Seven Fleet Management Terms You Need to Know
Like every industry or occupation, fleet management comes with its own commonly used terminology. While many of these terms have been in use for decades, the evolution of GPS fleet tracking means that more terms and definitions are being added all the time.
Just a decade ago, many fleet managers would envision the same thing if you used the term “landmark”: an object or place that is easily recognizable. However, now most fleet managers think of landmarks as points that they set up in their fleet GPS systems to better monitor driver activity and vehicle locations. When you put it in the context of GPS tracking, the word takes on a totally new meaning.
If you are considering investing in fleet GPS, or even if you already have it, understanding some key terms can help you get the most from your system.
Field Service & OTR Fleet Management Terms You Need to Know
- AFTR – Short for Automated Fuel and Tax Reporting, this feature of a fleet GPS system enables you to quickly generate required tax calculations by using your actual mileage and fuel purchase history.
- Field service management – This term refers to the optimization of resources used in the field, including vehicles, equipment, and employees. A fleet tracking system can be combined with field service management tools to streamline operations and boost profits.
- Geofence – This is a geographical boundary that you can set up within your fleet tracking software. It can be used to alert you when a driver leaves or enters a specific area enclosed by the Geofence.
- Landmark – Similar to a geofence, a landmark is a single location that you define on a map. It can be an address, an intersection, or even a specific point defined by latitude and longitude.
- Mobile data terminal – Also known as an MDT, this is a device that is located in a vehicle and used to communicate with dispatchers. Garmin is a popular MDT device used in fleet management because it allows dispatchers and drivers to communicate directly while providing route information at the same time.
- Mobile workforce management – This is essentially what every fleet managers does, or should be striving to do. MWM is the use of technology (such as fleet GPS) to monitor employees in the field with the intent of reducing costs and improving service.
- PTO – In the case of fleet management, Power Take Off, or PTO, is the use of energy from a running engine to power another system. A PTO event might be raising or lowering a hydraulic arm, engaging a tow truck lift, or turning on the fasten seat belt light in the vehicle. Fleet GPS can be used to monitor PTO events so fleet managers have even more information at their fingertips.
What are the two main types of fleets?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of fleets. Trucking fleets transport goods for long-haul shipping regionally or nationwide, while local field service fleets & delivery fleets use vans and trucks to provide services delivery and product delivery locally.
Trucking fleets are larger and typically have more complex needs in terms of tracking their drivers and cargo. Delivery fleets, on the other hand, may have fewer vehicles but may require more detailed tracking of each delivery to optimize their routing.
What is real-time fleet tracking?
Real-time fleet tracking is the process of monitoring a fleet of vehicles in real-time, meaning that information is updated as it changes. This can include location, speed, and direction, as well as other data such as hard braking and distracted driving.
There are a number of reasons why fleet tracking is important. First and foremost, it can help improve safety. By knowing the location and speed of each vehicle, fleet managers can identify dangerous driving behavior and take corrective action.
Fleet tracking can also help improve efficiency. By tracking driver behavior, fleet managers can minimize idle time. This can lead to significant savings in fuel costs and reduced emissions.
Finally, fleet tracking can help improve customer service. Delivery fleets can use tracking data to provide customers with real-time updates on their deliveries, while trucking fleets can provide customers with an estimated time of arrival information.
Is fleet tracking legal?
Fleet tracking is legal, and even mandated in some cases. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all operators of commercial motor vehicles to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track their hours of service.
When it comes to GPS tracking, employers can also legally track their fleets and other assets they own. However, in many cases they must notify employees that they are being tracked.
How does fleet tracking work?
GPS fleet tracking relies on GPS receivers installed in each vehicle to track their location. The receivers send their location data to a server, which then plots the data on a map. This data can be accessed in real time by fleet managers through a web-based interface or mobile app.
How fleet management is being used to combat climate change
As reported by State Tech Magazine, Sacramento is transitioning its state government fleet to electric vehicles. Not only that, but they’re making use of fleet management technology to “see vehicle idling times [to] optimize routes.” The goal is to reduce fossil fuels by 5 percent with this strategy, which would save as much as $300,000 a year.
Fleet management isn’t just for government agencies, of course. Commercial fleets of all sizes are using GPS tracking and other technology to save fuel and reduce emissions.
Whether you are new to fleet management or an old pro, GPSTrackIt can help you run your business better.
If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.
What other fleet management terms do you use for your business?
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