Selecting the Right GPS SystemGPS Tracking FAQ's
Answers to Common GPS Tracking & Telematic Questions
Live v. Passive GPS Tracking Technology
Is live vehicle tracking really "live"?
Almost, in some cases. There is a cost for every GPS coordinate transmitted for live tracking systems. The higher the track resolution,
the more expensive the monthly subscription service. There are systems that will actually log a GPS point every 10 seconds but have a very highly monthly service fees. Other systems like the GO system in ProPlus mode update every 20 to 60 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?
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?
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.
Which cellular network is best?
Think about where your vehicles operate, not where your office is located. The goal is to move as much data in real time as possible. Most GPS trackers will store data when outside cellular network coverage and upload later to prevent data loss.
The more real time vehicle location information you have the better the dispatching decisions you can make. You also need to understand voice network coverage is different than data. By testing a device before you invest you can better understand the coverage in your area of operation.
Return on GPS Tracking Investment
Why do prices vary?
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?
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?
What should I look for in a fleet management partner?
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.
How to introduce GPS tracking to employees. Learn how
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