Monitor Your Vehicles and Employees with a GPS Tracking Device
As a business owner, you want to think your employees have your company’s best interests at heart. But it always pays to be safe rather than sorry when dealing with your company’s equipment. Investing in a GPS tracking device lets you keep tabs on your property, even when it’s hundreds of miles away.
Over the past few years, devices that make use of global positioning system satellites have become incredibly common. In addition to portable locators for your car, most smartphones also contain software applications that tell you exactly where you are and how to get to where you need to go.
A GPS vehicle tracker uses the same satellite system, but these also allow you to create a computerized log of where a company car or a truck has gone. Compact and battery-powered, or connecting directly into a vehicle’s electrical system, these vehicle trackers are discreetly installed where the driver can’t see them.
Improve the Cost-effectiveness of Your Fleet
When you’re trying to decide which type of GPS tracking device you need, there are two options: active and passive. In an active GPS device, data is transmitted every 90 seconds to the host server where it can be accessed and monitored on your personal computer. With passive monitoring, data pertaining to the vehicle is stored in the receiver (similar to the black box on an airplane) and must be downloaded into the companion software platform when the vehicle returns.
On the whole, active GPS tracking is now the most popular method when monitoring a fleet of vehicles as it provides a wealth of data, almost instantly, that can impact management decisions. Some of the extra bells and whistles responsible for this functionality include:
- OBDII and USB plug-n-play capability. You can connect the tracker quickly and easily through the vehicle’s OBDII port. Data can then be retrieved by plugging the GPS tracker into any computer with a USB port (for passive monitoring) or using the companion software to monitor an active GPS tracker in real-time.
- Magnetic and weatherproof mounting. Like those spare house key containers you can hide under a car, the device should contain a strong magnet allowing it to be discreetly mounted just about anywhere on the vehicle, with housing that is designed to resist even the worst elements of Mother Nature.
- Power-saving and green energy options. Depending on the model you select, a couple of AA batteries could supply the power. To keep the GPS vehicle tracking device from draining the batteries, you should set it to “sleep mode” when the vehicle has been sitting idle for a while or limit the frequency with which transmits its position (for example, 15-minute intervals instead of every five). However, many models now include rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that allow you to keep the batteries topped off without having to replace them. Average life expectancy for these batteries is around five years and also provides a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution.
- Graphic interface software. Interface with any of the popular GIS street data applications that include Microsoft MapPoint, TeleAtlas/GDT Dynamap, StreetPro, ArcGIS Content, and DMTI CanMap to provide a step-by-step map of where your vehicles have been going. This is also helpful for customer service-related aspects that include real-time estimates and information on the vehicle’s status, from loading and unloading to in-transit, waiting, or returning to base.
How to Use a GPS Tracking Device Effectively
Since these devices come in all shapes and sizes, a GPS vehicle tracker has many useful applications:
- Tracking the mileage on your fleet vehicles. With the high cost of gasoline, you can easily see if one of your drivers has been taking unauthorized side trips. Plus, by monitoring speed and other variables, you can enforce compliance with driving standards proven to maximize fuel efficiency.
- Calculating more efficient routes. Your drivers may be taking the long way to a destination, and an analysis of the tracking data may show a more economical route.
- Asset protection. If you have important devices and equipment at your company site, you can mount a GPS vehicle tracking device on them to make sure they always remain where they’re supposed to.
- Reduce labor costs. By tracking the time spent in traffic, at each location, and anywhere else your drivers stop, you can hold them accountable for the hours they claim to work while on the road.
Want to experience the benefits GPS technology can offer your business? Submit a free request for GPS tracking device price quotes and get matched to multiple dealers in your area.