How To Select a GPS Tracking System

Determining how to select a GPS tracking system can be as simple as looking into three categories of use for GPS systems. The services offered by the better GPS tracking systems for commercial transportation can deliver cost savings that pay for the investment in GPS, so the “cheaper is better” mantra does not necessarily apply in the world of GPS. Still, it is good to understand the levels of function in order to make the best choice overall for your business.

Location Only

If your basic goal is simply to know where your trucks or other assets are located at any given time, then a basic GPS tracking system, in which tracking devices are mounted inside your vehicles, may be all you need to use.

Location + Route Mapping

Fleet managers can appreciate the value of knowing both the location of your company’s vehicles and the route they’re taking to get business done. Route mapping can also track the vehicle’s speed and driver performance. These assets of GPS tracking are commonly used to improve on-time deliveries and to calculate total fleet mileage on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Location + Route Mapping + Real Time Data and Fuel Efficiency

Large and small fleets alike can benefit from real-time data gathered by GPS that is calibrated to deliver truck speeds and route analysis. Fleet managers can assess driver performance in terms of fuel efficiency and company driving policies.

Other options to consider in choosing the right GPS Tracking System for you include:

Power: You can either use the battery of your vehicles or install units that are independently powered. Hardwired units tend to last longer and are more reliable.

Covert or known GPS: Some businesses choose to conduct GPS tracking without driver knowledge to measure vehicle location and driver performance. Others use generally hardwired GPS to work with drivers on driving performance, fuel efficiency and route mapping to generate savings and improve fleet efficiency.

Software usability: It doesn’t help to purchase a GPS tracking system that no one can use or understand. Always ask to see a demonstration of the GPS tracking software—that will help explain the features of the units, since feedback from the installed devices is what drives the GPS enterprise and what you can learn from it.

Scale: While a GPS tracking system might seem to be universal in terms of scale, there are some aspects of GPS technology that are better managed on a regional basis. That’s especially true in terms of installation, troubleshooting, and regional use of GPS units in a given transportation market. Local knowledge is still a valuable commodity.

The specifics of GPS costs and capabilities are best learned when meeting with a company to examine your GPS needs and options. The hints above can steer you in the right direction in terms of scale and functionality for a GPS tracking system. The rest will depend on your particular business.


About the author:

Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and midsized companies.


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