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5 trends that are sparking a renewed interest in GPS for commercial vehicles.

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2016 Section 179 Expiring Soon – Act Now to Save!

As the year is quickly coming to an end it is time to think about how your taxes will be affected for the year.  One thing many businesses consider is purchasing new equipment.

If you are considering acquiring equipment in the near future or are a supplier looking to save your customers money, Section 179 impacts you!

As part of the IRS Tax Code, Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of certain assets financed or leased and put into service during the tax year. Accelerating depreciation rather than spreading the deduction over the item’s useful life provides a larger tax deduction come tax time. With a $500,000 maximum deduction available, you could keep a lot more money in your pocket.

Additionally, since Section 179 covers new and used equipment or software, you can get the equipment you need now, take the full tax benefit now, and spread your expense over a multi-year financing term, thus significantly reducing your true cost of ownership.

Equipment could be things like new vans or trucks, tools, heavy duty equipment and even a GPS tracking system to help manage your business.

It is important to contact your tax advisor before making a purchase to make sure you qualify and what impact a substantial purchase would have on your taxes.

For more details go to the following website:

http://www.section179.org/

 

oston Global Tracking Announces New Mobile Apps Available For Apple and Android Devices

Boston Global Tracking Announces New Mobile Apps Available For Apple and Android Devices

Boston Global Tracking has now available mobile apps for all of our customers at no additional charge.  Our IT team has spent over 6 months creating an app that will deliver the information you need most for your phone or tablet.

Please email me a request to activate this new feature on your account.  robert@bostonglobaltracking.com Instructions on use and how to download the application will follow.  Again, there is no charge for this new feature but you do need to send me a request for activation

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.

 

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.

Distracted Driving, Liability and What You Can Do About it.

Distracted driving has become one of the biggest issues in terms of liability for any business with a fleet on the road.  Businesses with 1 driver to thousands all need to understand the potential liabilities that distracted driving can  have on their business.

As evidence from a recent lawsuit against Coca Cola, even having a policy in place may not protect you. There is no magic wand that can prevent drivers from being distracted but there are many things you can do to protect yourself.

  1. Have a safe driving policy in effect which clearly states what distracted driving is and what is not allowed.
  2. Review this policy with all employees on a monthly basis.  Many insurance companies can assist you with material or help in setting this up.  In order to protect yourself you must show consistent updates and contacts with all employees: meetings, flyers, emails etc…
  3. Pay for hands free Bluetooth devices for all employees, if cell use is allowed.
  4. There are also devices that can block cell use while driving, but these can be expensive and may not work with personal phones.
  5. Keep contact with drivers to a minimum  by using a GPS tracking system.  This type of system can also identify speeding drivers as well as keeping office to driver contact to a minimum.
  6. Review phone records to see which drivers may be excessively texting or speaking on the phone.  Many cell carriers can provide this information if requested.

The benefits of all of this is employee protection, cost reduction, and liability insulation, all leading to reduced costs. We must all remember that Return on Investment is really the objective for any business, and our perspective demands that an effective distracted driving solution yields 500% or better ROI in the most conservative of scenarios.

Fleet Solutions Magazine. has  a great article on this subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GPS Fleet Tracking Helps the Worker.

One of the most common terms when it comes to GPS Tracking is “driver behavior modification.” It sounds like something out of college textbook…no wonder employees are often against the boss wiring a device into their vehicle.

Put simply though, “driver behavior modification,” just means changing a behavior.  Changing  behavior can be beneficial to the employee, not just the boss. Think about it.  Tracking can get you to the job sooner, more jobs in the day and in less time, helping the you to be more productive and getting  more jobs done in a day and in less time, you get home quicker to your family or your plans for the evening. What’s not to like about that?

Or how about proving you did the job you said you did. With fleet tracking technology, it doesn’t have to be a “he said/she said” scenario. Your boss has the info at his finger tips and you are in the clear. Or maybe you show up for the job and no one is there, tracking can show you may be at the wrong building or door.

How about this, you are in an accident and the driver accuses you of speeding, checking the GPS tracking can determine the truth.  Saving you a lot of time off the job to defend yourself.  What about being falsely accused of hit and run?  GPS Tracking can verify the exact location at the time of the accusation.

So let’s get rid of all the excuses for not using GPS fleet tracking.

GPS fleet tracking technology is a tool to help everyone do their job better.

GPS Tracking Benefits for Fleet Owners

GPS Tracking is no longer for the big guys.  Today GPS tracking can benefit any business, even if there are only 1 or 2 vehicles on the road.

Tracking offers a host of benefits for companies that deploy vehicles on a day to day basis.  It allows these companies to streamline their operations in the most effective and efficient manner. The cost of this equipment is reasonable and the return on investment is significant.

GPS Tracking helps companies of all sizes to constantly track and monitor vehicles on road.  Without the need to invest in expensive equipment or hire additional employees, GPS fleet tracking is a very attractive option particularly for smaller companies that might not typically have the resources to roll out this type of effective technology.

Fleet tracking offers a variety of benefits for fleet owners.  It can keep a constant tab on the vehicles, regardless of whether they’re on the move or stationary. They can monitor the time taken for vehicles to reach their destination and identify any time wasted. They can also identify and optimize inefficient routing, enhancing fuel efficiency.

One of the greatest advantages to fleet owners is the tremendous potential for labor savings.  Being fully aware of an employee’s day to day operations keeps them alert and ensures they deliver maximum productivity.  GPS fleet management systems help fleet owners track their vehicles to see if they are on the move or stationary at a location. They can also monitor the duration for which the vehicle is on the road. This helps them monitor if fleet drivers are working efficiently. In the long run, this provides them with immense savings on labor costs as well other significant benefits.

Many companies have been able to cut down on their fuel costs through fleet GPS tracking. Without tracking, it is virtually impossible to accurately track fuel costs and the result is the company absorbs unnecessary expense.  Enhanced routing, reduced idling, and eliminating unauthorized use of vehicles will dramatically reduce fuel costs.

Tracking systems make it possible to know when the vehicles and crew arrive at and leave the job site. These systems also make it easier for the payroll department to accurately match up hours worked with the time sheets.