A vehicle tracking device is an electronic device that is usually installed somewhere around the dashboard in business vehicles.
Using GPS technology, the vehicle tracker records a variety of data, including speed, location and time, which can then be collated into a range of useful business reports which is perfect for fleet management.
What are the Benefits of a Vehicle Tracking System?
Any business that has one or more vehicles can benefit from using vehicle tracking devices. The kind of information that is recorded by the tracker depends on the device and system you opt for, but a large range of data can be obtained for a relatively low cost.
|The Advantages Of Vehicle Tracking Devices For Your Business|
|1.||Better awareness about how your fleet behaves outside of your premises|
|2.||Reduced costs on fuel, insurance, training and speeding tickets|
|3.||Increased profits due to increased productivity and lower downtime|
|4.||Training opportunities are easily identified|
|5.||Greater employee accountability for on the road performance|
|6.||Improved customer service|
In general, the bigger the business or fleet, the better the return on investment. But small businesses with small fleets can also make huge savings and identify business improvement opportunities when using vehicle trackers.
In addition, having vehicle tracking devices installed on your fleet goes some way to help you meet your obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1970 which makes employers responsible for the safety of their employees whilst at work.
What Vehicle Tracking Devices are Available?
Most vehicle tracking solutions incur monthly charges because they use mobile networks to transmit their data. There are options with no ongoing costs at all, like the $109 USB data key. These act as data receivers and are called passive vehicle trackers.
They receive data and store it on an internal hard drive, so have no need of SIM cards, software or monthly payments. Some companies say they don't charge a monthly fee, but you will need to purchase a mobile SIM card in order to use the tracker.
Other companies charge you for the tracker and installation fee but charge a low monthly cost. However, some charge very little, or nothing, for the equipment and installation, but a high ongoing contract fee.
For very small businesses or small fleets, the ideal option may be a standalone tracker or Satellite Navigation System. You can buy this type of tracker for as little as $65, like the Tracking Drive GPS tracker, which operates online or via SMS and requires only a prepaid SIM card from a mobile provider like AT&T.
No monthly fee, no ongoing costs and completely pay as you go - this way, you are not tied into any third party contract and software, although you also won't benefit from the breadth of information that more advanced tracking systems can offer.
Passive trackers also fall into this category if you are happy to forgo the in depth reporting features of more advanced systems.
Hard Drive/Tracker Systems
Those devices that make use of the mobile network will usually include a monthly fee, much in the same way as a cell contract, like the Foxtrax MT 3000 Plug and Play vehicle tracker device. It costs $150 upfront, then $20 monthly.
Alternatively, you can choose something with no monthly fee, like the RMT Tracking Key at $109. Although it's a cheaper option it still has loads of great features and can record 100 hours of movement. The battery life is 4 weeks and the custom reports are basic but easy to interpret.
Remote Hosted Systems
These tend to be the cheapest option of all of the fleet tracking systems because you don't need to buy, host or maintain any software. All of your vehicles are fitted with trackers and the information is fed back to the servers at your tracking company.
They process the data and then make it available to you via a web based system. Your business has its own portal for which you get unique log in details, and you can manage your data the way you want to from within the system.
That means you can sort, export, create reports or just view your data. To get this kind of system, you usually sign up to a contract of a year or more, although some systems are pay as you go.
Remote hosted vehicle tracking systems are available in a range of options and price bands, so you can match your business needs with the solutions available.
Many providers offer the standalone vehicle tracking devices and the full system options. Live Trac G5 is $239 for the vehicle tracking device, plus a $20 activation fee and then you can choose between the $30 and $40 monthly subscription.
For completely contract based vehicle tracking, where the vehicle tracking devices are part of the monthly package rather than a separate purchase, expect to pay between $30 and $100 per month, per vehicle.
Self Hosted Systems
If you prefer to self host your data and not be tied into a contract with a provider, then you may want to look at self hosting.
You will need to pay for installation, set up and possibly ongoing maintenance, but you won't have to pay a monthly fee and the software always belongs to you.
The system is basically the same as remote hosted systems but you manage the whole thing.
This is a good solution for larger companies that have in-house resource to manage complex IT software but is probably inappropriate for small businesses.
A custom system is one that is designed for you, to your specifications.
These systems are ideal for larger companies that have specific reporting requirements and the resource to manage the software but almost completely inappropriate and too expensive for small companies.
What Kind of Vehicle Tracking Device Should I get for My Business?
Deciding which vehicle tracking devices to buy for your company can be a daunting task for any business owner or manager.
Before comparing vehicle tracking devices and systems, you need to narrow down what it is you are looking for. The one that is right for you depends upon the answers to these questions:
- Do you want a standalone tracker or are you looking for a system?
- Do you prefer a pay monthly contract or a buy outright system?
- Do you have specific reporting requirements or are you just looking for standard reports common to all businesses?
- Do you have a small, medium or large budget?
- Do you want to manage the software and reporting yourself or do you wish to outsource it?
If you're not sure about the answers to these questions, contact Expert Market today to compare the options available to you.