Fleet GPS Tracking Costs to Consider Before Purchasing Fleet Management Software

January 8, 2021

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Key Takeaways

To help you navigate the costs associated with telematics systems, read on to learn the various factors that may impact pricing and ways to keep costs down.

If you’re a fleet manager that’s considering GPS fleet tracking software, you’ve probably evaluated the technology’s upfront costs. But, you might have wondered if there are other expenses you should be aware of. GPS tracking costs are not always transparent, so it’s important to understand the factors that might contribute to pricing. 

To help you navigate the costs associated with telematics systems, read on to learn the various factors that may impact pricing and ways to keep costs down.

3 factors that can impact GPS tracking costs 

While there are many factors that contribute to GPS fleet tracking pricing, there are three things to consider that might not be as obvious:

1. Hardware: If you’re evaluating a GPS fleet tracking system, you may have to consider both software and hardware costs. Some businesses, like Samsara, don’t charge a separate hardware fee but there are others that might include a monthly fee or an additional activation fee per hardware device. Make sure you understand the price breakdown of software and hardware before you make your decision.

2. Installation: It’s important to consider the ease of installation when choosing a telematics solution. The more seamless an install, the faster each install will be, which can add up to significant savings. To do this, consider the installation resources you will need before considering a GPS tracking vendor since the time and money to complete an install can quickly pile up. Installation costs will vary depending on the number of vehicles you have in your fleet. Typically, the larger your fleet, the more costly installation will be—simply because there are more vehicles that need to undergo an install. Some GPS tracking companies partner with installation businesses and bundle the price, but others will ask that you find your own installation solution. Some telematics providers have mobile-first tools, like the installer experience in Samsara’s mobile app, that provides a scaled approach to installation with the convenience and flexibility of a mobile experience to reduce installation time.

3. Features: Basic fleet tracking solutions provide GPS location data for your vehicles or assets. More advanced fleet management systems offer additional solutions that improve visibility into your entire operations. These include features like:

  • An FMCSA-registered ELD to monitor Hours of Service (HOS) compliance

  • Fuel consumption reporting and idling alerts to help reduce fuel costs

  • A dash cam system to improve driver safety and driver behavior

  • Vehicle diagnostics and vehicle maintenance alerts to ensure your fleet is serviced only when necessary

  • Advanced routing for more efficient operations

  • Theft prevention alerts and geofence functionality to decrease instances of lost or stolen equipment

  • Continuous, real-time location tracking

  • Built in WiFi and driver app

  • API integrations 

It’s important to note that additional features may not necessarily increase hardware costs, but will help reduce operating costs and increase efficiencies in the long-term. 

3 ways to save money on GPS fleet tracking costs

1. Seek out free trials: A great way to evaluate the benefits of a GPS tracking solution against the price tag is to test it out. While lots of fleet management systems don't offer trials, some will let you use their system for free for a certain period of time before deciding whether you want to purchase. For example, Samsara provides a free 30-day trial to help fleets better understand how their business can leverage the technology in practice. 

2. Consider a provider that includes everything you need in one tool: Juggling multiple technology vendors can add complexity and costs to your business. Plus, if you only have a small team dedicated to vendor relationships, multiple contracts can spread your staff thin and minimize the impact of those partnerships. With one unified platform, you can streamline processes, create a common language among staff and stakeholders, and eliminate extra expenses.

To reduce costs and maximize the power of various tools, consider a telematics platform that includes GPS tracking and more. For example, if you need various tools for things like Hours of Service (HOS), asset tracking, driver safety, monitoring fuel consumption, and more, a single telematics platform can act as a central hub for your entire organization. Finding a single vendor to cover your needs can ultimately lower prices and improve your bottom line. 

3. Opt for a scalable solution: Look for a fleet tracking system that will grow with you. Make sure you choose a solution that includes an open API for customizable business workflows and turnkey integrations with enough apps that you already use. Leverage OEM partnerships to enrich vehicle data and other solutions unique to your business. Also, consider what you may need in the future. Even if you don’t need a specific tool today, opt for a solution that is adding new features that you might need later on. 

Discover unexpected savings with Samsara real-time GPS trackers

Efficiency can mean the difference between a business that’s succeeding or just getting by. That’s why Samsara built GPS tracking technology that supports productivity without costing your business extra time. 

Samsara provides robust fleet management tools that help increase visibility and improve efficiency across operations. Plus, Samsara's data-rich reports help improve administrative management, while dispatch tools, real-time traffic, and route analytics improve efficiency and performance. Samsara’s suite of sensors and telematics technology streamline business by helping customers to:

1. Focus on the bigger picture: By improving operational efficiency with actionable data, Samsara helps customers discover unexpected savings so they can spend more time on what really matters—growing their business. For example, Samsara Utilization Reports can help customers identify under-utilized vehicles, Fuel Reports can ensure businesses understand ways to reduce fuel use, and route analytics reports can offer insights to help optimize routes.

2. Monitor operations in real time: Increase labor and equipment efficiency by monitoring operations in real time. Get exact location data with Samsara real-time GPS tracking to reduce downtime and more effectively dispatch a nearby worker to a job site. Plus, keep customers informed by providing them with this same real-time data to improve satisfaction and create a more seamless customer experience.

3. Get actionable insights: Because Samsara is an all-in-one platform, customers can access all their data—including vehicle telematics, driver safety, mobile workflow and compliance, asset tracking, and industrial process controls—in one central location. Not only does this help customers reduce costs associated with multiple vendors, but it brings various data sets into a cloud-based platform to help businesses of all types drive actionable insights.

4. Switch to paperless workflows: With app-based document capture, Samsara helps customers go paperless and sync information between drivers and back office staff. Important documents like proofs of delivery, invoices, fuel receipts, and more can be captured via smartphone and automatically uploaded to the Samsara dashboard for instant retrieval.

5. Stay connected: With Samsara, it’s easy to have real-time visibility into the location of your assets, vehicles, or equipment. For example, gain visibility into equipment energy use with Samsara power meters that track the performance and reliability of pumps and machinery out in the field. Or, use Samsara GPS vehicle tracking to receive live-to-the-second location data for more efficient dispatching. Plus, stay connected no matter where you are with the Samsara mobile app.

Learn more about GPS fleet tracking with Samsara 

With an all-in-one telematics platform that includes a broad feature set, Samsara is a GPS tracking system that provides ROI for fleet customers across diverse industries like food and beverage, transportation and logistics, local government, and more. Plus, with an intuitive, modern design and plug and play installation, Samsara makes it easy to scale from small fleets to larger operations. To learn how the Samsara platform can increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of your fleet, reach out for a free 30-day trial today.