Five Must-Have Fleet Tracking Features
published on May 10, 2019 by Sonia Mastros
As things stand, there are a lot of arguments in favor of embracing a school bus tracking system, and very few reasons not to. Tracking your school buses on the road gives you much better insight into your bus operations, provides plenty of data to help lower your on-road costs and, of course, substantially improves school bus safety.
Bus tracking is an investment into your fleet that easily justifies the expense, and will quickly pay for itself through lowered costs.
Manufacturers know this, which is why there are so many bus tracking solutions on the market. When you're trying to decide what to invest in, here are some of the most crucial features and aspects to look for.
Five Essential Features in A School Bus Tracking System
1. Wide Compatibility With Existing GPS and Software Systems
Beware vendor lock-in. When bus tracking is built on commonplace technology like GPS and cell phone networks, there's no reason to pick a system which forces you to only use the vendor's own hardware. That only drives up your costs. Also, what if the vendor goes out of business?
2. Few or No Monthly Fees
Also, watch out for subscription-based services. Basic GPS service is free, since it's paid for via our tax dollars. Plus, you'll probably already be paying something for Internet connections between your buses and your office. Don't allow your tracking vendor to stack more recurring fees on top of that unless they're offering something very special.
3. Real-time Reporting
One key aspect any tracking system must have is real-time reporting, or something close to it. Ideally, your bus should be phoning home every few seconds, and certainly no less often than every minute or so. That allows you to keep track of your fleet on the road, no matter where it is.
4. Security Alerts
Your school bus tracking system should also be able to alert you instantly if there's a problem, such as a bus coming to an unexpected halt or deviating from its assigned course. This early notification allows you to quickly get in touch with your driver to assess the situation, improving safety and security.
5. Robust Data Retention
Many of the benefits from bus tracking come in the long term: building up a database made up from weeks, months, or years of service. That is what will allow you to dig deeply into your bus operations and look for areas to optimize. It will also help you spot maintenance issues early on, such as sudden drops in gas mileage.
Is your district looking into school bus tracking systems? If so, what are you looking for? Let's discuss it in the comments below.