FLEET TRACKING GLOSSARY

Key terminology used in GPS fleet tracking

A

Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD)

An automatic on-board recording device, or AOBRD, is any in-vehicle device used to keep driver logs. AOBRDs should not be confused with ELDs, though ELDs are a type of AOBRD. The broader category also includes EOBRs (electronic on-board recorders) and other similar devices. AOBRDs were originally defined by the FMCSA 1988 AOBRD Rule. At that time, they had far fewer requirements and were an option for those drivers or companies who wanted to move away from paper logs. When the ELD Rule was passed, some of these AOBRDs were still grandfathered in.

Autonomous Vehicle

Autonomous vehicles, or self-driving vehicles, are any vehicle capable of sensing its surroundings and driving without human control. These have been a feature in futuristic science fiction for decades, but the reality appears to be closer today than ever before. Currently, several companies have autonomous vehicles in the works. These include Tesla, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and others as well. Most predictions put the availability of truly autonomous vehicles sometime within the next decade. While some fleet drivers may be wondering, “Will self-driving trucks take away jobs?”, it’s unlikely drivers will become obsolete in the foreseeable future.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, refers to a growing number of technologies designed to improve safety for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. The most commonly used ADAS is the anti-lock braking system that is standard in all modern cars. Other examples include parking assist, lane assist, tire pressure monitoring, night vision improvements, blind spot detection, and adaptive cruise control. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be further integrated into vehicle technologies, we expect to see more and more ADAS examples in coming years.

Asset Tracking

Asset tracking is the means by which a fleet company keeps track of large assets. These may include vehicles such as trucks, vans, and cars, but may also include storage containers, construction equipment, generators, pumps, forklifts, and any other large powered or non-powered equipment that is mobile. In the past, asset tracking was mostly a manual task, requiring employees to log when they moved an asset and where it was relocated. Today, many fleets use GPS asset trackers to automatically monitor the location of various large assets, thereby eliminating the problem of user error.

B

Breakdown and recovery

This is so important for drivers to know about any possible vehicle breakdowns. It’s also the duty of organizations to provide necessary information and services to assist the driver in case they need any help.

Biofuels

Biofuels are derived from biomass through the contemporary process, unlike the slow geological process that makes gasoline and diesel.

C

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, or CVSA, is a non-profit organization comprised of commercial motor vehicle safety officials from various levels of government, partnering with industry representatives. The CVSA aims to improve the commercial motor vehicle inspection process by ensuring uniformity, compatibility, and reciprocity in inspections. The organization works throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide education and guidance to inspectors and enforcement officials as well as policy makers and industry leaders. CVSA aims to employ the values of integrity, professionalism, leadership, and teamwork to reach these ends. For more information on the CVSA, please visit cvsa.org.

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Score

A Compliance, Safety, Accountability Score, or CSA Score, is determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, or FMCSA, as a means of assessing the safety of commercial fleets on the road. Each carrier has a score based on the safety of its drivers, roadside vehicle inspections, compliance violations, and any reported accidents or incidents. The CSA program was designed to improve road safety and prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles. Carriers that do not meet CSA standards may receive fines and other types of intervention.

Commercial Fleet

A commercial fleet is a group of motorized vehicles employed by a company in order to conduct business. These vehicles may be owned and operated by the company or leased from a third party. Commercial fleets can be any size, from just a few vehicles to an enterprise fleet consisting of hundreds or even thousands of vehicles. A commercial fleet may be made up of any number of vehicle types including cars, vans, and trucks of all sorts. Some fleets choose to purchase identical vehicles for each of their drivers, which makes maintenance tasks simpler. Others may have a variety of types, vehicle makes, or models, depending on the type of task each is employed to do. 

D

Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR)

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) are records used to confirm that a driver has inspected the commercial motor vehicle he or she operates. DVIRs are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They must be performed routinely, before and after each day’s work with a specific vehicle. The inspection includes parts like brakes, steering system, lights, mirrors, tires, couplings, and much more. In the past, DVIRs were typically done on paper forms, but today most fleets use electronic DVIRs. This helps cut back on paperwork and improves compliance by automatically reminding drivers at the start and end of each shift.

DOT Inspection

A DOT inspection is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation for all commercial motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. These inspections are carried out at highway weigh stations. There are six levels of inspection that may be carried out, based on a number of factors. These inspections include assessments of the driver, vehicle, cargo, and appropriate paperwork. By staying organized and keeping their fleet in good working condition, fleet managers can usually avoid DOT inspection violations and their resulting fines.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted from the road by other concerns. This may include use of smartphones or other devices, but it can also be due to drivers eating or drinking while driving, listening to the radio, paying attention to passengers, or reaching for something inside the vehicle. It can even include cognitive distractions, such as thinking about upcoming tasks or general emotional stress if these concerns keep the driver from being as attentive to the road as he or she would normally be.

Driver Reward Program

Azuga’s Driver Reward Program is a way to incentivize drivers and improve the overall safety performance of your fleet. Using data from our driver safety scores, we rank drivers based on their good driving habits. Participating employers can then use incentives such as gift cards to reward their best drivers for their excellent performance. This creates a positive atmosphere of appreciation and can lead to an overall culture of safety within a commercial fleet. By gamifying safety and then offering incentives for top performers, drivers are more likely to buy-in to a safety program designed to reduce risks and lower costs.

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Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

An electronic logging device, or ELD, is a piece of hardware connected to a commercial motor vehicle’s engine. An ELD automatically records driving time to ensure that commercial fleets are in compliance with federal regulations. This type of device is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to record driver hours of service (HOS) logs in commercial fleets. A compliant ELD must automatically track data such as date, time, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, user data, vehicle identification data, and carrier data. The device must also allow the driver to input a driver status such as driving, off duty, on duty but not currently driving, or sleeper berth.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Violation

An Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Violation occurs when a commercial motor vehicle is not in compliance with the federal ELD Mandate. Typical violations include failure to maintain paperwork like instruction manuals or an inability to transfer log data when requested by an inspector. When an inspecting officer records a violation, an ELD fine may be imposed on the fleet company. Other penalties include deductions to your fleet’s CSA score, and in severe cases a fleet driver may be placed out of service for up to 10 hours.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Violation

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

The ELD Mandate is a federal law passed by congress as part of 2012’s MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) Act. The ELD Mandate specifically requires all commercial fleet vehicles to employ electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record hours of service (HOS) logs, replacing the old paper logs that were in use by most fleets prior to adopting ELD technology. Full enforcement of the mandate began in April 2018, but some grandfathered companies had until December of 2019 to comply. Today, there are still a few possible ELD exemptions, but most commercial drivers must use ELDs while on the road.

Electronic Logbook (eLog)

Electronic logbooks, or eLogs, are digital recordings of driver activity and vehicle operations. These records are required by law for commercial vehicle drivers, to record their hours of service (HOS) data. This is a measure designed to prevent drowsy driving. By law these eLogs must record data about the engine’s running time, mileage traveled, and the driver’s status, but many times they record far more than this. They can be used to record fuel consumption, maintenance needs, driver safety, and more. The term eLogs can also refer to the device used to record electronic logbooks.

Breaking Down the ELD Mandate & What Fleet Managers Should Know

Fleet managers should be well aware of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. Non-compliance with ELD rules can cost your organization thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Fleets that are still operating with automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) need to be aware that their technology is outdated and should be upgraded to ELDs immediately to avoid penalties.

What is the ELD Mandate?
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Fuel Card

A fuel card, or fleet card, is a payment method similar to a credit card, used to purchase gasoline or diesel at gas stations. Many fuel cards feature discounts and other pricing benefits to make them attractive to fleet companies. Today’s fuel cards also offer tracking software to help fleet managers keep track of fuel spending within their fleet. There are many fuel cards to choose from, so it’s important to carefully choose the best fleet fuel cards for your business.

Fuel Card

Why Fleet Insurance Scores Are Important to Your Fleet

Auto insurance scores are not a common topic among fleets, largely because many fleets don’t understand how these scores can impact their business. In addition, many fleets confuse insurance scores with CSA scores. They’re related, and calculated using similar information, but they are different and have alternate impacts on your fleet. Considering all that fleet managers have to focus on, an insurance score may seem like a minor concern—but it shouldn’t be.

Fleet Insurance Scores

Fleet Technology

Fleet technology is any technology used in the management or day-to-day operations of a commercial fleet. This typically includes telematics technology such as electronic logging devices (ELDs) and automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs). It may also include technology used to invoice customers or create and store forms, dispatch tools, dashcams and other camera systems, maintenance software, and asset tracking tools. Increasingly, it also includes in-vehicle technology like autonomous emergency braking, enhanced night vision systems, or driver fatigue monitoring systems.

Fleet Technology

Fleet Maintenance

Fleet maintenance is the means by which a fleet manager ensures that vehicles in the fleet are kept in good repair and standard maintenance tasks are done in a timely manner. In the past, this required a great deal of paperwork and a lot of organization to accomplish. Today, fleet maintenance programs can help keep track of maintenance needs across a fleet containing a wide variety of vehicles. Some of these programs can even interface directly with vehicles’ onboard computers, allowing for predictive maintenance and pinpointing problems before they result in a breakdown.

Fleet Management

Fleet management is the means by which a company manages the vehicles and drivers in their fleet. Most fleets of a significant size employ a fleet manager to handle tasks related to fleet management. This person is typically responsible for many concerns. These may include vehicle purchasing or leasing, vehicle maintenance, fleet safety, driver training, driver retention, fuel management, fleet data and metrics, and various compliance needs. Today, most fleet managers make use of fleet management software to help them keep track of the various tasks they attend to on a regular basis.

Fleet Management Software

Fleet management software is computer software designed to make a fleet manager’s job easier. Programs may keep track of routing and dispatch, maintenance, fuel expenditure, driver safety, compliance, and many more points of data. Typical fleet management software uses telematics technology to communicate directly with devices installed in the fleet’s commercial vehicles. This way problems can be spotted, diagnosed, and corrected while drivers are away from the home office. As technologies advance, fleet management software is becoming increasingly powerful, allowing for more data, deeper insights into fleet operations, and better outcomes.

Fleet Safety Program

A fleet safety program is the way in which a fleet manager encourages driver safety on the road. This often includes training intended to improve driver safety performance, company policies designed to cut down on risky driving behaviors, and sometimes even rewards and incentives for drivers who consistently meet or exceed safety goals. A comprehensive fleet safety program should address more than just the drivers in the fleet though. It should also monitor the maintenance of vehicles, ensuring that any problems are addressed before they lead to accidents on the road. This will keep drivers safe on the road, and may also lead to lower insurance premiums, better productivity, and an improved public image.

Fleet Management Services

While many commercial fleets are managed in house, some companies prefer to employ fleet management services through a professional fleet management firm. These third parties are experts at boosting productivity, lowering costs, and generating income within a fleet. Often they lease the vehicles in the fleet to the company running them. There are pros and cons of hiring a fleet management service, just as with any other type of outsourcing. While a professional fleet management company may have more experience and expertise than your in-house fleet manager, you also are giving away a measure of control over your fleet. It’s important to weigh the decision properly before engaging a fleet management service to handle your fleet.

Fleet Dashboard

The Fleet Dashboard in Azuga is the place you’ll find all of the information gathered about your fleet. Here you can easily see statistics such as drive time, distance traveled, idling, speeding, hard braking, acceleration, driver score, and fuel consumption. This at-a-glance report makes it easy to see which goals your fleet is meeting and which it still needs to work on. You can adjust the data by setting new goals, changing the date range being reported, or selecting specific vehicle groups whose data you want to display. You can also click on any of the data points to see more details about that category, or go further into a fleet detail report which allows you to view even more data.

What is an Enterprise Fleet?

If you utilize company vehicles during the course of business, you might want to familiarize yourself with enterprise fleet management and maintenance. Operating a fleet can be a challenge. Luckily there are things that you can do to make your life a lot easier. In this article, we will answer what is an enterprise fleet? Plus, we’ll outline four key tips you should know about enterprise fleet management and an additional three tips about enterprise fleet maintenance.

What is an Enterprise Fleet?
G

GPS Tracker

A GPS tracker is any device that communicates with the Global Positioning System network of satellites to track its location. The system includes roughly 30 satellites spaced above the Earth at all times. Using the signal from these satellites, a GPS tracker can pinpoint its location to within a few meters. Some more sophisticated GPS devices can even be accurate up to a few inches. In commercial fleets, GPS trackers are typically used to track driver behaviors, record Hours of Service (HOS) logs, and keep track of large equipment and other assets.

GPS Tracker

GPS fleet management is a term used to describe fleet management software based on GPS fleet tracking and telematics. This type of software works based on communication with a digital device inside of each commercial vehicle in the fleet. These devices communicate with global positioning systems to track the vehicle as it travels. They may also interface with on-board computers, allowing for predictive maintenance and more complete data about the vehicle’s operation. All of this data is then relayed back to the fleet manager to allow him or her to better understand the way fleet drivers operate when they’re out on the road, and make any necessary adjustments before an accident occurs.

What is Geofencing?

Fleets have a reputation for being a little behind the times when it comes to technology. Hours of Service (HOS) records, maintenance and inspections, and driver records were paper records, recorded and stored manually. Checking in on a driver, their location, and estimating their destination arrival time meant calling the driver.

What is Geofencing?
H

Hard Driving

Hard driving occurs when a driver uses dangerous maneuvers such as speeding, hard braking, or hard acceleration. This may be simply a bad habit, or in some cases it may be warranted by conditions on the road. Hard driving is dangerous because it may lead to accidents and injuries. It also has the unwanted effect of causing extra wear and tear on vehicles, engines, brakes, and other parts. It can also damage a company’s public reputation if their fleet drivers become known for hazardous driving behaviors. This is why many fleet managers monitor hard braking and acceleration to help mitigate risk exposure and improve overall fleet safety and performance.

Hard Driving

Hours of Service (HOS)

Hours of Service (HOS) logs have been required for commercial drivers since the 1930s. These records are used by authorities to ensure that drivers aren’t exceeding the maximum hours of driving between rest periods. This is meant to decrease the number of accidents resulting from drowsy driving. While these records were primarily kept in paper logbooks for decades, today federal mandates require electronic forms of HOS recordkeeping. Instead of paper logbooks, drivers today record their HOS data with ELDs or electronic logging devices.

Everything Your Fleet Needs to Know about Hours of Service (HOS)

Hours of service, or HOS, can be tricky for fleets to manage, especially with regulation changes and tricky rules like sleeper berth provisions. But these regulations are some of the most important for fleets. Drivers are on the road nearly 60 hours a week, with inconsistent schedules and many types of distractions. One of the most detrimental effects is drowsy driving, which results in an average 328,000 accidents per year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

What are the Hours of Service Rules?
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M

What is a Mileage Log?

Fleet management comes with a lot of paperwork—CDL licenses, training, inspections, hours of service (HOS), mileage, etc. All of this paperwork is required for compliance with regulations. However, tracking certain numbers, such as mileage, is more beneficial to your fleet than it is for any reporting agency. Your mileage does matter, in regards to calculating your CSA score, but it also matters when filing taxes and calculating tax deductions. Every business seeks opportunities for deductions. For fleets, one of the easiest deductions is mileage. To make sure you’re reporting mileage correctly your drivers should keep a mileage log. Below is everything you need to know about keeping a mileage log.

Mileage Log

Mobile Fleet Tracking

Mobile fleet tracking, or GPS fleet tracking, is a means by which fleet managers can track their vehicles in real-time, using mobile GPS tracking devices installed inside. This type of tracking is useful in improving dispatch and routing, reducing theft and unauthorized use, and generating telematics data that can help fleet managers get a more accurate picture of their fleet and its utilization. Fully-featured fleet tracking devices can also help improve fleet safety, boost productivity, improve maintenance programs, and maintain compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Better GPS fleet tracking systems today are tied to a well-rounded fleet management software program to make the fleet manager’s job more efficient.

N

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

It is an agency of the US federal government with a mission to save lives, prevent injuries and avoid vehicle-related crashes. It’s a part of the Department of Transportation.

O

What is the OBD-II Port?

If you’re a fleet owner, fleet manager, or even fleet driver, you should know about the OBD-II port. It’s a standardized diagnostic port that allows you to access data from the computer in a vehicle’s engine. GPS trackers can be installed in a vehicle’s OBD-II port to provide live engine and trip data to a central hub or the driver.

In this article we will outline the basics of OBD-II ports, the history of the OBD-II port, and detailed specs on the OBD-II port pinout. Vehicles are integral to fleets and understanding the OBD-II port is essential to getting the most out of yours.

OBD-II Port
P

Pre-Trip Inspection

Federal law requires commercial vehicle operators to inspect their vehicles before and after each trip. These inspections are recorded in Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). Pre-trip inspections are meant to be a thorough once over, ensuring that the vehicle, trailer, and any cargo are safe for travel before hitting the road. Any problems found during the inspection should be addressed prior to the trip. This is meant to protect the driver, company, and everyone on the road from the hazards of poorly maintained trucks. While DVIRs were once done in paper logbooks, today they are often managed electronically.

R

Record of Duty Status (RODS)

A record of duty status, or RODS, is a report that each commercial driver must produce for each 24-hour period during which they operated a commercial motor vehicle. Since the ELD Mandate went into effect, these RODS reports must be kept electronically, using an approved electronic logging device, or ELD. Drivers must then be able to transmit RODS reports to inspectors at weigh stations when requested. RODS are maintained as a part of hours of service (HOS) reporting. There are some exemptions made for short-haul drivers traveling no more than 100 air-mile radius or non-CDL short-haul drivers.

Road Usage Charging

Road usage charging (RUC) is sometimes called VMT (vehicle miles traveled) or MBUF (mileage-based user fees). These are policies implemented by various states to charge motorists based on the distance traveled within the state. Much like tollway systems, the monies generated are then used to maintain and improve roadways. RUCs are factored based on a number of systems including simple odometer readings or more complex GPS tracking devices. While there are few areas that implement this type of charge currently, many more are studying the idea or have active inquiries to determine its suitability.

S

Stolen Vehicle Recovery

Stolen vehicle recovery is the process by which a vehicle is tracked down and returned after it becomes a target of theft. About 40% of stolen vehicles are never recovered, and for those that are the process can take weeks. For commercial fleets, this means lost productivity, not to mention damage done to the vehicle during this time, and the loss of any onboard cargo or equipment. Many fleet managers employ GPS tracking devices to assist in the recovery of stolen vehicles. Some tracking devices can also monitor large equipment and send an alert if an asset is removed from its designated location.

Small Business Fleet

A small business fleet is any fleet of commercial vehicles operated in order to further the operations of a small business. Common small business fleet types include service companies such as landscaping, pest control, plumbing, telecom, and electricians. Some types of retail such as florists and delivery services may also operate small business fleets. As all operations in a small business, it’s important to streamline small business fleet management as much as possible, in order to free up time and resources for other matters. A good fleet management software can help immensely by allowing fleets to become more efficient, boosting productivity, improving fleet safety, and lowering costs.

T

Telematics

Telematics is a type of technology that combines telecommunications, vehicle technology, and computer science. Simply put, anytime you combine vehicle data with mobile wireless communication, you have telematics technology. The term may be used to refer to any number of in-vehicle technologies that can communicate with an office or another remote device while on the road. Today, telematics is used to maintain compliance with government regulations, improve fuel efficiency and driver safety, keep up with vehicle maintenance, and even to receive lower insurance premiums.

Post-Trip Inspection

As part of the federally mandated driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs), each commercial vehicle driver must complete a post-trip inspection. This inspection must list any problems in the vehicle that the driver encountered during their trip or noticed afterward. This must be done at the end of each trip, as well as once during every 24-hour period if the driver’s trip lasts multiple days. In addition to legal compliance, completing this inspection is a way for drivers to communicate with their employers and resolve any mechanical problems that might otherwise pose a safety risk.

U

Understanding CSA Scores & How They Impact Your Fleet

Fleet vehicles are subject to yearly inspections and may encounter roadside inspections or one of six levels of inspection at weigh stations. If a vehicle or fleet driver is not up to code, companies may face DOT violation fines, placed out of service, and higher CSA scores.

Understanding CSA Scores & How They Impact Your Fleet
V

Vehicle Fleet Management

Vehicle fleet management refers to the way the vehicles within a commercial fleet are handled and maintained. Rather than focusing on drivers, hiring, training, retention, compliance, and other related management tasks, vehicle fleet management has a more narrow focus. This focus is on maintenance, vehicle procurement, remarketing, and other similar tasks. Fleet management software, GPS tracking, predictive maintenance tools, and telematics data will all likely feed into vehicle fleet management, to produce a well-maintained, well-managed fleet. The term, vehicle fleet management, is also sometimes used to refer to fleet management in general, which encompasses management of all concerns related to a commercial fleet.

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Vehicle Idling

Vehicle idling is the term used to describe a vehicle that is running but parked, or otherwise stationary. Idling commonly occurs at stoplights and in heavy traffic. For long-haul truckers, it may also be necessary at rest stops and overnight to maintain onboard electrical systems. When unnecessary, idling should be discouraged because it wastes fuel, increases wear and tear on commercial fleet vehicles, and pollutes the air. Depending on your location, excessive idling may also be against the law. Fortunately, telematics programs allow fleet managers to be alerted whenever excessive idling is detected so they can take appropriate steps to decrease this practice.

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