Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.

Fleets go green — and get green — with GPS

January 8, 2018  - By

By Jason Penkethman, Chief Product Officer at Spireon

Fleets looking to take their operations to the next level look to GPS solutions for the obvious benefits — driver/vehicle location tracking, driver behavior monitoring, improved efficiency — and some that are not so obvious, such as making a positive impact on the environment.

“Going green” can be an arduous task, requiring constant calculations and adjustments to ensure that a fleet’s reduced environmental impact doesn’t negatively affect normal operations.

Fortunately, GPS fleet management solutions have come a long way and go far beyond simple geolocation. We live in an age where technology empowers fleet managers to go green – both environmentally and fiscally. And with effective communication and transparency, even drivers who once may have perceived fleet tracking as “big brother” are now seeing how joining the green initiative puts green in their own pockets.

The Case for Smarter, Eco-friendly Workdays

No matter the size of the fleet, reducing unnecessary drive time saves time, gas, and reduces carbon footprint. When last minute changes or emergencies arise, fleet tracking allows managers to dispatch the nearest driver for faster, more effective resolution. Fleet tracking also allows better planning of a driver’s day with proximity as a guide.

Image: Spireon

Image: Spireon

Eliminating Paper Waste. To properly manage a fleet, there is a seemingly endless stream of logs and diagnostics for drivers, cargo, vehicles and more. Implementing GPS tracking will cut back on the paperwork for managers and drivers alike by automating what once were manual processes and making compliance with new federal regulations such as the ELD mandate and the Food Safety Modernization Act a breeze.

Cutting Unnecessary Emissions. Idling and abrupt acceleration or braking are the biggest culprits of wasting gas and producing excess emissions. Thanks to GPS logging, these can be avoided as feedback is provided to fleet managers and drivers, allowing active awareness for better driving habits.

Better Maintenance, Better Mileage. Second to employees, vehicles are a fleet’s most important asset, and both need proper attention and care to succeed! While drivers can tell a fleet manager what they need, many vehicles won’t until it’s too late. With modern GPS devices, diagnostics are constantly run, keeping fleets informed and instantly aware of upcoming maintenance or surprises to keep drivers safe and vehicles running at maximum efficiency.

Creating Driver Advocates

While the benefits of GPS fleet tracking seem clear, overcoming driver apprehension sometimes causes pause for the business owner looking to implement a solution.

However, drivers can become GPS’ greatest advocates with clear communication and transparency. It’s important to explain that GPS tracking works to a driver’s advantage when there are records of driver performance in the event of an accident, medical emergency or crime.

Fleet managers can use the data to support drivers if they are accused of wrongdoing by customers or an insurance company. Additionally, the system can be used to offer incentives including higher base pay, recognition or bonuses to the best performing drivers.

Fleets should convey that the main goal of GPS is not to point fingers at drivers or to spy on them, but rather to make the business enterprise more efficient and competitive.

Part of the process necessarily means an overall improvement in their working conditions such as not having to call them all the time to keep track of their positions, sending the closest convenient driver to a location, establishing routes and schedules that are manageable and — yes — monitoring their behavior.

This, however, is an incentive to keep drivers under the speed limit and make them feel more responsible — not least, protecting against legal and safety issues. In our experience, good employees have no problem with accountability and, in fact, welcome it as it sets them apart from less productive co-workers.

Greenery on the Scenery

Fleet tracking also helps to explain the savings in company costs made on fuel, maintenance and administration jobs.

Fleet managers should explain to drivers how the new process can generate bonus programs, reduce customer call-backs, cancellations, complaints and paperwork (for timecards) and improve upon driver training.

GPS will make for a better company with benefits everyone should realize and readily appreciate. The healthier the company, the more secure the jobs within it. Everyone benefits from a fatter bottom line, and job security is nonexistent without profitability. Helping drivers to understand why the fleet is adopting the solution will help recruit them toward a positive outcome.

Whether a fleet business is interested in going green for the environment, or for its own profitability, GPS tracking solutions — and gaining driver buy-in — create a powerful catapult to achieving goals rapidly and effectively.

Jason Penkethman is chief product officer at Spireon and is responsible for leading innovation in the company’s products and platform, and creating vehicle connectivity solutions to maximize customer value.