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.”
GPS fleet tracking systems are becoming increasingly popular among on-road fleet vehicles. With the ability to increase productivity, reduce fuel costs, and prevent theft, more and more fleet managers are eager and willing to make the investment. However, the idea that a GPS fleet tracking system can have an equally powerful impact on off-road equipment is not as intuitive and well known. Regardless, using telematics equipment and GPS navigation systems with off-road vehicles can yield impressive results for business managers.
Every year, billions of dollars worth of construction equipment is stolen from locations throughout world. In the United States, the National Crime Insurance Bureau estimated that in 2007 more than $1 billion in construction equipment was stolen each year. According to the 10th Annual Construction Equipment Theft Study, a report that provides valuable information on the ongoing issue of equipment theft, 13,452 pieces of equipment were stolen in 2009, 82 percent of which were never recovered. According to the study, construction theft continued to be driven by organized crime rings, with towables (generators, welders and air compressors) being the number one theft target.
In the United Kingdom, according to the 2009 Equipment Theft Report, published by the National Plant & Equipment Register, the most commonly stolen items in that country in 2008 were trailers (911 thefts), excavators(849), site dumpers (244) and telehandlers (202). The biggest increases in thefts were in agricultural tractors (up 149 percent), quad bikes (up 83 percent), forklift trucks (up 67 percent), and portable generators (up 55 percent).
Some fleet managers pay a premium for satellite tracking to ensure their low-cost equipment is not stolen. The cost of the equipment does not justify the premium alone. But the cost of sending a crew to a remote location only to find out they can’t work because necessary equipment like a generator is gone is what justifies the investment.
Fleet GPS tracking data combined with tax software can ensure private fleet operators in the US that you aren’t overpaying on your International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) taxes. For most fleet managers, calculating IFTA taxes is a tedious but necessary administrative task. The good news is that this process can be automated if a fleet manager uses GPS tracking/telematics devices in its trucks, along with fuel cards and IFTA tax reporting software (or a tax service professional that uses this kind of software). Then the mileage driven in each state and fuel expenses for each vehicle can be automatically uploaded into the software and the proper IFTA paperwork can be printed out.
Using a GPS Tracking System combined with proper tax software can make this process much more manageable and less labor intensive. If you have a large fleet of over 50 vehicles, then there is a good chance you have an employee whose only job is to handle this paper-intensive task. If you are paying an administrator say $38,000 year to manage this process, investing in a Fleet GPS Tracking System is a no-brainer. While a fleet operator would probably never buy a telematics solution solely to eliminate an administrative position, it can contribute to the ROI offered by fleet telematics solutions.
Since truckers typically operate across state lines they often need to calculate their usage in various locations. GPS position reports are a good way to do this as not only would it report your GPS location but it would also report the exact time for each position report. Ideally, you could automate this process with reporting transmitted in real-time as you go.
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