10 types of fleet tracking technologies (and how to use them)

Fleet management can be complex, especially when you want to continuously monitor and track your vehicles. Without the right technologies, businesses face problems such as inefficient routing, difficulty coordinating operations, and safety and compliance lapses.

In this article, we’ll explore ten types of fleet tracking technologies that improve fleet operations. We’ll also share how the CalAmp fleet management solution implements these technologies to improve your fleet tracking outcomes.

What are fleet tracking technologies?

Fleet tracking technology comprises hardware, cloud technology, and software used to monitor the location and activities of vehicles in a fleet. Devices installed in each vehicle collect and transmit real-time data such as vehicle speed, location, and mileage through a centralized back-end cloud platform and display it via a software application.

For example, one of our hardware devices, ATU-1300™, provides movement-based asset tracking with GPS and cellular connectivity. Data collected from the device automatically feeds through the CalAmp Telematics Cloud and into the CalAmp Application. The software processes and analyzes this data to provide fleet managers with insights into:

  • Vehicle performance
  • Routing efficiency
  • Fuel consumption
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Driver behavior

With this information, fleet managers can optimize operations, enhance driver safety, improve customer service, and reduce costs. Any industry that relies on transportation stands to benefit, including logistics, municipalities, trucking, delivery services, utilities, and construction.

Although GPS is the primary fleet tracking technology, other technologies can be valuable for fleet management when combined with GPS. All of these technologies are available with CalAmp. Let’s look at some of them.

10 types of fleet tracking technologies

From GPS tracking to telematics, each fleet technology offers unique functionalities to help businesses effectively manage their fleets. Let's dive in.

1. GPS

GPS is a navigation system that provides time and place information via satellites. GPS technology allows near-real-time visibility of vehicle movements in a fleet management system.

For example, using CalAmp’s solution for school bus fleets, you can manage stop-level bus substitutions and check whether the pick-ups and drop-offs were done on time. You can also use this data to monitor driver behavior and fuel consumption.

Here are some other useful applications of CalAmp’s GPS solution:

  • Check whether the driver arrives on time for a job
  • Provide an ETA to a customer to improve customer service
  • Send a second vehicle in case of any problems
  • Detect potential vehicle thefts
  • Assign the nearest vehicle for a dispatch

2. Geofencing

Geofencing is used to define a virtual perimeter around a specific geographic area, generally for the purpose of monitoring when a vehicle enters or exits the designated area. It is often enabled by GPS or radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.

Geofencing in CalAmp application

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CalAmp’s geofencing technology can be used to:

  • Ensure drivers don’t stray from an authorized route or validate if the straying was for a valid reason (i.e., a customer’s request to take a different route)
  • Make sure drivers fuel up from pre-selected gas stations
  • Deter drivers from using vehicles for personal reasons by creating an alert for drivers who exit from a location during non-work hours
  • Know when any vehicles, equipment, or tools enter and exit a job site

3. Telematics

Telematics solutions use sensors, GPS, and wireless communication to collect and analyze information on vehicle tracking, fleet management, insurance, and remote diagnostics.

How does telematics work

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Telematics technology consists of a vehicle tracker and a software application.

For example, the CalAmp LMU-3040™ is a powerful fleet tracker with robust GPS tracking, motion sensors, and an accelerometer. After installation in a vehicle, the tracker collects a multitude of data points to send to the CalAmp Application. This information can be used to bolster fleet efficiency and safety and to make informed decisions.

4. Automated maintenance

Fleet tracking technologies can help keep your fleet running smoothly by enabling a proactive approach to maintenance. By gathering real-time information on your vehicles’ utilization and health status, you’re able to fix problems before they escalate.

Without automated maintenance, you can face frequent breakdowns, safety concerns like faulty brakes, high operating costs due to unexpected repairs, and missed maintenance schedules.

Optimizing preventive maintenance in CalAmp

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You can get alerts on mileage-based maintenance, tire temperature and pressure, battery levels, Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC), odometer readings, and predictive maintenance reports to spot looming problems.

Predictive maintenance also helps you increase your compliance scores to enhance safety and reduce liabilities.

5. Asset tracking

Fleet managers can comprehensively track their assets through RFID trackers and GPS.

CalAmp's asset tracking dashboard

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To ensure better utilization, avoid expensive downtimes, and prevent asset thefts, you can use CalAmp solutions to track both powered and non-powered assets, such as commercial trucks, shipping containers, construction vehicles, and ancillary equipment.

You can also use CalAmp Tags, which you can connect to a telematics edge device. Tags communicate via Bluetooth and alert the drivers if they’ve forgotten an asset or tool at a job site.

For example, technicians of a restoration service company would often forget service flashlights (that cost around $200 per piece) at the job sites. To retrieve them, drivers had to make round trips that wasted precious time, and technicians would arrive late for their next orders. By using CalAmp Tags on flashlights, they could get timely alerts about the flashlights left behind and recover them with less wasted time.

6. Video safety

Drivers can engage in unsafe driving practices like speeding, running stop signs, and distracted driving. You can track and improve harsh driving habits with a video-based safety solution like CalAmp Vision.

The CalAmp Vision solution includes dash cams that alert the driver if they engage in speeding or stop sign violations with an in-cab audio message.

In-cab alert from CalAmp application

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An alert can also be sent to the fleet manager and any relevant fleet personnel so they can monitor and educate drivers on safe driving behaviors.

Plus, if you want to implement a reward system, the CalAmp Application comes with driver scorecards.

CalAmp's driver scorecard system

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These scorecards help you incentivize drivers to practice safe driving and give fleet managers the information you need to accurately award bonuses or take punitive action if needed.

7. Traffic and weather layers

Traffic information conveys road conditions that might impact transit time, such as congestion, road closures, and construction. And having access to timely weather information can help you anticipate and respond to adverse weather conditions.

CalAmp's traffic and weather layer

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You can then plan alternative routes and optimize them, adjust schedules, prepare for emergencies, and save fuel.

The CalAmp Application offers a breadcrumbing feature to validate the efficiency of your regular routes. If you see that drivers on specific routes are always late, you can look for an alternative route. Or, if delays happen during certain times of the day, you can adjust the delivery schedules accordingly.

8. Temperature control

Temperature-sensitive goods like medical shipments or fresh foods require the correct temperature range to avoid wastage. CalAmp’s cargo monitoring solution can alert you if a shipment crosses a crucial threshold.

CalAmp's temperature monitoring technology

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You can then ask the driver to resolve this issue before spoilage occurs or divert the shipment to a nearby retailer to reduce loss. The solution can also measure humidity, light exposure, and shock variations.

9. Fuel monitoring

Your fleet’s fuel expenses can rise because of long distances, harsh driving events, and delayed maintenance. We discussed above how CalAmp can help with route optimization and safe driver practices, but CalAmp has additional fuel-saving technologies, too.

For example, you can track idling time and set alerts if a driver idles for more time than necessary, and you can receive fuel-related reports to manage fuel expenditures better. CalAmp’s integration with WEX fuel cards allows you to monitor fuel usage, abuse, and other discrepancies.

Fuel usage reports in CalAmp application

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In fact, one Florida County saved over $150,000 in fuel expenses with CalAmp technology.

10. Compliance solutions

Poor compliance can put your business reputation at risk, lead to potential losses, increase safety hazards, and attract fines and penalties. Insurance costs and liabilities are the second biggest challenge the trucking industry faces.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) solutions help fleets maintain compliance by automating recording and generating reports.

CalAmp offers ELD solutions that automate:

Hours of Service (HOS): Fleet vehicles must maintain Records of Duty Status (RODS) with a certified and automated ELD technology to monitor drivers’ HOS. Tracking HOS helps reduce driver fatigue, decrease HOS log errors, and promote safe driving practices.

Driver Verification and Inspection Reports (DVIR): DVIR requires commercial drivers to inspect various components such as brakes, tires, lights, and mirrors, ensuring the vehicle is roadworthy. Drivers can then report any defects with the vehicle before they lead to major problems like accidents or breakdowns.

International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Compliance: IFTA requires commercial vehicles to record miles traveled, fuel purchased, fuel receipts, and fuel efficiency. Electronic records streamline the filing process, automate calculations to minimize errors, ensure accurate documentation to reduce audit risks, and save time and administrative costs.

Get started with CalAmp’s fleet tracking solutions

Fleet tracking software enhances fleet performance through advanced GPS tracking, real-time alerts, and comprehensive reporting. Employing these ten fleet tracking technologies can help businesses gain insights, optimize fuel costs, improve driver safety, and increase productivity.

Learn more about how CalAmp can help you implement fleet technologies by requesting a demo.

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