How GPS provides fleet information at your fingertips

April 26, 2023 -  By
According to a report from Verizon Connect, GPS tracking reduces accident costs by 15 percent and fuel costs by 11 percent. (Photo: Verizon Connect)

According to a report from Verizon Connect, GPS tracking reduces accident costs by 15 percent and fuel costs by 11 percent. (Photo: Verizon Connect)

A misconception among some landscape business owners and managers is that GPS fleet tracking is Big Brother babysitting drivers and crews out in the field. But today’s GPS systems collect data to better inform contractors of critical in-the-field and job-site trends. They allow managers to make better-educated decisions on reducing operating costs and increasing efficiencies.

Ultimately, this technology allows contractors of all sizes to save money, extend service capabilities and provide more comprehensive customer service. Here are some ways GPS makes this possible.

Asset management

GPS technology expands beyond simple fleet tracking to provide landscape contractors with vital data for comprehensive asset management, says John Guerrieri, director of field operations deployment with Newport, Ky.-based Divisions Maintenance Group. Divisions, a property management company, offers services including commercial snow/ice removal, maintenance and tree care. 

“You have a lot of expensive equipment and you’re going to a lot of different sites,” says Guerrieri, who adds that while Divisions Maintenance does not require its subcontractors to be GPS equipped, he strongly recommends vendors use GPS tracking on their vehicles and within the ops. “Tracking these assets is just as important as tracking the routes they’re using to go from site to site.”

Driver Performance

GPS technology allows contractors to mitigate and prevent unsafe driver behaviors, unauthorized vehicle use and deviations from standard processes and procedures more effectively, all assisting with increasing efficiencies and strengthening the operation’s bottom line.

“GPS tracking technology can reduce repair spend by coaching drivers on dangerous and damaging driving habits,” says Ty Layman, senior adviser, product marketing at Verizon Connect. “Speeding, harsh braking and cornering, and quick starts can cause premature and aggravated vehicle wear-and-tear. With more stringent safety guidelines, they can prevent unexpected downtime and keep trucks on the road longer.”

Cost reductions

While there is an initial investment to incorporate the technology, there are significant financial and cost-saving returns for LCOs in the form of money saved on fuel, excessive idling, side trips, overtime/time sheet fraud and unnecessary maintenance.

According to Verizon Connect’s Fleet Technology Trends Report, in 2022 and in the face of inflation, nearly half of the businesses surveyed used GPS tracking to reduce fuel consumption (46 percent) and accidents (46 percent), reporting an average 11 percent decrease in fuel costs and a 15-percent reduction in accident costs.

In addition to costs reduced by greater operational efficiencies, the improved focus on safety leads to fewer insurance claims and, as a result, lower premiums. Data-packed reports on driver performance and vehicle use offer attractive metrics for insurance agents to help negotiate reduced rates and discounts.

Ultimately, GPS technology pays for itself if contractors utilize it to become as efficient as possible. 

“I would argue that the sooner you incorporate this technology into your operations, the faster and more efficient you become and the quicker you’re able to grow,” Guerrieri says. “So, look to GPS for asset management as well as fleet management, and everything else you can get from this technology is a bonus.” 

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