multiple GPS systems. Vehicles are managed by systems that specialize in reporting vehicle specific data. Other systems specialize in tracking trailers and other equipment. Fleetistics provides a unique tool for monitoring multiple systems in a single window. During and after a disaster, switching between multiple systems is an inconvenience and it uses more power through maintaining multiple connections to servers. Fleetistics offers a system that displays vehicles, equipment, and other assets in a single window. This simplifies monitoring all assets as well as conserves power.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, local, state, and federal government resources need time to deploy. After the hurricane, most government agencies, state organizations and individuals should prepare to be totally self-sufficient for at least 3 days. Crowd sourcing apps like the PubSafe app from Aftermath Data can be a great help both with internal and external disaster related communications.

Disaster planning can mitigate many of the challenges during and after the hurricane. Stockpile as much fuel and consumables as possible. Designate a disaster manager. Plan for the location of vehicles and other assets. Use the tools provided by your GPS system to monitor asset location as well as fuel levels and other parameters reported by the system.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Tell Us Your Story!

We Hear a Lot of Great Success Stories

Fleetistics is sponsoring a contest for a chance to win an Amazon gift card when you tell us your story. We hear lots of great stories from our customers, all kinds of stories actually. Things like amazingly quick recovery of a stolen vehicle, litigation avoided after a collision based on telematics data, and one customer reported discovering that his clients with the prettiest receptionists always received much longer stops than others.

Tell Us Your Story

With that in mind, tell us your story!

We want to hear your GPS tracking success story. Your experience could be exactly what someone else needs to know, so tell us your story for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Even better, have your story featured on Fleetistics’ Blog with a link back to your business. Only Fleetistics’ customers are eligible to win.

Put those writing skills to work and tell us your story today. Email it to contact@fleetistics.com. Deadline for submissions is January 29, 2021. We will select a winner from the submissions we receive to tell your story in an upcoming blog post. Your name, logo, and a link to your website (with your approval) will be posted as well. We look forward to hearing about your success with telematics and sharing your story with others. So send us your story today!

Return on Investment Series: COI

Telematics & GPS Cost of Ignoring

Simply stated, the cost of ignoring is money left on the table. Cost of ignoring (COI) can be thought of as the amount of lost savings that result when a company fails to undertake a strategic business investment that would otherwise improve operational efficiency. For fleet managers it can be thought of as the incremental operating costs resulting from the improper use of telematics or lack thereof.

 

ROI v. COI

COI has the same strategic goals as ROI, however there are a few fundamental differences as seen in the table below. The primary difference is that COI is focused on minimizing operating costs, whereas ROI is focused on maximizing incremental revenue.

 

ROI v COI

 

Finding Savings

 

Each fleet is unique, and therefore each fleet can have drastically different cost structures. In our research, we found that two variables specifically impacted a fleets operating costs: vehicle class and vehicle mileage.

Here is an example: A long-haul Heavy-Duty (HD) fleet will have a very different cost per mile (CPM) breakdown than a low-mileage Light-Duty (LD) fleet. In general, the HD fleet will likely have larger proportional fuel expenses per mile, but the fleet will have larger collision and claims CPM.

Savings opportunities available to a specific fleet will change based on the fleets operating characteristics. This can make the opportunities difficult to identify and quantify.

In the next series, we will discuss using our Fleet Savings Summary Report to quantify the ROI & COI.

 

View previous Return on Investment Series post here.

Request more information here.

 

Four Benefits to the ELD Mandate

The ELD Mandate Can Improve Your Business

 

FMCSAs ELD Mandate provides an outstanding opportunity to simplify and streamline your handwritten recording process. Fleetistics electronic log systems automate the process. This reduces the time required to compile and maintain driver records. Automation means savings for your company. Let us take a look at the benefits of the Fleetistics ELD/eLog/Hours of Service system:

 

ELD Mandate Benefit 1Benefit #1 Elimination of handwritten log books. Fleetistics electronic log system replaces the handwritten log book with an easy-to-use mobile app run on an Android tablet or iOS iPad. Gone are the days of trying to decipher illegible log entries.

 

 


HOS-ELD-Compliance Benefit #2 Simplified roadside compliance reporting. When roadside log inspection is required, drivers simply click a button to instantly display a fully compliant report. As changes occur to reporting requirements, our system incorporates those changes.

 

 


ELD Mandate Benefit 3Benefit #3 Real-time status for dispatchers. Dispatchers and other office-based personnel can obtain a drivers current status instantly.

 

 


ELD Mandate Benefit 4Benefit #4 Digital verification of logs. Never again will it be necessary to chase down a driver to obtain a signature to verify a log entry. Digital verification is provided through the tablet app.

 

 

 


The FMSCA ELD Mandate provides the perfect opportunity to automate the process of maintaining driver log information. Our system also automates compliance with the ELD rules. As changes occur to recordkeeping requirements, our system incorporates the changes to provide users with automatic compliance.

For a live demonstration of the Fleetistics ELD/eLog/Hours of Service system, contact your account manager today.

 

Return on Investment Series: Article 1

Telematics & GPS ROI

return-on-investment

Return on investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment, or to compare different investments. ROI measures the amount of return on an investment relative to the investment. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment, and the result is expressed as a percentage.

The telematics industry has come a long way since the days of downloading data when a vehicle returns to home base and providing dots on a map. Today, telematics can provide fleet managers instant reports on location, vehicle driving behavior, maintenance alerts and so much more, thus providing a significant ROI.

 

5 Pillars of Fleet Management for Return on Investment

 

Safety – Speeding, harsh driving behavior, reverse, seatbelt, accident reduction
Productivity – Stop duration, dispatch, route efficiency, sales/service calls, timely service
Optimization – Proactive maintenance, odometer readings, vehicle health, fuel consumption
Compliance – Company policies, State/Federal laws, HOS
Expandability – Integrate with 3rd party software, power of the IOX, marketplace

Click here to request more information.