Vehicle Tracking Systems - Ultimate Guide for Businesses

Vehicle Tracking Systems - Ultimate Guide for Businesses

By RAM Tracking on 13 Feb 2019

What is vehicle tracking?

Vehicle tracking utilises GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to provide businesses with a real-time location of their business vehicles. Vehicle tracking is not only used for keeping an eye on where trucks, lorries, vans and cars are, but is also used to collect valuable data about their business fleet. Vehicle tracking data can be used to identify when drivers have been speeding, if they’ve been wasting fuel through engine idling and even to analyse and plot the most fuel-efficient route for a journey.

More and more businesses across the globe are using vehicle tracking as a way to better manage their fleet, as well as protect it from potential hazards such as theft, erratic driving behaviour and out-of-hours usage.

Ownership of fleet vehicles can often extend into thousands of cars, vans, trucks and lorries, making it an incredibly important asset to a business. Managing a fleet, whether 3 vans or 2,000 cars, can often be an arduous task. Keeping track of where every vehicle is, when it was last serviced, how many miles it has done, who was driving the vehicle and how the vehicle is being used, often requires hours of manual analysis sifting through paper driver records. Vehicle tracking solutions allow companies to bypass this by collecting all of this information through a business vehicle tracker and then transmitting the data to a vehicle tracking management system, accessible either on a desktop computer or  smartphone device.

How does vehicle tracking work?

Vehicle tracking works by installing GPS tracking devices into your company vehicles. At RAM Tracking, we install our own vehicle tracking devices included as part of the cost. This ensures that the tracking devices is setup correctly and is installed discreetly. Our engineers can install a device at a place and time of your choosing as to avoid disruption to your fleet. These devices use GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites to locate the vehicle and transmit the real-time data back to our vehicle tracking software.

When the GPS data is transmitted back to your office, it is automatically analysed and recorded on our tracking software. Designed specifically for businesses, our state-of-the-art software deciphers the data and presents it in a manner that is useful and easy to understand.

RAM Tracking’s “dashboards” help interpret the data so that businesses can then locate their vehicles shown on a map, as well as a record of where the vehicle started, what route it took, where it stopped and how long the journey took.

By overlaying location data upon a map (complete with information on speed limits and traffic), our users can very quickly be notified to instances of speeding or engine idling. Using our sophisticated reporting system, RAM Tracking takes this data and automatically creates valuable reports that are sent over email to inform the business that a driver has been speeding or has been pulled up but left the engine on (thereby wasting expensive fuel). The real-time nature of the data also means that businesses can quickly dispatch drivers to nearby or emergency jobs without ever having to ring up (and distract) the driver with a phone call to find out where they are.

Who should use vehicle tracking systems?

Our vehicle tracking system is designed specifically for business usage. If you have ownership or manage a fleet of vehicles then vehicle tracking will definitely prove to be valuable to your business. Reasons for using vehicle tracking often include:

  • Courier/Delivery companies – use vehicle tracking to manage their fleet of drivers to ensure they are running on schedule and can respond to customer communications for requests about estimated time of arrival. As companies that rely on vehicles, vehicle tracking can be used to dispatch drivers more efficiently as well as identify potentially dangerous or costly driving behaviour.

 

  • Fleet Managers – may use vehicle tracking as a way of protecting their company car fleet, not just from instances of speeding or erratic driving behaviour but also by ensuring that their vehicles aren’t being used abroad (thereby potentially invalidating insurance policies). RAM Tracking’s vehicle tracking system also helps fleet managers keep on track of maintenance tasks such as when the vehicle needs a MOT or service.

 

  • Company Directors – often choose to have their business vehicles tracked in order to help protect against theft. RAM Tracking technology has consistently helped businesses work with law enforcement to immediately locate stolen vehicles. Not only is the loss of a vehicle a costly expense to replace but can also be disruptive to business operations. Historical data recording and safety initiatives are also vital in duty of care proceedings to protect the company and directors from legal action.

 

  • Finance Directors – find vehicle tracking solutions an easier and less time-consuming way of generating profitability reports on vehicle operations, mileage and fuel costs. Vehicle tracking reports such as our engine idling report allows financial directors to actively help make business journeys more cost-effective and help directly protect profits. Easy and instant access to information such as historical journeys and mileage can also prove invaluable during spot HMRC investigations.

 

  • HR Managers – can utilise vehicle tracking as a way of ensuring compliance and proper usage of company vehicles. RAM Tracking reports such as our speeding alert system and out-of-hours vehicle usage, can be used by HR to both protect and enforce driver safety and usage agreements.

Why do we have the best vehicle tracking devices?

RAM Tracking are a market leader in the vehicle tracking industry, which is demonstrated by our Gold status with the ‘Investor in Customers’ independent assessor. Our bespoke technology and software is what makes us stand out from the crowd. We have spent over a decade constantly developing and designing a state-of-the-art product. We listen to and work with our existing customers to constantly improve the product (and provide free-of-charge upgrades) so that it better delivers to their requirements.

However, we also recognise that a great vehicle tracking system is only as good as the customer care and support our clients also receive. We provide around the clock customer service to the highest standard and initiatives such as our engineer installation process ensure that implementing vehicle tracking doesn’t need to be disruptive your business.

Benefits of vehicle tracking

There are multiple reasons why your business should invest in vehicle tracking if you haven’t already. The most valuable benefits of vehicle tracking include:

  • Reduce fuel costs – by providing automatically generated reports on engine idling (where the vehicle is at a stop but the engine is still running), companies can identify repeat offenders and educate drivers to stop wasting valuable fuel. Reports on driving behaviour and more efficient route planning can also help companies cut down not just on fuel but their carbon emissions.

 

  • Reduce speeding – our automated speeding alert system and report enables business managers to immediately deal with instances of speeding. This not only helps protect the driver and vehicle from potential hazards but also helps improve the company’s brand and reduces the fuel bill.

 

  • Protect vehicles – vehicle tracking not only helps protect vehicles from potential hazards through speeding reports, but it can also be used to quickly retrieve vehicles that have been stolen. Law enforcement agencies can be provided with an exact location of stolen assets and help return the expensive asset back to the business.

 

  • Reduce paperwork – because all of the data is stored digitally, there is no need to keep paper records for accounts, HMRC or HR. Users can generate a report for a certain timeframe based on whatever data they require in a matter of seconds. Not only is this good for productivity but also helps reduce your businesses reliance on paper.

 

  • Reduce unnecessary mileage – vehicle tracking helps identify instances where a company vehicle is being used for a journey outside of normal office hours. Unauthorised vehicle usage for personal reasons not only adds unnecessary mileage to a corporate vehicle (thereby reducing the vehicle value) but could also invalidate insurance agreements in the event of damage.

 

  • Protect driver welfare – vehicle tracking can be used to alert businesses to drivers that are not following legal guidance on journey time without rest. Data generated from vehicle trackers can also prove useful in duty of care investigations in court.

 

  • Improve productivity – access to data on a desktop or mobile device means that businesses can analyse information more effectively. No longer do fleet or dispatch managers need to ring drivers whilst they are driving to find out where they are

 

  • Improve customer service – real-time GPS location data means that customer support teams can provide customers with the exact location of their driver as well as an accurate estimate time of arrival/delivery. This ensures that customer satisfaction is protected.

 

  • Proof of work – many RAM Tracking customers use our historical records to prove that work was completed and/or that work was carried out at a specific location, at a certain time. Vehicle tracking can also be used as timesheets, to show where and when work was carried out.

 

  • Improve efficiency – journey data such as distance, speed and what roads were used can be retrospectively analysed to make decisions for plotting more efficient journeys. Fuel costs, vehicle mileage and driver welfare can all be improved by simply driving smarter.

Vehicle tracking set-up

All of our vehicle tracking devices are professionally installed by engineers. Our expert engineers ensure that the devices are installed discreetly and work accurately from day one. In order to avoid disrupting your business operations, we can set up your vehicle tracking devices at a place and time of your choosing.

Vehicle tracking costs & getting started

Our vehicle tracking costs work on a monthly basis dependent on your contract. Every business is different and as such, our costs are flexible depending on the size of your fleet and how many vehicles you want to track. We also offer incentivised payment plans for customers who also take out our dash-cam installation packages. The best way to work out what your monthly cost will be, as well as how much vehicle tracking can save your business, is to get in touch with our team.

Once you’ve got in touch and we have a better understanding of your business, we can provide a fixed quote (that includes all future software upgrades, software training and installation). Our team can even host a live web demo of our vehicle tracking system so that you can test out RAM Tracking for yourself.

Law & policy

Employee protection and the security of personal data are the two main areas that become a focus when considering GPS vehicle tracking.  Two areas of legislation that are worth bearing in mind are The Human Rights Act 1998, and The Data Protection Act 1998.

 

The Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. This includes the right to a private life at home outside of working hours. This becomes an important consideration for a tracking system and a privacy switch or button is a vital feature. This ensures the driver can switch off after working hours and ensures reporting and recording is only done during working hours for the business and not recording the employee personally.

 

The Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 controls the way personal information is used by organisations and businesses. The Act is there to ensure safety and security of an employee’s data and allows the employee to request what data is being used or being held about them that may be of a personal nature. Consequently, it is always advisable that customers with vehicle tracking advise their employees and request permission to use data but also continuously question what personal data they may use and when.