General Interest

The right telematics solution can help fleets of all sizes, but small fleets in particular can see the benefits of telematics magnified – if done right. This post will provide tips for small fleets to help them maximize the benefits they can experience with the Geotab telematics solution GPS to Go proudly offers to our clients.

So when is a fleet considered small? While there is no formal size threshold for what determines when a fleet is considered small, medium or large, for the purpose of this post a small fleet will refer to fleets with 25 vehicles or less. So why can fleets of this size have the benefits of using a telematics solution magnified?

While companies with larger fleets often have designated fleet managers whose sole job it is to manage and optimize fleet operations, companies with smaller fleets often delegate this task to a member of their team whose primary job is in a related department such as accounting or operations but often is not solely focused on fleet management and optimization. So what does this mean?

This means that companies with smaller fleets without a designated fleet manager are likely losing out on many opportunities to find efficiencies and areas for cost savings. A robust telematics solution, like the Geotab devices and platform GPS to Go offers and stands behind, can take care of much of the guesswork that goes along with fleet management to allow these multi-tasking employees to run an efficient fleet, cut down on costs, and still have time for their other responsibilities.

Now, let’s get to the tips to get you saving money in no time!

Tip #1 – Customizing the Platform Dashboard
The dashboard of your telematics platform should be a highlight reel of the most important metrics and reports to your fleet. Much like the front page of a newspaper, your dashboard should be customized with the biggest, most important information for at-a-glance access. Dashboard customization helps reduce visual clutter and lets you focus on the things that matter most to your fleet – a must for part-time fleet managers.

Tip #2 – Simplify Fuel Tracking with Emailed Reports
Being one of the largest expenses for any sized fleet, fuel usage and fuel waste are two major areas all fleets want to monitor as closely and accurately as possible to keep business costs down and prevent fraudulent use of fuel cards. Geotab makes it easy to track and compare fuel consumption across vehicles, allowing fleet managers to find and investigate outliers, and track down and correct any inefficiency. Fuel-related inefficiencies might include maintenance issues, excessive idling and/or bad driving habits. Having important reports emailed, rather than waiting for fleet managers to seek out the information, keeps fuel trend reports and fill-up reports at top of mind and allows greater opportunity for fleet managers to better monitor monthly usage rates and prevent against fraud.

Tip #3 – Optimizing Your Routes
Efficiency is the art of getting the most from the least, and this is the ultimate goal of fleets of all sizes. Thanks to Geotab’s fleet management software, fleet managers can track missed and completed stops, idling time, stop duration, and planned arrival time vs. actual arrival time. This means fleet managers have the information needed to compare routes and test changes to help drivers find the most efficient ways to carry out their duties.

Tip #4 – Catch Risky Behaviour before It Costs You
One of the downsides of having a small fleet is that losing even a single vehicle can result in a big hit to overall company productivity. By using telematics, fleet managers in charge of smaller fleets can monitor risky behaviour, such as speeding, harsh braking, harsh cornering and coach drivers in an effort to prevent collisions or damage to fleet vehicles which would take them out of daily operations while being repaired or replaced – both being very costly scenarios.

While GPS to Go is happy to help fleets of all sizes with their telematics needs, if you find yourself with a small fleet and part-time fleet manager or have added fleet management duties to an employee in a separate department’s existing workload, we’d love to speak with you about incorporating Geotab’s telematics solution into your business to find the efficiencies and cost saving opportunities which may be being missed. Contact us today to get started!

Electrifying your fleet can be a beneficial decision both in terms of the cost savings your business can experience as well as the environmental impact – or lack thereof that comes with EVs. While you may be thinking of incorporating EVs in your fleet, it’s important to do your research to ensure you’re fully aware of how best to get the most out of your investment. Below are a few of the common mistakes fleets make when adding EVs to their business so you can learn from the mistakes of others.

Picking the Wrong Model of EV

Once left with minimal choice in the EV market, the options have grown significantly over the last few years and will continue to grow going forward. With so much choice, it’s more important than ever to research each EV option available to ensure you choose the right model for your needs to optimize the benefits and savings that can come along with incorporating EVs in your fleet. Some important factors to consider when researching EVs for your fleet are: comfort of drivers and passengers, vehicle range required, charging options, and the cost versus benefits.

A commonly overlooked factor to consider when choosing an EV is the “real world” driving conditions the vehicles will face in your fleet. While the manufacturer will have stated ranges for city and highway driving, environmental conditions such as steep topography or drastic temperatures will impact your range and usage. For example, an EV running at high speeds with the air conditioner or heat going can see over 20% reduction in range.

Not Taking Advantage of Available Incentives

Since many levels of government have been keen to offer incentive programs such as tax credits for purchasing EVs since EVs hit the market, it literally pays to be in the know on what is available to you if you are looking to purchase or lease an EV. If you’re in the market for an EV, be sure to research potential incentives at the city, state/province and federal levels to maximize potential benefits. It’s also worth noting that incentives are not only seen during the purchase process, and often continue long after the new car smell wears off.

These further incentives which you may have access to, include: HOV lane access with single passengers in an EV, grants to install charging stations, discounts on charging plug-ins from utility providers, package deals on solar panel installation, and waived sales tax and emissions inspections. The incentives listed are not meant to be an exhaustive list of guaranteed incentives as incentives change regularly; you are encouraged to thoroughly research any possible incentives prior to purchasing an EV.

Getting Zapped for Poor Charge Management

The idea of an EV is great, but unless you’re smart about how you use and charge that EV you won’t see the true potential savings and EV can offer. To begin, it’s important to understand the three systems of charging.

The first system of charging is uncontrolled charging. Uncontrolled charging consists of starting to charge the battery as soon as you plug the vehicle in. This method ignores peak demand and limits your potential savings.

The second system of charging is scheduled charging. This method sees EV owners setting a charging schedule according to utility pricing to delay the start of charging until the rates are lowered in the day. This method of charging can save over 20% if done optimally.

The final system of charging is smart charging. The smartest of the charging systems, this method delays and reduces charging depending on the demand at the moment. Fleet operators using this charging method may save over 60% off charging costs compared to the uncontrolled charging method.

While having the right charging system in place is important the charging stations used are equally important. There are various types and levels of EV charging stations so it’s important for anyone considering an EV to research the options available to find the best fit for their prospective EV models and their charging needs.

Driving Blind Without Tapping into Performance Data

EVs have the potential to save fleets a great deal of money, but only if they are used optimally. While simply running an EV may result in cost savings, tapping into the performance data of your EVs through telematics can assist you in getting the most from your investment. EV telematics offers real-time answers to any questions that arise during electric vehicle use. This can include daily reports, individual trip details, charging support, and driver feedback. You will get the most efficient usage of your EV by understanding every aspect of your EVs performance – EV telematics provides this important insight.

Missing Your PR Opportunity

Replacing gas or diesel run fleet vehicles with EVs offers more than just a money-saving proposition for fleet owners; it’s also an environmental benefit to your community. EVs reduce local emissions and noise levels, and this positive community change offers the opportunity to connect with your community on a deeper level, however many fleets with EVs aren’t taking advantage of this. Using this PR moment could be something as simple as adding a “100% zero emissions” sticker on a pure EV vehicle, or adding the information to your website or newsletter.

While the idea to go electric may sound like a good idea, and often is for most fleets, there is research that should be done prior to electrifying your fleet to ensure you get the most out of your investment. If you’re beginning the research process of finding the right EVs for your fleet, consider visiting the Geotab Marketplace and taking advantage of the EV Suitability solution. If you’ve already gone electric and are looking to tap into the gold mine of information your vehicle holds, contact GPS to GO for your EV telematics needs.

Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research recently completed their Commercial Telematics competitive assessment and ranked Geotab the top Commercial Telematics vendor after Geotab scored highest in the overall categories of implementation and innovation and had the highest scores for four of the twelve ranking criteria.

“We ranked Geotab number one in global commercial telematics solutions, as evidenced by the fastest industry climb in organic subscriptions over the last five years and a differentiated marketplace of leading partners. Geotab has a unique leadership position including electric and hybrid analytics via their FleetCarma acquisition. Security expertise is apparent as they are the first to receive FIPS 140-2 validation for their cryptographic library and as the first SaaS telematics platform to receive a GSA sponsorship for FedRAMP certification”
– Susan Beadslee: Principal Analyst, Dominique Bonte: Vice President Vertical/End Markets, ABI Research

The assessment ranked 12 major vendors in the commercial telematics industry – Geotab, Arvento, G7, Gurtam, Masternaut, MiX Telematics, Omnitracs, Teletrac Navman, TomTom Telematics, Trimble, Verizon and Zonar. Each vendor selected for the assessment was analyzed based on a combination of prognostics & analytics, monitoring, open platforms, features, tech development, UI/UX, market share, geo coverage, vertical segments, partnerships, financial strength, and solution options. To qualify as a commercial telematics solutions vendor, companies needed to have at least 400,000 active subscribers specifically within the commercial vehicle market.

Geotab more than fits the bill when it comes to active subscribers. The company has seen 44% growth from 940,000 net active subscribers to 1.363 million, including many large fleet customers. Geotab expects to grow another 35% to 40% in 2019. As for partnerships, Geotab was awarded the world’s largest telematics contract (for 217,000 vehicles) from GSA Fleet, a division of the General Services Administration (GSA) that provides centralized procurement for U.S. federal agencies.

The huge success Geotab has experienced already and their continuing growth makes them one of the fastest-growing global telematics companies in the world. Not only does the company have active Geotab GO devices in 119 countries worldwide, supply multiple Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and North America’s largest fleets, the company has also doubled it number of employees and continues to grow significantly year over year.

If you’re looking for a reputable telematics company, look no further than Geotab. Contact our team at GPS to GO today to learn how the Geotab products and services we proudly offer our clients will save your business time and money!

For more on ABI Research’s Commercial Telematics Vendor Ranking for Geotab, click here.

While long speculated that Canada’s commercial driving industry would follow in the footsteps of the electronic logbook (ELD) mandate which came into force in December of 2017 in the United States, Canadian company owners and drivers now know the date in which they’ll be required to comply with a similar law – June 12, 2021. The official announcement came from the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, on June 13, 2019, outside the Canadian Trucking Alliance in Etobicoke, Ontario.

The official announcement comes after the regulatory proposal was first published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 in December of 2017, and follows recommendations from the Saskatchewan Coroners Service in relation to the tragic collision between a tractor trailer and the team coach bus of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in April of 2018.

Commercial driver fatigue has been a long-standing road safety issue and the paper-based daily logbooks drivers have been required to maintain allows for tampering of hours of service, putting drivers, their employers, and the general public at risk. The new ELD mandate’s goal is to ensure that commercial drivers are complying with the Government of Canada’s Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulation, with the use of tamper-resistant devices that are integrated into commercial vehicle engines.

ELDs approved for the regulation will be approved by a third-party certification process to ensure that the devices are accurate and reliable. Additionally, the transition to ELDs means Canadian commercial truckers will be aligned with the United States road safety regulations, if not already, and will support economic growth, trade and transportation on both sides of the border.

If you’re in the commercial trucking industry in Canada and are looking for an ELD provider, contact us to learn how we can help you find efficiencies, comply with the coming regulation, save money, and increase safety for your drivers.

Texting and driving is dangerous, there is no doubt about that. But while so much focus has gone into encouraging drivers to put their phones down, the other causes of distracted driving have been pushed aside despite also being very dangerous. It’s important for fleet managers to understand the different types of distracted driving so they can incorporate them all into training and reminders to their drivers to limit or remove all distractions to prevent costly or deadly accidents that are often very much avoidable.

What is considered distracted driving?

Simply put, distracted driving occurs whenever something takes a drivers’ attention away from driving, even for a second. In recent years the prominence of texting and driving and the consequences of partaking in that specific form of distracted driving have been at the forefront of road safety campaigns as it is illegal in Ontario but the truth is there are many ways a driver can be distracted which can result in similar consequences as texting, which unfortunately can include serious injury and death to truck drivers and others on the roads.

Did you know there are four different types of distracted driving?

It’s true, distracted driving doesn’t only require your eyes or hands to be off the road, and there are in fact four different types of distracted driving. So what are the four types of distractions?

  1. Manual: this type of distraction includes any reason which causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel while driving. This type of driving distraction is extremely dangerous as every driver should be ready to steer and change gears at all times, which becomes even more important if you are in harm’s way and don’t have the ability to maneuver your vehicle to avoid a collision.
  2. Visual: this type of driving distraction includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Though some may think glancing out the window for a few seconds at something that’s caught your eye isn’t dangerous, those people should think of the size of a football field. They should think of a football because at an average speed of 88.5 km/h (or 55 mph), taking your eyes off the road for only five seconds is the equivalent to driving with your eyes closed for the entire length of a football field. Now think of the damage that could be done driving that far on a road with other cars and pedestrians with your eyes closed.
  3. Cognitive/Mental: this type of distraction includes thinking about something other than driving when behind the wheel. This is a common occurrence and often a difficult distraction to avoid since people often have a lot on the go but it’s important to try and keep your mind as focused on the road as possible. While you may feel you are driving just fine while thinking of other things, in the event another vehicle has an emergency and/or comes into your path, not having your thinking set on defensive driving to avoid being in a collision could make the difference between a few seconds of reaction time and whether an accident occurs or not.
  4. Auditory: this type of driving distraction consists of having your attention preoccupied by noise including a ringing phone or a conversation both on a mobile or Bluetooth device or in-person with a passenger. This is an important one for both drivers and passengers to keep in mind as you can picture yourself talking to someone, a conversation includes the auditory distraction as well as visual if the driver takes their eyes off the road to look at their passenger, as well as manual if the driver uses their hands to emphasize their conversation.