Jump to content
  • Join the TowForce community.

    It looks like you're not logged in. Register to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

So you think GPS Tracking is too expensive


Recommended Posts

  • Platinum Sponsor

This Topic from back in 2008 has been recreated:


You want to get GPS tracking for your trucks but feel it is too expensive. Here are a few reports that might make your decision easier.

Today we installed a GPS tracking unit into a vehicle to monitor driver behavior. We monitored Idle Times, PTO Engagement and Speed of the vehicle. Here are some of results.

The first report shows how long the truck was idling for a period of more than 5 minutes - at $3.50 per gallon, this can be costly. The report shows the date and duration of the idling truck. The total is 232.61 minutes of idle time. Of course some of these are during hookup and drop, but two stand out - one for 35 minutes and one for 1.05 hours. The driver was actually at the office with his truck sitting outside. At 1/2 gallon per hour while idling (estimate), by modifying driver behavior, you would have more than justified the cost of GPS tracking for today. Notifications can be setup to email you if the truck idles more than "x" number of minutes configurable by the user.

"In additon, an idling engine isn't operating at its peak temperature, which means that fuel doesn't undergo complete combustion. This leaves fuel residues that can condense on cylinder walls, where they can contaminate oil and damage parts of the engine. For example, fuel residues are often deposited on spark plugs. As you spend more time idling, the average temperature of the spark plug drops. This makes the plug get dirty more quickly, which can increase fuel consumption by 4 to 5 percent. Excessive idling also lets water condense in the vehicle's exhaust. This can lead to corrosion and reduce the life of the exhaust system." (from Natural Resources Canada)


The second report shows PTO engagment. Notice what this driver was doing. He would engage his PTO (Lift ON), drive for a time with the PTO on at speeds of 31 and 32 MPH, then turn off the PTO (Lift OFF). From 10:37AM to 10:46AM, the driver was driving with the PTO engaged. This occured at least 5 times through the day and can cause problems for the truck. Some of the newer PTO's prevent this from happening, but on older trucks, this is a concern.

The other benefit of PTO engagement reports is matching them to service calls so moonlighting and theft can be monitored.


The third report is a speeding report. We set the speed threshhold to 70MPH - the driver exceeded that speed on 8 occasions. This can raise fuel costs substantailly, and tires and motor work much harder.


These few reports alone have more than justified the $1.20 for today. We have not even taken into account the ability to 1) route trucks to calls and 2) choose the closest truck for every service call based on equipment type and availability, thus reducing fuel and maintenance costs and increasing total call volume. Other benefits include truck theft recovery and insurance cost reduction, and the ability to setup restricted zones to prevent drivers from entering areas that are "undesirable" (such as going home while they should be working).



Checkerwrk2 said:

We have Fleet Director and we like it, we can send all the info to the trucks and track them, and we can get any report you can think of!


twinbulls said:

I had a GPS system installed in my new Hino by NAVMAN . I get all the reports plus I can text to the truck and I can route for the truck,send the info and the unit tell driver where to go...I track PTO,speed,all the above....  Don't know how I got along with out it.... It has a nice display and shows a lot of info...Internet based...The driver can punch in a adress and go to it on his own..

I love it...  I am going to do the other trucks soon....They require no money down..But I think its a 3 or 4 year deal...


BlackAutoload said:

Dang, that software looks nice!!
We are stuck in a contract for a while longer and are currently using Rastrac.
Ours looks like ghetto software compared to the screen shots posted!


DennisMHDT said:

If for nothing more then dispatching purposes, GPS management pays for itself in the fuel you save alone. Add in all the other benefits, being able to locate a missing truck, keeping tabs on employees. Our system also allows us to send and receive communications between the office and trucks in text format. great for sending an address to the driver. I don't know how anyone ever did business without GPS management.
kacook tubered.gif said:
We use a unit by Rocky Mountain Tracking. The unit updated every 30 seconds, shows POT engaugement and dis-engaugement (time & mapped location), speed alerts, geo-fences (Dealerships,drivers house, ect). It runs about $450 and cost about $40 per month per truck. As for REAL TIME TRACKING it is about 1 min behind the truck.
The unit and the antenna are hidden under the dash and could be kept a secret, but I prefer to let the drivers know it is there.

Sometime I wonder if I really need it . However 2 weeks ago I had one stop working and finally got the truck in to pull the unit ( 3 easy connectors ). The wondering is over. I find I don't look at where the trucks are all the time, but when I need to know the truck I just go th the web site and can see what is going on.

I have been using RM Tracking for about 3 years and ocassionaly I will have an antenna or unit stop working. They are VERY helpfull and usually just swap the unit out at no charge. The antennas cost $50. They are easy to trouble shoot--> Just swap the units on 2 trucks and if the problem moves it is the unit, if not it is the antenna or one of the 4 wires going to it. There is 1 ignition 12 volts, 1 constant 12 volts, 1 ground, 1 signal coming from the pto light. All thisc an be checked with a test light or meter.

It seems to keep the drivers honest. They will call in and ask if the can tow there mom's car. I think it takes pressure off the driver as well because they can say to that shop owner who ask them to do a tow on the side--> The old man has GPS on this truck and watches us like a hawk.

Good Luck,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
Guest Supertower

Try GPSPRO free hardware and $20 per month per truck and you can dispatch tow calls to Android Phones & Apple Phones and works with the motorclubs! Plus they have the best reports bar none! 3 wire hook up! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

".........The unit and the antenna are hidden under the dash and could be kept a secret, but I prefe r to let the drivers know it is there......."


I understand (and am of) drivers that would not want a camera in their face, what I don't understand (and hear a lot of negative feedback of) is why a driver would NOT want truck tracker? For me, it would add a bit of safe feeling knowing someone knows where I am!


If I were an owner that had truck trackers in use, and a driver has an issue with that fact, I would have an issue with that driver - what's to hide?

There may not be a trail ahead of me ..... but there's damn sure one behind me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trackers are essential to a professional and productive fleet. However, the new toy is often abused in the beginning causing mirco management. The technology is a data tool, not a babysitter, if the operator of that unit needs a babysitter then you have the wrong driver behind the wheel. In the beginning generally managers and some owners used it as a spy and created stress which lead to damages. Today, the technology has become common and it seems the new has worn off. The data is far more important to the incidents then the incidents to the data. Reduce the stress and do not micro manage using the technology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up