For anyone who manages mobile assets, cost control is critical. With the current gasoline prices, even small adjustments to driving habits and routing can lead to big savings. Here are four proven ways fleet owners can use GPS vehicle tracking to help reduce fuel costs.
Global positioning system (GPS) vehicle tracking has rapidly gained popularity among fleet owners as the technology becomes more affordable and easier to access. In general, GPS vehicle tracking utilizes a space-based global navigation satellite system to track time and location information for fleet assets. This information is then transmitted to a remote user who can monitor vehicle location, speed, routing, idle time, engine start-up and shut-down, and much more.
This information can be used to improve fleet management operations including the reduction of fuel costs. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, a market research firm, fleets with GPS tracking installed experienced a 13 percent reduction in fuel costs on average.
Here are four proven ways fleet owners can use GPS vehicle tracking to help reduce fuel costs:
1. Reducing Vehicle Speed
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), each five mph driven above the posted speed limit has the net effect of costing about 20 cents more per gallon of gas. Multiply that cost across several vehicles and you have a huge source of cost leakage.
Most GPS vehicle tracking solutions provide accurate speed information about each vehicle, however, a sophisticated GPS solution will notify you immediately when a vehicle exceeds a set speed threshold.
2. Decreasing Idle Times
According to Ford Motor Company, every hour of idle time is equal to approximately 25 miles of driving. Contrary to popular belief, the EPA states that restarting an engine uses no more fuel than 30 seconds of idling and has very little harmful impact on vehicle components. When drivers use their vehicles as climate control, it costs businesses money.
Quality GPS tracking systems notify you when a vehicle idles for excessive periods of time, wasting fuel and being nonproductive. Prior to implementing a GPS tracking system, customers had no way of knowing whether or not vehicles were idling. With GPS installed, customers can run a report in a few seconds that provides a detailed account of idling time for each vehicle.
3. Improved Routing and Dispatching
Since GPS tracking provides the precise location of every vehicle, dispatchers can more effectively manage routing and dispatching. Dispatchers can ensure vehicles take the most direct route to any job site and can get lost drivers back on track. The best GPS fleet tracking solutions also provide current traffic conditions so you can divert drivers around delays.
Some GPS solutions have the ability to locate the vehicles that are closest to any job site. With this information, managers can ensure jobs are assigned in the most efficient manner possible. In addition, fleet managers will know if drivers use vehicles for unauthorized journeys or purposely take extended routes to job sites. With proper routing management and effective dispatching, vehicles do not spend as much time travelling between jobs. Shorter travel time means less fuel spent on the road.
4. Preventative Asset Maintenance
Assets that receive regular maintenance run more efficiently and use less fuel than neglected assets. A GPS fleet tracking system can also ensure that your assets receive proper maintenance. Alerts can be set for each asset based on calendar time, engine on-time, or mileage, depending on the type of service needed. When an asset is due for maintenance, notification is sent via email or in the reporting suite.
A preventative maintenance program can also reduce the chance of vehicles malfunctioning on the roadways and causing serious accidents. In addition, properly maintained vehicles help save assets by keeping vehicles on the road to do more business, costing less money in repairs over time.