Lowering fleet operating costs with technology

Posted Mar 27, 2018 by Tim Sandle
Reducing costs is paramount to any business and this includes controlling fleet costs. There are smart technological solutions that assist with this, including mileage trackers, GPS speed trackers to monitor speed, and fuel trackers.
An Afghan migrant travelled 400 kilometres along an Italian highway strapped by leather belts to the...
An Afghan migrant travelled 400 kilometres along an Italian highway strapped by leather belts to the bottom of a lorry
Filippo Monteforte, AFP/File
There are different fuel saving measures that fleet managers can utilize, each of which fits in with the smart technology paradigm. Each of solutions can be put in pace to operate independently; however vehicle equipped technologies tend to work more effectively when used in tandem.
In addition to be being fitted retrospectively, more sophisticated fleet management systems will have smart technologies in- built in order to maximize fleet efficiency and to lower fuel costs.
Mileage tracking
One example of vehicle technology is the use of a mileage tracker, which aids control of fuel consumption. This takes the form of a GPS mileage tracker, which collects data and sends it to a platform for analysis. Such analysis incudes assessing whether drivers are taking the optimal routes for jobs (and for suggesting alternate routes as necessary), and for calculating periodic operating costs.
In addition, such systems can issue alternative routes, based on shortest distance, in the event of traffic incidents. Examples include the iOS ready Mileage Expense Log and the MileIQ. These apps provide GPS-based trip logging, vehicle fuel- and expense-tracking and map-based route review.
Fuel tracking
Fuel trackers are designed to provide fleet managers with detailed fuel data. This covers fuel costs and fuel efficiency. These devices assess the fuel cost data and the amount of fuel consumed. In addition metrics about vehicle idling time and driver behavior information can also be captured.
An example of such a device is Jerrycan, which assesses fuel data against distance and time. A second example is the Corporate Telematics System. This sensor measures fuel level and calculates the amount of fuel based on float.
Speed trackers
Speed trackers are used to assess driving behaviors of the fleet workforce. Data can be transmitted to a platform that can be accessed by fleet managers, allowing an assessment of driving performance. Speed trackers can be used with mileage trackers to identify whether drivers and taking the best routes at optimal speeds.
There are passive and active systems. A passive vehicle tracking device starts relaying journey information once the vehicle is turned on or the door is opened. GPS data, speed and heading are then recorded; whereas with an active system same information is transmitted in real time without the need for docking. Examples include Fast Fit Nationwide and My Tracker.
In related news, some fleets are using smart tires – tires with temperature and pressure sensors attached and which are capable of sending wireless signals to a fleet management platform. This is profiled in the article “Truck tires become part of the Internet of Things.”