Helpful Tips For Vehicle Monitoring
published on February 13, 2013 by Sonia Mastros
If you're responsible for overseeing school bus operations – or any sort of fleet of land vehicles – I don't have to tell you what a challenging task it is. Your cargo is beyond precious, you have potentially hundreds or thousands of “clients” (parents) to answer to, and in the meantime, you have to constantly do everything you can do to keep costs down. But without compromising safety, of course.
If you're looking to make your life easier, a GPS-based vehicle monitoring system can be one of the best investments you make. By utilizing the network of Global Positioning Satellites around the earth, these systems allow you to pinpoint the location of every vehicle you oversee, at all times. You no longer have to guess where your vehicles are. They're plotted on a computer map so you can see their progress in real time.
When combined with the right software, these vehicle monitoring solutions are extremely powerful tools for improving your vehicles' efficiency, safety, and performance records! Here are a few ways to get the most out of them.
Five Ways To Make The Most Of Your Vehicle Monitoring Systems
Keep your maps updated. Proper maps are, of course, one of the bedrock necessities of an efficient transportation system. Some map software products are only updated every 6 or 12 months. Look for software that allows you to update the maps yourself. Few people will know before you do when new roads get added to your routes, so the sooner you add them to your maps, the sooner you'll be able to utilize them in your planning.
Retain those records! GPS vehicle fleet tracking systems can provide you with immense amounts of data about the records and performance of your vehicles. You can predict mechanical failures before they occur, often based on unexpected drops in mileage rates. Charting the performance of your vehicles gives you a great early warning system so that you can do minor maintenance before it turns into big problems.
Improve your drivers. That same tracking data can be used to optimize your drivers as well. Information on areas such as average speed, braking habits, and how well they follow the rules of the road can be invaluable in personnel evaluations. Rather than having to guess at how your drivers are doing, you'll have hard data to work with and to measure them against.
Avoid danger zones. Along any route, especially with school buses, there are going to be areas you want to avoid. Perhaps the road is poorly-maintained, or there is known gang activity, or maybe registered sexual offenders are in the area. Either way, your maps can be updated to create zones that your routes will deliberately avoid, keeping your drivers and passengers out of harm's way.
Experiment with different routes. Obviously, there's a limit to how often you can change routes, but modern software allows you to optimize for different factors, such as minimizing distance versus minimizing time spent. Very often, there will be secondary effects from such choices, with one option providing significantly better gas mileage. “Tweaking” your routes in this way will help you keep your operations as cost-efficient as possible.
It's tough, balancing the need for safety and cost-savings in any transportation system. With a GPS vehicle tracking and monitoring system, it really is possible to do both You'll get far more out of your fleet, and do it more efficiently as well!
If you'd like to learn more about how GPS vehicle monitoring solutions can help you, just drop us a line and we'll be happy to answer your questions.