Initially many truckers are put off by the technology and see it as another example of how “Big Brother” is constantly keeping tabs on what they are doing. They also see it as a way to try to micromanage them from the office when they are out on the road. While there is no doubt that GPS technology can be used for these negative reasons, there are also some very real benefits that truckers can tap into using these types of devices.
There are many different types, model and styles of GPS fleet tracking services available. Most are now available as web based or app types of programs that allow managers and dispatchers to see in real time information about any specific truck or all the trucks in the fleet. Understanding how this can be used to benefit you, as the trucker, can often help to prevent assuming that it is only there to catch you doing something wrong.
1. Instant Location Detection
Having the ability to know right where you are in real time is a great help to the dispatchers and managers of the trucking company. However, as the driver, it can also be important to you. No more will have to deal with endless phone calls as to your exact location; they can just log online and see your position on a map.
In the event of an accident or breakdown this information can also be used to provide assistance and support as needed. If you were ever unable to get a phone signal or unable to place a call for some reason your dispatcher or anyone with the authorization to use the system could send emergency help your way.
It can also be used to determine which driver is closest to a load that needs to be picked up. This can help in getting loads that pay and avoiding long deadhead drives out of your way.
2. Safe Driving On The Record
While you may have heard how GPS fleet tracking can be used to determine if someone was speeding or hit the brakes hard, it can also be used to track if you are not speeding and are driving in a professional manner. In the event of an accident or for purposes of driver evaluation this information can be pulled up and can support your claims and information.
In addition, these systems track and record data not just in the short term but also over time. With a proven, safe driving record you don’t have to worry about driver performance evaluations, your record will stand for itself.
3. Verification Of Arrival And Departure
Most drivers have had problems stuck at receiving or loading docks and had to try to explain this to managers, clients and dispatchers. This will also no longer be an issue as dispatchers and managers can see that the truck was parked at the terminal or docks for the time recorded through the system. It can even show if you were moving around at those docks or if the truck was completely stationary.
This can be highly effective in communicating with other stops along your route if you have been delayed. The system can automatically alert the dispatcher when you are back on the road and out of the loading or unloading area with time stamped precision.
4. Effective Truck Maintenance
The most advanced GPS fleet tracking system that are permanently mounted into the engine can alert the dispatcher, or the driver, as to any possible codes that the engine computer is reading. This means that you will know as soon as there is a problem, not after you have driven for an hour down the interstate at two o’clock in the morning.
It will also automatically generate maintenance logs and service notifications so that your truck is in top conditions every time you go out on the road.
5. Route Evaluation In Real Time
Not all large companies will use their GPS fleet tracking systems for this purpose but some will. In the event that you are heading into a major known traffic snarl or accident, the GPS system can be used to allow the dispatcher to realize the issue in advance and get in touch with you to take an alternate route.
Using GPS fleet tracking systems can be a real benefit to a trucker. There are situations where they may be seen as invasive, but if you are driving safely, professionally and on the routes they should not be seen as a problem but rather as a help.
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