Should you use phone tracking apps or GPS tracking devices?
There are a multitude of tracking apps available for cell phones and some fleet operators wonder whether these alternatives to dedicated GPS tracking devices would meet their needs. While there are similarities, there are distinct differences in performance that users need to be aware of before getting started.
Phone tracking apps utilize a device most people already own: a cell phone. Many phone tracking apps are designed more for social purposes. Users who are looking for an empahasis on fleet management find a number of common concerns with phone tracking apps.
⦁ GPS apps rely on cell phone signals rather than actual GPS satellites, making location positioning much less accurate as well they typically rely on the user having the phone powered on and the app open on the phone.
⦁ Phones were not designed to run tracking continually, so they drain phone batteries much faster than a phone on standby waiting for a call.
⦁ Apps are often limited to one specific functionality rather than offering a range of tracking features like speed, aggressive driving behavior, fuel consumption, engine diagnostics, engine hours, distracted driving, idle time, PTO hours, etc.
GPS trackers, on the other hand, are specifically designed for the purpose of providing real-time fleet tracking information, and as such, boast a number of exceptional benefits that users cannot find from cell phone-based apps. These devices have hardware and software optimized for GPS tracking and reporting, making them highly accurate and functional. Many customers have reported benefits which include:
⦁ Many GPS tracking devices are powered from the vehicle/equipment and will send an alert should they lose power for whatever reason and even if they are out of cellular coverage will continue to gather and store telematics data.
⦁ A cellular network is not required to gather location data as GPS trackers utilize global positioning satellites, pinpointing locations with exceptional accuracy.
⦁ GPS tracking devices come in a wide range of form factors, depending on the application. And, with a wide variety of form factors to choose from, there is a device designed to meet any tracking need a user may have.
Is it legal to use GPS to track drivers/operators?
The short answer is, yes. It may seem overbearing to some employees with the kind of oversight and visibility into your business that a GPS tracking solution provides, but as long as your business is using the system in good faith, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Both Canada and the United States share similar laws regarding the legality of GPS tracking devices. A general rule to follow is; if the owner of the vehicle consents to the implementation of GPS tracking for legitimate business purposes, then it is allowed.
Typically, it is the owner themselves who want to implement these devices. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are some variations in privacy laws from state to state and province to province. Fleet operators should check their respective state/provincial and federal laws before implementing GPS tracking into their fleet.
What’s the best way to implement GPS tracking with employees?
A clear, concise, and properly communicated GPS tracking policy can go a long way in ensuring that employees know what they can and cannot do. Make sure to identify what constitutes a violation, how to avoid them, and the method of discipline or penalties that will incur if company policies are breached. This lets employers identify what their expectations are; outlining the specific metrics are tracked. A proper GPS tracking policy means that if employees feel their employer is overreaching in their tracking ability, they will have a policy they can refer to. In short, a clear policy will protect both the employee and the organization.
What kind of fleet smart camera events trigger an alert?
Depending upon the camera solution and the data that it captures a fleet smart camera can notify any individual within the organization via the dashboard, text message, and email for triggered events such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, hard cornering, or possible collision. Some fleet smart camera systems can even detect distracted driving and following other vehicles too closely.
What does ELD stand for?
ELD is an acronym for Electronic Logging Device. An ELD logbook solution is designed to record data related to the operation of the vehicle and a driver’s hours of service, or HOS. Commercial drivers are restricted to a maximum number of hours they are allowed to drive between rest periods.
The ELD mandate requires replacing paper logs and an earlier type of recorder called an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) with automated ELD technology.
What other kinds tools do fleet managers need?
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Going paperless with FieldDocs means you can reach safety and efficiency targets you never dreamed possible! Eliminate wasted hours handling paper, mitigate risk, standardize procedures and keep your people safe, healthy and productive.