The Most Popular Way to Track Your Vehicle: GPS Tracking Systems

GPS tracking systems have been possible for a few decades now. This constantly upgrading asset is bringing value to businesses for years and will continue to do so for many years to come. Today, GPS tracking systems are used by multiple industries, retail consumers and the government.

Studies show that businesses that operate a fleet of commercial vehicles use GPS tracking systems as their go-to method used to monitor a vehicle. As fleets get larger, scheduling, tracking and managing each vehicle becomes an immense task. Implementing GPS tracking for fleet vehicles is a simple solution for a complex problem.

We will breakdown this inspired solution and see just how GPS tracking for fleet vehicles will not only minimize your costs but also maximize profitability.

How Does a GPS Tracking System Work?

GPS tracking systems employ two main aspects – hardware and software. GPS tracking hardware collects data on the coordinates of the vehicle. The GPS software interprets this data in a collection to plot the location of the vehicle on a map, its speed, duration of the journey, etc.

Types of GPS Tracking Systems

GPS tracking devices for fleet vehicles are mainly of two types:

Hardwired GPS Trackers:

These are generally pre-installed in vehicles or are fitted in as a vehicle upgrade. They have a 3-wire-installation connecting to the engine power and ground sources of the vehicle. They automatically start working when vehicles are switched on.

They are generally a bigger investment but offer much more in-depth features and solutions.

Portable GPS Trackers:

They are simple plug-in GPS tracking devices. An example is the On-board Diagnostics (OBD) tracker. They are a lot less expensive but offer only limited features based on its model. The market for these trackers is being phased out and all vehicles are set to be manufactured with some type of vehicle tracking technology in-built.

Which Problems Does a Gps Tracking System Solve?

There are a huge number of problems and inefficiencies in the fleet management system that can be solved by GPS tracking technology. A few specific ones include:

Cost reduction

GPS fleet tracking system has proved time and again its cost reduction capabilities. There are a number of ways in which it achieves this like reducing administrative costs (number of personnel), monitoring driver behavior, reducing fuel consumption, and helping you decrease insurance premiums.

Eliminate Tedious Paperwork

GPS technology tracks and stores data on various parameters for which you need to maintain records. This can help move towards a paperless business and avoid unnecessary administrative work.

Tracking Vehicle Use

GPS fleet tracking systems allow you to monitor any improper or unauthorized use of vehicles. This can include detours, driving for longer than Hours of Service (HOS) limit, dangerous driving behavior. Unauthorized driver use can be monitored by installing a driver identification add-on to make sure only authorized personnel uses the vehicle.

Work Organization

GPS technology plays a major role when planning and scheduling dispatch. They can help select which routes are fuel efficient as well as with less traffic. With certain trade-offs, the most efficient route can be identified.

It also keeps track of delivery timings to make sure no delivery is delayed. For example, if cargo unloading at a delivery location is taking longer than planned, its repercussions for the remainder of the journey is calculated and sent to the GPS software. The business can then take the appropriate call to inform the customer about the delay or reschedule as necessary.

Ease Compliance

The Department of Transport (DOT) along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has mandated many road safety regulations that all businesses operating commercial vehicles must comply with.

GPS fleet tracking solutions help track a number of these data points, accurately, which can be accessed in an organized manner. Many statutory reports can also be automated and are then completed by the software.

What Are the Main Features of a GPS Tracking System?

GPS tracking for fleet vehicles is available in a complex end-to-end solution with a number of features. However, based on your needs, budgets and value proposition in your fleet, certain features can be implemented and more can be bought as and when the need arises.

Real-time Location

The real-time location of fleet vehicles on a map is made available to you on the GPS software. This system can be integrated with various maps provides such as Google Maps.

Driving History

Historic driving data for each driver individually and as a fleet can be obtained in the form of reports. The reports can be in the form of tables, graphs, and charts allowing you to visualize the data easily. Data points can include journey reports, speeding behavior, heatmaps for areas where the most activity took place, etc.


Alerts can be set up to warn the business about certain driving behavior that is deemed unsafe. This can include speeding, heavy braking, idling, etc. Some other kinds of alerts can be set for location activity like when vehicles are turned on or turned off, leave a designated area or reach a specific location.

Alerts can be sent via email, SMS, and usually appear on the GPS fleet tracking software dashboard.

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