There’s no shortage of reasons why use of fleet management technology in trucking and transportation operations has been on a steady upward trajectory.
Enabled by the advent of a multitude of systems from vehicle and component manufacturers, and transportation management and maintenance system and other suppliers, these solutions are driving operations and asset service programs across many market segments.
By all indications, their potential uses are unlimited.
In two recent reports, Work Truck magazine took up the subject, providing some interesting insights. When most fleet managers think of fleet management technology, also known as telematics, the publication noted that the first image that likely pops up is a digital map with dots showing where their vehicles are at any specific time. In reality, though, there are a ton of benefits of utilizing a fleet management system beyond simple vehicle tracking.
In an article on the Top 14 Benefits of Telematics Beyond Tracking, Work Truck magazine lists enhanced safety as the Bottom of Form number-one advantage for fleets. Beyond vehicle tracking, it said, this technology can help improve safety by allowing fleet managers to monitor and manage driver behavior and identify risky events. With an integrated platform, it added that fleets can deliver in-vehicle coaching and generate reports to identify when drivers need training.
Understanding Additional Value of Fleet Management Technology
This technology is also essential for monitoring driver fatigue, Chris Orban, vice president of data science for Trimble Transportation, told the magazine. “Beyond simple hours of service (HOS) compliance tracking, telematics data can be used to track drivers’ sleep cycles and optimize rest breaks to best suit their needs,” he said.
Orban noted the value of telematics in understanding vehicle health as well, and its role in ensuring proper and effective preventive maintenance. “Engine data collected by a telematics device helps identify issues we can’t see with our eyes,” he said.
“Fleets can often access this data remotely as well, helping streamline maintenance activities at times that are most convenient and efficient, rather than dealing with repairs on the road.
“A telematics solution also provides insights into overall operations,” Orban related. “Telematics data from vehicles can help identify patterns that could affect a fleet’s profitability or scheduling, such as extended delays on certain routes or with certain customers, that could lead to opportunities for revenue.”
Making Sense of Fleet Management Data
So with telematics you can track vehicles and plan routes, oversee driver behavior, and monitor diagnostics. What all that really means, Orban explained, is that you’re sitting on a wealth of information. The real question to be asking is what does all the data mean and what can you do with it?
“When telematics data is viewed and analyzed in context you can really start to use it to improve your operations,” Orban stated. “With telematics, software can do the heavy lifting and enable better decision-making through the use of analytics and more informed reporting. Especially in the past 18 months, the stakes have never been higher.
“Where the real value of telematics lies is in data science processes that let you not only be proactive but predictive as well,” Orban continued. “Historically, linear reporting capabilities were used to take action on something that has already happened, and to try to predict the future. Today, the power of real-time telematics data is that it can be prescriptive; it can tell you that you are likely to have a problem and you can make choices based on what you believe will happen.”
With a vast amount of telematics information from vehicles, drivers, operations and a myriad of supply chain sources, Orban advised transportation services providers to adopt hardware and software agnostic solutions. “Telematics continues to evolve but its full value can’t be realized if you’re limited by your devices or applications,” he stated.
“By implementing an open telematics solution, fleets can effectively turn data into actionable insights to help improve their operations,” Orban continued. “They can improve key safety, planning and other factors by increasing efficiency, cost savings, and maximizing asset utilization.
“As telematics solutions continue expanding and become more robust, the significance of the data they provide becomes even more apparent,” Orban added. “The future of telematics promises even more opportunities for transportation and logistics services providers to understand what’s happening across their operations and to make more informed decisions for their businesses.”
Experience the Benefits of Fleet Management Technology from Trimble
From monitoring your assets to gaining insights into driver and vehicle performance, the right fleet management platform can help you enhance your route planning, maximize asset utilization and, ultimately, help your fleet reach new levels of productivity and efficiency.
As fleet management technology continues to evolve, Trimble can help you implement a platform to move your business forward. Contact us today to explore our wide range of fleet-focused solutions and how to harness their benefits across your driver base.