What is Fleet Telematics? | Solutions for Fleet Managers and Truck Drivers

Fleet telematics use a range of connected devices and advanced software to help fleets better manage vehicles, train drivers, optimize routing and dispatch and meet compliance rules. A popular branch of telematics offers software for managers that gives them a comprehensive, real-time view of the entire fleet operation.

Telematics uses advanced technology associated with communications, data analysis, informatics and the Internet of Things (IoT). They offer a proven way to better manage risk and make fleet operations safer. The most important step is to choose fleet telematics providers that offer the needed products and customer support.

Popular Areas of Fleet Telematics

The connected devices offered through telematics include a variety of systems that make both managers and drivers better at their jobs. It’s a frequent topic on social media under #fleetmanagement or #trucking.

Every fleet has different needs, which is why it’s important to work with a telematics provider that consults with clients before and after they make their purchases. Some of the most common areas where transport companies have put fleet telematics to use include:

  • GPS tracking
  • In-cab video (and outward facing video)
  • Power and non-powered asset tracking
  • Routing and dispatching (including improved last-mile delivery)
  • Risk management
  • In-cab alerts (including alerts for distracted driving)
  • Customized driver training
  • DOT/FMCSA/FDA compliance 
  • Fuel savings
  • 24/7 Engine monitoring
  • Optimized maintenance schedule for vehicles

How Fleet Telematics Work

Each telematics system supports better fleet performance. The foundation of the system are devices placed on vehicles that gather and store data (including monitoring engine performance) as well as send and receive information with a fleet computer system. This allows fleet managers to get a full picture of all activity within the fleet, as well as the ability to focus on data from one single asset.

For vehicles, that data can include location, speed, fuel consumption, engine performance (detecting problems before they can cause a breakdown), idling time, incidents of harsh braking and acceleration, and more.

The Benefits of Fleet Telematics

Telematics offers many advantages to the fleets who put them to use. They include:

  • Better visibility. Managers know the location of every asset and detailed real-time data on each one.
  • Improved maintenance. By connecting with a vehicle’s diagnostics, telematics systems monitor engines for signs of trouble. They also provide an automated way of ensuring that vehicles go in for all scheduled maintenance.
  • Safer drivers. Telematics devices can collect data on driving behaviors, allowing fleets to give individual drivers the training they need based on how they drive. Video can capture important information on accidents.
  • Lower costs. By better managing drivers and vehicles, companies can avoid costly breakdowns and costs associated with crashes. They may also get breaks on insurance rates by using telematics.

How to Choose Fleet Telematics Providers

The best fleet telematics providers combine the latest connected devices and software systems with a commitment to consult with clients before the purchase to ensure they get the best solution for their situation. They also should work with clients after the purchase to help them get the most out of what telematics devices offer. Fleets telematics prove most useful when companies commit to better fleet performance and safety. It also will help them stay on top of the latest strategies in an increasingly competitive transportation industry.

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