For years chauffeurs and commercial drivers have tried to cheat various vehicle monitoring systems, including hubometer or tachograph devices that monitored miles driven. This was intended to stop drivers from taking on “side jobs.” They were not reliable by any means. A single nut held the hubometer to its mounting bracket on the wheel of the vehicle. From firsthand experience, it takes a crescent wrench and two minutes to remove. Let me not digress to my youthful offenses while delivering meat patties and french fries in the middle of the night while the golden arches were turned off.
The modern day GPS tracking devices provide a wealth of information for the clients we serve, vehicle maintenance, and even for providing driver navigation help. How we choose to use them makes the difference in getting full value.
While the most common use of a vehicle GPS tracker is to monitor speed, you also can use GPS for client billing, driver payroll, vehicle maintenance, identifying aggressive chauffeurs and drivers, rerouting around congested highways, and calculating accurate arrival times.
Our clients have come to expect the use of technology. When they call to ask for their vehicle locations, they expect you will know the answer immediately. For sophisticated travelers, they want to be able to see their vehicle on their cell phone app in real-time.
Setting up speed alerts for your vehicles is simply good business. Your insurance premiums can be lowered if you can demonstrate you have a program to monitor your drivers' behavior. By establishing a monitoring program, you can also see who is abusing your vehicle, who has a lead foot, and who is driving with dangerous habits. Your GPS in essence becomes a part of your safety plan and monitoring for maintenance. If a single vehicle in your fleet averages 16.2 mpg with most drivers and 11.4 mpg with one particular driver, it become apparent that a specific person needs to be shown to the door or retrained with new safety values.
If you have GPS but don’t monitor it, this could come back to haunt you. Let’s say your vehicle is involved in a major crash and a lawsuit is filed. I guarantee you will be asked during a deposition if your vehicle was equipped with a GPS system. If it was, your records will subpoenaed, and if the plaintiff can find that your driver regularly engaged in speeding or other reckless behavior, this will hurt you legally.
If you have a GPS system installed in your vehicles, set up a monitoring plan that will help keep your chauffeurs, clients, and vehicles safe on the road.
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