Fuel Savings – Something we can all agree on!

Fuel Savings are Critical to Small Business Survival

Submitted by Kim Spring, Business Analyst

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (eia), the United States average fuel cost in 2021 was $3.01 per gallon. Today the national average has risen to $4.88 per gallon. That is a 61% increase in just 1-year. Fuel costs are a large portion of a fleet’s spend, therefore Fleet Managers across the nation are having to find innovative ways to save fuel. There are a lot of tips, tricks and technology that can assist fleet managers with fuel efficiency.

Sometimes when looking at the big picture we forget about the basics. Here are some simple steps to help beat high gasoline prices:

  • Reduce Speed – Each 5 mph over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.15 per gallon of gas. By reducing excessive speed, aggressive driving behavior such as rapid acceleration and hard braking, less fuel will be wasted.
  • Vehicle Maintenance– Keeping your fleet vehicles well maintained will not only save fuel but also keep your fleet running smoothly. Newer vehicles tend to be more efficient than their previous model years, however having a diligent maintenance program can keep your vehicles on the road longer.
  • Reducing Idling – By avoiding excessive driving fleets can harness the savings of this low hanging fruit. For every hour a vehicle idles it burns approximately 1 gallon of fuel.
  • Identifying and Reducing Fuel Fraud – Unfortunately fuel fraud is a fact of life for most fleets and can be very costly. Having tools in place to help prevent and stop fuel fraud with significantly reduce fleet fuel spend.

Tools to Increase Fuel Savings

Armed with the basic steps above in mind, fleet managers can implement tools to provide them the data they need to monitor fuel spend to increase fuel savings. Telematics solutions have been widely adopted across fleets for this purpose. These tools give fleet managers the power to monitor speeding, idling, harsh driving behavior, vehicle maintenance etc. using dashboards and reporting.

Fuel trend reports allow fleet managers to identify areas for improvement and coach drivers as needed. Performing vehicle inspections is also key to maintaining fleet vehicles. Regularly checking tire inflation, maintaining oil and using the right air filters also impact the vehicle’s overall fuel economy.

Fuel Cards for More Control Over Fuel Spend

Another substantial fuel savings technology is introducing a Fuel Card program. Fuel cards are flexible and some even offer rebates on fuel purchases. Some advantages to fuel cards include:

  • Better protection for fleet fuel spend/fraud – Set custom limits on total spending, approved locations and time-of-day use.
  • Automated fuel expense reporting – No more manual receipt collection and data entry.
  • Real-time fuel tracking tool -Allows problems to be identified and solved before adding to month over month fuel costs
  • Performance monitoring – Poor mileage may indicate inefficient driving habits or maintenance needs.
Many of the major fleet fuel card providers integrate with Telematics solutions. This allows fleet managers to compare mileage entered at the pump to actual odometer reading from the vehicle. Telematics monitors mpg and fuel tank levels and rules can be implemented to highlight any areas where there might be a spike in fuel spending.

The key to successfully reducing fleet fuel spend comes down to having the tools that work best to provide fleet managers with data, trends and reports that allow them to ability to really see how the fleet is operating on a daily basis.

For more information on Telematics solutions and Fleet Cards contact us today

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Benefits of Telematics (Part 4 of 5): Increased Driver Safety & Attractive New Incentives

When your company vehicles are loaded with telematics technology, it opens up a world of possibilities. Telematics does not only help businesses watch employee behavior. GPS tracking and video recording options can add additional driver safety! 

You wonder how driver safety factors in? Imagine this… A terrible storm strikes the coast of Florida while you have vehicles on the road. All but one return. You call the driver and no one answers the phone.

What do you do? 

If you didn’t have telematics software installed in the vehicle, there is very little that you can do besides calling the police and hoping for the best. But with GPS tracking, you can find the vehicle’s exact location and the driver inside.

Many people have been successfully rescued from life-or-death situations when every precious minute matters. Whether they are suffering from a heart attack or caught in a natural disaster, knowing where your drivers are is crucial.

But there are many other reasons why telematics software can increase driver safety. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important.

driver safety and telematics

Accidents

No one wants to fall asleep behind the wheel, but it happens. Even when we are alert and careful, accidents can still occur. And whether it’s our fault or not, being able to walk away from a crash is a privilege – Not everyone is that lucky. That’s why driver safety is so imperative!

If your driver is incapacitated after a hit-and-run or if he or she goes off the road and is too injured to phone 911, telematics can alert your office, so they can quickly dispatch emergency personnel to the location.

Correcting Dangerous Behavior

Your employees may not like it when you notice that they are not wearing their seat belts or they are not braking enough, but correcting bad driving habits and discourteous behavior adds to driver safety because it can prevent accidents and save lives. 

You can use telematics data and camera footage as evidence to reinforce rules for your drivers and remedy potentially lethal mistakes before they cause an accident. Reward safe drivers and achieve increased driver safety by encouraging safe driving behaviors and practices. 

Telematics Intel for Enhanced Driver Safety

Your company vehicles, just like your phone, can track their current location, location history, and a chronology of your travels. It has the ability to determine when your vehicle is driven, where it goes, its speed, and whether it’s accelerating too fast or the brakes are hit too hard. Even cell phone or seatbelt use can be recorded!

Businesses that include telematics software are focused on driver safety for their employees, as well as their performance. This, in turn, improves driver retention rates, increases morale, and makes each driver feel motivated to be their personal best, especially with the addition of new incentives.

tax incentives

Driver Safety plus Attractive New Incentives

Driver safety is critical for fleet businesses, and both insurance companies and the government know it. When you demonstrate that you are taking every step possible to ensure that your employees drive safely, they reward you with new incentives.

If saving money on the bottom line is important to you, read on to learn about how you can write off telematics on your taxes and reduce your insurance premiums. 

Lower Insurance Premiums

A new fleet driver may be considered a risk by insurance providers, and as a result, the premiums for newly employed drivers are expensive! – Until they demonstrate that they are safe drivers.

Businesses are eager to reduce their insurance costs. They don’t want to put blind faith in drivers and play the waiting game. 

But is there another option? 

Yes! 

Even new drivers can save on their auto insurance with telematics.

To help new employees become more efficient and safe drivers, fleet owners can choose to install fleet telematics hardware and use the software to provide actionable reports. When combined with dash cams, driver behavior can be even better documented.

Insurance agencies commend these technologies and recognize their success in enhancing driver safety and preventing fraud. When insurances are made aware that your fleet is using telematics systems, they may offer you a lower premium right away. This is something you will need to shop around for. 

Telematics may also come into play if the insurance policy that you have purchased from your provider is dependent on mileage.

Not only will a fleet telematics system improve your driving team’s overall performance on the road, but in the event of an accident, the evidence recorded can prove your driver innocent or guilty. 

Tax Break Incentives

Company vehicle owners can find innovative ways to save expenses while remaining competitive with telematics technology! They can boost operational efficiency and help your business to meet the requirements to qualify for tax breaks. 

GPS tracking and telematics systems are getting a lot of attention from businesses because of this potential. 

But you need to have a strong grasp of the tax codes and do your own research if you want to maximize your savings. 

Qualified Fleetistic equipment may make your business eligible for the Section 179 deduction. Under Section 179, small businesses can write off the entire purchase price of certain equipment and technology within the first year of purchase.

For more information, use the link above to learn more. There is a good chance that you can receive compensation for your investment.

Also, there are fuel tax credits available for vehicles that operate off-road. Telematics can help you to document off-road vs on-road miles driven. 

Taking Advantage of New Incentives

One of the most critical components of fleet management is ensuring that all drivers and vehicles are safe. The government and insurance companies know this and they encourage you to use telematics to ensure the safety of your team. 

Insurance price reductions, fuel tax credits, and tax reductions are there for your company to take advantage of, so why aren’t you? Reduce your fleet insurance premiums and minimize your tax burden with Fleetistics telematics today!

This blog post series about the benefits of telematics will conclude with the next part. Stay tuned! And if you would like to take another look at our previous posts about this subjects, feel free to do it here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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Benefits of Telematics (Part 3 of 5): Take-Home Vehicle Policy & Increase Company Profits

A take-home vehicle policy has become increasingly popular over the years. Keeping vehicles out of company parking lots or garages can save businesses and their employees’ money and time.

But how do businesses accomplish this successfully? Using telematics can be the key to improving efficiency in your fleet by including a take-home vehicle policy. 

When a GPS tracking telematics system is in place, it allows employers to track business vehicles no matter where they are on the road. By monitoring their vehicle locations, companies have the flexibility to let their employees take the vehicles home overnight. 

Allowing employees to clock in and out from home can reduce: 

  • Unnecessary mileage
  • Vehicle wear and tear
  • Fuel costs
  • Carbon footprint

In addition to industry-specific advantages, there are many ways companies can enhance their performance by providing staff individual responsibility for their vehicles.

driver enjoying the take-home vehicle policy

1. Responding to Emergency Calls

Before considering whether a take-home vehicle policy is good for your business, think about how you can make the most of it. Take-home policies may be a huge help to your operations and overall customer satisfaction if your service responds to after-hours or emergency calls. 

Response time is often decreased as well as overtime costs. By letting employees relax at home while on call, you can significantly reduce their hours in the office. 

2. Affordable Advertising

If your fleet of cars, vans, or trucks display your company’s information, you’ll have a distinct edge in terms of advertising. Allowing your employees to park on the street in front of their house or in their driveway serves as a billboard for your business.

3. Improve Vehicle Maintenance

Not only do fleet take-home policies increase vehicle longevity, but they also significantly lower their maintenance costs. 

For 8 years, Tacoma, Washington, and its outside consulting firm, Mercury Associates, assessed thirty take-home vehicles compared with thirty-four shared vehicles. The results were astounding! This study discovered that take-home vehicles lasted up to three times longer and repair costs were reduced by over 83%. 

4. Reduce Personal Use in Combination with a Take-Home Vehicle Policy

In the past, there have been many concerns about using a take-home vehicle policy. When entrusted with a company vehicle that doesn’t have a telematics system, employees might use their cars and trucks for personal use. When vehicles are used outside of work, it results in a serious disadvantage by straining budgets. 

But with fleet GPS tracking, companies can feel secure knowing where their vehicles are at all times. This fosters trust with employees and allows the take-home vehicle policy to be permitted without charging fees. 

Tracking driver behavior, mileage, and the health of a vehicle can help to facilitate good practices and proper vehicle use. With Fleetistics telematics systems, you can collect the data that is crucial to your bottom line and decide if a take-home vehicle policy is right for you.

take-home vehicle policy and increased company profits represented by a dollar bag

Not only Take-Home Vehicle Policy but also an Increase in Company Profits

If you are looking to reduce your expenses and increase your return on investment, Fleetistics telematics systems can do exactly that!

Once your management team can track vehicle routes, locations, mileage, and other valuable information, you’re well on your way to boosting your fleet’s profitability. 

Field service companies have a high cost of fuel and with gas prices skyrocketing, that’s bad news for your ROI. Fuel efficiency depends on how well your drivers behave. Bad habits can cost you large amounts of money. 

  • Aggressive driving
  • Speeding
  • Sitting idle 

When businesses use telematics data, not only does the management team receive a warning, but so can the driver using our driver feedback features. This gives them the opportunity to immediately correct their behavior and saves you gas and frequent employee turnover. 

Prevention is Key

Everyone knows that engine trouble typically begins as a small problem. When it goes unnoticed, it evolves into a bigger and more expensive issue. 

In the event of any engine trouble, Fleetistics telematics can notify you so that you can take action right away. By comparing current performance to prior data, these systems can determine if the engine is struggling. 

Receiving early notice that your vehicle needs maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Not only that, but when your employees know you can monitor their driving behavior, they also drive more carefully, which prevents unnecessary damage to your vehicle. Whether they avoid accidents, flat tires, or excessive wear and tear, you save in the end.

One direct way you will save is on your insurance premiums. When your employees have clean driving records, your premiums will be cheaper. Your insurance provider may even reward you with reduced premiums just for implementing telematics!

You will have complete visibility into the use of each vehicle in your fleet once you have telematics data collected. By analyzing the data, you can cut operating costs and improve your workflow.

When you invest in GPS tracking and telematics, you can plan your operations precisely, easily implement a take-home vehicle policy, foster safer driving practices, and increase company profit.

Stay tuned for the next part of our series about the benefits of GPS tracking!

In case you have not seen the previous parts, here they are:

Part 1

Part 2

 

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Benefits of Telematics (Part 1 of 5): Achieve Higher Customer Retention and Protection Against False Claims

GPS, sensors, and on-board diagnostics (OBD) are used in telematics to track vehicles, trucks, and equipment on a map. Many businesses use this form of monitoring to increase customer satisfaction and raise customer retention rate.

In a highly competitive business world, customer retention is an important factor. Nevertheless, keeping customer loyalty can be a serious challenge. Depending on your industry, you may find it difficult to prove your performance and efficiency.

customer retention for fleet management

Higher Customer Retention 

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. When you track vehicles or fleets with telematics, data is collected to provide you and your customers with detailed reporting. This offers both reassurance and confidence in your employees and your company, which creates the basis for customer retention. 

At the heart of the telematics system is the GPS receiver, which keeps track of the vehicle’s location and status in real time. The fleet system’s central server receives the GPS tracker’s data over a cellular network. Data is processed by the server, which then makes it available to other computers on the network in an easy-to-read format.

Reports vary based on your plan. Our GPS vehicle tracking technology confirms the date and time of a vehicle: 

  • Location
  • Speed
  • Mileage
  • Fuel Use
  • Engine Data

Pairing this service with cameras allows you to provide customers with even more proof in the form of video footage.

Using fleet tracking by Fleetistics can help your company yield higher customer retention percentages in many ways.

 Using real-time data on vehicle whereabouts, your customer service representatives may provide more precise delivery predictions and service estimates.

  • Details like arrival times and route progress can be shared with customers to build trust and increase your company’s transparency.
  • Invaluable information is instantly sent from vehicles to offices about driver location to verify their activity on the job. 
  • Monitor and compare driver performance with their delivery schedules.

 Well-informed customers are happier customers. When you give your customers the data they need, they will make better decisions. Whether they choose how much more or less to load, send, or deliver, or plan their day around yours, the value you provide them will keep them coming back for more.

protection against false claims

Protection Against False Claims

Another important benefit besides higher customer retention: Telematics can save your business money by protecting it from fraudulent claims. 

With our GPS tracking system, we can prove a wide range of data concerning how fast the vehicle is going, where it was, and at what time. This information is critical when false accusations or fault has been placed against your driver after an accident. It can be the deciding factor that gives you full protection against false claims. 

Even if they have no direct involvement, you can be held accountable for the actions of your employees. In the case of accident claims, companies must be able to show they take appropriate measures to identify reckless driving and evaluate road threats. In order to provide themselves with protection against false claims, many businesses are using telematics to identify hazards and monitor conduct.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, telematics can help insurers to better estimate damage after a collision and even decrease false claims by delivering vehicle data including hard braking, speed, and time.

But incorrect allegations are not only useful in legal matters, they’re also extremely helpful when agitated customers call in a complaint. If your clients report that your driver was late to their appointment, you can check the data for yourself!

Easily determine if your driver is at fault or the customer is lying. With a few clicks, you’ll be able to see exactly when your driver arrived and when they left.

Businesses with vehicles need to include telematics in their overall business strategy. If a company doesn’t use GPS tracking technology to draw conclusions about how their employees drive, they are playing a risky game. It can not only help them to evade an ugly legal battle, but also assist them in determining if their drivers are performing well. 

Higher customer retention and protection against false claims – these are only two of the many benefits  that GPS tracking provides for your business!

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My Geotab v7 – What’s New?

My Geotab Version 7 is packed with enhancements like improved security, ESR ratings, extendable services, new routing features and much more!

My Geotab Password Security Changes

In version 7, My Geotab will no loger allow the use of a username, firstname, or last name in the password to improve security. Current passwords are not impacted, but with the next password change request the new rules will prevent using them in a new password.

Electrical System Rating (ESR)

The Electrical System Rating (ESR) is a rating that measures the status of a vehicle’s electrical system on a scale from 0 to 100. The ESR is calculated on a daily basis, and provides a common rating system for all vehicles, engines and fuel types in a friendly format that is easy for all users to understand. ESR is an analytical metric based on data that can be used to predict battery health, and subsequent point of failure. You can read more here about the predictive maintenance benefits of ESR, including how one Geotab customer used it to get the following results:

  • Reduced roadside calls and expenses by 12%
  • Reduced on-road battery replacements (premium-priced) by 26%
  • Reduced total battery replacement volume by 2.7%
  • Saved 9% on labor by reducing diagnostic and battery replacement labor
My Geotab Electrical System Rating (ESR)

New My Geotab Version 7 Default Rule

The last release introduced truck specific road speed to the speed rules. In My Geotab Version 7 there is a new default rule for truck speed that is a one click option on the main rules page. If you have a mixed fleet, grouping your vehicles allows you to apply the truck speed limit rule to heavy trucks, and the normal speed limit to light duty vehicles.

Truck speed limit rule

New Routing Features In My Geotab

In My Geotab Version 7 the “Send to Vehicle” button has been moved to the main Routes page. Tools to create a route and send it are now in the same area making them more convenient to use. A shortcut to Routes is being added under Map in the main menu as well.

You can also start a new route by duplicating a previous one. We actually had a client request this feature just a few days before it was announced. It will be a real time saver especially for smaller fleets.

Planned vs Actual route displayed on the map has been visually enhanced so that variances are easier to spot. The black line represents the planned route and the purple line the actual route taken. To utilize these new features in Version7, you will need to enable feature preview.

Improved View of Assets in My Geotab Version 7

The Asset Edit page is out of feature preview and available to all users by default in My Geotab Version 7. For busy users looking for faster ways to manage their assets, the asset edit page provides a more compact and complete view of your assets. By consolidating important information into one page, navigation is reduced, so you can take action faster.

The tabs on the Asset Edit page include the following information:

  • Asset: Includes a quick summary of the asset, the current driver, how it’s being used, its current location, groups, fuel consumption and more.
  • Health: Reports on the health of the asset, including active faults, maintenance history, upcoming events, inspection logs and more.
  • Audio feedback: Audio feedback (previously called Driver feedback) now includes GOTALK settings, and other usability improvements that better display what options are available.
  • Extended services: No changes have been made.
  • Rate plan: No changes have been made.
  • Settings: Groups all telematics device settings under one tab, versus multiple tabs and More buttons.

Extendable Services

For clients with multiple locations or divisions on separate databases, or clients that wish to selectively share information with other Geotab clients, Extendable Services provides that option. With Extendable Services, secondary subscriptions can be shared with target users, at the rate plan available for participating OEMs. Requests to extend third-party services can be made from the Extendable Services tab on the Asset Edit page.

Extendable Services requests can be accepted, rejected, or deferred to provide time for consultation and better decision support. Just click the Remind me later button to defer the request until your next login, or at a time that works for you.

This is a paid Geotab service based on the service plan of Base, Pro or ProPlus. Fleetistics offers rollup reporting for the most commonly needed data in your MyFleetistics account. Navigate to Analytics & Reports>Roll-up Report to see if the data provided is sufficient for your needs. Requests can be made to Fleetistics for additional reports if enough customers would benefit. 

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Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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