GPS Fleet Tracking Can Lower Your Insurance Costs

There are many cost saving benefits to having investing in a GPS tracking system. While you can save substantially by cutting down on wasted fuel and labor, you can also reduce the amount of money your company is spending on insurance premiums.

Many insurance companies recognize that when a company installs a GPS fleet tracking system it means that they are serious about reducing risk. By implementing GPS fleet tracking software you are able to keep a close eye on driver behavior, locate stolen vehicles, and ensure that your trucks are safe by staying on top of regular maintenance.

Insurance companies are committed to good driving behavior and ensuring safety on the road. Implementing GPS fleet tracking will show them that you are committed as well. Most insurance carriers will recognize companies who apply a GPS fleet tracking solution to their fleet and will give them up to a 15% insurance discount!

Simply install a GPS fleet tracking device with a sufficient number of your vehicles, and start saving on your premiums. You can find a range of potential discounts from insurance providers such as Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Zurich North America and The Hartford.

The application of a GPS fleet tracking system will result in a significant decrease of hazardous driving behaviors. GPS fleet tracking provides you with instantaneous alerts to your cell phone and email that will notify you when one of your drivers is speeding or driving erratically. This will help you to stay on top of unsafe driving habits and to cut down the number of accidents and citations your fleet encounters.

With real-time tracking, you no longer have to wonder where your vehicles are. If one of your vehicles is stolen, GPS fleet tracking gives you immediate insight into your vehicles location. Retrieving your stolen vehicles quickly gives you a better probability to also recover expensive assets that you may have on-board the vehicle.

GPS fleet tracking will also help you to keep an eye on when your vehicles having upcoming or overdue maintenance requirements. These friendly reminders will tell you or your drivers when a vehicle is ready for an oil change or tire rotation, to help prevent any dangerous situations on the roadway.

EPA information on Idling

Below is information on Idling from the EPA website:

Idling

 

Photo of a truck

 

 

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SmartWay Transport

 

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between EPA and the freight industry to conserve fuel, reduce emissions, and improve transportation supply chain efficiency. SmartWay “makes the business case” for how companies shipping products, and the carriers that move those products, can improve their environmental profile while saving money and time.

 

Companies join the SmartWay Transport Partnership for a 3 year period, and begin by analyzing the efficiency of their operations using SmartWay software. EPA helps partners set individualized goals and select the right strategies to achieve them. Fleets choose from a wide variety of strategies to minimize idle time, reduce rolling resistance, improve aerodynamics, refine logistics and train drivers. Shippers participate by increasing the proportion of their product carried by the most efficient SmartWay carrier partners, choosing the most efficient modes, and improving freight logistics. Partners benchmark their operations, track their savings, and report yearly to EPA. Partners’ SmartWay scores can qualify them to use the logo and receive other forms of recognition, including awards.

 

SmartWay partners now number close to 3000, including most of the biggest trucking companies and most visible shippers.  But SmartWay is not only for huge companies—many smaller carriers and regionally-known shippers participate.  SmartWay fact sheets and case studies showcase successful fuel-saving strategies.  EPA is working with other countries to develop compatible freight efficiency programs that will enable international shippers to streamline their entire supply chain.  SmartWay also specs fuel-efficient truck and trailer models, verifies fuel-saving technology, and sets up financing programs.

 

EPA New England is active in SmartWay, supporting existing partners, signing on new partners, and promoting efficient freight technologies, strategies and infrastructure.  Four NE-based SmartWay partners have received regional Environmental Merit Awards.  For more information, see the SmartWay website or contact Abby Swaine (swaine.abby@epa.gov or 617-918-1841) at EPA New England.

 

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Idling Enforcement

 

All six New England states have anti-idling regulations. The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island regulations are part of state implementation plans. State regulations that are part of state implementation plans are federally enforceable. This means that EPA, as well as the State, has the authority to enforce these laws. EPA has taken enforcement action against fleets in Connecticut, Massachusetts and RI for alleged violations of the anti-idling regulations in those states. The press page of this site contains specific information about these actions.

 

For additional information go to the EPA website:

http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/diesel/idling.html#idling

Robert Drucker, owner of Boston Global Tracking, writes and shares information of interest to fleet owners.  Contact Robert at 508 341 5115 or robert@BostonGlobalTracking.com

 


An Interesting Conversation

A local delivery company just tested one of our tracking systems and was surprised by the results.  Here is how the conversation went.

 

Owner:  What time did you get back last night from your delivery?
Driver:  9:30, PM
Owner: Wow, that late.
Driver:  Lots of traffic and I couldn’t find one location.
Owner: Are you sure you got back at 9:30?
Driver:  Absolutely
Owner:  Are you sure?
Driver:  YES, 9:30
Owner: Well, according to this GPS device in your van it says you got in at 6:30.
Driver:  Silence.

Based on 10 drivers, adding only 3 extra hours a week per driver:

Total Payroll Savings: $36,000 a year!

Combine this savings with reduced fuel costs from reduced speeds and less idling plus less accidents due to better driving behavior.

15% Fuel Savings: $13,125

(based on 25,000 gal at $3.50 per gal)

10% Insurance Savings $1,500

Total Annual Savings: $50,000 +

 

Although we always want to believe our employees are truthful and honest (we would not have hired them if we thought otherwise) most employees do not look at your business the same way you do and may try to take advantage of a situation.
This is why GPS tracking is so important; not to catch employees doing something wrong but to keep them honest.  That is why we always recommend involving drivers when it comes to installing a GPS tracking system.  Location in an emergency, theft prevention and driver safety are all benefits of GPS tracking.  Many actually reward safe drivers using information from GPS tracking reports.

Contact us on how for as little as $1.25 a day per vehicle you can reduce your fleet costs and make your business more efficient.

Overcoming Resistance to New Policies and Technology.

Anytime managers or owners implement new policies there is bound to be resistance from some employees.  This is no more evident when a company implements GPS tracking and telematics to their fleet.  Learning how to implement vehicle monitoring systems in a positive way can help managers avoid pushback from drivers.

Known Benefits of Telematics Push Fleet Managers to Implement Systems

It’s the benefits of telematics and GPS technology that often pushes fleet managers to add systems in spite of resistance. Outside of the obvious benefit of GPS technology, one of the most important benefits is monitoring driver behavior. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency, but it also provides proof against false claims made against drivers involved in crashes.

Strategies to Reduce Resistance

Fleet managers are quick to see the benefits of telematics, but drivers don’t always respond positively to these systems. In one study published  , nearly 43 percent of fleet managers surveyed stated they had a “significant amount” of resistance when implementing telematics systems into their fleets, with another 35.7 percent reporting at least a “little” resistance. In other words, the majority of fleets surveyed had resistance of some sort.

So what can a fleet manager do to implement this valuable system without this resistance? While avoiding all resistance may not be possible, it can be limited with the right approach when implementing telematics, electronic tracking technology, or other vehicle monitoring systems.

Having a policy that clearly states the purpose and use of the system or technology as well as driver responsibility can help communicate the company’s expectations better. The company/agency should have each potential driver acknowledge that they have no expectation of privacy regarding the information gathered through the use of this technology.  The City of Napa circulates a policy to all their potential drivers to inform them of the purpose and use of the technology. The policy also addresses tampering with the hardware.

Using the system as a positive as well as a negative can also help. Using the system to reward drivers who had the least number of offenses, and posting the weekly driver report in a common area, helps create a positive peer pressure about driver safety and fuel efficiency. This created changes without much intervention from management.

Today’s drivers have a lot to keep track of, and any tool that helps them do so more safely is welcome once it is understood.  Once drivers realize that the systems are going to improve overall safety, while also potentially earning them rewards for positive behaviors, they are often more willing to embrace telematics.

In the end, the approach needs to be one of coaching, not reprimanding. While there is often some driver turnover when implementing a system, the end result, which is more efficient and attentive drivers, creates a positive environment for all members of the fleet.

 

Robert Drucker, Owner of Boston Global Tracking, often writes about issues facing owners and managers with fleets of vehicles.  His expertise is highly regarded in the industry and provides his insight and knowledge to help business owners better manage their fleet.

 

Purchasing New Technology: When to pull the trigger

Technology moves so fast today that making a technology purchase for your business or for personal use can be horribly mind boggling.

“When I purchase will I find what I just bought obsolete?” “Will the price drop?” It seems today either the next greatest is thing is coming out next week or the price is dropping by 20%.

Gone are the days of technology changing every few years. Today it is down to months or even weeks.

“The next iPhone is due out in 3 months do I wait?” “Next week a new Android phone is coming out, is that a better choice?” “What do I do?”

Here are some tips on how to evaluate when to purchase the next new technology.

1. First determine if the technology is actually right for you. Is this something that is going to be just a toy or will it be something that will enhance your life or business?
2. Is there a return on investment? Does it do everything that I want it to do now or are there predicted improvements down the road that you really want.
3. Next step is to do your research: Consumer Reports, friends, co-workers and reviews on the internet are all good sources.
4. Once you have evaluated your needs set yourself a price limit. If it is within your budget go for it. If not wait, as the newer technology comes out the price of what you really want will drop.
5. If the need and the price are right for you, pull the trigger and buy. Don’t look back or re-evaluate your purchase. Enjoy it because it is right for you. Do not get caught up in the have to have the latest and greatest just because everyone else has it.

As a personal example my iPhone 3 works fine for me, it gives me what I want and I have no interest in moving to the 5. When I purchased the 3 I made the decision because I wanted internet access to my phone for business purposes. It was the best purchase I ever made and I got it cheap because the 4 had just been released.
I find so many people wait on making decisions because they are not sure. Do your due diligence and if it is right for you now, don’t wait. Just make the decision and go on with your life. You will be glad you did.

Top Myths About Fleet GPS Tracking

If you have never tried Fleet GPS Tracking technology for your company, you are missing out. Over the past several years, we have heard a ton of myths – this article was created to address those myths – fact to face.
MYTH # 1. “We trust our employees, therefore we don’t need fleet GPS tracking.”
The integrity of your employees is not on the line, at all. Fleet GPS tracking was not created to monitor your employees. It is placed to lower fuel costs, increase efficiency, enhance fleet management and provide safety for your employees. This program was invented to help the fleet industry.

MYTH # 2. “My drivers will quit if I insult them with fleet GPS tracking.”
We have worked with small and large companies and our experience in this industry shows that your drivers will be fine with the fleet GPS tracking program. In fact, most employees learn to love the benefits of the GPS tracking. Especially the fact that they can avoid road blocks and shorten their days with the efficiency of the program. In most cases, the fleet GPS tracking reduces time-consuming paperwork and also offers added security for drivers.

MYTH #3. “It’s too much work to install the fleet GPS tracking”
Installing the systems are very easy and the program itself is incredibly user friendly. Most fleet managers find that it’s easier to multi-task, even if they have a huge fleet on the road. The system gathers data and information in an organized fashion. Driver’s Alert also provides top of the line training so that the company is left comfortable.

MYTH # 4. “GPS tracking isn’t a necessity.”
It may not be a necessity, but it saves you money in almost every direction. In this economy, I look at it as a necessity. You can track every vehicle with the click of a button. Fleet managers are able to multi-task, taking safety, delivery times as well as vehicle maintenance into consideration. Fleet GPS tracking may not be a “necessity” but they are definitely a huge benefit to any company with a fleet.

Using GPS fleet tracking can be of benefit to many types of businesses.  On average, businesses see a return on investment in as little as 6 months.  Boston Global Tracking offers a free 1 week trial to test what tracking can do for your business.

 

 

MECA 2012 Tradeshow and Annual Meeting

Please join Boston Global Tracking at the MECA 2012 Tradeshow and Annual Meeting.

Location:    Lombardo’s
6 Billings Street
Randolph
Date:    Thursday, November 15, 2012
Time:    Tradeshow – 2:00-7:00 PM
Annual Meeting & Dinner – 7:00 PM

If you are one of over 34,000 licensed electricians in Massachusetts, come join us for our Trade Show!

  • Free Informative Seminars
  • The latest products in the electrical industry
  • Meet with some of the largest manufacturers and distributors in the country
  • Raffle and Door Prizes all day
  • Free Popcorn and Hot Dogs
  • Food
  • So much more . . .

New Study Verifies Value of GPS Fleet Tracking

Research Verifies GPS Fleet Tracking Services Value

The Aberdeen Group, one of America’s most trusted names in business intelligence, has been researching the mobile service business market as to what are the external market conditions that are driving organizations with mobile workforces to adopt GPS Fleet Tracking technology as a means to increase profitability.

The information compiled here provides a synopsis of four recent Aberdeen Group studies. These findings present a compelling argument for the value of real-time, GPS fleet tracking in terms of being able to reduce key operating costs, improve on vehicle and operator performance and increase customer satisfaction.

Key facts from the Aberdeen Group studies:

A majority of leading service companies are using fleet management solutions to realize benefits such as a 12.2% increase in service profitability, 14.8% reduction in average travel time per job, 9.9% decrease in overtime pay and 27.9% increase in operator compliance.

• Firms have reduced overall operating expenses an average of $1,100 per vehicle per year.
• Since leveraging location intelligence, firms have seen a 13.2% reduction in fuel costs and a 13.4% reduction in overtime costs, on average.
• Customer demand for faster service call resolution along with increasing service-related costs are the leading factors driving field service
firms to implement GPS fleet tracking services.
• Firms using GPS fleet tracking services are outperforming their peers by 43% in terms of current workforce utilization.
• Firms using GPS fleet tracking services are two times as successful as all others in meeting service response windows.

Savings from reduction in operating costs alone justify ROI

57% of best-in-class companies reduced their operating costs per vehicle by an average of 10.4%. The survey revealed that the average operating costs per mile was 33 cents and the average miles driven per year were 33,243. Based on this information, the annual savings from reduction in operating costs alone can amount to $1,100 per vehicle.

The bottom line

Investing in GPS tracking is no longer a matter of “if ” for businesses with mobile workforces, but “when.” Aberdeen Group’s research confirms that in the face of economic and market-driven pressures to cut costs, service organizations are increasingly turning to GPS fleet tracking technologies to improve their vehicle tracking, routing, and  maintenance management. These firms are recognizing the potential of these services not only to cut costs, but also to increase vehicle utilization rates, service delivery performance and customer satisfaction.

Boston Global Tracking is the premier GPS tracking provider in Eastern Massachusetts with over 15 years of GPS tracking experience. Our mission is to provide the best service with the best most accurate tracking system on the market today.  Take advantage of the 2 week  free trial offer to see for yourself what GPS fleet tracking can do for your business.

Drowsy Driving: A Risk for Everyone

The following is an article I found on Automotive Fleet Magazine Oct 2012…  Driving drowsy is an issue we all face from time to time but is not talked about enough.  I recommend everyone speak to their children and drivers about this serious issue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 100,000 people are killed or injured each year in crashes attributed to a driver asleep at the wheel or driving while severely drowsy. As it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness, this number may be even higher. Company drivers who must often drive more than the average person are at increased risk of crashes due to drowsiness.

A common characteristic of sleep-related crashes is the likelihood of them occurring at night or in mid-afternoon, when people have a natural propensity to be asleep, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). In addition, sleep-related crashes are more likely to involve a single vehicle running off the road. These crashes are more likely to result in serious injuries. Typically, there is no indication of braking or attempts to avoid the crash.

Sleep Deprivation Dangers

Americans are often reminded about the seriousness of drunk or distracted driving. Many do not know that tired drivers are just as dangerous. A 2008 AAA survey found that two out of every five drivers (41 percent) admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point.

Researchers found that extreme sleep deprivation can impair brain function as much as a 0.10 blood-alcohol level, equivalent to drunk driving. Fatigue impairs reaction time and attention, and it slows down the ability to process information in much the same manner as alcohol.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the human body often compensates for lack of sleep by taking “micro-sleeps.” These tiny naps last only a few seconds, but can have deadly results. A car traveling 55 mph can cross more than the length of a football field during a four-second nap.

Everyone is at Risk

Sleep is a natural function of the human body, and lack of sufficient sleep the night before or an accumulation of sleep debt can lead to serious consequences on the road. Fatigue affects reaction time, attention, and information processing — all critical aspects of safe driving.

Everyone is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Certain characteristics or events greatly increase that risk, including age (younger drivers tend to be more susceptible to fall-asleep crashes), disrupted sleep patterns, untreated or unrecognized sleep disorders, sedating medications, and driving patterns and the number of miles/hours traveled per day.

It’s commonly believed that commercial truck drivers are the most at-risk group for falling asleep behind the wheel, but statistics show that all drivers should be concerned.

In a 2010 AAA study, tired drivers were responsible for one in six fatal crashes, or one in eight crashes that sent someone to the hospital.

A “Sleep in America” poll conducted in 2009 by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of adults had driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the prior year, while 1 percent admitted they had an accident or near-accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.

Warning Signs of Sleepiness

One of the most dangerous aspects of fall-asleep crashes is that many drivers don’t even realize they are drowsy. It is important to recognize the warning signs. A driver feeling tired should stop to rest or take a coffee break if their eyes begin to close or go out of focus, their head begins to bob, the desire to yawn becomes excessive, and/or thinking begins to wander or become disconnected, etc.

Some common ways to prevent drowsy driving include getting plenty of good, quality sleep; avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m.; take a break every two hours; and, if possible, drive with someone else who is awake in the passenger seat.

If signs of fatigue begin to show, drive to a well-lit area to take a short nap.

4 Ways to Create a More Efficient Fleet

Are you looking to run a more efficient fleet and reduce operating costs?  Who wouldn’t.  We all try and save money by doing all sorts of things to help reduce costs at home as well as our business.  Here are some pointers on how to run a more efficient fleet.

Create a Baseline

Before you can start to reduce fleet costs you need to determine what your baseline is. A baseline is where all comparisons are made.  How much are you spending on gas each day across all vehicles? How much are you spending on maintenance monthly? Some fleet managers keep detailed records, some just guess or don’t care. You can’t start improving until you start measuring. If you have a GPS tracking system, this kind of data is probably readily available, you just need to start using it.

Communication

Once you have your numbers, make sure every driver in your fleet knows what their numbers are. Make sure they know what’s being spent on fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc. Give them their numbers and work with them to identify areas to start reducing costs. Ask if they idle frequently and if they know how much fuel it wastes. Ask if they realize the impact of hard breaking, rapid acceleration, hard cornering, etc. on their vehicle’s maintenance. Are they reporting issues to your fleet mechanic or just living with them?  Create a safe driver program or rewards for keeping up with maintenance.

Personal Use

Your  drivers spend a lot of time in their vehicles. Over time they may begin to feel as if the vehicle is theirs. This can sometimes lead to misuse as employees begin using their vehicles inappropriately on weekends or after hours. Do you let these incidents go or do you restrict this kind of use? You may find that eliminating personal use not only reduces fuel use and wear and tear, but it also may save your reputation. A van with your name on it parked after hours at an inappropriate location could be damaging your reputation and losing you business.

Initiate Fuel Usage Policies – Introduce a Fuel Card and Usage Policy

Fleet fuel cards can provide discounts and rewards, reduce paperwork, save you from fraudulent spending, provide purchase controls, improve driver security and much more. If you’re already using fuel cards, make sure you’re getting the most out of them. That starts with developing and communicating a usage policy including:

  • Acceptable card uses
    Fuel
    Washer fluid
    Motor oil
    Wiper blades
    Towing
    Etc.
  • Unacceptable card use
    Food
    Car washes
    Bulk fuel
    Non-company vehicles
    etc.
  • Consequences for improper use
  • Card spending limits
  • Retention of receipts

It is important to have this communication between  drivers and owners/management to make sure everyone understands the rules and the consequences of not adhering to these rules.  Policies in place can also help to reduce insurance costs as well.  Many carriers have programs that can help you with the implementation of a safe driver program.

Robert Drucker is owner of Boston Global Tracking, providing GPS tracking solutions for fleets of all sizes.  He helps business owners keep track of what they value most.