GPS Crucial to Fleet Cost Reduction, Productivity Enhancement

GPS Crucial to Fleet Cost Reduction, Productivity Enhancement

When most people think of GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking, they think of its directional services – that is, a driver finding his or her way around town or across the country. For fleet managers, GPS equipment tracking is so much more. In fact, it could be the primary factor in whether or not a trucking, limousine, taxi or other service fleet is financially profitable.

In a 2012 survey of commercial fleet managers, Automotive Fleet Magazine determined five key challenges for these companies, the primary of which was cost reduction.

These fleet managers said that a key factor in reducing fleet cost is in reducing speeding.  The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that speeding can increase a fleet’s fuel costs by 8 percent or more:  Assuming a price of $3 a gallon, for each 5 miles per hour over 60 a vehicle travels, the fuel cost increases $.21.

Speeding can also attract law enforcement personnel. Beyond the cost of the ticket, the time involved in sitting by the side of the road and then easing back out into traffic negatively impacts both fuel efficiency and productivity. Law enforcement personnel are fallible, of course, and they have choices to make. A vehicle displaying GPS logo, or part of a fleet known by law enforcement to use reputable GPS tracking, is less likely to be pulled over for speeding; or, if pulled over, far more capable of a successful defense.

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Poor routing decisions can be costly as well, whether it’s the failure to choose the shortest, quickest route, or the use of the vehicle to travel out of the way for personal destinations such as lunch breaks. GPS eliminates this as a concern.

Another important challenge is driver safety. Beyond speed, tracking determines frequency and type of braking, to determine if a driver is tailgating. It can as well keep tired drivers off the road, as it tracks daily mileage and hours, and notes any patterns of weaving on the road.

Extensive idling is a factor in both productivity and fuel costs, and can be tracked through GPS. For every hour of idle time, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, a large truck burns an additional gallon of fuel. For passenger vehicles and smaller trucks the figure is half that. Fleet management productivity is enhanced through GPS as well, by the conversion from manual documentation to GPS reporting of travel times, mileage, and fuel costs. This process can be used for billing as well as International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax reporting.

For any fleet manager committed to a productive, safe and profitable business, GPS equipment tracking is vital.

Categories: Business

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