Aside from providing superior customer service, one of the most crucial considerations for a flourishing business is saving money. The more money you save, the more money you have to help your business expand and grow. While installing video cameras in your fleet vehicles may not be the first money saving technique that comes to mind, it certainly should not be the last. The following are five ways your transportation business can save money by using videomatics technology in your fleet.
In general, humans tend to behave better when they know they are being watched. Whether succumbing to social structures or attempting to impress their peers, people have a habit of monitoring their behavior to fulfill cultural expectations. By adding a camera to your vehicles, you aim to improve driver behavior regarding accountability, making employees drive safer and lowering the risk of accidents. With fewer accidents, your company will pay less in damaged vehicle repair, and less in coverage costs for injured drivers.
Video data collection can also show which of your employees may need additional training, another common aspect of business management that pays off in well-trained employees in the long run. Consider offering incentives to employees that prove themselves capable of driving safely and delivering your products on time. For a functional and efficient business, remember to invest in videomatics to promote your company’s growth.
In the transportation industry there is always the risk of fraud. If other motorists claim that your driver hit their car, or if they attempt a quick ‘crash and cash’ scheme by slamming on their brakes in front of your driver, you need access to technology that protects your business investments. Dash cameras can prove liability, allowing your drivers to demonstrate their innocence and maintain a clean driving record. Videomatics can be a digital witness to protect your drivers from wrongful punishment as well, allowing law enforcement officers to examine the circumstances of the crash, and assign fault accordingly. Cameras facing into the cab may also prove useful in protecting your drivers from wrongful accusations. An inward-facing camera can confirm what your driver was doing prior to and during the accident and show evidence regarding their role in the incident. In either case, access to definite proof can speed a case along.
Insurance companies are notoriously hard to work with after accidents and attempting to rush a claim rarely if ever works to anyone’s advantage. But imagine having video proof regarding the incident in question. With videomatics, insurance companies can process claims faster and manage related financial aspects fairly. Insurance companies are also concerned about saving money, so any safety equipment data that reveals money saving opportunities for insurance companies may bring out the coveted discounts.
When drivers are in the field, they typically have complete control over the use of company vehicles. By utilizing installed GPS and videomatics software, you can authenticate vehicle use claims regarding location and time spent on the road. Video collection can prove that vehicles are, and remain, where they are supposed to be. Say your data indicates that one particular vehicle uses more gas than the others along the same delivery route. With dash camera records, fleet managers can examine what may be causing the discrepancy. Perhaps the driver stops for coffee along the route while on the clock and idles in a drive-thru. With video evidence in hand, fleet managers can discourage use of company vehicles for personal errands and record and store evidence if vehicles are used inappropriately.
The Wonderful Opportunity of Section 179
Most people would agree that the IRS is not an enjoyable topic to discuss, especially in regards to business practices. However, in this instance the U.S. government and, by extension, the IRS, can actually work in your favor. Originally created as a means to encourage businesses to invest in their own future, Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code concerns tax deductions for purchases of certain qualified equipment. This means if you purchase or lease qualifying devices, you can write off the full purchase price from your gross income in the year’s taxes. This deduction incentive allows transportation companies to experiment with different technologies with little risk to their profit margins.
Investing in the latest technologies can allow your business to grow in efficiency and function. By assessing what your company truly needs to thrive, you can calculate your expenses for maximum productivity. What better way to do this than by utilizing telematics and videomatics technologies.
Functionality is a key attribute in the items we use in our daily lives, and what better resource to obtain highly functional items than from the military? While you may not see many tanks on local roads, there are many items we use on a regular basis that have military origins. Here are 4 household objects civilians acquired from standard military equipment.
Duct tape was invented in 1942 by a concerned mother named Vesta Stoudt, whose two sons served in the United States Navy during World War II. Originally invented as a low cost, durable way to prevent moisture from entering ammunition cases, Duct tape had the double advantage of being easy to grab and tear open when soldiers were under duress. The old tape soldiers used was paper-thin and flimsy, causing the tabs to tear when soldiers frantically attempted to open the ammo boxes in battle. When her original idea stalled at the upper levels of the military factory in which she worked, Stoudt proceeded to do what any concerned mother would do: she wrote a letter directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlining her idea. Several weeks later, her invention was in production. Soon soldiers in the field had access to duct tape, and being the clever humans they were, began using this fantastic new substance for other minor equipment repairs as well as water-proofing their ammo. Today we’ve adopted this technology, and use it far beyond its original purpose. Need a way to repair a broken pipe? Try duct tape. Brake light out and waiting for a fix? Try red duct tape (temporarily, of course).
Like many articles of human convenience, microwave ovens were invented by accident. In 1939, the U.S. government contracted a company called Raytheon to produce combat radar equipment for the military. One day, an employee of the company named Percy Spencer was working with an active radar set when he noticed that a candy bar he had in his pocket had melted. Interested, and quite possibly a little hungry, Spencer and his colleagues began to experiment with these ‘micro-waves’, heating up different food items and noting the effectiveness these waves had on cooking. And, as things are wont to do, experimentation stalled when an egg exploded in his colleague’s face, but Spencer did not give up. Raytheon filed a patent for this technology in October 1945, but microwave ovens as we know them today were not commonly used until about 1967. In the modern world, microwaves can be found in most homes and businesses, making popped popcorn possible whenever your heart desires. Thank the military for our access to quickly-heated instant food.
If you are reading this article, you can thank a teacher AND the internet. Originally dubbed the ‘Advanced Research Projects Agency Network’ or ARPANET, this network was developed during the Cold War to bring computing to the front lines, metaphorically speaking. The problem was, ARPANET was not mobile. Yes, it could transfer info between equally large and immobile computers, but it needed a network that could talk to another network deep in the heart of enemy territory. In 1974, two ARPANET researchers developed a universal rule book that set how computers should communicate, which supplied strict regulations to reliably transmit data, but was flexible enough to cover all different forms of data being sent. The network also had to be future-proof, allowing it to adapt and change as needed and as technology improved. In 1976, researchers successfully stitched two different networks together, and got them communicating. In 1977, they added a third. The internet as we know it today was born in 1989 after decades of work by some of the smartest minds in the world. This code lets humans interact with one another across the globe, transmitting ideas and experiences to other equally curious minds. The internet is designed to go anywhere the military goes, so when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere and need directions to the nearest gas station, thank the forward thinking of the military for your ability to look it up.
Humans have been navigating the globe for centuries, using the stars and sky as their guide. However, in the last 100 years, knowing exactly where you are has gotten a lot easier. GPS technology originated as a frequency-hopping system designed to hide Allied torpedoes from Nazi detectors. Invented by Hollywood beauty icon Hedy Lamarr, who donated her frequency system to the war effort, the navy didn’t actually use this predecessor to GPS until the 1960s. During this time, technicians experimented with the Doppler Effect, and were able to precisely locate satellites in space, thus beginning the development of this technology in the reverse: to use satellites as a means of locating exactly where you are on Earth.
In 1989, the first official GPS satellite was launched into space under the guidance of Navy engineer Roger Easton. That same year, after a passenger plane was destroyed for accidentally drifting into unauthorized airspace, President Ronald Reagan decreed that access to this technology was no longer fully classified. In fact, civilians could use GPS units with precision of up to 100 meters all around the world to prevent a tragedy like this from every happening again.
Today we have access to the full spectrum of GPS technology, and its applications are as variable as the humans who use it. Still at work in military operations, GPS tech is also used by business to track fleets, by search and rescue teams to assist in emergency circumstances, and as a tool for outdoorsy folks to find their way through the wilds. Thanks to the focus and efforts of our military, the only way we will lose our way is if we forget to bring our oh-so-useful GPS.
In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), we live in a world where many of our devices are smarter than we are. You can turn off your house lights from miles away with the right phone, your watch can tell you how many steps you’ve walked today, and your Google Home Assistant can help you set up appointments. As the world grows increasingly connected, businesses must learn to adapt or else vanish into the dreaded abyss of irrelevance. Here are six ways you can keep your fleet management business relevant in the modern age of connectivity.
Rideshare companies equip their vehicles with GPS tracking technology and specialized equipment that allows them to pick up and drop off their rented car at a variety of locations around a city, giving others access to available cars as needed. Look for ways your fleet management company can keep this community spirit alive by, say, allowing companies to share space in a delivery truck heading to the same area by booking space options on a space-sharing app. Or, if you transport passengers, apps are an easy and convenient way for customers to book seats in your vehicles for their travels. Customers want the most convenient and beneficial option available and apps make accessing these options easier than ever before.
Smart Roads and Traffic Control
Norway’s Road Authority is working on a smart road that can tell drivers exactly how much traffic is passing through–and precisely what the road conditions are–by using vibration detection wires and computer algorithms that analyze the piles of data collected. Business access to this technology, alongside coordination with GPS tracking units, would allow companies to optimize routes and limit the amount of time drivers spend moving from location to location.
This hit new service is working toward becoming the next big thing in joint transportation. Using Internet of Things apps and technologies, your drivers can find and reserve parking spaces close to their delivery locations, saving their time and your money! Not to mention making the stress of finding parking mid-city during rush hour obsolete.
Electronic Toll Collection Systems
Electronic Toll Collection Systems aim to eliminate delays and congestion around toll booths and bridges by allowing drivers to pay tolls via a connected IoT device in their vehicle. Now drivers can save time and gas by maintaining their course without having to worry about stopping and paying tolls manually. This also streamlines the validation process by monitoring financial data on a computer system rather than relying on employees to track payments manually.
IoT technology, like that used in GPS vehicle tracking units, continuously monitors the location and conditions of delivery and can send alerts regarding delays, damages, and the safety of sent products. With real-time data, companies can keep better track of delivery locations, providing customers with the most up-to-date information possible to increase customer satisfaction.
Safety and Roadside Assistance
Nobody wants their employees to suffer damage on the job, but accidents are bound to happen no matter how many trainings you offer. With IoT technology, your business can monitor the location and condition of each of your vehicles, no matter where they are, allowing you to quickly send assistance if an accident occurs. Other IoT technologies can monitor vehicle maintenance, informing your company when certain parts need to be replaced, and other routine maintenance needs to be done. This lowers the risk of catastrophic mechanical failure while in transit.
With a network of devices collecting and organizing your data, your business will keep up with the modern turning of technology. As the world grows more and more connected, data sharing becomes necessary to increase profitability and maximize customer satisfaction. For a business to truly flourish, you must focus on the luxury of total convenience to make your company stand out from the competition.
GPS technology has changed the security of fleet management in the transportation industry. Fleets are now equipped with GPS anti-theft features such as location tracking and real-time unauthorized use alerts, providing better access to physical security measures. But as the world grows more connected, a new enemy of streamlined business emerges the hacker. Here are a few ways your GPS tracking software can protect your investments, and keep your business, and data, safe from modern hackers.
Try the New “Over-The-Air” Programming Method
The “over-the-air” system of security updates is specifically designed for smart vehicles. This system allows fleets to push updates remotely rather than forcing vehicles to stop at a central hub to receive them manually. Imagine the time saved and earning potential of a fleet that updates on the job. With your GPS unit working constantly to deliver you the most up-to-date information available, OTA programming can take over the responsibility of security updating.
Involve your GPS in Your Incident Response Plan
Allow your telematic technology to track the who, what, and when of vehicle and equipment usage. If there are any unauthorized individuals attempting to access your vehicles or equipment, your GPS can alert your fleet managers and any other personnel designated to receive alerts.
Real-Time Coverage and Data Monitoring
A GPS unit is more than a device you use to get lost in the country. It’s easy to set-up, 24/7 coverage of your fleet with driving reports, custom alerts, and data history built right in. The amount of data collected makes your GPS both vulnerable and protected all at once. Massive amounts of unmonitored data can be hacked and used for personal gain, but this invasion also leaves traces in the data whenever non-authorized personnel gains access. Hackers leave digital fingerprints, causing issues in equipment function. In the transportation industry, telematics software is used so regularly that any hiccup in GPS software can be scrutinized immediately and compared with prior data, highlighting differences that could indicate malicious interference.
Use a Strong Firewall to Prevent Data Tampering
As tempting as it may be to the technologically savvy, resist modifying your GPS vehicle tracking software. Modifying manufactured software leaves your device vulnerable to digital hackers, but if you are looking to upgrade your business’ digital security, consider implementing a firewall. Anti-virus protects your devices and computers, keeping your data safe from cyber threats. These will monitor the computer’s health and function to let you know if there are any threats to your system. Be smart with your data by giving it the protection it needs to remain private in a world that is increasingly public.
A last word of warning: protecting your fleet and vehicles is very important for your business’ reputation, but don’t allow physical safety to distract your business from digital theft. Insurance may cover vehicles and products stolen by a savvy car thief, but a digital attack by a cunning hacker allows private, and potentially dangerous, information out into the black market of information brokering.
In today’s world, location technology has made modern conveniences much easier to access. Not only can we order food on our phone and have it arrive within minutes, but we can track shipments down to the very second they arrive at our door. But did you know that GPS units are also used to facilitate recovery during emergency disaster situations? The following are a few ways GPS tracking devices help bring life back to normal in extreme circumstances.
Communication For Collaboration
When disaster strikes, it may seem like life will never revert to normal. But with access to GPS Tracking data, emergency response vehicles can optimize their time by collaborating with other recovery vehicles and sharing necessary details such as road conditions, needed supplies, and the best routes to access recovery zones. This collaboration can also occur between fleets from different clean-up companies. Some cities offer multiple sanitation collection companies for customers to choose from and, if these fleets worked together to accelerate the clean-up process by assigning zones rather than sticking to their assigned houses, they could expedite the recovery process substantially. This same method could apply to tree-cutting fleets and heavy construction equipment companies used to move debris. Through this collaboration via GPS data, fleets can more efficiently and effectively return life to some semblance of normal.
Locating Needed Services
Access to necessary services can be scarce during an emergency situation. Access to health care, food, water, shelter, and even power grids can be compromised. With GPS systems mapping the locations of these resources, victims of disaster can contact their local law enforcement agencies and get the information they need to outlast the tumultuous recovery process. Tracking healthcare fleets can be extremely advantageous, as crews can map ideal routes for multiple stops in a small area. Not only that, but with collected GPS data, emergency services are also able to better handle distribution of supplies, helping drivers deliver goods to where they are needed the most.
Variable Situations: Nature and Coordinated Attacks
Disasters don’t have to be natural to be dangerous. During the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon in April 2015, companies were able to locate their vehicles closest to the damaged zone and safely move them away from the affected area, providing more space for emergency aid workers to function. This of course preserved the driver’s safety by sending them away from any potential fallout that might occur due to the nature of the disaster. Emergency crews themselves were able to utilize their fleets effectively by managing the various vehicles and their locations, only sending them in once areas had been cleared of potential hazards. With confusion as one of the most dangerous and detrimental setbacks to rescue and recovery, it can be helpful for rescue crews to have consistent GPS data throughout the recovery process.
Of all the items fleet managers have on their proverbial plates, preserving the habitats of the bald eagle should be one of the top ten. Why? Because concern for the eagles can save your company tens of thousands of dollars (besides, they’re just neat). While your fleet will not be directly involved in any particular eagle’s life, the actions you take as an environmentally-sensible inhabitant of this planet will not only help preserve their diminishing habitats, but also usher your fleet business into the modern age of sustainability.
Not sure where to start? GPS trackers can help you determine which methods of ‘greening’ are right for you and your company. Tracking data allows you to focus on the needs of the business without being distracted by short-term technological trends. This data can help you create short and long term goals for your company’s sustainability measures, and assist your creation of a sustainability action plan. Your long-term goal may be determining an acceptable length of payback time for the adoption of new types of fuel and green technologies, while your short-term goals could be as simple as lowering CO2 emissions and educating your drivers on the importance of careful driving.
Getting Everyone on Board
While you may have the ultimate power to make greener changes to your company, try to get your employees involved too by forming a green partnership that promotes gentle driving. That means slowing acceleration and braking, turning the engine off at opportune moments instead of idling, and maintaining awareness of the vehicle’s mechanical health. Bring them into the discussion! Speak with your drivers and talk about what works and what doesn’t, and ask them for suggestions on your company’s sustainability plan.
Did you know that choosing a hybrid or electric vehicle could save you over $10,000 in fuel and maintenance costs in just 4 to 5 years? The more time your fleet spends on the road and out of the shop, the more money you can make. With GPS tracking software, you can keep your trucks up to date on repairs and smoothly transition them in and out of commission. Not just that, but your telematics equipment may prove a valuable resource for government credits and incentives for companies that choose the greener option. Inquire with your local and federal governments as to how they are helping companies that promote sustainability.
Is your business ready to take the leap into sustainable fleet management? If so, you can expect to enjoy the benefits of lower fuel costs, improved operational efficiency, and maybe even a few government incentives. Consider taking a few steps to green your fleet this coming year…the eagles—and your bank account—will thank you!
Want to learn more about how GPS fleet software can help you green your fleet? Schedule your free fleet demo!
Building and managing a successful trucking company is no mean feat, especially in today’s competitive market. Truck fleet management is made all the more difficult by the mobile nature of its most essential assets–the trucks themselves. Not knowing where your trucks and drivers are at all times can make fleet optimization, cargo coordination, and fuel cost minimization a living nightmare.
To save themselves the headache of a poorly-managed trucking company, many fleet managers have turned to GPS tracking systems to keep their vehicles visible and productive. The following are just a few of the benefits they are experiencing:
More Hours in the Day
In the transportation business, the saying “time is money” rings as true as it ever has. With a GPS tracking system, fleet managers can identify potential traffic hold-ups and reroute accordingly, reducing time spent in traffic jams.
A good GPS fleet tracking system will deliver detailed reports that fleet-owning businesses can use to make data-based decisions for their operation.
Fleet managers who monitor their drivers’ behavior through GPS tracking software get valuable insight into the day-to-day activities of those drivers. This information can be used to improve driver training methods, reward safe drivers, and correct undesirable driving behaviors.
GPS-enhanced workforce management gives fleet managers and dispatchers the ability to make informed decisions as needed to optimize their staff’s workday.
Lower Operation Cost
Using a GPS tracking system in conjunction with fleet management best practices gives fleet managers the insight they need to identify areas of excessive spend and cut costs in the right places.
While some downtime is inevitable in most operations, too much can have disastrous consequences for a fleet’s productivity and profitability. GPS vehicle tracking works to reduce downtime by helping fleet managers and dispatchers optimize their routes, stops, and schedules.
Lower Payroll Cost
Driver and PTO event data can be used to verify timecards, discouraging time theft and keeping payroll costs down.
Better Insurance Rates
Some insurance providers will offer discounted rates for fleet-owning businesses that use GPS fleet tracking to keep an eye on their vehicles.
Improved Customer Service
GPS fleet tracking enables truck fleets to respond to and fulfill assignments with increased efficiency and punctuality, keeping customers and partners satisfied.
An unsupervised truck is a tempting target for thieves and vandals. With GPS vehicle tracking, trucks are protected with unauthorized use and movement alerts.
In the 10 years that Wendy Arriz has been a real estate agent in New York City, she’s seen some of the best, selling ultraluxe new-construction homes, as well as lower-priced properties. But she’s also seen some of the not-so-best work out there.
In the 10 years that Wendy Arriz has been a real estate agent in New York City, she’s seen some of the best, selling ultraluxe new-construction homes, as well as lower-priced properties. But she’s also seen some of the not-so-best work out there.