Vehicle Tracking Systems
There are two main vehicle tracking systems available for trucks, and the best one will depend on the business needs of the purchaser. Firstly there are active trackers where a trucks speed, location and direction are monitored using GPS technology and this information is transmitted back to the business in real time.
The other option is a passive tracker. This also uses GPS technology but, instead of the live transmission it will store the data on the tracking device to be downloaded when the vehicle returns to the depot or other base point. For passive trackers, an event, usually opening the door or starting the engine will prompt the tracker to start recording the data automatically. It is also possible to purchase a hybrid option, which is especially useful for vehicles that will travel to remote areas of the country. In this case, the tracker will function as an active tracker, but should no network be available it will store the data to be downloaded at a later date.
Tracking Options for Trucks
Modern tracking systems have a wide variety of features and which are necessary for your business will depend on what benefits you are looking for in your business. The most basic trackers simply track the trucks movements and speed, and often functions as a GPS for the driver. The next level of tracker includes one or two way messaging systems for communicating with the driver.
Some of the most sophisticated trackers for trucks include the ability to remotely disable the vehicle if is taken in an unauthorised manner. In addition, the software that works with the trackers offers functions such as calculating costs per vehicle, route planning or vehicle lifecycle management. The lifecycle management option includes the facility not only to plan replacement dates for vehicles but also calculates financing costs allowing for effective budgeting.
For business with trucks there are many benefits to installing trackers, the two key benefits are asset protection and cost saving. Installing a tracker reduces the risk of theft of a vehicle, especially if it has remote disabling facilities. If a vehicle is stolen it, along with its cargo, is much more likely to be recovered. This usually results in a business seeing a decrease, not only in its vehicle insurance, but also its cargo insurance costs.
Using trackers in trucks allows a business to route plan in a more effective manner, which can result in significant fuel savings for a business. In addition, it can help a business give its customers the most accurate delivery time forecasts, and cut the time taken for deliveries. Other benefits include reducing the risk of speeding drivers, reducing unauthorised employee downtime and being able to demonstrate to HMRC that trucks are not used by employees for non-business purposes, thus reducing the risk of a tax liability.
Tracking systems can either be purchased or leased by a business. Purchasing upfront means the business owns the asset and there are no on-going costs, whereas leasing gives the flexibility to expand and upgrade the trackers with no significant upfront investment. The cost of the tracker will depend of the sophistication of the system required. The most basic trackers can cost from under a pound per vehicle per day on a five year lease, with prices increasing for shorter leases and more features. To purchase a tracker typically begins at around a couple of hundred pounds for the more basic models with installation costs on top.