You already know that accidents and speeding tickets can increase your insurance premiums, and many GPS tracking systems have been installed by fleet managers to curb driver behavior, such as speeding which in turn lowers accident rates and helps eliminate tickets.
But in addition to these benefits of installing a GPS tracking system in your fleet, an added incentive may come in the form of a discount from your insurance company because of its effective use in recovering stolen vehicles.
If any of your vehicles are stolen, it can be difficult to recover any you’re potentially at risk not only for the asset itself, but for the time lost to your business. With a GPS tracking system installed, all you have to do is report its current location to the authorities, and the asset can quickly be recovered.
Because of their effectiveness in the recovery of stolen assets, several states have recently required insurers to give vehicle discounts on their comprehensive insurance. (Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas).
Insurance companies in states that do not mandate discounts have also encouraged car owners and fleet managers to install anti-theft devices by providing discounts at their discretion.
For a list of Insurance companies that have known discounts, click here
According to a New Jersey appellate court, it’s not an invasion of privacy to track a cheating husband or wife. If you’re stepping out on your spouse, you had better tread lightly because odds are, someone might be watching your every move directly from their desktop, mobile phone device, or tablet.
The use of GPS tracking technology is becoming more and more popular in tracking spouses, teenagers, and almost anything else that one might want to locate. GPS tracking devices have been used for years by business owners and managers to track vehicles, fleets, and even valuable assets. It is a great way to impact bottom line profits through monitoring employees, fuel costs, routes, and customer service. But now, the technology is becoming main stream with individuals.
This decision by the New Jersey court, based on a current divorce battle, helps to clear up legally how GPS technology can be utilized in these type of situations. If one is a private investigator, this is a big win. The need to stealth around in secrecy as you trail the cheater is minimized. All that you need is a cell phone and you know right where they are.
There are a few little caveats with the “invasion of privacy” issue. If you’re installing a device to track someone, you better do it while they are parked in a public area and not on private property. And, the spouse of the “suspected cheater” needs a legal or financial link to the car where the tracker is being installed.
GPS tracking devices aren’t just a tool to tracker suspected cheaters. Private investigators utilize the technology for insurance fraud exploration, child custody cases, and background checks for employers.
The most important point to take away is that at any time, for any reason, somebody might just be watching your location and movements from the convenience of their home, office, or just sitting in a Starbucks.
In a previous post we reported on the success of Stallion Oilfield Services, one of our clients that had been using our GPS units to monitor their vehicles (and their drivers) more carefully. Stallion experienced a 50 percent reduction in overtime expenses, citing less maintenance downtime, no more speeding tickets and improved employee productivity as a direct result of our services.
As impressive as those numbers are, however, they only refer to the vehicle-related savings. Many industries can enjoy huge boosts in productivity and ROI above and beyond their vehicles when it comes to GPS tracking. Items that once routinely went lost and got written off as “the cost of doing business” can now be pinpointed for return. Sticky-fingered employees can no longer get away with little (or even not-so-little) thefts. Companies that must regularly transport little bits and pieces of themselves, across a wide area during a typical business day, can stop tearing their hair out trying to follow the equipment’s movements. Track What Matters’s online monitoring makes it easy.
For an example, let’s return to the oilfield industry. A typical oilfield company might have thousands of individual assets distributed among various drill rigs, offshore facilities, ships, trucks and destination points. Without GPS, employees have the head-scratching job of tracking each and every one of those thousands of pieces of equipment by guesswork or incoming reports, frantically updating spreadsheets or lists every time a piece of equipment moves. With GPS, a few mouse clicks on your computer show you the position of every piece equipment, where it’s going next, where it came from, and whether something has gone wrong in transit.
If it works in the oilfields, can it work for you? Contact us toll-free at (800) 293-0420 and find out!
When you think of GPS tracking systems, do you envision massive fleets of 18-wheelers crisscrossing the nation? Certainly GPS has proven an essential part of these companies’ daily operations. But the applications for GPS go far beyond the stereotypical big truck fleet. This technology has grown equally important for companies of all sizes, in a wide range of other industries.
In fact, the problems GPS tracking can prevent or resolve may have an even more profound impact on the little guy. Do the math: A 100-truck company that loses one of its vehicles to theft has lost 1/100th of its fleet, whereas a 5-truck company in the same situation has just lost 20 percent of its ability to do business. The same scale applies to fuel expenditures, customer disputes over vehicle usage, inefficient driving routes and so forth — especially in today’s tighter business economy.
Waste management – These companies need to track their vehicles’ routes to ensure timely service and fuel efficiency. They can even track the distribution and location of their dumpsters.
Recreational vehicles – Asset tracking units attached to all terrain vehicles, rented boats, dune buggies or other rented or owned recreational vehicles can solve thefts, resolve issues over how many miles the customer put on the vehicle, et cetera.
Lawn care – Landscapers can use GPS to coordinate their crews as they perform multiple jobs around town, while companies that rent landscaping tools and vehicles to these firms can make sure those assets come back.
Healthcare – Transporting disabled or elderly passengers represents an enormous responsibility. GPS tracking can help healthcare companies provide quicker assistance if a breakdown occurs.
Track What Matters helps national/international moving company get the job done
For American Movers Group, GPS tracking from Track What Matters has become business as usual. The Dallas, Texas-based firm specializes in national and international moves, so they need to know the status of their drivers’ progress at all times, according to manager Katie Myers.
“Instead of always having to call the drivers, it’s so much easier just to use the GPS tracking to see where they are,” says Myers. “It keeps us on top of each move so we can relay more information to the clients the instant they request it.”
The five wired units on the company trucks help track employees’ driving habits and efficiency, according to Myers. “If a driver is scheduled for two moves on a given day and we see that he still hasn’t left the first job to go to the second one, instead of the hassle of calling him up and asking him what’s taking so long, we can just inform the second client that the driver is running late because he’s still working at the other job.”
Myers feels that the GPS service has been an immense help to American Movers in many ways, including the resolution of client disputes. “It really helps with everything we do,” she says. “For one thing, the reports help us prove that we did what we were supposed to do. Sometimes clients will claim that they haven’t received delivery yet, but we can see from our reports that the truck was already there.”
Myers is happy the company selected Track What Matters: “The level of professionalism is what’s impressed me most. If we have a problem with something, we can just call them and they’re always happy to explain this or that function over the phone — including options I never realized were possible with GPS!”
It appears that the Republicans and the Democrats are trying to walk across the aisle with a proposed measure on GPS tracking. This act, drafted by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would regulate how businesses and law enforcement agencies access and use GPS (global positioning systems) location data. Currently, this type of information can be captured from smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
The act, known as the Geolocation and Privacy Surveillance Act, is an initial effort in the groundwork to determine how geolocation information can be used. According to those who drafted the bill, this area of law needs to be adapted to meet the needs of the times.
The GPS technology sector has many companies providing tracking technology to millions of businesses and individuals. It’s big business. According to Senator Wyden, “federal laws have failed to keep up, resulting in a lack of rules governing the use the data.”
The catalyst for this proposed legislation is patterned from current wiretapping laws where penalties are enforced if geolocation information is gathered without proper authority or purpose. In other words, there had better be a good reason for using this tracking data if you are a law enforcement official. The issue is determining the scope of that reason.
The GPS Act would establish standards and procedures for law enforcement to meet so that the information could be used in court. Obviously, the baseline would be probable cause, a warrant, and service providers would need the consent of the consumers to share the information with anyone.
For providers, who are many, it would apply to both real-time tracking and tracking from historical information. It also covers data from law enforcement officials from mobile devices (smart phones, tablets and such) as well as devices that are on vehicles.
So … what does this mean for an employer using tracking devices on vehicles to monitor and track his employees?
It’s an interesting question. The primary message here is that for users of geolocation data, information is protected.
Stallion Oilfield Services takes a proactive approach to tracking their employees and this has resulted in big savings for the Sibley, LA regional location.
“Adding the Track What Matter’s GPS units has had a tremendous impact on our business,” said Brett Johnson, Operations Support Manager, of Stallion Oilfield Services.
“With the installation of the units, we’ve cut our overtime in half and that’s only the beginning” said Johnson. “Last year, we didn’t have one single speeding ticket and that means an increase in the engine life of our trucks and a big decrease in maintenance related problems. Not traveling the highways at 85 miles really makes a difference.”
Stallion needed a solution that would help them track and monitor their employees so they decided on wired-in GPS tracking units from Track What Matters. They’ve seen benefits that they didn’t initially expect. Mr. Johnson noted that they’ve seen a real difference in attitudes of employees. “Our employees know that we’re tracking and monitoring them. We actually review their reports with them weekly. Another great benefit is that our hourly rate has decreased because we get hours directly from the unit and it is extremely accurate”.
“Customer service has been great,” said Johnson. “When we had a slight hiccup with some of the SIM cards, they changed them out immediately and we didn’t skip a beat. Mike or Kevin are always available anytime I need assistance.” The significance of Stallion’s success has not been lost. According to Mr. Johnson, they have referred many of their sister companies to Track What Matters.
Recently we posted an article about Trusty Construction, a client that actually used our GPS system to foil the theft of one of its trailers. The trailer had a GPS unit attached to it, so the company simply located it, contacted the police, and got their valuable property back.
As the above story clearly demonstrates, GPS and asset tracking services not only help ensure that fleet vehicles are following the most gas-efficient routes and sticking to the desired schedule, but they can even foil the theft of those vehicles. Think of the potential cost savings! A new 18-wheeler typically costs at least $150,000 for the CAB plus the trailer. And don’t forget the cost of all those gallons of diesel in the fuel tanks….
Businesses involved in the commercial supply chain have an additional reason to fear vehicle theft. Losing an 18-wheeler is bad enough, but losing an entire load of valuable cargo is a nightmare. TAPA, the Transported Asset Protection Association, states that cargo theft costs a wide range of industries billions of dollars every year, adding that the more forward-thinking companies continue to seek new and better ways of securing consumer goods for transport.
The potential role of GPS devices for asset tracking here seems obvious. If a truck suddenly deviates from its normal route or fails to appear at a destination point, its owners can know where its abductors have taken it immediately, within a few meters’ accuracy. From there a simple call to the local police station does the rest.
Have you sunk a lot of money into your fleet vehicles? Do those vehicles carry valuable cargo? If so, then GPS could turn out to be one of the smartest moves your company ever made. Contact Track What Matters at (800) 293-0420 and let’s discuss the details. Don’t you owe it to yourself to find out more?
Contact us today!
Call us at 800-293-0420 or submit contact form to discuss your specific needs!