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Ultimate Guide to Fleet Monitoring

Updated at: Oct 31, 2022

A manager’s job usually involves keeping track of employee performance in the context of the workflow. For starters, this means that a manager must keep an eye on things like employee quality of work, whether or not they are meeting deadlines, and coming to work on time. Managing people is no small feat in and of itself. Managing many people outside of office walls in addition to multiple vehicles that are constantly on the move and require all kinds of maintenance, well - that’s super challenging, perhaps more than the human brain can handle. The good news though, is that it’s 2023 and the present-day technology to help business owners monitor their fleets is truly game-changing.

What is Fleet Monitoring?

Fleet monitoring is a technological solution for managing a fleet business with the use of an FMS (Fleet Management System) - which is sophisticated software that allows you to track many aspects of your fleet. It provides you with tools that give you all the information you need to make informed decisions about your business. The data tracked by Fleet Management Systems vary from system to system.  

At the center of fleet monitoring systems is live GPS tracking which gives way to many cost-effective benefits for businesses. Live GPS tracking allows for the remote viewing of the location of any or all vehicles in a fleet via a live virtual map - meaning that managers can pinpoint their drivers’ exact locations at any given moment. Among other advantages, this allows owners to optimize routes for their drivers, saving on time and fuel costs as well as improving safety.

What Features to Search for in Fleet Monitoring systems & apps

  • Live GPS tracking- The most basic, essential fleet monitoring tool is live GPS tracking which shows you the exact location of all vehicles, drivers, and equipment.
  • Preventative Vehicle maintenance - Preventative maintenance is a major advantage of fleet monitoring systems. FMSs collect asset management data about every vehicle’s parts and maintenance needs, both scheduled and unexpected. The software will proactively send reminders for routine maintenance and alert managers when unexpected trouble occurs.
  • Fuel card integration - Fuel cards (sometimes called fleet cards) are a form of charge cards that are primarily used for refueling but can sometimes also be used for various kinds of maintenance. Fuel card integration is when the fuel card is linked to a fleet monitoring software service that provides users with a report of the fuel transactions. Users can take the data from the card to determine a fuel budget and keep an eye out for misuse.
  • Geo-fencing is a feature that provides enhanced modern security for your vehicles by establishing a virtual boundary around a set area using mapping technology. Users can set up action triggers - movements that will send an alert whenever a vehicle leaves or enters a pre-defined boundary.

An Overview of 3 Best Fleet Management Apps

The best fleet management systems connect to each vehicle’s onboard computer to access relevant data for users. All the data is then available on an app. Users can often customize alerts they wish to receive based on their preferences. Take a look at our pick for the top three fleet management app systems currently available.

#1. Nexar Fleets

Fleet performance monitoring

Powered by the Nexar Fleets Dashboard and the Nexar One, Nexar Fleets is one of the most advanced, easy-to-use fleet monitoring systems on the market. The dashboard activates all the Nexar One cameras in the fleet and connects each vehicle to the fleet manager. It allows you to track all of your vehicles and color codes them according to whether they are active or inactive. You can tap on any vehicle’s icon to reveal its current location, live stream video from either of the front or interior cameras of the Nexar One, and view all the drive recordings belonging to the vehicle. Incident clips appear inside the drive recording that they occurred. There is even an incidents tab where you can view all the incidents of the entire fleet. Users also receive parking alerts if any of their vehicles are tampered with when parked, creating built-in security for vehicle and the cargo. If a vehicle in the fleet brakes suddenly or is in an accident, users will receive an alert with a video clip of the incident directly to their phone.

#2. Fleetio

Image Credit: Fleetio

Fleetio is an excellent native mobile app for larger fleets that facilitates the full picture of fleet management. By scanning a barcode, users can access an asset profile, providing them with information about vehicle parts and maintenance needs. Fleetio Automates the entire fleet management process by granting quick access to full circle maintenance workflows, vehicle inspection forms, and maintenance schedules. Users can proactively manage every task in a vehicle’s lifecycle. This comprehensive data allows for the creation of preventative maintenance programs based on manufacturers' recommendations or custom intervals based on utilization. Users can even forecast service needs based on usage.


#3. GSM Tasks

Image Credit: GSM Tasks

GSM Tasks has a comprehensive dashboard that organizes your business with a complete overview. It allows for virtually assigning fleets each of their tasks before they begin work and the ability to modify them on the go with the click of a button. In addition to keeping track of where your drivers are, you can monitor their task completion and re-arrange assignments to other drivers based on changes on the road. Automatically optimize multi-route stops by simply inserting addresses into the system to reveal the most effective courier route. Automatically optimized routes preserve fuel and reduce delivery costs. GSM FMS software also allows for customizable features such as photo capture, courier app, GPS tracking, custom meta fields, and proof of courier delivery.

What Kind of Data Is Needed for Fleet Monitoring

A good fleet monitoring system includes data for:

  • Real-time vehicle location - based on GPS location.
  • Maintenance metrics - sensor alerts, fuel consumption, engine problems.
  • Driver performance - speed, quick turns, sharp acceleration, harsh braking, idling, etc.
  • A live virtual map - displaying the location and movements of all vehicles, drivers, and cargo of a fleet.

Main Benefits of Mobile Fleet Monitoring

  • No hardware - Since drive and vehicle performance data are app-based, there is no need to install hardware in any of your vehicles.
  • Coaching - managers can provide driver coaching based on real-time data, improving driver performance and safety.
  • Fuel efficiency - managers can monitor each driver’s entire journey, from start to finish, and detect any detours, unplanned stops, or idling -  all major factors affecting a company’s bottom line.
  • Live location - Easily access the live location of vehicles as well a vehicle’s route history.
  • Productivity - Managers can monitor how much time drivers spent at any location, including a delivery site, giving key insight into driver productivity.
  • Safer Driving- Nip distracted driving in the bud by catching it on camera and alerting drivers to stay focused on the road.

Tips to Improve Customer Satisfaction with Fleet Monitoring

By knowing where your vehicles are at any moment, you can keep your customers updated with delivery times, and manage expectations.

How Fleet Monitoring Affects Driver Behavior and Safety

Diagnostics that come from fleet monitoring software are accessible by business owners and managers in real-time. They provide objective data about speeding, harsh braking, and other risky driving behavior so that it can be managed and improved. Fleet monitoring allows for effective driver coaching because it is based on empirical data, and since it is available in real-time, there is no need to wait for drivers to return in order to address it. This kind of communication is proven to reduce accidents and lead to safer driving.

Nexar fleet dash cam

The Nexar Fleets dashboard is connected to the leading dash cam, the Nexar One. The Nexar One records in crisp, 4K resolution at a 140-degree angle. It records the road ahead clearly enough to capture license plate numbers and road signage. The dash cam is always on so that nothing is missed. Users can use video evidence to create insurance reports and instantly send them to insurance carriers at the click of a button to exonerate their drivers from false claims. Since the Nexar One has two cameras, a front-facing camera and an interior add-on, users can tap into the live feed of either one, and even switch back and forth to see what’s going on. They can then communicate with their drivers based on what they see.


Conclusions

Fleet monitoring systems allow business owners and managers to oversee their operations with efficiency and keen insight. They provide tools that enable a full-picture view of every aspect of a fleet. FMSs bring you real-time data about your vehicles, employees, and equipment - transforming fleet monitoring from a manual, formidable task to one granting peace of mind.