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Reduce Vehicle Breakdowns with GPS Tracking

by Stacey Papp

Fleet managers universally despise the dreaded truck breakdown call… “I’m broken down on the side of the road. I’m not going to make it to my next stop on time.”

When a fleet vehicle breaks down, it costs much more than just a repair bill. Businesses have to take into account lost vehicle productivity, lost driver productivity, upset customers, overtime pay needed to compensate for the disabled vehicle, and more.

One sure way to minimize the risk of vehicle breakdowns is to ensure your vehicles receive proper and timely maintenance. But keeping track of all the maintenance needs of each truck in an entire fleet can be tedious and nearly impossible.

However, live GPS vehicle tracking can serve as a fast and easy way to keep up with your entire maintenance program.

For example, the Fleetmatics GPS Tracking System provides an extensive Fleet Maintenance Suite that you can use to manage your fleet maintenance needs in one place.

The Fleetmatics GPS system allows you to set maintenance alerts for every vehicle in your fleet to inform you when they are due for proper maintenance, helping you prevent truck breakdowns. Alerts can be set based on calendar time, engine on-time, or mileage depending on the type of service needed. When a vehicle is due for maintenance, you are notified via email or in the reporting suite.

The system also allows you to keep a historical record of all servicing completed. Combined with the state mileage reports also generated by the Fleetmatics system, the historic maintenance record can help operators comply with states that require regular vehicle maintenance.

For example, Reggie Anderson, owner of C. Jones Trucking, uses Fleetmatics GPS tracking to help his company comply with the Preventative Maintenance Program as mandated by the Code of Maryland Administrative Regulations (COMAR). The reports also help Mr. Anderson comply with federal inspection guidelines.

In the event a truck breaks down, live GPS tracking can help minimize the amount of time spent recovering the vehicle. With GPS, dispatchers will know the exact location of the disabled vehicle and be able to route repair personnel right to the correct location. Dispatchers can also use the Nearest Vehicle Locator in the Fleetmatics GPS solution to locate the personnel closest to the vehicle and send out the person who can get there first.

In addition to vehicle breakdowns, improper maintenance is also a potential safety hazard. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Safety Administration, just over 10 percent of all at-fault large truck crashes can be attributed specifically to vehicle factors.

With the Fleetmatics GPS Tracking System, you can be assured your vehicles are in top form for road conditions, increase the safety of your fleet and reduce accident liabilities. Proper regular maintenance can also help in reducing major repair bills down the road and extending the life and resale value of vehicles.

Reducing vehicle breakdowns is by no means the only benefit of GPS fleet tracking. When you consider all the other benefits (like reduced fuel usage, increased productivity, tighter security, etc.), installing GPS vehicle tracking on your fleet can add up to a huge improvement on your bottom line.