Fleet tracking has never become easier since the development of satellite GPS technology to provide tracking data, and cloud computing services to provide an easy way to deliver that in a single easy to use SaaS platform.
The result is that GPS fleet tracking has become an essential tool for managing the automotive assets of a business. Telematics provides essential data for monitoring as well as maintenance management and tracking, status reports, fuel efficiency, and driver behavior. Additionally information collected can help with state and federal compliance.
Most fleet tracking solutions offer the same broad services, based on the installation of hardware into vehicles for collecting information. This can be as simple as a plug and play device inserted in the vehicle's OBD II port, though some services have more complex requirements. This information can then be displayed in a central software dashboard for recording, monitoring, and management of the vehicle.
Usually this will include the vehicle's location, using GPS data to provide accurate information. It can also report on how the vehicle is driven, and flag unwanted behavior such as speeding, hard braking, or undue acceleration which could cause excess wear on the vehicle, or even be a danger to other vehicles on the highway or even pedestrians.
Then there are other data sets that can often be recorded, such as fuel efficiency, time tracking, route monitoring to help with delivery estimates and other aspects of business operations, as well as engine diagnostics and the driver's hours of service for ELDS compliance. All this information can be provided in real-time or in timed bursts. Email or text alerts can be sent from the vehicle in the event of potential problems.
Different vendors can provide different levels of features, and additional ones. Here we'll list the best for GPS fleet tracking solutions.
- The best fleet management software and services
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Best GPS fleet tracking software - at a glance
- Advanced Tracking Technologies Inc.
- GPS Trackit
Samsara offers a unified platform for fleet management, which goes beyond simple GPS tracking to also offer options for dash cams, wireless sensors for refridegeration, and a documents app for digitizing the delivery process.
The GPS fleet tracking system offers the ability to increase productivity and reduce fuel and labor costs, while aiming to streamline maintenance. It does this through a number of features, not least real-time traffic and route analytics to avoid jams and bottlenecks to ensure the most efficient routes can be selected. Additionally, engine diagnostics are sent in real-time with code alerts for specific faults, allow routine inspections to become more automated while also making it easier to prevent breakdowns.
Samsara also offer dash cams to monitor driver behavior. As well as collecting HD video, which is automatically uploaded to the cloud, the cams can also provide pre-configured audio alerts when unsafe conditions are detected. Another feature is the ability to track the temperature around refrigerated goods, which can be provided as part of proof-of-delivery - and alerts sent out if the temperature fluctuates outside of safe boundaries.
When goods are delivered, documents can be scanned or signed digitally. There's an option to create custom forms with drag-and-drop functionality, making it easier to process orders automatically through back-office automation.
Overall, Samsara offers a lot of feature for fleet management, which can be ordered as a package or individual services. However, although it does provide EDL compliance, make sure that it can handle any work-time exemptions that might apply to your business.
Advanced Tracking Technologies Inc. (ATTI) offers a standard GPS fleet tracking service, which monitors vehicle locations, vehicle use and driver behaviour, as well as fuel consumption and potential maintenance issues, all to help improve productivity and efficiency.
The hardware they use is currently the Shadow Tracker® Vision III, which is relatively easy to install though isn't as simple as just plug and play like some companies offer. The software platform is easy to use and mobile friendly, and information is sent out every ten seconds, using the biggest cellular and satellite data networks to ensure nationwide coverage.
There's also a Geofence feature which allows you to designate an allowed area of use. This can be a simple pin on the GPS map for a general area radius, or specific shapes can be drawn so as to properly encompass highway routes and possible legitimate diversions in the event of roadworks. An alert will be sent if the driver deviates from this area, allowing you to be notified of potentially wasteful fuel use.
ATTI can also provide driver time tracking software to allow for digital timesheets with remote clock in. They also provide a service for GPS asset tracking, so you can keep tabs of heavy equipment, trailers, bulk containers, and anything else that can be easily overlooked but can now be properly located and tracked using GPS.
Overall, ATTI offer a lot of standard features. While the hardware they use isn't the simplest to install it's not the most difficult, and their software platform is generally easy to use.
USFleetTracking is both a manufacturer and provider of vehicle tracking systems, and can offer different hardware options for different vehicle needs. They can provide simple "snap and track" devices that require no wires, or different varieties with three-wire connections, and there are also a number of accessories available.
USFleetTRacking also offers it's own cloud-based software platform, which means there's no software to download, just login details, and can be used from a desktop or mobile device. The software contains a range of standard features, but also includes live traffic and weather reporting on the provided map so you can account for adverse driving conditions.
Aside from that, it provides notifications for ignition, speed, and idle use, as well as mileage and Geofencing features. Together these make it easier to secure your assets, eliminate driver misuse, and reduce fuel wastage.
Although USFleetTRacking offers multiple hardware options which must be bought up front, they all work to one of two plans: the first provides updates every 10 seconds that the vehicle is in use and costs $29.95 per vehicle; the second provides updates every five seconds and costs $39.95 per vehicle per month.
Geotab offers a GPS fleet management solution that is focused on the key areas of productivity, safety, fleet optimization, and compliance. It provides detailed and accurate trip recording and allows you to distinguish between different vehicle drivers by supplying an NFC fob to use. Altogether this makes it easier to track journeys at any time, both using real-time data and also historical data, while also ensuring fuel economy and route optimization.
Geotab also focuses on driver safety, and provides risk and safety scores based on a number of aspects of driver behavior, from seat belt usage to speeding, to degree cornering to after-hours use. Actual speeds can also be plotted against speed-limited routes to ensure that highway laws are adhered to. This can all be used to help avoid preventable accident and injury claims. In the event of an actual accident, alerts are sent and a back-up memory system can provide detailed information on driver behavior before the accident occurred.
Geotab also provides customization options, allowing you to set up and edit custom rules so that all drivers and all routes are not treated the same when conditions are likely to be very different. The same applies for data reports, allowing you to reach deeper into your data with analytics.
Altogether, Geotab provides one of the more comprehensive feature ranges of the companies listed here, and the service is ELDS compliant.
GPS Trackit offers GPS tracking and fleet management software that offers real-time vehicle tracking, various reports, alerts for theft detection or unauthorized movements, temperature monitoring for cargoes, FMCSA compliance, and track from anywhere with a mobile platform solution.
The software uses Google Maps to show vehicle locations and Geofencing, with the ability to show vehicle trails and trip histories, as well as provide traffic overlays for current journeys. You can focus on a particular vehicle, or show all vehicle locations at the same time. There are also detailed reports available, that can work with datasets about vehicle use and driver behavior to allow for better insights on improving planning and operations. This includes data for EDLS compliance, which is made available to drivers.
This also applies to cargo temperature, with the ability to monitor different zones of a truck, which can be especially useful for mixed loads, and ensuring food transport compliance.
GPS Trackit also provides GPS asset monitoring as well, so you know where all your heavy equipment is, and can be alerted to theft and move on to recovery as and when needed.
Altogether, GPS Trackit is another comprehensive solution that covers all the major bases, with a few more feature on top.
More fleet tracking software solutions
Recent advances in technology, not just GPS tracking but also cloud-based software development, means that there are a large number of providers not offering fleet tracking solutions. Here we'll cover some additional companies worth considering:
Verizon Connect offers a total fleet management platform, with a range of customizable software solutions that offer a range of alert and reporting options. The service also allows for asset tracking, as well as provides field service management, as well as allowing for automated compliance with HOS, ELD, DVIR among others.
Nextraq provides more than just vehicle and asset tracking, offering GPS, compliance, and mobile workforce management among its services. Features include automatic driver assignment, dispatching, routing, time schedules, and time attendance on top of the usual fleet tracking solutions. Additionally there is also a dashcam option for recorded driving records.
Teletrac Navman focuses on fleet management software that aims to help reduce operating costs while improving driver safety on top of the usual platform of fleet tracking services. Site management software allows for a reduction in plant rental costs, while driver safety analytics can be generated from telematics, dashcams, and benchmark reports.
Azuga Fleet is another major fleet tracking software solution, covering all the main bases of fleet and asset tracking, telematics, and fleet safety. An interesting additional feature they provide is driver rewards, which is easily accessed from the software and allows for one-click rewards for good driving practices to incentivize positive staff behavior and meet targets.