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GPS fleet tracking systems were installed last year in 300 school buses in St. Paul, MN. At first, drivers were not overly enthusiastic about the installation of the GPS fleet tracking devices. Until the drivers realized just how useful they could be. Not only have the GPS tracking devices help resolve heated disputes between parents and drivers, but in some cases, the GPS tracking devices have saved bus drivers from losing their jobs.
On a typical day, the public school system in St. Paul is responsible for transporting an average of 38,000 students. The school’s transportation department often receive dozens of calls a day from parents complaining that the bus never picked up their child. Until recently, before the
GPS systems were installed, it was the school bus driver’s word against the parent’s. That has all changed since the school district installed a GPS fleet tracking system in every one of the school district’s 300 buses.
According to the 2010 Green Fleet Survey by PHH Arval, improving driver behavior is one of the most important ways that fleets are reducing emissions. Seventy-four percent of fleet managers reported they are depending on drivers to help meet their fleet’s environmental goals. The most common type of communication has been to educate drivers on how their driving behavior can impact fuel economy.
It would be virtually impossible to measure and improve driver behavior without the use of a telematics enabled GPS Fleet Management System. Using vehicle telematics systems, fleets are able to monitor and analyze valuable information about driver behavior, vehicle routing and fuel efficiency. All of this information is critical business insight to help fleet managers minimize risk, expenses and emissions.
Telematics enabled GPS Fleet Management Systems give fleet managers the feedback necessary to engage drivers about their driving performance and provide coaching on how to improve safety, efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. Smart fleet managers are combining on-board safety monitoring with behavioral coaching to help reduce the amount of risky and wasteful driving behavior.
Green Fleet Survey 2010 by PHH Arval shows the number of fleets measuring emissions has significantly increased over the past two years. The 2010 Green Survey by PHH Arval revealed that 49 percent of participants are reporting that they are measuring emissions. In 2008, the first year the questions was included in the PHH Arval Survey, only 28 percent responded that they measure emissions. Despite the challenging economy, fleets are clearly making progress towards “greening” their business operations. Additionally, according the Survey, 68 percent of responders said they have an environmental goal for their fleets, which is up slightly from last year’s results.
Nearly 65 percent of the fleets who reported that they are actively measuring emissions are doing so with actual fuel use data . This is an increase of more than 10-percentage points over 2009. Using actual fuel data provides fleets the most accurate data and accounts for variations in driver behavior (and hence fuel economy) and mileage.
GPS Fleet Tracking System Buyer’s Guide – Equipment Leasing “Tricks” to Avoid
Leasing has always been used as a viable option to assist companies in purchasing a GPS fleet tracking system with a nominal upfront investment. The upside to the customer is that it reduces your out of pocket expense. The upside to the provider is that it reduces a big obstacle to the sale. However, many providers are now using “creative” finance programs that benefit them, but have the potential to harm the customer.
Here are two finance options that you should be weary of:
1. The “bundled” option:
Some GPS fleet management providers are now bundling GPS fleet tracking hardware and airtime into one lease. In this case, the provider is selling your lease to a 3rd party and is receiving an up-front cash payment for the equipment as well as 3 years worth of the services.
GPS fleet tracking systems today enable fleet managers to to track their vehicles and monitor them remotely on a constant basis. Vehicle GPS fleet tracking systems relay important information about the real-time vehicle location with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS) attached to a tracking device inside the vehicle. There are many benefits offered by GPS fleet management systems, including keeping a close watch on staff performance, lowering fuel consumption, navigating shorter or better routes for drivers, tracking stolen vehicles, obtaining discounts on insurance and making use of other features such as time sheet reporting and mileage claims to enhance customer service and satisfaction. Also GPS fleet tracking and fleet management systems can help companies go green because reducing mileage not only burns less fuel but it produces less vehicle pollution. All these benefits make vehicle GPS systems a worthwhile investment for thousands of companies nationwide.
GPS Fleet Tracking System and Green Fleet Management System, FieldLogix, can help fleet managers to reduce fuel consumption and increase operating efficiency right away. Most clients start seeing positive results from using the GPS fleet management system within 30 days. Because of this reason, FieldLogix offers a trial program so fleet managers can try out the fleet management system for for nominal fees and no obligation.
At first Keil Southworth of Albertina Kerr Centers was unsure whether the FieldLogix GPS fleet tracking and management system would really help him to cut costs. So he decided to start with a few trial units to evaluate the product. He quickly realized how valuable and useful the system would be for his fleet. Once the trial period was over, Mr. Southworth purchased 88 FieldLogix GPS fleet management devices for his entire fleet.
According to Keil Southworth of Albertina Kerr Centers, “Our fuel usage dropped by 1,100 gallons the first two weeks after installing the FieldLogix GPS units. The following two weeks our usage went back up 400 gallons but still was 700 gallons under our average.”
Two cities in in Southern California – Culver City in Los Angeles County and Westminster in Orange County – have been using Pure Power oil filters in an effort to reduce waste and maintenance expenses, according to a press release from the company, PurePower. According to Kelly Tidwell of Pure Power!, use of the company’s cleanable, reusable oil filter can extend oil change intervals two to four times longer than traditional filters. Reducing waste is good for the environment, reducing expenses is good for fleets.
The Culver City Fleet is ranked # 7 on the 2010 100 Best Fleets listing. The city fleet has been using Pure Power! oil filters for the last year. According to Paul Condran, equipment maintenance manager, the filters used in the city’s fleet of vehicles never have to be replaced and can be retained and reused as fleet vehicles are replaced. “They are providing us with an excellent way to clean the oil, especially in our expensive heavy- and medium-duty natural gas engines,” he said. Condran stated the City will eventually have the entire fleet converted.
Taxi cabs are crucial to a city’s transportation system. I realized this recently after trying to get a cab after a Charger’s game in San Diego and during a taxi cab strike in Atlanta. Having access to cabs 24/7 is something that we all take for granted. Taxis are vital people movers and cities cannot function properly without them.
Taxi cab fleets in major cities range from approximately 5,000 – 10,000 vehicles. For example, the city of Chicago has a fleet of about 6000 cabs. Chances are, fleets this large owe their flow and easy operation to GPS fleet tracking systems. That is because without them, too much is left to chance. Drivers and consumers are wandering about rather aimlessly hoping to hook up at the right place and the right time.
GPS tracking is a preferred method of taxi cab fleet management. Companies dispatching taxi cabs know that a tracking system will tell them where their fleet is exactly, so they have better control of their resources, and as an extension of that, better control of their operating costs and profit margin. GPS tracking systems are used to: record on-duty trips; to keep an electronic record of mileage and location, eliminating the need for manual trip sheets; and to better dispatch the closest available vehicle to trip requests.
This month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the number of truck driver traffic fatalities had declined 20 percent in 2009, dropping from 4,245 in 2008 to 3,380 in 2009. The reduction in large truck-related deaths is the lowest level in recorded Department of Transportation history. The results also show a 33 percent decrease in fatalities since the stricter Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service regulations became effective in January 2004.
In addition to the 20 percent reduction in crash fatalities involving large trucks, the number of truck occupant deaths decreased 26 percent in 2009, from 682 in 2008 to 503 in 2009. The number of truck occupants injured in truck-related crashes also declined 26 percent. Those are the largest declines among all vehicle categories.
According to a recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), implementation of driving behavior management systems using in-vehicle telematics devices can result in a significant reduction in the number of risky driving behaviors. Based on this research, Travelers (TRV)is paying its customers in the form of insurance discounts of up to 15% to educate their employees in safe driving by using data obtained from fleet telematics devices.
Similar to global positioning systems (GPS), fleet vehicle telematics go beyond navigation and positioning by storing and sending data on how a vehicle is operated. Fleet telematics devices can help reduce fleet maintenance costs, improve vehicle efficiency and result in insurance discounts. Recently Travelers (NYSE: TRV) announced a potential discount of up to 15 percent on certain auto liability insurance premiums for qualifying businesses that effectively use vehicle telematics technology to monitor their company owned commercial fleet vehicles and driver behavior.
Travelers Insurance is one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Traveller’s Insurance announced this week that it is now paying fleets in the form of insurance discounts if the fleet installs fleet telematics systems. According the a TRV press release, the fleet must install vehicle telematics technology “in a sufficient number of their fleet vehicles and that they are actively incorporating safety information from the devices into their ongoing safety feedback to drivers, at least on a quarterly basis.”