North America runs on fleets of vehicles. Long-distance shipping and in-town transport are handled with the careful management of tens of thousands of trucks throughout Canada and the USA. Fleet management is not easy. Still, it’s crucial to keeping companies running. Anything you can do to make your fleet more efficient is worth the effort.
In recent years, there have been some innovations that have made fleet management simpler. Telemetry, for example, makes all the difference when it comes to tracking your drivers’ behaviour and the condition of your vehicles. Here’s what you need to know about telemetry, how it works, and how it can help you manage your fleet more efficiently.
Telemetry is the collection and transmission of data from remote sensors to a central location. This has plenty of applications throughout different industries, but it’s particularly useful for fleet managers.
Why? Because the only way to gather in-the-moment data from a fleet of vehicles is to get that information from remote sensors. Wirelessly transmitting that data to a central hub via the Internet of Things (IoT) is what telemetry is all about.
Fleet management telemetry can be as straightforward or as complex as you need. The simplest type of telemetry for any fleet is vehicle tracking. If you’re in charge of fleet services, it’s invaluable to know exactly where your trucks were and when. It can help you manage delivery schedules, track driver compliance, and provide asset tracking for customers.
Fleet management telemetry can also include other variables, of course. Directly tracking speed, driver behaviour, and vehicle condition can provide important information for keeping on top of vehicle maintenance. It can also help you understand the conditions in which your fleet travels to produce better estimates for your future needs and expectations.
Companies with less focus on vehicles and transport can still learn valuable information from tracking devices in their cars and trucks. Companies with just one or two vehicles can still keep track of them to ensure they’re being used appropriately. Built-in GPS trackers for cars can record the location, speed, and driver actions in real-time.
If a driver gets into an accident, the telemetry data can offer insight into whether the employee was at fault. This can then be used as evidence in the case of a lawsuit or as grounds for termination. Regardless of the number of vehicles a company owns, tracking them can make all the difference for legal and safety precautions.
Telemetry can become complicated very quickly. However, there are some clear benefits to implementing IoT technology in your fleet.
Whether you just want more insights into your fleet’s behaviour or you need specific improvements, telemetry can help. Here are five specific ways that telemetry and the IoT can help improve the industry and your business.
Cars have had built-in sensors that tracked the condition of the engine for years. However, these sensors were only able to communicate through dashboard lights and engine code readers. With IoT technology, however, it’s possible to send those codes directly to the maintenance team. Instead of waiting until a check engine light turns on, telemetry allows you to handle vehicle maintenance in advance.
The engine is the heart of each vehicle, so keeping your engines in good condition is essential for managing fleet services. Telemetry gives you a direct view into how well each engine is functioning and can help you determine when it’s time to retire a truck. It can even help you spot problems before they appear on the maintenance team’s radar.
Fuel efficiency is key to keeping costs down. Inefficient vehicles will cost dramatically more in the long run as they use more fuel every day. A simple way to increase fuel efficiency is to cut down on wasteful driver activities like unnecessary idling and aggressive braking habits. With telemetry, you can monitor drivers that use more fuel and train them in more efficient practices.
In the past, all trips had to be planned and managed individually. With the data you collect through fleet management telemetry, you can implement automation that takes care of those responsibilities. The IoT implementation can help you gather information on traffic patterns and road conditions and manage service request tickets. It can also give drivers new routes that avoid dangerous or slow roads, all automatically.
Finally, you can use telemetry to simply gather information. The right collection of sensors can help you track which drivers adhere to local traffic laws, how often trucks speed or idle, general driving habits, and more. With this information, you can do everything from making better hiring decisions to improving the entire supply chain.
Vehicle tracking is helpful in many industries, but there are a few in which it is essential. The transportation and ground shipping industries see particular benefits from GPS fleet tracking since the entire process is centred on vehicles and their behaviour.
Telemetry and built-in sensors are also useful for more localized industries like taxis and public transportation. Gathering insights on local conditions and driver behaviour can make all the difference in the costs of running a local business. Any industry where fleet management is a priority can see significant benefits from implementing these tools.
What benefits? While the direct benefits are the information and control gained by knowing exactly how your fleet behaves, there’s also a critical, indirect benefit: lower costs. Implementing IoT technology and telemetry in your fleet gives you actionable insights.
You don’t need to rely on second-hand knowledge to improve your fleet. Instead, telemetry gives you direct information that can help you cut fuel costs, save time, and become a more efficient business as a whole. When you’re not wasting money on inefficient processes and routes, you’re saving money. In an increasingly competitive industry, that matters to everyone.
Using the right telemetry tools in your fleet can help you improve customer experience dramatically. For example, you can implement asset tracking that lets each customer keep an eye on exactly where their goods are at any time. That’s a simple feature that makes a significant impact on customers with valuable cargo.
Meanwhile, if you use telemetry data and tracking devices to make your fleet more efficient, your clients will get faster service and safe deliveries. Making your business stand out with a better customer experience keeps your clients loyal in a crowded industry.
There are several parts to any fleet management solution. You need to track where vehicles are, how they’re doing, and what products are on board. Here are the tracking devices that go into a comprehensive IoT solution for fleet services.
Global Positioning System (GPS): You’ve definitely worked with GPS tracking devices before. A vehicle GPS tracker solution for fleet management has a few more moving parts than Google Maps, though. Devices like the Xirgo and CalAmp vehicle trackers are designed to communicate with central hubs through cellular routers and give you an up-to-date record of where each vehicle is at any time.
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): RFID chips offer a simple solution for tracking exactly where individual products and containers are. With RFID technology, you can use wireless microchips to label assets and then implement RFID readers to monitor which packages end up where. That can help you give your customers precise knowledge of which truck their assets are on and when they’ll arrive.
On-Board Diagnostics: A diagnostic module tracks and reports how different parts of a vehicle are doing. These modules can track everything from tire pressure to engine condition to driving behaviors. You can use these modules to ensure you’re on top of wasteful driving behaviors and vehicle maintenance even when your fleet is on the road.
Routers and Gateways: Keeping your trucks connected requires a cellular router. These devices take the information collected by diagnostic and GPS equipment and send it to you. The right router and gateway combination can help keep your fleet in communication no matter where they are in the country. The moment-to-moment feedback is what makes vehicle telemetry so helpful, so choosing a proven cellular router like those offered by Novotech is crucial.
Fleet management is complicated, but telemetry can simplify things. When you know precisely when and where your fleet is and how it’s behaving, you can make informed decisions in the moment without the stress. When you can make decisions quickly and well, you save costs and keep your clients happy.
Take the next step for your fleet and implement vehicle tracking and telematics. Whether you need a simple GPS tracker for a car or an overarching vehicle tracking solution, Novotech can help. Get the technology you need to improve your fleet and enter the future today.