Jun 1, 12 | by: Amanda Bayhi
Today’s GPS tracking systems bring peace-of-mind and a boost in profits when you find the right vehicle tracking service for your fleet
By Amanda Bayhi
Vehicle tracking can come in handy for anyone who owns pickups or equipment.
Whether the fleet is small or large, vehicle tracking services can make management easier for drivers and owners alike.
GPS trackers can let an owner keep track of where each vehicle is at all times, ensure assets are being used properly, help conserve fuel, alert you to theft, act as a global positioning system (GPS), and these little electronic gems can even serve as a time clock.
For the single pickup owner, vehicle tracking can be a great help in preventing vehicle theft.
Deciding which tracking service to purchase depends on a number of things, including fleet size, number of drivers, areas of service and, of course, price and personal preferences.
Software vs. Web
While some service providers offer web- and software-based services, most only offer one or the other. Before you decide which to use, consider who will be using these services.
If only one person will use the services, software-based may be your best bet. Software services provide more security than web services because they can only be accessed from computers with the software installed.
The downside to software-only services is they usually only offer reports once the vehicle is back on site.
If several people need access to the tracking services, go web-based. Although the security isn’t as strong as software services, these web services have their perks. Anyone with the login information can access the services from any computer or smart phone with an internet connection. Plus, they offer real-time tracking which usually updates every 10 to 20 seconds.
Another point to note about web services is they may give the user capabilities to control certain parts of the vehicle from a computer.
U.S. Fleet Tracking, for example, allows a user to remotely lock and unlock doors, honk the horn, start the engine and disable and enable the starter. (We have had their trackers installed on both of our previous sweepstakes trucks, Big Boss and Super Crew.)
For companies looking to beef up security, these capabilities can be great tools to stop a theft after it’s happened.
However, software isn’t the only component in vehicle tracking. You should also consider the hardware offered.
Some providers require customers to purchase the tracking hardware, while others have a rental option. If you decide to rent, you may be required to enter into a service contract in which you pay a monthly fee to use the tracking device.
The hardware is usually pricey (think $400 range), but if the fleet will need the services for an extended period of time, outright buying the device(s) will be a big money-saver.
If you need the tracking services to work with other programs your company uses, you may want to look for services offering application-programming interface (API).
Some companies, such as GPS Insight, include API in their services to integrate the tracking software with another program, linking the two and allowing you to use both.