Vehicle Tracking Systems

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ISC can help you with many aspects of vehicle tracking system implementaion from i nitail system justification though supplier and system selection, project management and, finally, system implementation.


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Vehicle Tracking GPS Location

A vehicle tracking system allows your vehicles to relay information about their position back to a computer at your company’s base, using GPS and sometimes GSM mobile phone technology. A Transport Manager can use this information to see exactly where vehicles are on a computerised map, to monitor the progress of deliveries and to communicate with vehicles.
In-cab communication systems are also usually available as part of a wider vehicle-tracking package, allowing a Transport Manager to communicate with drivers, usually via text message.

What are the benefits?.

    Bullet Improved fleet utilisation.

    Bullet Automatic updates when destinations are reached.

    Bullet Early awareness of an issue if a driver halts or goes off-route.

    Bullet Easier to stay in touch and reduces mobile phone use by drivers.

    Bullet Better understanding of driver activities (for example private mileage monitoring).

    Bullet Improved security/theft prevention, and reduced insurance premiums.

Vehicle tracking is most useful for fleets of 10 vehicles or more, when it becomes more important to keep track of your vehicles, and more difficult for a single member of staff to do so. Automatic location updates mean it is no longer necessary to check up on vehicles that are running on schedule, allowing staff to concentrate on drivers who may be having difficulties.

An additional safety feature that some systems include is a panic button that can be manually activated by the driver. This means that in the case of a collision, incident, theft, altercation etc. the driver can instantly send an alert to signify that they are in trouble.

Things to consider:

    Bullet The usefulness of tracking and communication systems can often depend on the size of your fleet – the more vehicles, the greater the potential benefit.

    Bullet Costs for vehicle tracking system generally begin at around a few hundred pounds per vehicle, reaching several thousand per vehicle for the most advanced systems.

    Bullet Many companies will lease tracking equipment and communication network costs for £30-£70 per month per vehicle.

    Bullet It is very important to select the features you need and that are appropriate to the size of your operation and to involve drivers in the decision making process, making the advantages and uses of the system clear.

The majority of vehicle tracking systems allow ‘geofencing’ where the system will alert a depot or member of staff if a vehicle moves into or out of pre-set areas. There are three main ways to utilise geofencing:

    Bullet Setting an operating area: An alert is sent if a vehicle moves out of its operating area.

    Bullet Setting an exclusion area: An alert is sent if a vehicle enters one of these areas. For example, the London Congestion Charge area could be set as an exclusion zone.

    Bullet Setting named locations: A depot, driver’s address or customer delivery location can be set as named locations, with alerts sent when a location is entered or left.

Some systems can also send out an alert if a vehicle is moved between particular hours, or at weekends. As such, vehicle tracking can also reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft.

Vehicle Tracking in a Nutshell

Vehicle Tracking Systems,
what are they and how do the work ?

A vehicle tracking system is usually made up of an on-board computer, a satellite global positioning system (GPS) receiver and a communications device, which are normally combined into a single device hidden within the vehicle. The GPS receiver passes information about the vehicle’s position to the communication device, which relays the information to a central computer usually situated at the company’s base. A transport manager can then see exactly where the vehicle is on a computerised map and information (usually text messages) can usually be sent back to the vehicle.

The Benefits

    Bullet Helps transport managers control vehicles more effectively and improve fleet utilisation

    Bullet Provides information about how well vehicles are utilised

    Bullet Transport managers are informed when something goes ‘wrong’ with a vehicle

    Bullet Can incorporate customer delivery conditions such as an inability to accept certain sized vehicles or deliveries at specified times

    Bullet Provides a better understanding of drivers’ activities (e.g. reduce private mileage use) and valuable information for reporting purposes (e.g. whether customer service targets are met)

How much does a Vehicle Tracking System cost ?

The outright purchase costs for a vehicle tracking system generally start at around a few hundred pounds per vehicle, but can reach several thousand pounds depending on the level of system sophistication. However, as an alternative payment method, many suppliers now offer equipment leasing arrangements (which include communication network costs) that range from between £30-£70 per month per vehicle.

Issues to consider

    Bullet Take time when selecting a system, as suppliers may overstate the benefits of vehicle tracking systems

    Bullet It is important that you only get the features that will be useful to your business

    Bullet Drivers may view telematics as a ‘big brother’ system and feel under threat, so it is important to involve them in the decision-making process and make it clear that the system will help