Smartphones are not the answer to proper fleet management
Sending your fleet out into the world comes with a serious set of risks. You trust your employees to handle the company vehicles responsibly, but sometimes they’re not aware of all the risks they take while driving a fleet vehicle. The best ways to protect your fleet is to know how and when your vehicles are used, and ensure your drivers are skilled and attentive on the road.
GPS tracking devices on each company vehicle protect your fleet by allowing your employees to stay focused on the road, and you know where each car is headed.
Smartphones, as useful as they are for accessing information on the Internet, are not appropriate for getting directions while driving. A separate GPS should handle that function because, among other things, the GPS on smartphones is less precise about directions and locations than a built-in GPS unit. In addition, some smartphones have an extremely short battery life, which causes a risk of powering down en route to the destination.
There is also the general risk of waning attention — drivers using smartphones while driving are not paying proper attention to the road. A recent study by Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois shows drivers are more dangerous when they believe they’re paying attention to the road — when they’re using their phones in a hands-free manner — than when they’re using their hands to hold their phones and talk.
Obviously, the primary concern of fleet management is the safety and efficiency of your team on the road. Smartphone GPS systems are inefficient. Paper maps and printed directions are cumbersome, difficult to read and obsolete. And portable GPS devices can be just as unreliable as GPS on a smartphone, come with a hefty price tag and are easily lost.
Built-in GPS tracking for your fleet brings the benefits of a navigational system without the hassles of a separate piece of equipment, allowing you to confidently send out drivers at any time and to any place. Directions can also be sent directly to individual vehicles, which allows your fleet manager to monitor its travels, keep customers and staff up-to-date on a driver’s estimated time of arrival and cut down on misunderstandings in day-to-day business transactions.
With built-in GPS tracking on fleet vehicles, drivers focus on the road and travel the most efficient, constructionfree route. It also protects your drivers and vehicles not only from getting lost and arriving late, but also from accidents due to poor road conditions. This added safety feature also qualifies you for discounts on your liability insurance.
A built-in GPS also lowers the risk of texting while driving and other distractions that endanger your vehicle, your fleet and your drivers. With a built-in navigation system, you’re guaranteeing your products and your employees get where they need to go, when they need to get there.
Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a provider of GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small- and midsized companies. The Track Your Truck team is committed to providing quality tracking systems that integrate seamlessly with everyday business operations, backed by reliable service and customer support. For additional information, visit www.trackyourtruck.com.