Whether you’re a small business with a few trucks or a state or federal agency with thousands of vehicles in your fleet, you should be embracing telematics solutions to help reduce costs, improve safety, customer satisfaction and productivity.

Organizations like the HGACBuy Cooperative, a nationwide, government procurement service, make buying equipment and services efficient and takes the guesswork out of purchasing products commercial fleets and government agencies use all the time. Currently, more than 100 Indiana fleet businesses and public agencies use the HGACBuy program to search for and purchase products and services from companies like Indianapolis-based Argos Connected Solutions. Argos, an Authorized Geotab Reseller and a recognized leader in fleet management technology, was recently awarded a two-year national purchasing contract with the HGACBuy program.

Telematics has advanced significantly to offer more than just GPS data. In 2020, government fleets of all sizes increased telecommunications and tech adoption by 72% and more than three quarters of those fleets saw a positive return on investment in six months. Fleets of any size can adopt telematics and see benefits including:

Increased safety

One of the biggest concerns for fleet owners is safety. Real-time information for each truck in a fleet using telematics provides managers with driver behaviors such as speeding and aggressive driving. The data can be analyzed to show positive and negative trends so leaders can better train and coach drivers. Telematics solutions have been shown to reduce accidents by 45% and insurance payouts by 50% which has the potential to save a fleet owner between $16,000-$500,000 for work-related injuries. Near instant data also gives drivers and managers a chance to catch broken headlights or brake lights that may not be noticed right away.

Efficient fuel costs

Fuel is one of the most expensive operating expenses in the trucking industry, so fleet owners are constantly looking for new ways to save at the pump. By adding telematics to the fleet, leaders can monitor data including vehicle fuel levels, idling and how often drivers refill fuel tanks. Fuel cards connected to a fleet management system give owners a leg up so they can measure how much fuel is purchased and limit fraudulent spending. A fleet management system could also display fuel use analytics that allow owners to make decisions about how to increase performance.

Predictive Maintenance

Telematics can determine vehicle issues before they become larger, more costly problems. Today, many fleet managers schedule maintenance in intervals, like changing the oil or brakes quarterly, even if the vehicle doesn’t need it at that time. Fleet technology unlocks condition-based maintenance and reduces an owner’s supply costs for repairs that aren’t needed at that time. Busy fleet managers using telematics also eliminate the guess work of what vehicles have been serviced and when, and with a few clicks they can see a single vehicle’s maintenance schedule, mileage, engine hours and fuel consumption. Automatic reminders and alerts empower more accurate repair schedules and can be incorporated into internal messaging platforms that alert drivers of scheduled maintenance and potential issues uncovered from performance data that flows into telematics dashboards. If a police car, delivery truck, school bus or a snowplow breaks down, the demand for those services don’t go away and are still needed by community residents. Telematics adoption enables essential fleets to stay on the road longer and more efficiently.

Productivity & compliance

Fleets using telematics solutions also see increased productivity because they can track and analyze better routes that could save time and money. When fleets optimize vehicle GPS systems, drivers enjoy automatic logging of their operating hours and shortens the amount of time they would spend doing admin work to remain compliant. Furthermore, historical data available with an advanced GPS system can help lessen liability for accidents or other incidents.

Eliminate communication barriers

Fleet drivers may feel disconnected on the road and not part of an overall strategy. With telematics and advanced fleet management solutions, drivers, fleet managers, and operations leaders can have an open line of communication that fosters success. Frequent contact can also increase driver safety and influence healthier driving habits. Strengthening communication between dispatchers and drivers can increase vehicle response time and enable better public updates or time-of-delivery estimations.

Understanding how telematics contributes to more efficient fleet management operations is one part of the equation. Adopting modern fleet technology isn’t as difficult as some owners might believe, especially with a trusted partner that can guide agencies through deployment and changing legislation. Organizations can increase economic productivity, ensure compliance, and give drivers tools that increase productivity as they serve our communities. As the “Crossroads of America” our commercial and public sector fleets could set an example by expanding and adopting forward-thinking technology that keeps fleet owners, residents, and drivers safe and productive.