GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite system for determining the position of people and objects. Live GPS trackers have become indispensable tools for fleet management. This technology communicates the location and the direction of travel, along with other data concerning business vehicles.
With the help of a comprehensive GPS software system, fleet managers benefit from the overview of their fleet that this kind of data provides, resulting in numerous financial and organisational advantages.
Global positioning systems have become a must-have for many fleet businesses with rapid technological advancement. The system uses real-time data and coordination with fleet managers to give businesses a boost. The data is accrued through recording of real-time location, distance, and speed.
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System was originally developed by the US military and replaced the NNSS satellite navigation system, which was no longer current at the time, in the mid-1980s.
Since 2000, GPS has been used increasingly in civil traffic control and as a way for individuals to find their way around. The system receives signals from satellites that transmit their position at regular intervals. From this it calculates its own location with high accuracy.
Originally developed for military purposes, live GPS trackers were used to determine the position of weapon systems, warships and aircraft. The big advantage is that GPS allowed military entities to navigate without third parties knowing their location, this was because live GPS trackers could only receive data, but could not send it itself. Nowadays, GPS is mainly used in the civilian area.
The GPS system consists of a total of 32 satellites orbiting the earth at an altitude of approximately 20,000 km. These satellites continuously send their position and time to Earth. In order for a live GPS tracker to determine its position on earth, it must have at least contact with four satellites. The more satellite signals are received, the more precise your own position determination.
The GPS calculates the coordinates from the satellite positions and the times sent. The exact position of the device can be determined based on the time it takes the signal from the satellite to earth and the position of the satellite. Your own speed can be calculated from the time that is determined for the route from two determined coordinates.
Why do Companies use Live GPS Trackers?
Built by the US army in the 1980s, the global positioning system is a satellite network whose initial purpose was reconnaissance and spying for the American military. Since the turn of the century, it has been embraced for civilian use. Fleet companies use it in tandem with a tracker to monitor their operations. The tracker receives signals from at least four satellites. The GPS has revolutionized fleet businesses leading to significant financial and organizational milestones.
A GPS program that tracks fleet vehicles makes organisation easier, increases security and ultimately saves a lot of money. One solution GPS tracker technology provides is the correct documentation of working hours and driving times. This feature is beneficial for many within a company. Drivers do not have to worry about constantly documenting their working hours, saving time at the end of their shift and the human resource department can more easily obtain timesheets.
By automating even the simplest of processes the susceptibility to errors is practically set to zero. With a GPS fleet software tracking and documenting routes and idle times, vehicle administrators or fleet managers are able to provide accurate proof of all working hours. The acquired data can then be transferred to the payroll department for the creation of pay slips or to an ERP system for the optimisation of logistics processes.
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How are Live GPS Trackers Used Within a Fleet of Vehicles?
The installation of a live GPS tracker in a fleet of vehicles allows the fleet manager to better monitor and support drivers that are out in the field or on a job. A modern GPS system tracks vehicles in real time and records their routes for documentation of working times or for proof of contact with a customer. Fleet managers can also use this data to better plan routes and vehicle usage. There are numerous scenarios in which the use of a GPS becomes profitable to a business:
- Planning and optimisation of routes for vehicles on the road (e.g. in logistics, outpatient care, delivery, services)
- Assistance in vehicle locating for car rental companies and car sharing models
- Quick response in emergencies and breakdowns
- Increased customer satisfaction and more accurate ETAs
- Easier fleet management
- Effective theft protection through real-time tracking of vehicles and construction machinery
- Flexibility towards appointment changes or last minute service requests
- Improvement in capacity utilisation since vehicles do not remain unused
- Coordination of vehicles and employees
- Fast delivery of vehicles to employees
- Ease of data collection and sharing among departments
The prerequisite for this level of optimisation from a live GPS tracker is of course the installation of a GPS tracking hardware into the vehicle. Depending on the intended use and design, some GPS trackers are permanently installed in the vehicle interior or in the engine compartment and, if necessary, connected to the vehicle battery.
The GPS tracker remains permanently active in vehicles that are used by several employees. According to EU law, if a vehicle is used for private trips then it must be possible to deactivate the GPS system during that time.
How do Live GPS Trackers Benefit Businesses?
Live GPS trackers are suitable for businesses, especially those with fleets of vans or construction machinery. Adopting trackers for your business may save you from many troubles. For instance, a tracking device on your vehicle can foil car theft by sending you an alert when the vehicle moves out of its operational area. Using the latest GPS tracking software provides you with your vehicle’s real-time locations.
Another way GPS trackers can benefit is by providing a notification when a company vehicle goes beyond a set geographical area. Such technology can help retrieve stolen or lost assets before it is too late. If a car has a GPS tracker it becomes a lot easier for the police to locate the vehicle.
With the help of live GPS trackers, vehicle misuse and theft are minimised. Tracking software provides exact and real-time data about your vehicles. Frequent updates keep the GPS in touch with the situation at hand. They also relay real-time data that can be analyzed and used to improve efficiency, such as with traffic which can be detrimental to business.
GPS trackers give you access to your route history helping you to cut out overlaps and time-wasting stops. You can craft a route plan that is faster and time-saving. Drivers’ safety is also improved. Businesses may get more profits as the amount of fuel used is reduced while insurance premiums are lowered due to improved safety. In the construction industry, machinery safety is secured while the data collected will optimize profitable machinery.
- GPS systems can help you save money by documenting each mile covered, and indicating when the vehicle’s condition should be checked and a maintenance check may be necessary.
- The GPS keeps the driver moving to the direct destination. You can follow to oversee they are not idling at any stop for too long or are taking unauthorised personal trips instead of abiding their work commitment.
- GPS can help you quickly guide the drivers to follow shorter routes and follow efficient traffic rules to avoid spending too much on fuel.
Examples of GPS Optimisation
Live GPS trackers are used to the benefit of multiple departments within a company. The tracking of pool vehicle movements and the automation of administrative tasks allows for work processes to be optimised, idle times minimised and vehicles to be used more productively. For companies, this means enormous time savings with simultaneously falling costs.
Across industries and sectors, fleet managers are aware of the benefits a GPS system can provide. From the efficient utilisation of vehicles and optimised route planning to the reduced administrative work and ultimate impact on customer satisfaction.
With GPS technology, businesses also see an increase in the safety of their employees. The driver and dispatcher remain connected to each other throughout the working hours. Quick help is possible in case of a dangerous situation or an accident. This also applies to vehicle theft. The GPS system tells the fleet manager the location in real time so that they can forward the data to the police.
How GPS is Revolutionising Entire Business Sectors
Live GPS tracking is playing an increasingly important role in fleet and fleet management. Studies have shown that companies that rely on outdated models of fleet management do in fact suffer, and this goes for fleets ranging from one vehicle to 50+. However vehicle tracking isn’t the only way GPS technology is making changes. Here is a list of other industries benefiting and evolving due to this automation.
GPS systems have become indispensable for location in aviation and seafaring. Vehicle insurance companies sometimes offer advantages and discounts to drivers with vehicles equipped with a GPS setup. In agriculture, GPS is used to determine the position of the machines in the field. In the outdoor area,live GPS trackers serve as the basis for the trending sport geocaching, and in our day-to-day lives GPS is used on almost every smartphone for navigation and location determination.
GPS is also a cornerstone of autonomous driving technology. However, in autonomous driving, the position of a vehicle must be determined to the centimeter. GPS alone cannot do this and is therefore supplemented by the data collected by driver assistance systems.
There are several reasons why you may want to install a live GPS tracker on your car or truck. The two primary reasons are the ability to accurately locate it at all times and also for improving the vehicle’s security. Besides the anti-theft benefits, businesses also use the GPS tracking data to monitor fuel usage, routes, driver behaviour and more.
Vimcar offers a reliable GPS tracking system that is not only highly accurate but also easy to install. Learn how to install our GPS tracker here below.
Installation Options for Live GPS Trackers
Chiefly, you’ll come across two primary installation choices for users of our Vimcar live GPS tracker: a dongle or a box. Both methods are easy to follow and do not require previous technical knowledge. In fact, you won’t even need to take your car to the garage for the GPS installation, since both installations options are quite straightforward.
1. Vimcar Dongle
The Vimcar Dongle is a plug-in live GPS tracker that easily connects to your vehicles OBD interface. The installation process is as follows:
Advantages of a plug-in live GPS trackers
- Plug-in installation means that the live GPS tracker is ready for use in under 2 minutes
- You can easily move it from one car to the next
- No installation costs since you are quickly plugging it in by yourself
- No mechanic required
- Great for personal staff vehicles, hire cars etc.
- Open your Vimcar Dongle package and take out the GPS tracker
- Locate your OBD port, usually found in your car’s footwell
- Plug the Vimcar Dongle into the OBD port and you are done
2. Vimcar Box
The Vimcar Box is a hardwired device that directly connects to your vehicle’s battery. There are key benefits of this live GPS tracker installation method, as shown below:
Advantages of our hardwired live GPS trackers
- Great option for people looking for a GPS that is hidden from direct view
- Better power connection since the GPS connects directly to the battery
- The simple installation process means you won’t have to experience major downtimes when installing this GPS tracker
What Should Businesses Consider Before Investing in GPS Fleet Trackers?
There are a host of factors that you may consider before settling down on a GPS fleet tracker provider. Fleet trackers range from cost to battery life. Here are some things to consider:
- Cost. Trackers come at different prices. Depending on your pocket, you can go for the expensive or cheap ones. Price does not necessarily translate to better quality.
- Ease. Not all trackers are created equal and some are a lot more difficult to install than others. A tracker’s effectiveness may depend on the time and cost it takes to install. Or uninstall.
- Water resistance. Water-resistant GPS trackers are more beneficial as they operate in all weather conditions. When buying, always go for a tracker either water-resistant or located in a practical place on the vehicle.
- Battery life. If not powered by the vehicle itself, it is vital for the tracker you invest in to have a long battery life. Constant transmission of signals is assured when the battery is effective.
- The App. Always ensure your GPS provider has a good app. The app enables you to check on your vehicles no matter where you are, making the product useful even when you are away from your desk.
Complementary accessories. Depending on your business needs consider the complementary accessories. Ensure the tracker has extensions like waterproof cases to protect it if that is relevant to your business.
Pros & Cons: Are There Drawbacks to Fleet Trackers?
The installation of live GPS trackers in a fleet has an immediate effect. Through it, Fleet managers can have real-time coordination with their drivers. It also accrues data which is vital in route planning and optimization. Fleet trackers have immense advantages to their users. Some of the benefits include:
- They help to prevent vehicle theft. The trackers show the location of the vehicle, and when it moves out of its restricted area, an alert is sent to the fleet managers
- They enable efficient coordination between employers and their drivers.
- Encourages inter-departmental liaison as vehicle data is easily shared between departments.
- Live GPS trackers enable route optimization, which saves time as drivers can avoid traffic jams.
- They enable faster response times in case of emergencies and accidents.
- Fleet trackers help in vehicle location and availability to other employees. Trackers also help more efficient care sharing.
- Increased efficiency leads to an increase in profit.
- Companies can offer more flexibility to drivers and customers with a more optimised and organised fleet.
- The margin of human error is reduced significantly.
Fleet trackers have many advantages. However, they also have some downsides which should be considered.
- Battery drainage can lead to loss of signal. Some live GPS trackers use solar energy for power. Severe weather conditions can deprive them of sunlight, making them ineffective. Lack of live transmission will affect fleet efficiency.
- Fleet trackers may give inaccurate locations occasionally. A fleet manager receives the transmission from 3 to 4 satellites at a go. Tall buildings and trees may inhibit the transmission signals making them ping elsewhere causing inaccurate data and locations to be collected.
- Some employees may grow uncomfortable being tracked during their workday.
- Unstable weather conditions may lead to poor signals. Solar flares also can affect the satellites used for transmission.
Introducing and Implementing Fleet Trackers in Your fleet and to Your Drivers
Introducing a new concept or technology for your employees may not be easy. Some may be sceptical of the technology and try to sabotage it or avoid it. Here is a detailed method you can use to make them understand the importance of fleet trackers to their jobs.
- Brief the drivers on the type of GPS trackers that will be used and why. Some drivers may not be comfortable being monitored. Explain to them the advantages they will get by embracing fleet trackers. Honesty about the fleet trackers will enable you to gain the driver’s trust. Getting your drivers on the side of the GPS trackers will have the highest results of increased productivity.
- Show your drivers how a live GPS tracking device works. Show them how the installation is done and how the data will be recorded. Inform them that vehicle speed, location, the route used, and time spent at each stop will be documented. Explain to them that the data will help route optimization which will enable them to reach their destination faster by avoiding jams. The speed relayed will enable them to stay within the limit keeping everyone safe. The implication of this data will help lower the insurance premiums due to increased driver safety and reduced accidents.
- Build a good relationship with your drivers. Through this, they will easily accept change as they know you have their best interests at heart. However, remind them the final decisions lie with you.
- Invite any questions that may arise about the fleet trackers. Answer the questions accordingly and if you lack answers promise to address them when you get the correct information.
- Explain the benefits the drivers will accrue from the fleet trackers. Everybody wins from the installation of the trackers. Working hours will easily be more easily tracked and documented. Explain to them that they will have immediate help in case of an emergency. If a customer lodges a false claim, they will have evidence of no wrongdoing. Through this, their work will be made more accessible.
- Assure your drivers that all this is meant to improve their working conditions.
Live GPS trackers are hugely beneficial to your business. They provide the necessary support to your drivers and fleet managers to get your company’s fleet and machinery running smoothly and safely. Live tracking and route documentation also helps defend your employees when customers file false claims as you have evidence on where your drivers were and when.
Embracing fleet trackers will increase your profits while making your employee’s jobs easier. Fleet management is vital for your commercial vehicle’s success. While on the look for a fleet tracking be sure to look for one that saves you time, effort and improves the performance of your fleet.
Suffer no more, due to poor car maintenance, time wasted, over fuel consumption, and theft. Fleet solutions have ensured your revenue is thriving and scaling high since you can avoid all these problems and save money and time.
Final Words on Live GPS Trackers
Installing the Vimcar live GPS tracker to your car or truck is quite straightforward, regardless of whether you choose the dongle or the box installation procedure. Choose one that best suits your needs to gain all the benefits of having a live GPS tracker.
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