Tracking Your Fleet Using GPS

A row of white fleet vans in a parking lot.

GPS fleet tracking can cut costs and headaches while improving customer service and productivity, regardless of the size of your company.

The technology, which continues to evolve, gives businesses the ability to monitor drivers’ speeds, optimize routes, monitor temperatures of refrigerated units, create elogs, and integrate with Google maps. 

Safety Track has GPS solutions to fit any business, regardless of the fleet size or tracking needs. Here is a list of the ways GPS tracking can make fleet management more manageable and more profitable for your company

GPS tracking can save money

Whether your company has 10 or 10,000 trucks, unauthorized vehicle usage, and excess fuel usage can add up.

Bad driver habits such as extra-long lunches or detours off the route also can lead to unhappy customers and more safety incidents. That’s why a smart GPS tracking system makes sense.

Also, GPS tracking can save money on insurance, fuel costs, and lawsuits.

Safety Track offers several Asset Tracking System solutions to match your business needs. Below, we have outlined a few.

The Simple Tracking System

Safety Track’s Simple Tracking System is perfect for smaller businesses that want an easy-to-install system that can deliver real-time data like more expensive systems.

Reports include custom maintenance schedules; engine hours; start/stop times; speed; and vehicle location in real time with multiple mapping view options.

The Complete GPS Tracking System

The Complete GPS Tracking System was designed as a universal solution for visibility 24 hours a day, seven days a week,  and continuous tracking. This system includes internal antennas, full reporting capabilities, and integrated Google maps. It also provides maintenance, speeding, and idling alerts that are sent directly to a phone as well as a full year’s history on each vehicle.

The Advance GPS Fleet Tracking System

This system is 100 percent Web-based and the most popular fleet management tool among Safety Track clients. It includes the same reports as the Complete Tracking System; alert notifications via phone or email; dispatch capabilities including itineraries, rerouting; and job and status filtering. In addition, the mapping capabilities include real-time updates with live traffic feeds and Google street view.

The Enterprise Tracking System

This system allows larger fleet or logistics companies to users to track, communicate, and monitor vital critical information such as real-time engine diagnostics and electronic driver logs. 

The Connected Car Enterprise Solution, meanwhile, can transform any passenger car into a fully connected car. That means it has a full GPS tracking suite that monitors driver position, speed, heading, and driving behavior.

Other valuable GPS tracking features

Live trailer tracking is a crucial feature for logistics companies in the competitive commercial trucking business. For instance, tracking can provide refrigerator trailer temperature monitoring for cold hauling. 

Safety Track’s electronic driver log system, meanwhile, ensures drivers comply with federal and state regulations regarding rest breaks, restarts, and sleeper berth provisions. An advanced alerting system also notifies users before issues occur.

An effective GPS system can ultimately help you prevent labor fraud, reduce speeding, lower excessive idling, and unauthorized vehicle usage. 

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Fleet Tracking: Getting Buy-In from Drivers

Fleet Tracking: Getting Buy-In from Drivers

As a business owner, it’s easy to see the advantages of launching a fleet camera system. The benefits might not be as readily apparent to your drivers, however.

Getting driver buy-in is a crucial part of launching dash cams, fleet cameras, and GPS tracking. Drivers are naturally concerned about cameras capturing everything they do on the job. They may think you don’t trust them or you are looking for reasons to let them go.

That’s why it’s important to communicate the reasons behind your newest safety solution and how it can help your drivers. Here are some tips on talking to your drivers about dash cams and GPS monitoring systems for your fleet.

Don’t surprise your drivers

Tell your drivers before the installation of the cameras. Don’t let them discover your tracking system after the fact. Be transparent about the fleet GPS cameras’ capabilities and how you intend to use the data.

Educating and training employees will help garner support and prevent potential issues down the road.

Explain why the company needs cameras & tracking

If you are concerned about lawsuits because of the increase in staged accidents, tell your drivers. Be honest about your concern about distracted driving. To pinpoint bad habits that need to be corrected to improve efficiency and productivity, spell out what you see as problem areas.

Tie the systems to specific company goals, like decreasing accidents, improving delivery times, or increasing efficiency.

You want your drivers to understand you are investing in this system for the company’s well being — not to violate their personal space.

Outline the benefits for drivers

Make sure your employees understand how the camera and tracking systems work and how they can protect drivers as well.

When a fleet truck is involved in an accident, other involved parties may try to blame your driver. Cameras can provide real-time proof to exonerate a driver who is not at fault.

The company may also use data from the systems to improve driver training. Educating your drivers so they understand expectations and can respond appropriately in certain situations helps reduce risks. For instance, some Safety Track customers create an incentive system using the driver scorecard, which scores a driver’s performance based on alerts.

Provide written guidelines for drivers

When you launch a tracking system, make sure you provide your drivers with guidelines on how the equipment works, what will be recorded, and who can access that data.

It’s one thing to talk with your employees and drivers about these tools and how they fit into company culture. It’s another to provide them with written guidelines that they can refer to in the future.

The guidelines should spell out your expectations of your drivers and any activities that are prohibited. Make sure you also specify disciplinary actions drivers could face if they fail to abide by the guidelines. Also, be sure to provide company contact names and numbers in case drivers have questions about the equipment, driver behaviors, or driving incidents.

If you have questions about rolling out your fleet tracking solution, please contact us. We can help you successfully integrate the technology without any missteps, employee pushback, or loss of service.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Tips For Commercial Drivers When Being Pulled Over

Tips For Commercial Drivers When Being Pulled Over

Life-Saving Tips Commercial Drivers Need To Know When Pulled Over For Speeding

There are 9,717 people killed due to speeding on the road in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding accounted for 26 percent of all recorded traffic fatalities last year. Aside from possible lost lives and severe accidents, speeding and other traffic violations like distracted driving can have an adverse effect for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) owners. These violations can have your CDL revoked if you are a repeat offender. Here are several pointers that you need to know in case you get pulled up for speeding or other traffic violations.   

What You Need To Know About The CDL Speeding Ticket Rules

There are different speeding laws across all the states in the US. That is why it is highly recommended for truck or other professional car drivers to seek legal help if they happen to face speeding violations. In fact, there are several states where you can get more points for speeding violations like Delaware, Colorado and New Mexico. Reaching out to a legal counsel would be a good idea to help you with your case. They are the ones who know how to immediately handle the speeding ticket and any possible traffic violation without having the CDL removed. This will allow CDL holders to continue driving their trucks and other vehicles without the risk of confiscation.

What To Do If You Get Pulled Over?

If you are already caught speeding by a police officer, you must always remember to watch your tone to avoid sounding arrogant. It may be tempting to argue with the officer, but it will only make matters worse. You must also avoid telling lies and remain calm while talking with the officer. You must always keep your hands where the police officer can clearly see them. This will prevent any situation where the officer will get suspicious if you make a sudden movement. More importantly, you must always show your respect to the officer who pulled you over.  

What Will Happen To Your CDL If You Have A Speeding Violation? 

In most states like Florida, you will not be allowed to lessen your penalty points or reduce speeding fines by using the driving school option. So if you already incurred a ticket and it turned into points, you have no other choice but to accept the penalties. If you already received multiple speeding tickets, your CDL will possibly get suspended. And aside from going through all the hassles of going to the traffic courts to deal with your speeding penalties, it will also leave a negative mark on your employment record. If your CDL will get suspended, most trucking companies and other employers with commercial vehicle businesses will most likely disprove your application for their job posting.  Getting caught with speeding violations can be detrimental to your work as a commercial driver. That is why you must always make sure that you are complying with the laws of each state that are included in your route. This will help you avoid any possible complications and allow you to keep your CDL to continue with your work. 

Credits: Jennifer Dawson

Top 3 Pain Points for Fleet Owners

Top 3 Pain Points for Fleet Owners, safety track -truck driver

When customers call Safety Track about fleet cameras and GPS, it’s usually after an event, like an auto accident or a lawsuit. Safety Track’s fleet cameras and GPS tracking could’ve helped prevent both of those unfortunate events.

“A lot of our customers come to us after the fact, but we would like to get more proactive,” said Tyler Schneider, director of IT operations for Safety Track. 

Companies with fleets deal with safety concerns every day. Sometimes they are industry-specific. But others are universal to all fleet operators. Here are the top three safety pain points that drive customers to Safety Track.

Pain Point 1: Staged Accidents

Schneider says a lot of customers deal with staged accidents, where another driver targets a truck with a company name or logo on it and tries to cause an accident. Then the fraudster files a false insurance claim or a lawsuit against the fleet truck owner.

“Maybe a car cuts off a truck or a car stops suddenly, causing a truck to rear-end it. If they did it intentionally, we capture that with a camera system,” he said.

It’s such a dangerous problem that some companies have removed branding from their trucks to reduce the risk.

Safety Track can send the video of the event from a dashboard camera, side cameras, and a rear camera, so you will have proof to protect yourself. 

Some customers also use videos for training. One of the best ways to reduce risk is to train your drivers so they understand expectations and can respond appropriately in certain situations.

Pain Point 2: Distracted Drivers

Fleet owners rely on drivers to take care of their vehicle while they do their job. At a time when cell phones are ubiquitous, it’s no wonder that driver distraction is one of the top safety concerns for companies with fleets.

Another concern: falling asleep behind the wheel. It’s a legitimate concern, especially for people who make a living driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowsy driving may be responsible for up to 6,000 fatal crashes a year.

Safety Track’s newest camera system can sense whether the driver closes his eyes for too long, takes a drink of water, or looks at his phone. The system then issues a driver alert to the dispatcher and gives a verbal warning to the driver.

Some customers have used this feature to create an incentive system using the driver scorecard, which scores a driver’s performance based on alerts, Schneider said.

Pain Point 3: Tracking Fleet

Companies expect drivers to take lunch breaks and other breaks as needed. But in some cases, the breaks become daily pit stops off of the assigned route which can throw off a service or delivery schedule, increase gas costs, and reduce overall efficiency.

That’s why Safety Track offers GPS tracking services for fleets that can notify the company if a driver has veered off route, where they are, and for how long. Some companies even use the GPS tracking system as a timecard for employees.

Adding fleet cameras and GPS tracking system can result in lower insurance rates, because it helps improve driver performance and lower liability risks, Schneider said. The systems can also reduce insurance claim costs, said Schneider.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Benefits of Fleet Cameras

Safety Track GPS Fleet Tracking Michigan

When overseeing fleet trucks, three issues influence every decision you make: cost controls, safety, and customer service. That’s why investing in fleet cameras to help manage your fleet makes sense.

Fleet cameras enable better control and monitoring assets even when they are out of sight. Fleet tracking allows the owner of the vehicles to virtually ride along and monitor driver behaviors, vehicle performance, shipment, progress and other factors which impact your company’s bottom line.

Fleet Cameras Help Manage Risk

Solutions like those provided by Safety Track enable you to use fleet cameras to monitor driver behaviors, identify poor habits and use video to retrain workers.

These cameras act as a witness in the event a vehicle in your fleet is involved in an accident. The video can provide valuable evidence to protect your company and your drivers in lawsuits.

That’s a significant concern for most businesses with fleets since work-related collisions accounted for 40% of all motor vehicle accidents in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about 65% of on-the-job deaths of truck drivers are due to motor vehicle crashes. More than 1 in 3 long-haul truck drivers have experienced a serious truck crash during their career, according to the CDC.

Controlling Costs with Fleet Cameras

Cameras can capture repetitive driver habits like hard braking or hard acceleration. These habits can result in increased fuel costs and unnecessary wear and tear on your fleet. 

Fleet cameras also encourage driver productivity because their hours are verifiable and capture real-time footage versus event footage. These cameras don’t rely on a driver pushing an event button. They capture the full event, including actions both before and after an accident. 

Improving Fleet Safety

By monitoring how drivers operate vehicles in your fleet, identifying behaviors that need to change and then implementing training programs using video captured by fleet cameras, a company can eliminate bad driver habits and improve overall safety. Improved driver safety can help prevent accidents, reduce insurance claims costs and lower insurance premiums.

Fleet camera footage can also be used to capture commendable driver behaviors so you can recognize top performers and work to retain your best employees.

Industries that can benefit from installing fleet cameras include:

  • Taxi industry
  • Ambulance services
  • Railroad companies
  • Delivery services
  • Driving schools
  • Bus lines
  • Sweeper trucks

Types of Fleet Camera Solutions

Not all fleets are the same and so they need varied fleet camera solutions. Safety Track offers several types of fleet camera solutions to fit your needs. They are:

UCIT ( pronounced you see it) fleet cameras
This real-time camera solution tracks driving behavior and captures video that can be used for driver training or as evidence in defense against lawsuits. It supports up to four cameras and includes built in GPS and G-force sensors.

UCIT dash cameras
With Safety Track’s award-winning 2 channel dash camera, you can review video, audio,and GPS data using dual camera technology. It’s tamper-resistant and suitable for taxis, buses or any other fleet vehicle.

In-vehicle HD dashcams
These dashcams provide a cost-effective option for small businesses looking for a fast return on investment. These cameras require no exterior security bracket and include built-in Wifi modules. 

Cost control is a major factor for small and large companies alike, and fleet cameras can help these companies remain competitive and save money. 

If you are looking for ways to cut costs and improve performance, check out Safety Track’s solutions.

Safety Track is a one-stop source for GPS tracking and fleet cameras. Since 2002 we’ve been providing companies with a complete line of fleet & trailer tracking along with (elogs) for DOT compliance. Safety Track provides the best solutions and applications to fit you or your company’s needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Top Challenges Facing Today’s Fleet Managers

2018: A Year of Increasing Profits & Costs

According to a recent survey from Bibby Financial Services, 2018 was one of the best years in history for medium to large-sized fleets. 52% of respondents claimed to have experienced growth in the past year and one-third expected to increase revenue by 11-25% over the next two years. However, running a fleet doesn’t come without its challenges. 68% of respondents confirmed that one of their greatest struggles is keeping up with increasing costs, such as fuel, maintenance, and vehicle insurance.

Fleet ManagersIncreasing costs pose an even more significant challenge for small fleets that don’t have the same budget or resources. The majority of small fleets don’t even make it to their fifth vehicle and end up losing contracts to competitors due to prices. Larger fleets with economies of scale have a competitive advantage over smaller fleets because they’re able to deliver the same services much cheaper. This comes as bad news to both new businesses and the consumer, as the elimination of the competition results in fewer options, and eventually monopolies.

Due to the recent shortage of drivers plaguing the fleet industry, companies have had to raise rates and also make conditions more favorable to entice new drivers. This has benefited significant carriers, as they have been able to negotiate new contracts with clients and pass the cost on to the consumer. For smaller fleets, on the other hand, increasing rates can often be a death sentence. When just getting started, younger fleets generally depend on lower pricing to secure new contracts and grow their customer base. With larger fleets offering more money for the same job, worker wages and the overall cost of operation have gone up, cutting into their profits.

Small Fleets At Risk – Top Challenges

So what are the main challenges facing these smaller fleets? When asked about their top challenges as a business, fleets with less than five vehicles cited increasing costs of doing business (71%), competitors offering unsustainable prices (52%), government regulations (52%), and finding qualified drivers (51%).

One of the most significant hidden costs is the cost of replacing a driver when they leave the job. 32% of fleets had no idea how much it cost them to lose a driver, and 16% didn’t answer the question. For those that did know the cost, 14% said it cost them over $100,000, and 11% said it cost them between $20,000 and $50,000. For all respondents, regardless of fleet size, the biggest challenges were insurance (79%), fuel (78%), maintenance (67%), and vehicle purchasing/leasing (58%).

An interesting fact to note is that midsize and large fleets see small fleets as one of the top threats to their profit margins. 52% of fleet transportation companies saw new and emerging companies as a source of competition and loss of contracts. 66% felt that unsustainable prices from smaller businesses were causing them to lose contracts. Due to lower rates from these new entrants into the market, over half of customers (55%) requested a price reduction in the last year.

ConclusionTop Challenges

Both large and small fleets see each other as the greatest threat to their profitability and ability to maintain contracts with their clients. High competition between all sizes of fleets is lowering prices across the board into ranges that are unsustainable. Customers are benefiting the most from this competition between fleets, but unsustainable prices could lead to many fleets going out of business. Rising fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs plus greater wage demands from drivers could cause small businesses to go broke in an attempt to compete with larger fleets.

Regardless of the size of your fleet, if you’re looking to reduce operational costs and keep your drivers safer on the road, check out our page for more information.

Do Dash Cams Improve Fleet Safety?

ADAS and Dash Cameras Credited with Increasing Fleet Safety

Since the inception of the technology, manufacturers of ADAS systems and dash cameras have claimed that their products can reduce collisions and increase safety on the road. And many commercial fleets have begun to equip their vehicles with such systems. However, are these claims based on facts, or just empty marketing promises.

According to a panel of experts at the annual Technology & Maintenance Council by the American Trucking Association, in-vehicle camera systems and Automated Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can reduce liability and increase safety for commercial fleets. At the event were representatives from industry leaders, such as Covenant Transport and Southeastern Freight Lines.

Rick Reinoehl, senior vice president of safety and risk management at Covenant Transport stated that his company had seen a 40% reduction in rollovers due to Electronic Stability Controls (ESC) and a 14% reduction in trucks drifting off the road after installing Lane Departure Warnings (LDW). They also reported 23% fewer accidents after installing various ADAS technologies in their fleet.

Southeastern Freight Lines reported similar results, with a 2.48 times lower accident rate for vehicles equipped with ADAS systems than those that didn’t.

However, merely installing ADAS into fleet vehicles won’t magically improve fleet safety. Driver training, stronger policies, and safety programs are all necessary to get the most benefit from the technology. At Southeastern Freight Lines, one common problem they experienced was that fleet drivers would often tamper with systems that notified them of maintenance issues. Rather than hear the alerts and audible warnings of the system, many drivers would try to disconnect them.

This led the company to put a zero-tolerance policy in place to ensure that drivers would not damage or tamper with the systems. They even had to be let some drivers go to send the message that they were serious about the new rules. One of the most effective methods of improving driver acceptance of the new systems was by sharing cases in which drivers were proven innocent by video footage.

“They become believers quickly,” said Reynolds as he spoke about fleet camera systems. “Without video, you don’t have the same level of accountability.”

Many drivers behave differently when they know they’re being monitored, but the systems aren’t designed to punish them—they’re designed to keep them safe and assist them with their work.

At the end of the day, the key to operating a safe fleet comes down to both implementing technology and training drivers. “One hundred percent of you do have a collision mitigation system on your trucks. And that collision mitigation system is your driver,” said Brian Daniels, manager of powertrain and component product marketing at Detroit.

In conclusion, technology alone isn’t enough to protect your fleet. It’s necessary to train drivers on how to use it and change their opinions regarding these new systems. Some may feel like ADAS and dash cameras are an extension of “Big Brother.” The truth is that fleet managers want to increase safety and profit margins, while reducing costs.

Dash Cams – The New Rear View Mirror?

Could Dash Cams Replace Your Rear View Mirror?

Although blind spots are a well-known source of accidents on American roads, the rear and side-view mirrors of large commercial vehicles have seen very few technological improvements over the decades. Just about every piece of safety equipment in the modern car, such as seat belts, airbags, and braking systems, have seen tremendous

advances. So, why do mirrors on today’s vehicles still function mainly the same as they did on the first mass-produced car—the Model-T?

While front-facing dash cameras have been the norm for years, many vehicle manufacturers are discovering that mounting additional video cameras on the rear and side of their vehicles can significantly improve safety and assist drivers. And not only can they be used in tandem with other ADAS systems, but they might replace the traditional mirror for good.

Global leaders in the automotive industry, such as Toyota, are planning to replace external mirrors with in-vehicle camera systems altogether. This change could reduce wind resistance and increase the aerodynamics of a vehicle. And with less drag on the car from external mirrors, fuel efficiency could rise slightly. In theory, this would help  reduce overall fuel consumption.

This, of course, has yet to be proven, but it makes a compelling argument—especially to an industry in which profit margins are strongly tied to fuel costs. It also seems that manufacturers of automotive cameras have arrived at the same conclusions as Toyota and are beginning to experiment with this technology on the commercial level.

Using fleet vehicle camera systems instead of traditional mirrors would also create the opportunity to use Augmented Reality (AR) to make drivers more aware of their surroundings. For example, a video screen could visually highlight a motorcycle passing by the vehicle and sound an alarm before the fleet driver changes lanes. Even if the driver didn’t initially see anything in their mirrors, additional overlays could notify them of passing vehicles before committing to a turn.

In-vehicle camera systems not only help drivers when changing lanes but also when backing up to park or to receive a load. Rather than rely on traditional mirrors, many drivers are learning to trust live footage on the display which provides them with a close-up view. In addition to providing better viewing angles, camera displays inside the vehicle won’t fog up or be affected by weather conditions like rain, snow, and ice.

Fleet Dash Cam

Camera systems with live streaming capabilities, in particular, have the potential to significantly enhance fleet safety programs and keep fleet managers informed of driver behavior in real time. Identifying dangerous behaviors and non-compliance with safety regulations early on could help prevent future accidents caused by unsafe driving. A live stream of video footage from multiple cameras, including a driver-facing camera, could also help managers give personalized training on the job.

In conclusion, traditional mirrors will soon become phased out and replaced by video cameras. It may take another decade before this technology becomes standard in commercial vehicles, but we’re already seeing its implementation on the level of the consumer. The arguments for increased safety and lower fuel consumption make these cameras quite appealing to commercial fleets.

Solar Powered Satellite Asset Tracker

Battery life has always been the Achilles heel of the Trailer or Non-Powered Asset Tracking Industry.

But that could be changing now.

With the release of Safety Track’s ST-1300 Solar Powered Satellite Asset Tracker, we may have seen for replacing batteries every 4 years or throwing the device away, a thing of the past.

With its built-in Solar Panels and its rechargeable lithium ni-cad batteries, the life cycle of the ST-1300 is now over 8 years.

Using only Satellite communication gives this device a whole new place in the non-powered asset tracking application.

  • Forestry & Mining
  • Offshore Oil
  • Trans Atlantic or Asian-Pacific Shipping
  • Texas Oilfields

Any places where typical cell signal have never been strong.

Fully Customizable pings can give your company exactly what it needs.

Check out the link for more information on this device.