December 3, 2012 - by |

A New Truck Driver’s Guide to Fleet Tracking

Hank Barton is a second generation trucker-philosopher with a penchant for the written word. He enjoys blogging about long haul trucking, safe driving practices and life on the open road. He writes for E-Gears, an online CDL Test authority that specializes in a variety of study guides.

When you’re just getting into the trucking industry, the prospect of freedom is alluring. There is definitely some freedom to be had (and a great lifestyle to lead if you fit the role), but the truth is that you’re working for a business. That business has to make sure that the cargo you’re hauling arrives to its intended destination in a reasonable amount of time. That’s all there is to it. Many trucking companies, especially those with larger fleets, use GPS tracking devices and software to keep an eye on their cargo. You’re the one behind the wheel, so you’re the one being tracked—but don’t despair. The fleet tracking device and software don’t have anything to do with you as a person; it’s just a real part of the trucking industry.

Why Fleet Tracking is Used

Fleet tracking tools aren’t used to make you feel paranoid or bad. If your trucking company didn’t think you could do a good job and that you will do a good job they wouldn’t have hired you in the first place. Your skills and dedication aren’t being questioned. Simply put, these fleet tracking tools just help trucking companies, shippers and receivers know what’s going on. They can use this data to quantify things that aren’t otherwise easily quantifiable. For example, your company can use real numbers to represent its efficiency, which leads to more jobs for you and everyone else. Also, if you’re ever in serious trouble, the tracking tools can let your company know that you need help and the help will find you quickly. You, as a person, are not being watched. Your cargo is being tracked because it’s a good business practice.

What to Expect

There are a few things to look out for, especially for a driver that’s not used to being tracked. The whole fleet tracking system is in place to quantify certain aspects of the business and to increase your productivity. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but most truckers are good enough at their jobs that it never becomes an issue. The freight gets from Point A to Point B in the expected amount of time, the trucking company gets valuable information from the haul and everyone is happy. If you’re a good driver, the fleet tracking tools also provide concrete proof that you’re doing a fantastic job. If you’re not doing good work, you’re probably just not working in the right field, tracking software or not.

How a GPS Tracking System Affects the Driver

Fleet tracking tools are designed to keep you at peak operating efficiency. They keep you on the right path at the right time. If you have someone else on the other end of your fleet tracking tools, they might be able to help you bypass congested/closed roads and keep abreast of clearance issues. You’ll also save on fuel costs. It keeps up with your truck’s maintenance needs and helps you plot the most efficient route. The data from the tracking tools can also help you make improvements in your driving, especially if you’re working with a supervisor that genuinely wants you to succeed.

Fleet tracking tools are just part of reality for big trucking companies, and many smaller companies use them too. Many beginning drivers think that companies use fleet tracking tools because they’re “out to get” their employees, but nothing could be further from the truth. Trucking companies want their drivers to succeed, and they want to provide great freight service so that they can continue to operate. Fleet tracking makes everyone more comfortable and helps everyone feel safer. Even more importantly, though, fleet tracking helps trucking companies to stay afloat and keep hiring good drivers.

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