GPS Tracking Guide

Best GPS fleet tracker for commercial vehicles.

Fleet tracking is a method to monitor assets, fleet vehicle locations, and activities using global positioning system (GPS) tracking technology. For fleet managers, GPS tracking provides significant cost savings, safer vehicle utilization, and on-time arrivals and deliveries. 

What is a vehicle tracking system? 

Vehicle tracking refers to a management system that monitors assets and fleet vehicle locations and activities using GPS tracking technology. 

By using cellular and satellite technology, GPS fleet tracking allows for real-time tracking of vehicles and assets. 

Here’s an example of how GPS fleet tracking can boost daily productivity: tracking systems can show the duration of time that drivers stay at loading docks before moving along to their next stop en route. By analyzing the amount of time spent at a single stop, fleet managers can find ways to improve processes to make pickups or deliveries more efficient. 

GPS tracking allows for the most accurate — and important — data to be relayed real-time. This includes vehicle movements and locations, fuel consumption estimates, time spent on-site, and equipment usage. All of this, in turn, leads to better business practices, along with a higher asset and vehicle return on investment (ROI). 

GPS tracking for commercial vehicles

Considering all of the benefits, GPS technology plays a crucial role in commercial fleet vehicle tracking. 

Delivery fleets

Delivery companies use GPS fleet tracking to ensure seamless delivery services by monitoring vehicle movement and location. 

By checking whether their vehicles are constantly moving and taking recommended routes, they ensure their drivers move with utmost efficiency, and can deliver customer orders according to committed ETAs. And, in the unfortunate event that a vehicle gets stuck somewhere, delivery companies can utilize GPS data to determine the location of the vehicle and update the customer on the new time of arrival. 

GPS tracking systems can even allow managers to see in real-time when their driver has completed a delivery and pass along further instructions, such as to return to the distribution center, or sign-off for the day.

Bus fleets

Bus companies also use GPS fleet tracking systems, route planning, and accurate location announcements at bus stops. 

By cross referencing the data provided by GPS fleet tracking systems (such as exact location and speed) with traffic updates, bus fleets are able to accurately estimate each vehicle’s arrival time at every bus stop. 

This helps to deliver timely transport services to passengers while streamlining fleet tracking management.

Other passenger transit companies (taxis, limousines, car services, etc.)

By combining global system for mobile communications (GSM) and GPS tracking, passenger transit companies are able to dispatch commercial drivers more efficiently.

GSM and GPS make it quick and easy for the closest drivers to get to the client pickup point, significantly reducing wait times and guaranteeing improved customer satisfaction. Additionally, drivers and fleet managers can program the GSM and GPS to monitor when doors open and close to determine completed fares and cab availability. 

Additionally, by using mobile devices with GPS, passenger transit drivers can streamline the transaction process and display the route, location, traffic conditions, and price for the journey.

Construction fleets

Although any industry can benefit from GPS tracking, the construction industry is reaping substantial results.

With GPS tracking, construction superintendents are given real-time monitoring of everything onsite, thus significantly reducing the very frequent occurrence of theft –be it vehicles, property or materials — on the construction site. 

By using geofencing, companies can program a specific job site perimeter, creating a virtual boundary around their construction site. Therefore, anytime something with a GPS tracking device leaves or enters that perimeter, it instantly notifies the fleet manager, safety manager, or a member of the back-office staff.

Types of GPS fleet tracking

There are generally two main types of GPS fleet tracking systems. 

Active GPS tracking

With active GPS tracking, the device sends real-time location data to a cloud server, and relies on constant connection for consistent location monitoring and fleet tracking management. 

Active GPS trackers provide fleet managers visibility into vehicle movements and locations by processing and sending real-time data.

Passive GPS tracking

Passive GPS trackers, on the other hand, store data at intervals or when specific trigger events occur. These events can include when the vehicle reaches the location, crosses a geofence, or detects pre-programmed actions. Then, they send the data to the server for analysis. Because they don’t rely on constant collection, the data collected by passive trackers is generally performed through manual downloads following fleet operations. 

Most modern fleet tracking systems mix both active and passive tracking activities as they provide much more useful data, especially when vehicles pass through remote areas with limited or no satellite or cellular networks. 

Choosing the best GPS tracking for your commercial fleet

GPS tracking technology is beneficial to fleets of all sizes, but be sure to look for these key characteristics when choosing a GPS tracking system for your commercial fleet. 

  • Safety is always the first priority. Pick a GPS tracker that allows you to see all of your assets and vehicles on one dashboard. 
  • Save costs by finding a GPS tracking system that provides data regarding routes, detention time, and fuel consumption.
  • Easy to use technology is the way to go. The best GPS trackers should be easy to learn and accessible on all of your devices. 
  • Finally, support should be around the clock. In addition to up-to-date and bug-free technology, a support team should be available at all times to help you solve any and all problems you encounter. 

To learn how Motive is the right GPS solution for your commercial fleet, request a demo.