Frequently Asked GPS Questions

Learn the basics to make better decisions
Select a GPS PlatformSpeak with Consultant

Answers to Common GPS Tracking Questions

 

Live v. Passive GPS Tracking Technology

Is live vehicle tracking really %22live%22?

Almost in some cases. There is a cost for every GPS coordinate transmitted for live tracking systems. The higher the track resolution,

GO-GPS-Tracking-Device

GO-GPS-Tracking-Device

the more expensive the monthly subscription service. There are systems that will actually log a GPS point every 1 second but have a very highly monthly service fees. Other systems like the GO system in ProPlus mode update about every 20 seconds.

 

Most fleet management systems report a position about every 60 seconds. Some systems log GPS data based on driving behavior, not a set time interval. This tends to provide a higher resolution of the actual vehicle path traveled but at the standard market rate. This service is very affordable when this level of resolution is needed. Contact your sales consultant to learn about volume pricing.

What is involved in the GPS installation process?

Installation is a very important component of a success deployment, especially for large fleets. This is a step that is often glossed over during the sales process. A good partner will discuss the GPS install plan in detail and demonstrate 1. experience 2. an organized plan. Simply saying it is not an issue is not good enough. As with everything, there are limitation and requirements that impact you. Additionally, you need to know how service work is done and what happens when you move a device to a new vehicle. Read more

What is the difference between live and passive GPS tracking systems?

The data collected is generally the same for both types of systems. Live vehicle tracking transmits the GPS data collected to cellular networks which route it to a website where you view the data. It’s considered live tracking because it is visible shortly after being logged.

Passive GPS trackers store the GPS information on the tracker until the truck returns to a central location or office. When the truck is within range of a wireless base station, usually under 500 yards, the GPS tracker will transfer the GPS tracking data. The GPS data is then put in a database which is connected to fleet management software where you can view it online. Passive technology is no longer readily available.

What are the pros and cons of live truck tracking systems?

Since the GPS data collected is generally the same, the speed at which you can access the vehicle’s location provides one benefit. You can make better dispatching and scheduling decisions when you have good live data. Live tracking systems don’t require any installation of a local antenna on your building, computers to store the data or tracking software on a server. Live truck trackers generally are viewed through a convenient website.

Another benefit to live vehicle tracking is that vehicles don’t have to return to a central location to get the data. Many fleet managers need live data to make decisions but the trucks don’t return to a central location often enough to make transportation and logistics decisions. GPS data that is over 2 weeks old is really not of significant value to most fleet managers.

The price of live tracking systems is subsidized by the monthly fee that goes with them. This keeps the capital investment lower.

The primary disadvantage to live GPS trackers is that there must be a monthly service fee. The monthly fee is used to cover the cost of moving the GPS track and telematics data across the cellular network, subsidizing the equipment investment, development, customer service and profit for the service provider. Because there is a monthly subscription service, vendors are motivated to support your account and address needs.

A second disadvantage is that there is not cellular coverage in all areas. At times you will be paying a monthly subscription fee and not be able to track your vehicles in real time. This is just part of how the technology works, very much like a cell phone.

What are the pros and cons of passive truck tracking systems?

Since the GPS data collected is generally the same, the speed at which you can access the vehicles location provides is one benefit. You can make better dispatching and scheduling decisions when you have good data to use. Live systems don’t require any installation of a local antenna, computers to store the data or tracking software on the client PC. Live truck trackers generally are viewed through a convenient website.

Another benefit is that vehicles don’t have to return to a central location to get the data. Many fleet managers need live data to make decisions but the trucks don’t return to a central location with any frequency. GPS data that is over 2 weeks old is really not of significant value to most fleet managers.

The price of live tracking systems is subsidized by the monthly fee that goes with them. This keeps the capital investment lower.

The primary disadvantage to live GPS trackers is that there must be a monthly fee. The monthly fee is used to cover the cost of moving the GPS track and telematics data across the cellular network, subsidizing the equipment investment, development, customer service and profit for the service provider. Because there is a monthly subscription service, vendors are motivated to support your account and address needs.

A second disadvantage is that there is not cellular coverage in all areas. At times you will be paying a monthly subscription fee and not be able to track your vehicles in real time. This is just part of how the technology works, very much like a cell phone.

Return on GPS Tracking Investment

Why do prices vary?

The old adage of “you get what you pay for” holds true in the GPS tracking industry. With lower prices come fewer services, features and options. Low price leaders typically don’t have as many staff members or resources to support you after the sale. They may have a great sales person or a cool application but ROI is achieved after the honeymoon period is over. Knowing your partner is charging you enough to provide the resources you need shows you that they have a good business model. A win-win relationship is required to be successful; just like you have with your customers. Pay more, get more, and expect more ROI.

How long should it take to recover my investment?

This varies for a variety of reasons. The ROI for a typical service company is under 90 days. This includes the initial capital investment as well as the first year’s subscription service. ROI will also vary by fleet management practices. Fleets that are better run before installing GPS will take a little longer. Fleets with more room to improve can receive very rapid ROI, often under 30 days! best in class fleets can expect about $2,500 in savings per vehicle. Calculate your ROI

What areas can I expect to see improvement?

This will vary by fleet practices and leadership. If the company leaders are not willing to use the data to make decisions or hold drivers accountable, there is no point in making the investment. ROI requires a commitment to change with policies to support the program and the strength of leadership to enforce the policies.

Typical areas of improvement include:

  • Reduce fuel expenses resulting from a host of reasons
  • Reduced accidents
  • Improved productivity
  • Reduced regular and overtime wages for the same amount of work.
  • Improvements in fleet maintenance expenses with fewer miles and lower maintenance costs.

Dispatching service can reduce or totally eliminate expensive cellular phone plans. This often provides a huge ROI in a very short period. Going from $50-$80 a month in cell phone costs to a $10 dispatching service fee is a major difference for most fleets.

You can actually hire better drivers and retain the “best of the best” long-term. Introducing GPS tracking during the interview process will scare off many that don’t intend on working a full day once away from the office.

With reduced speeds, fewer miles and more attention given to driving, GPS tracking can have a major impact on workers comp claims and other insurance expenses.

What have other fleet managers experienced in ROI?

Best in class fleet managers have demonstrated a per vehicle savings of $2,500 on average over years of use. Some customer receive much higher short-term benefits as changes are implemented and then level out at a lower level based on a variety of factors. If you save 50% of the best in class fleets, you are coming out well ahead. Calculate your ROI

Intangibles

What should I look for in a fleet management partner?

This is really determined by your needs. If you don’t know your top 3 issues and the GPS provider doesn’t try to learn them from you, keep looking. How can a solution to a problem be provided if the problem is not defined? The more work you do to define and articulate your needs, the more likely you are of achieving or exceeding them. If you cannot do this step, ask yourself if you are ready to collect data to make business decisions.

Experience counts. Industry experience is at the top of the list. If your account manager is new, do you want to entrust your job to them when you make a recommendation to your boss. If the consultant is new, do they have a company behind them with experience and training.

Does the GPS solution recommended resolve my top 3 “must have” issues? If the solution does not resolve the “must have” issues, you have to keep looking. You want a solution for your “must have” issues and as many of your “like to have” issues as possible. If you are willing to forgo your “must have” issues you have not properly defined your criteria. What happens after the sale is where you make your money back. Get comfortable with the people and resources available to help you drive your ROI. It will take up to two years to fully understand and implement all the potential savings available.

In recent years there have been more online only vendors entering the market. Online only means no people to talk to when you have an issue. Their solution to your problems is limited to an FAQ page, chat or email. Having human interaction readily available increases the efficiency of resolving issues that always come up with technology. Confirm they have technical support on staff and there is more than one person you can access. Having a larger trained staff means you are not depending on one person being available when you need help fast.

I'm concerned my drivers will quit

Don’t be. If you have a driver quit, you just saved a ton of money. It seldom happens but anyone that is afraid to be tracked is hiding something. If they quit they can drag your competitor down who isn’t using GPS tracking and you don’t have to pay unemployment. All drivers are nervous at first, but good leadership overcomes this fear and builds a stronger company.

Training

You cannot receive your ROI if you don’t know how to use the system. Some companies have sales people act as trainers, some offer manuals, some offer videos and some offer online training. A combination of all is important because your needs change according to employee and time available. Many busy fleet managers might be able to watch a video before drivers come in while office staff might be able to attend a webinar. Fleetistics offers all and we have a dedicated corporate trainer to manage content and lead live online sessions. Onsite training is also an option. View Training Videos

Service after the sale (STIR)

STIR is an acronym for Service, Training, Implementation, ROI. This represents a core value of Fleetistics and is designed to keep everyone focused on our customers and partners.

Contact Us!

Newsletter & Blog

Updates on maintenance, system status, news and new products and services.
Opt out at any time.

Feedback
Download Our Buyers Guide

Download Our Buyers Guide

Our GPS tracking buyer's guide is a valuable tool that will help you on your journey as you begin to explore all that GPS tracking has to offer. This detailed overview of what GPS tracking will give you the tools you need to help you gather information and compare systems so you can make an informed decision.

You have Successfully Subscribed!