From long-distance couriers to takeaway drivers, taxi cab firms to estate agents, the variety of different industries that should be using fleet tracking systems is

vast. If your business relies on transporting and you've invested good money into a fleet of vehicles, it's only natural that you'll want to take care of your investment in any way you can.

But while fleet tracking might seem obvious, there are still many companies who are yet to utilise it. There are plenty of benefits to adopting a fleet tracking system, but before we can get to them we should probably take care of the elephant in the room - just what is fleet tracking exactly?

The benefits of fleet tracking and how it's used

Fleet tracking systems give you the ability to locate, monitor and improve your fleet operation in real time. Each vehicle in your fleet is kitted out with a GPS tracker device, meaning all driver and vehicle behaviour can be closely monitored.

But apart from knowing the whereabouts of each vehicle in your fleet, how can fleet tracking help? Well, it also means you can learn from mistakes and use collected data to optimise the routes your drivers are taking. When using real time maps, like those demonstrated in this video, you can see up-to-date traffic information, view specific assets on the map, and use this information to plan critical journeys. Ultimately this will save money on fuel and reduce labour costs.

You'll have access to a dashboard, like the one in this video, which gives you clarity and control over your fleet activity. You can drill down into the data and measure the key performance indicators that are most important to your business.

Fleet tracking is also a great investment for security reasons. GPS tracking not only reduces insurance fees, but it means that the likelihood you'll recover any stolen or lost vehicles is increased dramatically. Also, it allows you to keep an eye on the performance of your drivers, ensuring they're not breaching speed limits; you're notified when a driver continually exceeds the limit.

How much does fleet tracking cost?

There are various fleet tracking packages available depending on your requirements. A standard fleet package allows you to:

• Accurately measure idling time
• Upload fuel card data from any supplier at no extra cost
• Review your overall fleet driving style
• Plan routes to reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions
• Verify timesheets and delivery schedules
• Identify traffic problems early to avoid unnecessary delays
• Receive Geofence alerts
• Receive fleet management reminders

This costs £244 (including installation, not including VAT), plus a small monthly subscription of £9.95 for a three year contract, £10.95 for a two year contract, or £11.95 for a one year contract.

The next package up, Fleet Plus, comes with additional extras including:

• Privacy and business buttons for dual-use vehicles
• Individual driver identification across multiple vehicles
• Single and multiple inputs to record specific activity such as use of external devices or vehicle doors

Fleet Plus starts from £329 with the same subscription fees as a standard package. Then there's TRACKER Vision, starting from £440 with monthly subscription fees only slightly higher, which goes even further still:

• Offers in cab Garmin terminal and mounting
• Allocates jobs to drivers in sequence
• Allows you to add and edit jobs as required
• Provides navigation to each job via the Garmin terminal
• Presents statistics regarding early, late, on time or aborted jobs
• Provides access to management information reports specific to jobs
• Offers messaging between the TRACKER and driver terminals

Ultimately, fleet tracking systems can save your business a lot of money - which we recently wrote about here - and are integral for any business operating a fleet of vehicles looking to improve the way they work.