There’s this idea that trucking isn’t a very technologically-advanced industry. It’s time to get that idea out of your head. But there’s plenty of technology being used to improve things in the trucking business.
Now, this article isn’t only relevant for business owners working in truck fleet management. There are, of course, numerous businesses out there that have to manage multiple vehicles and drivers out on the roads. But it is certainly more useful for business owners who manage trucks or cabs. In any case, there are valuable business lessons for all in this article. Read ahead!
GPS is essential
The Global Positioning System, eh? Where would be without it? People probably exaggerate just how lost we’d be without GPS technology. (It seems, most of the time, that people forget that physical maps ever existed, let alone still exist.) But let’s face it: so many of us have incorporated it into our daily lives, even if we don’t drive.
For drivers who have to go into new territories and abide by certain routes, GPS saves so much time. It reduces the amount of time it takes to figure out a new route. As long as you have an address or a zip code, the GPS tech should be able to find you the fastest route within seconds. Long story short, a GPS device is pretty essential for any vehicle- or transport-based company. When was the last time you got into a cab in which the driver wasn’t using a GPS device? Even if the up front cost of adding GPS capability to the entire fleet seems like a lot, it’s worth getting financing, such as using business credit or taking advantage of invoice factoring for freighters, in order to take this technological leap forward.
It relieves drivers of certain dangers
One of the most striking features of modern GPS devices is their ability to track weather. Indeed, if you’re in an area with a good connection and have a feature-filled device, you can get almost any information. If there looks to be inclement weather, then that in itself is bad enough for your drivers. But consider for a moment the dangerous effects that weather has on certain routes. The right GPS device may be able to warn drivers about such outcomes. If a particular route has been flagged as dangerous in, say, icy conditions, then the device can suggest a different route during snow.
A dashboard GPS device is also essential for other safety measures. One thing you shouldn’t be doing is allowing your drivers to resort to their mobile phones if they need to find a route. Dashboard GPS is much safer to use while driving. Of course, what a driver does in such circumstances is, ultimately, their responsibility. But you may find yourself legally liable in certain cases.
It lets you track employee behavior
It’s never particularly pleasant to think about means of tracking the behavior of your employees. For some business owners, even thinking about such things seems to indicate that you have an automatic distrust of your employees. That type of thinking can also cause employees to distrust their employers! But let’s face it: it’s often better to have these measures than to ignore the possibilities.
But most business owners may not even know how you can use this system to track employee behavior. If you’re one of those people, prepare yourself for this knowledge bomb: the right GPS fleet tracking software lets you do just that. It can take in such data as speed, arrival and departure times, and course deviations. This can be vital if someone files a complaint against one of your drivers. You know those “How’s my driving?” signs you should have on your vehicles? If that is used by another driver and they make a claim of misbehavior, you can check the claim using that data. So it’s not just about finding out about misbehavior. It’s also about clearing a driver’s name if they didn’t do anything wrong.
It takes centralized control to new levels
Let’s face it. Vehicular fleet management has always been a mind-boggling task. I can barely imagine how difficult it must have been to keep track of your drivers back when GPS merely a dream in the minds of scientists. People would have to have reported in using phones. Hardly the most reliable way for business owners to find out where their drivers are or what they’re doing. Alarmingly, there are many businesses out there who still do it this way!
With a powerful GPS network, you can have all the data and visualization you need sent to the central dispatch office. There’s no more guesswork involved in trying to figure out where your employees and assets are. Contacting employees and checking the status of the vehicle or the goods becomes a breeze. It’s a dream come true for fleet managers.