What is Commercial GPS Tracking?

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Today, commercial GPS tracking is incredibly useful and becoming more common for businesses operating fleets. With a GPS tracker for commercial trucks, you can pinpoint exactly where your drivers are at all times and improve your business workflow.

Installing a hidden tracking device that connects to mapping software helps improve routing, dispatching, security, reduce fuel costs, and maximize the number of jobs you can complete. Real-time vehicle tracking is essential for any business that requires freight to remain competitive in the marketplace.

What is a Vehicle Tracking System?

A vehicle tracking system gives you the ability to know the precise locations of your trucks. GPS tracking devices are located in the truck and connect to a truck tracking GPS software that displays all the necessary information about the vehicles. With the use of a tracking system, a fleet manager can designate routes to their truck drivers, improve fuel efficiency and costs, and communicate with their drivers.

But how does GPS tracking work? GPS tracking connects to a Global Navigation Satellite that releases signals to the GPS device installed onto the vehicle. Information such as the vehicle speed, location, and direction is then sent back to the GPS servers, where the fleet manager can utilize that data for better workflow.

Semi-truck tracking can only work when a GPS tracking device is installed. Typically, GPS devices can be installed anywhere on the vehicle. However, for convenience, they are usually placed under the dashboard in an OBD-II port. This device is used to gather all types of information about the vehicle, such as its speed, location, idle times, diagnostics, and more. The data is then transported back to the tracking system software through a cellular network where you can access it through any device.

History of GPS tracking

GPS tracking originated from the Soviet Union who launched its Sputnik I satellite during the Cold War. This was a tool designed to study the earth and led to the space race between the United States and the Soviets. What started as a competition for scientific glory led to rapid technological advancement which is today is used all over the world.

1959 — The U.S. Navy begins to build its transit system satellite to track submarines. 

1963 — A military study is done by the Aerospace Corporation that puts all the pieces in place for the eventual ubiquity of the modern-day GPS.

The early 1970s — It was a top priority of the Department of Defense (DoD) to build a navigation system that could effectively support their entire fleet. The decision to use satellites as part of this endeavor was largely based on the goal of having a stable and robust system. This was based on previous ideas from Navy scientists, which likely made it easier to get leadership onboard. 

1978 — The Block I GPS commences and the U.S. begins to launch their 11 test satellites.

1983 — GPS becomes available for civilian use in order to improve safety outcomes for air traffic. This was triggered by a Korean airliner going down. 

1985 — Private companies begin to bid on contracts with the U.S. government to design and manufacture portable GPS receivers.

1989 — Handheld GPS devices are released to the public by Magellan. In the same year, the U.S. Air Force launched its Block II program

1999 —  Commercial GPS phones are made available to the public by Benefon, a large mobile phone company.

2004 — Location accuracy is further improved by Qualcomm, who are able to combine cellular and GPS signals on mobile phones.

Benefits of GPS tracking for Commercial Vehicles

Reduce fuel costs

In 2013, 40 percent of fleet ownership expenses were due to fuel costs. Fuel costs can be dramatically decreased by reducing speeding and idling for too long. A GPS tracker for commercial trucks will detect any semi-truck going at high speeds, causing high fuel usage.

Reduce idling

Having vehicles in idle can be a massive contribution to fuel costs. Many drivers use their vehicle as a climate control device rather than transportation jobs. Tracking software can immediately notify you if any vehicle has been idle for longer than the preset time allotted. This allows you to take corrective action.

Improve driver behavior

It can be human nature for drivers to begin slacking and cutting corners during work hours. Semi-truck GPS tracking gives your fleet manager valuable data that displays poor driving behavior such as speeding, long idling times, unauthorized vehicle usage, and tardiness. Tracking software will provide accurate driving reports and encourage drivers to work effectively. Tracking truck drivers also prevents drivers from using commercial vehicles for personal use. Fleet owners can implement training tailored to the driver to reduce these behaviors. GPS tracking solutions offer timesheets to accurately display the exact hours and time of each driver has taken. This eliminates the possibility of unintentional or fraud reporting.

Safety and security

When it comes to logistics, a GPS tracker for semi-trucks is essential to know exactly where your trucks are. If a vehicle is damaged or stolen, a hidden semi-truck tracking device is useful to locate exactly where the truck is to recover assets. With commercial vehicle GPS tracking, you’ll be alerted when a truck is being used in unauthorized areas or during off-hours through the use of geofences. Many tracking software options will provide timely alerts to remind you about routine vehicle maintenance. This ensures all of your vehicles comply with the given safety guidelines.

Improve customer service

Using a GPS for commercial vehicles sends the mapping software precise locations of every truck in the fleet. It gives dispatchers the ability to direct drivers to any job site. This helps improve workflow efficiency by increasing the number of jobs that can be completed per day. A GPS for commercial vehicles also improves routing and dispatching, reduces fuel usage, and truck mileage meaning your customers receive their shipments faster. Additionally, they will get accurate reporting of where the shipment is and verification for proof of services.

As a fleet business owner, investing in GPS tracking is one of the best decisions you can make. With Azuga fleet tracking and dual-facing dashcams, drivers reduce 88 percent of accident-related driving behaviors for increased productivity. Check out Azuga to see how their systems can improve your fleet.