Tracking Technology: Telematics and Fleet Management

Originally published 2/16/21 - Updated 11/17/22

With your company's fleet, be it semi-trailer trucks, forklifts, or anything in between, there is a great responsibility. User safety is a constant concern, but so is the monitoring of logistics, delivery status, location, maintenance and repair, and theft. It's a lot to manage, but thankfully, technology makes tracking that information easy. Telematics has evolved to become an almost indispensable tool in getting the job done more effectively and efficiently.

Real-time telematics tracking technology can empower your company to complete jobs with fewer hours and fewer miles. Telematics can track trucks, delivery vehicles, and shipments without the need for calling drivers for updates, and telematic tracking technology can help you keep tabs on valuable construction, warehousing, and fulfillment equipment 24/7/365. With telematics technology, you can instantly track route progress, vehicle location, and late or missed deliveries — and you can reduce your insurance claims by up to 50%.What Business Owners Should Know About The Trucking Industry

What Is Telematics?

Telematics devices are hard-wired into vehicles and equipment to collect and transmit important data about operator events as they happen. Your telematics service provides software to translate that data into meaningful, actionable information you can use to keep better control of equipment and services and for timely management of operator issues.

Telematics captures automated updates on vehicle location at regular intervals, but telematics is about a lot more than tracking a dot on a map. Telematics relay driver-generated data such as logins, logouts, and reports of driver fatigue. Some telematics systems pull vehicle data through an onboard diagnostics system, but where this would invalidate a vehicle warranty, telematics systems can capture data through alternative technology. Telematics devices are equipped with SIM cards that connect them to a secure network to provide data to your telematics software for summary and display.

From start to finish, the system's operation is easy to understand.

  • Hard-wired telematics devices collect GPS data and other inputs from the vehicle itself and from the driver.
  • This information is transmitted by cell carrier or satellite to the telematics company's operations center. The telematics company manages this side of data transmission.
  • Your telematics provider analyzes and transmits actionable information to your company computers via the Internet.
  • You view reports on your web browser. 

Why Use Telematics?

Telematics systems usually pay for themselves with increased operating efficiency. Location-based tracking helps managers know where company assets are at all times, and respond quickly when trucks and delivery vehicles "fall off the radar." Location data is especially valuable to fleet managers who need to manage routing in real-time. 

Telematics gives managers actionable information on fuel efficiency in terms of true miles per gallon or true liters per 100 km. Telematics systems report engine idling and harsh driver behaviors such as over-revving the engine, aggressive acceleration on the road, and excessive idling. Managers can use telematics to keep tabs on drivers who need additional supervision, and they can also access aggregate data to make fleet-level policy decisions.

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Improve Driver Safety with Telematics

Telematics can help you make snap decisions about routing and dealing with that rare driver who is a danger on the road. But the real benefits of telematics for driver safety come with systematic, daily use of driver data.

Companies that get the greatest return on investment from telematics to make sure that everyone involved in transportation and delivery knows that telematics data are reviewed every day. Telematics data can enable your company to recognize and reward the safest and most improved drivers. Telematics data can help your company sharpen and implement driver safety standards. Telematics data can help your whole company develop a culture of safety, making safe, timely, and efficient delivery and transport part of your brand, part of the way your customers recognize the value of your services.

Telematics isn't just about keeping tabs on drivers who need extra supervision. It's about making your whole fleet safer and more efficient and keeping controllable costs low. That's a win-win for everyone. 

Have questions about telematics and how they might help with your fleet management?

Contact us to schedule a time to ask questions. We can help you determine if they'd be a fit for your company, and if so...which carrier is the right option for you. 


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