Everything You Need to Know About GPS Tracking for Trucks

September 30, 2020

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Key Takeaways

GPS tracking for trucks can be an advantageous tool for fleets for a number of different reasons. Most notably, tracking devices provide visibility into a vehicle's whereabouts but the benefits extend way beyond just location identification to include optimized routes, reduced costs, and more.

GPS tracking for trucks

Advancements in communication technology and telematics have made GPS tracking more prevalent today than ever before. Whether you’re keeping an eye on a single truck or a fleet of vehicles, the appeal of GPS tracking devices boils down to two major advantages: productivity and peace of mind. But how do GPS tracking devices achieve these benefits and impact fleet management?

Read on for a definitive guide to understanding how GPS tracking for trucks can help your fleet operate more efficiently.

What is GPS tracking?

GPS tracking devices are one of the more popular types of tracking systems available to businesses and consumers today. Put simply, a GPS tracker is a device that uses the Global Positioning System to determine and track the location of its carrier (typically a vehicle or person). This enables location data to be collected and displayed on a map which can then be used to locate something.

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Why is GPS fleet tracking so important to fleet management?

Vehicle GPS can be an advantageous tool for fleets for a number of different reasons. Most notably, tracking devices provide visibility into a vehicle's whereabouts but the benefits extend way beyond just location identification. Some other key benefits include:

Optimized routes

GPS vehicle trackers allow you to identify the location of a driver and determine which driver is best suited to send to a job site.

Certain GPS tracking solutions, like Samsara, even provide route optimization tools to help plan more efficient routes and identify opportunities to further streamline once the route is completed. Samsara also provides tools for time-sensitive dispatching, all in one place. Dispatch managers can use Samsara to dispatch within the Samsara dashboard, track the routes drivers take, and evaluate performance trends to optimize future routes. To improve planned versus actual route performance, use Samsara's real-time GPS tracking, advanced analytics, and intuitive reports.

Improved security

GPS vehicle tracking can help increase the security of your fleet. If a vehicle goes missing, a GPS tracker can help you locate and recover the stolen or misplaced asset faster. Certain GPS truck tracking systems even let you set alerts if a vehicle is used during off-hours or if an asset leaves a pre-designated area.

Happier customers

Whether your fleet is delivering products to people's homes or is part of a more intricate supply chain, your customers expect a certain level of service and convenience. Because GPS tracking software provides the exact location of each vehicle, you are able to more effectively dispatch a nearby truck to a job site and certain fleet management solutions even allow you to share the truck's route and ETA with the customer.

Samsara’s Live Sharing feature helps keep customers informed with real-time ETAs and vehicle locations from a shared URL that can be sent directly to a mobile device. And because Samsara has real-time GPS, customers can see exactly where on a route a truck is located at any given moment. Not only does this help your fleet deliver a seamless experience to your customer, but it eliminates any time spent fielding customer questions like ‘When is my delivery going to arrive?’

Reduced costs

Whether you’re slashing fuel costs by making more strategic dispatching decisions or creating a more efficient route, GPS vehicle tracking devices help fleet managers confidently make cost-saving decisions in real time. By providing increased visibility into fleet operations, GPS tracking gives you more information about your vehicles so you can make more impactful decisions for the business and its bottom line.

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What is the best vehicle tracking device?

A GPS fleet tracking solution could be valuable to your fleet if your business relies on providing products and services to its customers. But which system is right for you?

When evaluating a system, it’s important to consider:

  • Quality of location data: Would your fleet benefit from real-time tracking or is a single location ping every five to ten minutes sufficient?

  • Ease of use: Consider how straight-forward the dashboard is and if it would require a heavy-lift to onboard and train employees to use it.

  • Customer support: What type of customer service will you need? If you want a provider who's easy to get in touch with, check to see if your provider has 24/7 customer support.

  • Ease of install: How seamless will the install process be for your fleet? Will it require hiring additional people or new resources?

Samsara offers customers real-time visibility into fleet operations, unlike many GPS fleet tracking services that provide breadcrumb-style trails with location updates that refresh every several minutes. With live-to-the-second tracking, fleet managers have the real-time information they need in order to know exactly where their vehicles are at any given time. This provides fleet managers visibility into their operations and gives their customers the confidence of knowing exactly where their delivery is.

Beyond added visibility into vehicle operations, Samsara provides robust management tools that enable fleets to complete more jobs in less time. Samsara's data-rich reports help improve operational efficiency, while dispatch tools, real-time traffic, and route analytics help operators boost performance. Customizable alerts and route analytic tools also help fleet managers improve driver productivity and fuel efficiency.

Samsara is a GPS tracking system and FMCSA-registered ELD that installs directly into an engine's OBD port to pull engine data and accurately collect Hours of Service for electronic logging. To learn more about how Samsara can help you with GPS tracking and beyond, reach out today for a free demo or free trial to learn more about Samsara's fleet management software that provides a real-time GPS tracking solution for your entire fleet.

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