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Fleet Telematics Data It Pays to Monitor

  • June 09, 2021
  • Bill Westerman
  • Reading Time: 4 minutes
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Fleet telematics data puts fleet managers in control. (Credit: CalAmp)

What matters most when buying real estate is location, location, location. When it comes to effective fleet management, what matters most is data, data, data.

The more actionable fleet telematics data you have at your fingertips, the better able you’ll be to right-size your fleet, maintain your vehicles, improve driver behavior and more.

A fleet management solution such as CalAmp iOn™ provides reliable, telematics-based data insights through easy-to-generate reports and real-time alerts, accessible via desktop or mobile. Having the right data at the right time can help you improve your operations, make strategic decisions, solve problems and drive down costs.

The data that’s most valuable to monitor depends on your business goals, but the following data points are almost universally useful.

For greater fleet productivity

Effective fleet management comes down to boosting fleet performance, reducing costs and managing risk. Vehicle telematics data is essential to all three. 

Real-time vehicle location. Visibility into the real-time location of vehicles put fleets managers in control, whether they need to provide an ETA for a customer, ensure that a driver arrived at a jobsite on time, or deploy a second vehicle to take over a driver’s route. In iOn’s fleet tracking home screen, you can see all your telematics-enabled assets on a map and click on a vehicle to drill down into details such as the ignition status (on or off), fuel level and diagnostics. You can also select map layers to see traffic and weather or use the Find Nearest feature to locate the vehicle that’s closest to a vehicle that needs assistance.

Asset utilization. When vehicles and other assets are underutilized, they cost you money.  Running utilization reports quarterly keeps you apprised of which vehicles are being under- or over-utilized and enables data-driven buy, rent and sell decisions.

Route information. Breadcrumb reports facilitate effective route planning, which can in turn reduce travel time. They can also help managers evaluate which routes could be taken over by electric vehicles.  

Fuel consumption. Knowing the fuel consumption of a particular vehicle is necessary to calculating the total cost of ownership, which can inform lifecycle decisions.

Idling. Unnecessary idling increases fuel costs and emissions, especially if your fleet contains heavy-duty vehicles. In some cases, it could also indicate nonproductive labor hours. Set alerts to learn about egregious idling in real time and view reports on idling times per vehicle or driver.

Device communication. If a vehicle’s telematics device has stopped reporting in, you may not know it until you need information that’s not available or a vehicle breaks down without warning. Schedule a device communication report to be sent by email daily or weekly so you can solve device issues when they arise.

For improved safety and accountability

Aggressive driving. Speeding, harsh braking, rapid acceleration and hard cornering: These behaviors not only put lives in danger, they increase fuel and maintenance costs. Driver behavior reports and driver scorecards provide valuable insights into what your drivers are doing behind the wheel, information you can use to improve driver coaching. Video telematics provides another layer of insight, adding context to these incidents and capturing video snippets you can review with the drivers themselves.

Driver ID. If a vehicle suffers unreported damage or a member of the public reports a complaint, you want to know who was driving the vehicle at the time. Issue a Bluetooth Driver ID fob to each driver and you’ll always know who was behind the wheel during a specific trip.

Ignition on/off. If a vehicle’s engine is turned on after hours, you may have a theft situation, or perhaps a driver is using the vehicle for personal reasons against company policy. By configuring an alert, you can know immediately if an engine is turned on when it shouldn’t be.

Fuel card usage. Fuel is a major expense for most fleets. If your drivers are using fuel cards, you’ll want to verify that the cards are not being misused. Users of iOn, which integrates with WEX fuel card data via an API, can easily view fuel purchase exception reports alongside all of iOn’s other fleet management reports. Exception reports highlight outlier data that may require action.

For better fleet maintenance

The minute a fleet vehicle is taken out of service, it stops making your organization money. Telematics data is the ticket to reducing scheduled and unscheduled downtime, acting on maintenance issues as soon as they occur and optimizing the lifecycle of your fleet.

Engine fault codes. Fault codes, or diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), let you know in real time that a vehicle is experiencing an issue and what the problem is. Your fleet management solution should allow you to not only view a summary of all fault codes across vehicles but set up alerts so that, when necessary, you can act immediately to address an issue before it becomes a more expensive problem or leaves a driver stranded.

Battery charge status. Knowing that a vehicle has a low battery charge lets you act preemptively by charging or replacing the battery to avoid a down vehicle in the field.

Odometer readings. A vehicle’s accumulated mileage can be used to drive just-in-timepreventive maintenance, which avoids the problem of costly over-maintenance. iOn automates the flow of odometer and other vehicle information to power the iOn Maintenance Scheduler feature. Mileage readings also help managers replace vehicles at the optimal time. Relying on telematics-based odometer reports eliminates errors that come with manual odometer recording.

Carefully selected reports and alerts that put the right data at your fingertips at the right time lead to actions that increase efficiency and safety. A good telematics-based fleet management system provides a pipeline of data that can transform your operations and grant a competitive advantage.

The new CalAmp iOn user experience is better than ever. Learn more and request a demo.

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