5 Ways A GSM GPS Tracker Can Be Used
published on March 19, 2013 by Sonia Mastros
Traditionally, school districts are hesitant to invest in new technology. There are a number of reasons for this, with the cost of new tech being among the most pressing. Without donations of machines, it's difficult for a school to afford to outfit itself with new technologies as they become available.
However, when a well-established, widely-used, and affordable technology becomes available for school districts, then things change. It can still be hard to convince a school board to approve it, but your odds are a lot better.
Bus tracking technology has reached this point. It's now possible to outfit your buses with small devices that allow you to track them in real time, where ever they go.
In fact, this is a combination of two technologies. It starts with the Global Positioning System (GPS), which helps everyone from the US military to simple morning commuters get where they need to be, every day. Then, you tie it to the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications system, better known as the cell phone network, so these units can “phone home” from anywhere with cell reception.
The resulting GSM GPS tracker becomes one of the most powerful tools you can have for overseeing, optimizing, and increasing safety across your entire bus fleet!
Why Your School District Should Consider A GSM GPS Tracker System
It's hard to imagine very many school transportation coordinators who wouldn't wish for the ability to track all their buses in real time. Just consider:
Cut down on maintenance. Real-time tracking means you can quickly and easily track performance metrics such as fuel consumption and brake performance. Being able to graph these over time becomes a powerful diagnostic tool. If, for example, gas mileage in a bus suddenly drops by several percent, that's usually an early warning sign of impending mechanical problems. Noticing these red flags early means minor problems can be caught and fixed before they become major issues.
Optimize your routes. No route-planning supervisor, or piece of routing software, is going to know the exact conditions of every road your buses drive on. A GSM GPS tracker gives you valuable real-world insights into how bus routes effect the performance of the buses that run them, allowing you to plan the best possible routes that minimize gas consumption as well as wear and tear.
Improve emergency response. While it's rare, sometimes a bus will become disabled, or become involved in a crash. If there's a GSM GPS tracker installed, there's no question of where the bus is, allowing you to send help more quickly. This is especially important in rural areas, where mile markers might be the only significant signposts telling a driver where exactly the bus is. It eliminates any uncertainty.
Push your drivers to improve. Since these trackers can give you data on speeds, braking habits, mileage, and more, they can become an excellent tool when reviewing the performance of your drivers. If they're breaking too hard, or have a tendency to exceed the speed limit, you can call their attention to it while having hard numbers backing everything up. This doesn't have to be punitive; you could even have awards for the safest or most fuel-efficient drivers!
Improve public relations. If a bus is more than a few minutes late, you're going to start getting calls from nervous parents. GPS tracking means that you can tell parents exactly where the bus is, and give them an accurate ETA. It reduces the length of these calls, leaving you more time to focus on bus management.
That's a lot of power to come from a single small device installed in your buses, but that's the essence of a GSM GPS tracker unit. It leverages affordable, established technologies to enhance your fleet and improve its performance. If your district hasn't considered them, now would be an excellent time to give it some thought.