Fleet tracking apps are a handy solution for fleet managers, and their capabilities are quite powerful. Using mobile apps allows fleet managers to track important aspects of their fleet assets from anywhere.
Choosing a Fleet Tracking App
As a fleet manager, you want to take advantage of modern technology available to help make your life a little easier. Fleets are mobile by nature, and your fleet management solution should be too. Fleet tracking apps help fleet managers monitor their fleet from anywhere, so you’re always informed, no matter where you are.
If you want to track your fleet assets, you’ll first need to choose a GPS and telematics device provider. GPS and telematics devices offer a means to track vehicle locations, pull odometer readings and receive notifications when diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) appear on a vehicle’s dash. Having access to this information in real time can help you avoid downtime that can cost your fleet $400-700 per day in productivity.
Fleet management software integrates with various GPS and telematics providers, so you can track your fleet’s location in the same dashboard or app as you would maintenance, fuel consumption and expense breakdowns like cost per mile.
When it comes to choosing the best fleet tracking app, be sure it offers these seven features.
1. Syncs Data With Fleet Management Software
First and foremost, the best fleet management app should pair directly with web-based fleet management software. With this, your data syncs automatically on a computer and fleet tracking app, which you can download on a mobile device.
Fleet tracking apps are incredibly convenient, but not all mobile app functionality is created equal. You should have access to your most important tracking information for each of your registered fleet assets. Additionally, location data sourced from telematics devices should be available on your fleet tracking app in real-time.
If you find yourself testing a fleet tracking or fleet management app, that is a stripped-down version of the web-based software, best to keep searching.
2. Enables Real-Time Communication
As a fleet manager, your goal is to be as proactive as possible. Unfortunately, unplanned issues will arise, but how you plan to combat them makes all of the difference.
Leveraging a fleet tracking app will keep fleet managers informed of locations while facilitating real-time communication between you and operators in the field. An ideal solution also allows you to configure notification criteria to prioritize issues and initiate workflows to address them.
Real-time fleet location updates are also beneficial to prevent fuel and equipment theft. By focusing on a vehicle's location and comparing it to the location where fuel was purchased (through fuel card data), you can verify a purchase was only to fill the fleet vehicle. This added layer of protection can also assist when negotiating fleet insurance to keep premiums lower.
3. Coordinates Geofencing Parameters
Managing a fleet requires you to wear many hats, and you can’t monitor everything at once. To simplify location tracking, consider a platform that offers configurable geofencing borders.
If you’re not familiar with geofencing, it’s a preset virtual boundary surrounding a given area. Say you operate a service fleet or last-mile delivery logistics for Amazon, you have a general route predetermined for your drivers, and you want them to stick to that route.
Using geofencing features in fleet management software, you can distinguish specific areas a fleet vehicle should travel in during a given timeframe. Once you set geofencing parameters, you’ll receive notifications when a vehicle in your fleet enters or leaves a geofence area.
You can manage geofencing locations from anywhere with a fleet management system that pairs with a fleet tracking app. This is incredibly efficient and helps maintain control of your fleet’s location without having to track every mile they travel.
4. Is Easy to Use
A constant struggle for fleets is finding technology that is easy to implement and use across the team. If you can't easily pinpoint critical information or your drivers can't figure out how to input details, your investment won’t be fruitful.
Even the least tech-savvy person on your team should be able to operate a fleet management app. Having an intuitive and straightforward app is a benchmark many developers hope to achieve when creating a mobile app.
Take the time to go through the fleet tracking app features and test the functionality. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the layout easy to navigate?
- Can you configure details?
- Is it easy to update information?
- Can you use it offline?
5. Allows Unlimited Users
Managing a fleet is a team effort and you have various stakeholders involved in each of your processes. Unfortunately, many fleet management software providers that also offer a mobile app, have pricing models based per user.
When you have a team of drivers and other users like mechanics, the per-user pricing can become very expensive. You want all of your stakeholders to have access to the mobile app to communicate updates in real-time.
Software providers that offer per asset pricing, like Fleetio, are not only cost-effective but facilitate desired collaboration across your organization. Whether it’s drivers, technicians or even your boss, a software and mobile app plan with unlimited users is the best choice to eliminate communication bottlenecks and address issues promptly.
6. Determines Access Levels
Once you’ve chosen on a fleet tracking app and software that allows unlimited users, you’ll want to verify user restrictions are in place. Locations, sensitive information, and other fleet metrics should only be accessible to fleet managers and administrators.
The best fleet tracking app allows you to set certain restriction levels for specific users. Drivers should only have access to features catered to their daily functions like inspections and communication tools to update issues.
7. Offers More Than Location Tracking
Many attribute fleet tracking solely with location, through GPS or telematics devices. While location tracking is a useful feature, it’s just scratching the surface of what fleet managers can track.
Fleet tracking apps like Fleetio Go helps you track the most critical fleet data sets in a centralized system. Other fleet aspects you can track include:
- asset and team member assignments
- vehicle usage metrics
- preventive maintenance schedules
- fuel tracking and consumption
- work orders and statuses
- fleet operating expenses
- configurable vehicle inspections
Fleetio's mobile-friendly platform empowers fleet managers to track what matters, encourage collaboration and keeps you informed at all times. When you’re able to track everything in a single dashboard, it not only makes your life easier, it provides a solution for you to analyze your fleet data from every angle and make informed decisions to optimize your budget and operation.