Guides / GPS Tracking for Fleets / Introduction to using GPS for fleet management.

Introduction to using GPS for fleet management.

Fleet tracking uses GPS tracking to monitor assets and the location and activities of vehicles. 

Along with a variety of commercial companies, fleet managers and everyday  drivers use global positioning services to actively monitor and track their vehicles.

For fleet managers specifically, GPS tracking systems provide the benefit of knowing where their vehicles are located at any moment, therefore resulting in cost savings, on-time arrivals and deliveries, and safer vehicle utilization. 

How GPS fleet tracking works

After installing a GPS fleet tracking system, it connects to a group of satellites to identify the vehicle’s location. 

By using a trilateration process to access the positioning of at least three satellites, the tracker identifies the vehicle’s latitude and longitude and emits a signal with that data in real time. The data is then transmitted to a wireless carrier tower, which relays them to a cloud server making them accessible to your fleet tracking or management software. 

Learn more about how GPS tracking works.

Fleet management pain points

With so many details to track, keeping fleet operations running smoothly is no easy feat. These are some pain points that fleet managers face. 

Fleet safety

One of the most well-known pain points for fleet managers is ensuring the safety of vehicles and assets. In addition to making sure the well-being of your drivers is top priority, inconveniences of losing a vehicle or asset can cause huge financial despair. Sometimes, picking the wrong route can also increase the safety risk.

With GPS tracking, fleet managers can track vehicles and assets to confirm they’re exactly where they are supposed to be. 

Data tracking

Recently, a study revealed that fleet managers find it challenging to utilize data that is generated from fleet technology. 

GPS technology allows fleet managers to monitor certain driving behaviors, fuel consumption, efficiency and overall productivity in their fleets. 

Minimizing fuel cost

The recent — and consistent — rise of fuel costs has become a major point of concern for fleet owners. But without operational visibility, how can fleet managers find ways to reduce costs and be more fuel efficient? 

Tracking routes and driving behaviors with GPS technology allows for fleet managers to monitor fuel and related costs to make modifications that can improve fuel efficiency for their drivers. 

More benefits of GPS fleet tracking

Although initially created to keep drivers from getting lost, there are now many more benefits to companies that have vehicles on the road. 


Automated real-time alerts allow fleet managers to know where their vehicles are, and automated notifications regarding when they enter or exit important destinations can help to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens. 

For example, informing customers of delays is a huge GPS tracking benefit. With alerts, fleet managers can also notify shippers and receivers anytime there is a change to the schedule, increasing productivity and reducing detention time with timely notifications. 

Route planning and analysis 

Another advantage provided by GPS fleet tracking is smarter route planning and analysis. Because routes often change due to outside circumstances (such as weather conditions and road maintenance), managers can view and analyze the conditions to determine the quickest route to the end location. 

Ultimately, optimizing routes can directly increase drivers’ efficiency and productivity. 

Real time information 

Real time information is gathered from a GPS fleet tracking system, and can be shared with customers and internal staff to ensure total visibility and minute-to-minute updates on arrival and delivery times. 

Additionally, fleet managers can keep track of all vehicles in real time, providing the ability to take quick action if a vehicle deviates from its path. 

Improve productivity

GPS tracking also provides tracking performance against delivery service level agreements (SLA). This allows companies to become more competitive and ensure that they’re meeting agreements they’ve made with customers and vendors. 

As an example, if your SLA says you’ll deliver a package by a particular time, GPS tracking can prove that you met or exceeded that commitment. 

How to choose a GPS fleet tracking system

GPS technology is constantly transforming day-to-day operations for fleets. However, it’s important to consider key factors when choosing the right GPS tracker for your fleet. 

  • Safety. Safety is the number one priority. With a GPS tracker, fleet managers can take a proactive approach when it comes to safety, instead of a reactive one. 
  • Cost-savings. GPS trackers provide real-time data that allows fleet managers to find the most productive routes, and avoid delays to allow for critical shipments to arrive on-time. 
  • Alerts. In addition to providing traffic and navigation data, certain GPS trackers can provide data regarding vehicle diagnostics, maintenance, and specific driving incidents. Easy to use. The best GPS trackers should be easy to learn and access on all of your devices. 
  • Reliable support. Find a GPS tracking solution that provides around-the-clock support so that your team is never left high and dry.  

Motive provides best-in-class tracking for your vehicles, trailers, and equipment, all in one place. To learn more about why Motive is the right solution for your fleet, request a tour.