101 Trailer Tracking Tips From the Experts

101 Trailer Tracking Tips From the Experts

Fleet management today requires careful oversight of facilities, vehicles, drivers, and cargo trailers.  Since trucks are often on the road for long periods of time, many companies are using fleet management systems to monitor the routes and status of each vehicle. In addition, Yard Management Systems (YMS) can help control the efficiency of each loading area or warehouse. In order to develop a comprehensive trailer tracking and fleet management plan, it’s a good idea to review best practices that have proven effective for other carriers.

It’s always essential to keep compliance in mind when developing trailer tracking and fleet management plans. That includes ensuring that all trailers have rating plates and data plates compliant with applicable transportation industry regulations from the Department of Transportation and other regulatory agencies. Choose a durable data plate material such as Metalphoto® anodized aluminum to ensure that your vehicles’ rating plates remain readable even when exposed to the harsh outdoor conditions in which your vehicles operate.

In this post, we’ll share 101 top trailer tracking tips collected from experts within the industry. You will find an excellent mix of ideas that cover technology, processes, common challenges, and emerging innovations. We hope you’re able to find a few relevant practices that can have a positive impact on your trucking and trailering operations. We’ve organized these tips according to the 5 categories below for easy browsing:

Benefits of Effective Trailer Tracking

-Tips for Choosing the Best Trailer Tracking Technology

-Trailer Tracking Hardware Tips

-Yard Management Tips

-Best Practices for Effective Trailer Tracking

Benefits of Effective Trailer Tracking

1. Improved Asset Utilization. “Trailer tracking systems help you to improve asset utilization as well as protect them from theft. The telematics technology helps you to understand precisely how your assets are being used because you have full visibility over trailer locations, door openings, temperature changes, what the load capacity is, and plenty more. You can, therefore, get a better sense of the day-to-day productivity and efficiency of your asset utilization, without having to check trailers manually.” – Jackson Hand, Benefits of Trailer Tracking for Your Business, Verizon Connect; Twitter: @VerizonConnect

2. Asset Security and Recovery. “To start with, with a good GPS asset tracking system in place, a fleet manager can know where each trailer is at all times. Assets stop disappearing. Whether they’re out on the road or in the yard, they can be instantly located. This makes for much greater security. Additionally, whenever audits are required to verify assets, GPS tracking will show that they do indeed exist, and exactly where they are.” – Bruce Boyers, Benefits of GPS trailer tracking, KeepTruckin; Twitter: @KeepTruckinInc

3. Maintain Fleet Visibility With Partners. “Though many fleets use telematics in their own vehicles, some trucking companies rely on independent owner-operator contractors to complete a portion of their hauling. This can put fleet managers in a tough spot if the contracted trucks don’t have vehicle tracking in place, especially when employees or customers rely on this type of visibility. To remedy this, fleets can simply use their own GPS trailer tracking solution as a stand-in in the scenario that a contractor doesn’t have vehicle tracking software or simply partners with a different provider.” – Ashley Mrozek, 4 Key Benefits GPS Trailer Tracking Provides Fleets, Samsara; Twitter: @Samsara

4. Third Party Logistics Support. “Reduce supply chain shrinkage, monitor where and when your pallets, cargo, parcels or items are removed from your trailers. We can work with you to automatically detect if cargo has been removed at a location other than its destined delivery address by correlating drop off points with delivery schedules.” – GPS trailer tracking Delivering Real ROI, TrailerTrailers

5. Streamlined Trailer Maintenance. “Maintenance scheduling which is planned routinely by time period, and not based on actual trailer use causes unnecessary trailer downtime. By monitoring actual trailer use maintenance is cheaper and more efficient. A fleet owner can achieve a reduction of 35% in maintenance costs which can amount to around €17,500 for a fleet of 500 trailers.” – The advantages of trailer tracking for fleet management, Route42

6. Improved Incident Response Times. “If a truck breaks down and the trailer has to be switched onto another rig, you can manage this much easier with GPS tracking. You must prepare your business for emergencies of all sizes and possibilities. You’ll know the precise map location of a trailer, be able to dispatch another driver, and have the delivery back in transit as soon as possible. By knowing where every driver is, which trailers are available, and who can pick up cargo, you can resolve situations much faster than if you had to manually call for assistance.” – Josh Wienman, 3 Benefits Of GPS Trailer Tracking, In News Weekly; Twitter: @innewsweekly

7. Transparent Monitoring and Tracking. “Transparent monitoring is one of the big reasons why businesses should install a trailer tracking solution in their fleet, but it’s not the only one. The ability to track trailers, as well as other commercial vehicles reduces the chances of unauthorized use, theft, and promotes better utilization of assets.” – Sarang Pharate, 5 Key Things You Should Know About Trailer Tracking Solutions, IoT For All; Twitter: @iotforall

8. Quicker Recovery of Stolen Assets. “Not only can GPS tracking devices help with identifying where the stolen goods are, but they can also provide necessary information for the authorities for investigation and relocation of the merchandise. A process that can otherwise be long, complicated, and costly. Most importantly, they can prevent and stop thefts before they happen by giving fleet managers complete control and visibility of their trailers and assets.” – Elizabeth Pare, The Importance of GPS Trailer Tracking, Anytrek; Twitter: @AnytrekCorp

9. A Reduction in Insurance-Related Costs. “Most of the prominent insurance corporations out there have come to see how important GPS fleet tracking can be and are all strongly advocating for its implementation. In most scenarios, trailers that have GPS devices can have their insurance premiums decreased from ten percent to as much as thirty percent. Insurance providers are looking at GPS tracking as a reliable option. One of the reasons being it can quickly find out when vehicles have changed their route and immediately alert the supervisors.” – The 5 Proven Benefits of GPS Tracking Your Fleet of Tractor Trailers, Lonestar Tracking; Twitter: @LoneStarTrackin

10. Identify Trends Using Analytics. “By applying analytics to GPS tracking data, you can spot operational trends and take action to correct or continue them as appropriate. For example, you might see that one of your locations appears to have a trailer shortage while another has trailers sitting idle. If that is the case, you can reallocate resources to resolve the issue.” – How GPS Tracking Improves Trailer Fleet Management, Boxwheel Trailer Leasing; Twitter: @boxwheel

11. A Reduction in Manual Paperwork. “Trailer tracking uses GPS technology with cloud-based applications that keep a record of everything. The information is organized and stored in the cloud and can be accessed via any mobile device at any point in time. It’s time-saving, cost-effective, as well as environment-friendly. It also eliminates the chances of loss or any discrepancy, as the data is recorded in real time.” – Emma Pauline, Trailer Tracking – Important Things To Know, Matrack; Twitter: @matrackinc

12. Automated Alerts and Updates. “These features keep you up-to-date with each and every trailer in your fleet. This means you can customize alerts on how often you would like to receive them. For instance, an update on the trailer’s movement every six hours, every 8-hours, or even after a whole 24-hours.” – Trailer GPS Monitoring Benefits & Features, Wireless Links; Twitter: @wirelesslinksnj

13. Optimized Trailer Capacity. “With a manual logging system, it is hard to make a waterproof system that tells you exactly how your trailer fleet is used. Errors easily slip in and you struggle to have a full overview of your trailers. A solution in place will help you understand the use-rate on your fleet. In other words, it will provide you with reports and alerts for the allocation, rotation, and retention of your trailers.” – Trailer tracking: What and how?, Sensolus; Twitter: @sensolus

14. Comprehensive Fleet Mapping. “Make sure your GPS tracking system gives you that ability to view all of your trailers on a single map, including their location history. Knowledge is power and the more information you have, the better able you will be to manage your valuable assets.” – 7 Features to Look For in a GPS Trailer Tracker, GPS Trackit; Twitter: @gpstrackit

15. Decreased Loading and Unloading Times. “Loading and unloading trailers can be a time-consuming logistical nightmare. A trailer utilization solution can help you pin-point the exact cause of inefficiencies so you can make changes to your operational processes and save valuable time.” – The 10 Big Benefits of a Trailer Utilization Solution, CloudHawk; Twitter: @CloudHawk

16. Track Events Within The Trailer. “With the use of trailer tracking devices comes the opportunity to track numerous pieces of information, including door open/close events, trailer temperatures in refrigerated trucks, trailer power status, and more.” – Brian Dziuk, 3 Reasons to Use a GPS Trailer Tracking Solution (+ Top Devices), Rastrac; Twitter: @Rastrac_GPS

17. Highly Scaleable For Future Needs. “If you’re more experienced with telematics, you’ll know how important it is that you find a solution that can be configured to your needs and, more important, is scalable and can grow along with the size and the changing operational realities of your fleet. With the availability of cost-effective trailer tracking solutions, there is little reason why trailers should remain the forgotten asset, and, instead, be top-of-mind as your fleet fulfills its daily mission to serve its customers.” – Tracking the Forgotten Asset: Using Technology to Improve Trailer Management, GPS Insight; Twitter: @gpsinsight

18. Optimized Route Planning. “Today’s tracking systems, via their onboard modules, calculate routes on the go and continuously, taking into account unexpected issues such as traffic jams. These real-time GPS trackers are able to recalculate each route and ETA with fine-tuned precision, thereby reducing the total distance travelled, limiting transportation costs and improving delivery visibility for customers.” – How GPS tracking benefits the bottom line, Trailermatics; Twitter: @Trailermatics

19. Control Vehicle Movements With Geofencing. “When shipping high-value, high-risk and time-sensitive freight (such as medical devices, high-end electronics, smartphones and banking documents), the ability to track every move the trailer makes is vital. Carriers with geo-fencing technology can monitor a trailer’s location every step of the way, ensuring the equipment doesn’t stray from the pre-determined route or go unnoticed if it does. If for some reason it exits the invisible barrier, the carrier can quickly contact the driver to determine why and take the appropriate action. Geo-fencing technology gives shippers a more secure experience and more on-time deliveries.” – Paige Brooks, The Importance of Geo-fencing Technology in the Trucking Industry, ArcBest; Twitter: @ArcBestCorp

20. Track Staff and Truck Work Histories. “Maintaining effective control of a team of mobile workers and their associated vehicles and equipment is critical to the success of any business. Without firsthand knowledge of the real-time and historical activities of your people and equipment, your operations staff is basically blindfolded.” –  Rover TT GPS Trailer Tracking, FQWireless: Twitter: @fqwireless

Tips for Choosing the Best Trailer Tracking Technology

21. Choose Which Monitoring You Require. “As you decide between GPS fleet trackers, you’ll need to consider what metrics you want to track. While you can expect GPS trackers to monitor your assets and vehicles’ locations, you may want to receive more information about your fleet. Some trackers can let you know the temperature of a cargo hold, provide information on the vehicle’s performance or send reports about driver safety.” – What GPS Tracking Device Is Right for Your Fleet?, Track Your Truck; Twitter: @TrackYourTruck

22. Does The Device Report Data Consistently. “If you’re not consistently gathering data, your trailer tracking ROI goes out the window. Still, many suppliers have products where as much as 15% of trailer telematics devices aren’t reporting. That’s a giant data gap that makes it hard to get the most out of a trailer tracking solution.” – Luke Roney, 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Trailer Tracking Solution, EROAD; Twitter: @EroadGlobal

23. Focus on the Overall Value of the System. “Price is important, but value is the ultimate measure. Most often, clients have a whole array of mobile assets alongside their trailers, whether it’s trucks, vans or company cars, or even other kinds of high-value assets. You’d be better off (over the long term) considering suppliers that can meet all of your fleet management needs now and in the foreseeable future.” – 3 Key Factors For Choosing the Right Trailer Tracking Solution, MiX Telematics; Twitter: @MiXTelematics

24. Review All the Technology Factors That Affect Cost. “When it comes to deciding on a trailer tracking system, many factors are at play, and most of them affect cost. For example, if real-time tracking isn’t critical to your fleet, a money-saving option may be to choose a battery-powered system that sends back location reports on an hourly basis, or even less frequently.” – Jeff Miller, What is trailer tracking and why do you need it?, KeepTruckin; Twitter: @KeepTruckinInc

25. Consider After-Sales Service Support. “When you buy your first trailer GPS tracker, things should not stop there. You need to make sure that the makers offer technical support should you need it. This technical support can be in the form of email, live chat online or even a direct phone call. The people working in the tech team are very knowledgeable when it comes to the products and are in a position to answer any questions or queries you may have regarding managing your device.” – Features To Look For When Buying GPS Trackers, Lonestar Tracking; Twitter: @LoneStarTrackin

26. Pursue Temperature Data Loggers for Refrigerated Trailer Loads. “When transporting perishable goods, your reputation depends on product quality. Food spoilage accounts for $35 billion in losses and 1.3 billion tons of waste, with about 12 percent of this waste coming from changes in room temperature. When food spoils on the truck, it hurts your reputation, but more importantly, it hurts your customers’ businesses. This is why temperature data loggers can be the difference between several hundred pounds of food spoilage and peace of mind.” – A Comprehensive Guide to Tracking Your Trailer Loads, Samsara; Twitter: @Samsara

27. Look for Geofencing Capabilities. “Geofencing is an incredibly important feature to have because it can allow you to see if the trailer or assets go outside of the boundaries of where they are supposed to be. This can help in a few different ways. For one thing, this can help you recover a trailer if it was stolen. It can also help to determine if an accident happened, allowing you the time you need to get help and another truck to continue the delivery. Lastly, this can help you see if your drivers are staying on the route they are supposed to.” – How to Select the Best Trailer Tracking Devices for Cold Chain Location and Conditions Monitoring, Eelink; Twitter: @e2link

28. Choose from External, Battery, or Solar Powered Devices. “Also, trailer tracking devices must be externally powered (for powered or motorized trailers), or powered by batteries or solar cells (for non-powered or non-motorized trailers). The only other device needed to track your fleet’s trailers is a Web-connected smartphone, tablet, or computer to access the trailer tracker software.” – Justin Schmid, FAQ: Your Top 6 GPS Trailer Tracker Questions, GPS Insight; Twitter: @gpsinsight

29. Motion Sensing Capabilities Can Improve Battery Life. “Your trailer tracking solution should do more than mark a spot on a map. Rover TT monitors movements with motion-sensing capabilities. Fleet owners can track cargo movements in their trailers, protecting valuable assets against theft and employee ‘side jobs.’ Motion-sensing capabilities can also increase battery conversation, with the option to program the device accelerometer to wake from its power saving ‘sleep’ upon detecting movement.” – You Asked: “What Should I Look For in a Trailer Tracking GPS System?”, FQWireless; Twitter: @fqwireless

30. Choose a Platform That Allows Real-Time Communications. “Trailer tracking gives you the ability to receive regular updates on the progress of shipments, because you’re able to see your asset’s location during the entire route. This transmittal of information via GPS trailer tracking allows you to cut lead times and maximize efficiencies with up-to-the-minute shipment status updates.” – Trailer & Equipment Tracking, Rhino Fleet Tracking; Twitter: @rhinofleets

31. Look for Technology That Enables Automation and Fleet Efficiencies. “This new technology helps our dispatch team identify tractor and trailer inconsistencies, making diagnosing and fixing these mismatches easier. This helps our customers identify the real-time location of our trailers, whether they are in yards or en route.” – Jeff Pries, Trailer Tracking Technology – Simplifying The Tracking Process For Customers And Drivers, Bison Transport; Twitter: @Drive4Bison

32. Prepare for the Sunset of 3G GPS Tracking. “It’s important to note that while a particular carrier may say when their 3G network will be discontinued, it’s possible that their 3G service will be inconsistent before that date. This is because many carriers have ‘roaming agreements’ that let them use the towers of other carriers at times. If those other carriers have discontinued 3G, service may be unavailable in certain areas. The bottom line: You should make the transition away from 3G as soon as possible.” – Is Your Fleet Prepared for the “Sunset” of 3G GPS Tracking?, Boxwheel Trailer Leasing; Twitter: @boxwheel

33. Consider the Ease of Installation. “Making minor modifications to the vehicle can appear impossible to most people. And, it’s reasonable that several people prioritize ease of installation when choosing a Trailer GPS tracker. Fortunately, a reliable Trailer GPS tracker should be compact and lightweight enough to be mounted on a vehicle. Using the best GPS tracker needs to be as easy as hiding a plastic full of pencils in your boot. Unless you want to do some sort of extra advanced installation.” – Trailer GPS Tracker: Top 5 Best Systems (Reviews & Scores), ELD Devices; Twitter: @elddevices

34. Mobile Connectivity Is Critical for Dispersed Fleets. “Many businesses are hopping on the trend of mobilizing their workforce by having their employees use mobile phones and tablets on the job. This trend is more applicable in a vehicle fleet than anywhere else as drivers are perpetually on the go! Therefore, GPS fleet tracking software should be easy for drivers to use on their mobile devices while they’re on the road.” – 4 Features of Successful GPS Fleet Tracking Solutions, SkyBitz; Twitter: @SkyBitz

35. Review Integrations With Your Existing Software. “Many transportation companies rely on other software systems for a multitude of business needs, like for dispatch capabilities. Make sure you identify a GPS provider that can work to integrate their trailer tracking software to your existing software.” – The 5-minute Trailer Tracking Guide, Spireon; Twitter: @spireon

36. Look For Quality Reporting Features. “A GPS tracking solution should provide you with the data and reporting capabilities necessary to make informed business decisions. One key to reporting is flexibility. If a vehicle tracking system doesn’t allow you to automate reports on a weekly or monthly basis while also giving you the ability to generate reports instantly, cross that one off your list. The reports should be concise and easy to understand. Reports should be available in your choice of formats: download to spreadsheet, email or online. Important reports should include vehicle starts and stops, excessive idling times, speed violations and much more. Information should be archived for at least 1 year and customizable by time and date.” – Robert Drucker, The 5 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Vehicle Tracking System, Boston Global Tracking; Twitter: @bostongps

37. Check The Quality and Availability of Location Data. “Would your trailer inventory benefit from real-time tracking, or is a single location ping every five to ten minutes sufficient? Additionally, would it be helpful to have the option to switch between real-time or interval alerts?” – How to Use a GPS Tracker for Trailers to Improve Your Fleet Management, Samsara; Twitter: @Samsara

38. Find a Solution That Gives You Complete Control. “Look for a telematics provider that can give you, as partner, full control over the platform. This means you’re better able to support your clients — reducing administrative delays, minimising waiting times and making sure they’re up and running quickly AND efficiently.” – 7 factors when choosing the right tracking platform, Telematics Wire; Twitter: @telematicswire

39. Dispatching Can Be More Efficient with Real-Time Data Tracking. “Effective dispatching is possible with Real-time solutions. It is possible to know the status of each vehicle and the location of the drivers on a map. This feature allows you to take actions on emergency or other situations and to effectively manage the day-to-day operations.” – 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a GPS Vehicle Tracking Device, Edsys; Twitter: @EdsysEducation

40. Prioritize Fuel Tracking and Analysis. “As a leading expense line for many businesses, the right fleet tracking software will track fuel spend and monitor fuel usage to identify wasteful behaviors, such as excessive idling and aggressive acceleration with real-time alerts.” – Fleet Tracking Software: The Ultimate Buyers Guide, Teletrac Navman; Twitter: @TeletracNavman

41. Look for a Balance of Features and Cost. “Be aware that the GPS tracking and telematics industry is no different than your industry. The low price leader is forgoing something (features, service, financial stability, etc.) to be at the lowest price point. By using the checklist you will overcome the temptation to go with the low price leader which may not be the best long-term partner that will maximize your return on investment.” – GPS Tracking Buyers Guide, Fleetistics; Twitter: @fleetistics

42. Preventive Maintenance Features Can Reduce Equipment Downtime. “When maintenance isn’t planned for, it keeps trailers off the road longer than necessary, which can equate to less business won for your company. Taking preventative measures with GPS trailer tracking will allow you to schedule maintenance and receive alerts with enough time to plan around that trailer’s downtime. Companies also turn to GPS trailer tracking for the capability to schedule maintenance based on of a specific date for annual inspections.” – Lance Holt, GPS Trailer Tracking – Optimizing Your Productivity, GPS Insight; Twitter: @gpsinsight

Trailer Tracking Hardware Tips

43. Install a Device That is Difficult for Thieves to Track. “Most GPS trackers can be detected, however the LoneStar Tracking system is one of the most difficult trackers to detect. If a thief is scanning for a tracking device, it will only detect the GPS tracker if the unit is transmitting location information. Because the LoneStar Tracking GPS trackers sleep when the trailer is not moving, there is no signal for the thief to detect.” – GPS Trailer Tracker, Lonestar Tracking; Twitter: @LoneStarTrackin

44. Water-Resistant Housings Help Protect The Device. “Additionally, our trailer tracking device has an amazing water-resistant quality that works flawlessly in any bitterest situation that the truck driver may face on the road. One of the crucial reasons why most people make use of this device is it increases the security of the trailer and cargo. It also reduces the driver’s detention time. – Oscar Bernard, How does a trailer tracker function?, TXT E Solutions; Twitter: @TXTELD

45. Hardware Tracking Prevents Equipment Hoarding. “Stop wasting money on idle equipment. Equipment hoarding has become a common practice on today’s job sites. Sometimes it’s accidental, but sometimes it’s very intentional. It can be tempting to keep a piece of equipment onsite for a ‘just in case’ situation, but if that equipment isn’t working for you, it’s losing money. Asset tracking allows you visibility of all your assets, so you can optimize workflows and make sure valuable equipment is being put to use.” – Brittany Wooten, 4 Benefits of Asset Tracking for Fleet Management, EROAD; Twitter: @EroadGlobal

46. Ensure Your Hardware Supports Low Battery Alerts. “You never want your GPS tracker to die on you, so an asset tracking system that lets you view your battery’s status is a must. Notifications let you know the moment your battery is low or disconnected so you can keep on track.” – Introduction to Asset Tracking For Trailers, CallPass; Twitter: @_CallPass 

47. Choose The Proper Installation Option. “GPS tracking devices are integral to your fleet’s operational efficiency. They monitor your vehicles in real-time providing you with data related to everything from location and speed to excessive idling and aggressive driving. Installing GPS fleet tracking devices isn’t difficult, but there are choices to make: Plug-n-play devices connect directly to an OBD-II or JBUS port. Hardwired vehicle tracking devices require a three-wire connection. Self-powered devices run on batteries or solar power.” – Comparing Installation Options for GPS Fleet Tracking Devices, AutoConnect GPS; Twitter: @PlugNTrackGPS

48. GPS-Enabled Taillights Can Add Covert Tracking. “Once installed, the unit can help fleets locate trailers that are dropped off at the wrong spot, lost, or stolen. The sensors typically broadcast their position over standard cellphone networks every five minutes when moving and charging, every 15 minutes when moving and not charging, and every six hours when idle.” – GPS-enabled taillights double as covert tracking devices, DC Velocity; Twitter: @dcvelocity

49. Use An ELD-Compliant Device For Paperless Compliance. “The roll out of Electronic Logging Devices as required by the ELD mandate is now complete with the AOBRD transition period over. ELD paperless log books can be set to automatically collect driving data, allowing drivers to maximize driving time by recording in single-minute units, not the traditional 15-minute increments. Roadside inspections are often quicker and more efficient too.” – Kevin Aries, Nine Ways to Make Truck Fleet Management Smarter, Verizon Connect; Twitter: @verizonconnect

50. Research Emerging IoT-Enabled Hardware. “However, new IoT-based applications can provide even better real-time operational efficiency for fleet managers. After all, fleet managers can leverage far more than just track-and-trace capabilities. There’s been a rise in ‘smart trucks’ that carry various sensors and devices bumper-to-bumper, collecting data and generating insights that are providing tangible value to fleet managers.” – Cody Lirette, The Role of IoT in Fleet Management, ORBCOMM; Twitter: @ORBCOMM_Inc

51. Consider Devices With Removable Batteries. “GPS is powered by a built-in or removable battery. The ability to use additional (removable) batteries is preferable because it will help to avoid a lot of problems connected with the built-in battery failure. This is a significant advantage, and preference should be given to such GPS trackers. But even in the case of an external power source, the GPS tracker will operate not longer than a few hours. For stable operation without any failures, the GPS unit needs to be connected to the car onboard network via the adapter. Therefore, the car adapter is a mandatory item in your GPS system.” – How To Build Your Own GPS Vehicle Tracking System, Cprime Studios; Twitter: @CPrimeStudios

52. Use Hardware to Monitor Engine Idling Time. “For example, by combining location with engine idling data, fleet managers can pinpoint problem areas and remind drivers to turn off their engines. Visibility into an entire fleet can help dispatchers deploy and monitor vehicles more efficiently, reducing empty miles and improving overall vehicle utilization. Leading fleet tracking systems can be configured to generate custom reports and real-time alerts to hone in on specific problem areas.” – 5 Benefits of Modern Fleet Tracking Systems, Lytx; Twitter: @lytx

53. Choose Between Short-Term and Long-Term Tracking. “Are you looking for something that would be ideal for tracking of a few days or weeks, or are you looking for a GPS fleet tracking device that can track for months or years at a time? Your answer will help you to determine the type of power supply you will need for your GPS tracker. Battery life can vary between fleet management trackers, which makes being able to choose from portable, battery-powered trackers, hard-wired trackers, or even solar power trackers particularly helpful.” – Brian Dziuk, 5 Tips for Choosing the Right GPS Fleet Trackers for Your Needs, Rastrac; Twitter: @Rastrac_GPS

54. Be Sure To Follow All Instructions for Any DIY Installations. “If you do opt to install the device yourself, make sure you follow all the instructions precisely and check the device carefully to ensure it works after the installation. Be aware that DIY vehicle tracking installation means you will have no external support available if something goes wrong, so make sure you are confident with how to deal with any issues that may arise.” – Amanda Thomas, Guide on How to Install a GPS Tracker on Your Vehicle: Plug-In or Hardwired?, Trackimo; Twitter: @trackimo

55. Use Vehicle Data For Fleet Replacement Planning. “The latest vehicle sensors and devices can deliver timely alerts about engine problems and many other diagnostic issues while alerting routing centers when your vehicles are out of service. Note that the cache of vehicle data is likely to help with drive fleet overhaul as well as replacement planning, which is convenient.” – Everything you need to know about telematics and fleet management, GPS Wox; Twitter: @gpswox

56. Consider a Critical Event Video (CEV) System. “Advanced technology has allowed dash cameras to go to the next level. The Critical Event Video (CEV) Camera is an improved version of the dash camera. Fleets can track vehicles, monitor driver behavior, access video footage, and optimize fleet management with these intelligent dash cameras. The CEV camera enables fleet managers to see how their drivers behave in real-time. With access to driver performance, managers can easily detect high fuel consuming behavior.” – Aspen Rogers, 6 Ways to Advance Your Fleet, Gentrifi GPS; Twitter: @GentrifiGPS

57. Collision Mitigation Technologies Can Supplement Tracking Devices. “Today’s systems are also eliminating the false positives that the old technology reported. For many companies, collision mitigation systems are becoming standard on new trucks and can be retrofitted to older trucks as well. Collision mitigation technology also serves as a way to monitor more of what’s going on around a truck as the truck’s speed and control in various conditions changes, offering the ability to take autonomous emergency action if necessary.” – Up to Date Fleet Solutions Require New Tech, WEX Inc.; Twitter: @WEXIncNews

58. Choose a Proper Location to Install The Device. “Firstly you must decide the place of installation for the tracker. More often, businesses prefer to get their fleet tracking device installed where it is easy to hide from the view of thieves as well as drivers. Placing the device under the dashboard of trucks or vehicles can be a good idea. Make sure that the high-end imports under the dashboard do not have a metal foil or else the decision to fix the device under the mount of dashboard may not work. Keep in mind that the GPS signal has the ability to penetrate glass, foam, plastic, wood, and fiberglass.” – How To Set Up A GPS Fleet Tracking System, Fleetroot; Twitter: @FleetrootInfo

59. Understand the Major Hardware Options Available. “GPS tracking requires you to integrate hardware into your fleet vehicles and equipment. There are three types of hardware you should be aware of: OBD II or ‘plug and play’ devices, hardwired devices, and battery-operated devices. You can also install dash cameras for better security and visibility. Here’s a breakdown of each.” – Karen Bradley, The Real Cost of Vehicle Tracking for Fleets, EcoTrack Fleet Management

Yard Management Tips

60. Use Trailer Tracking to Simplify Yard Checks. “Have your yard jockeys ever walked to a trailer only to discover it wasn’t the right one? Or that it was parked somewhere else? GPS trailer tracking shows you exactly where the trailer is, simplifying yard checks for sites. On-site cameras complement these checks with historical video footage. You can also receive proactive alerts notifying you when there is unusual activity in your yard.” – A Step-by-Step Guide for How to Track Trailers in the Yard, Samsara; Twitter: @Samsara

61. Monitor Driver Performance and History. “It is essential to know that your drivers are not behaving incorrectly behind the wheel. By examining your driver’s performance, you can prevent the amount of damage done to your vehicles. There is affordable technology in the trucking industry that can track speeding over the limit, braking harshly, and even excessive idling. Keeping these events to a minimum will save you money in the long run.” – Araceli Santos, 5 Tips For Trailer Maintenance In Your Fleet, Anytrek; Twitter: @AnytrekCorp

62. Track Trailer Arrivals and Departures With Geofencing. “In addition to determining the location of your trailers with GPS tracking, you can use geo zone alerts, or geofence alerts to also receive information about the arrival and departure times of your cargo. Geo zone alerts can even be automated to notify your team when a shipment is approaching a customer’s loading dock, for example. This way, you know when the cargo is delivered and an order has been completed without having to call your team.” – Simon Austin-Beckett, Trailer tracking benefits for your fleet, Verizon Connect; Twitter: @VerizonConnect

63. Improve Driver Efficiency With Efficient Monitoring. “Improving the process with efficient monitoring can greatly help drivers understand what trailers they’re connecting to. If these pieces function in the right order, your back office can quickly connect with drivers who are getting ready to start their trips with the wrong trailers. Happier drivers often equate to lower turnover rates, which can all result in terrific ROI for your business.” – Andrew Hicks, Webinar wisdom: Maximize your margins with trailer and asset tracking, Omnitracs; Twitter: @OmnitracsHQ

64. Manage and Optimize Trailer Utilization. “Where fleet utilization is an understanding of the percentage of your fleet that is being used for the purpose of fully optimizing resources, trailer utilization is even more granular, relating to the percentage of a trailer that is being used. Embracing IoT sensor technologies can help improve your trailer utilization, empowering fleet managers to increase their overall operational efficiency and revenue per mile.” – Trailer Utilization: The Key Word Every Fleet Manager Should Know, CloudHawk; Twitter: @CloudHawk

65. Hire A Capable Yard Manager. “Your ideal yard manager is organized and detailed oriented. They keep a board on the location of every trailer and know what each one contains. They also need to be an excellent strategist who can find what’s needed quickly. They monitor, schedule, track, and communicate with your drivers, providing efficient and clear direction to keep the yard running with no complications.” – Chadwick Heard, 4 Secrets To Yard Management Efficiency, RBW Logistics; Twitter: @rbwlogistics

66. Assign Parking Within the Yard. “Yard coordinators can prioritize and track trailer positions, arrivals and departures across distributed or centralized yards. The ability to assign parking and quickly locate trailers in the yard increases efficiency in operations. Workers don’t waste time hunting for trailers, or parking trailers in the wrong location.” –  Four Ways to Improve Yard Management, Descartes Systems Group; Twitter: @DescartesSG

67. Take Advantage of Auto-Inventory Reconciliation Capabilities. “Today’s yard management systems may come with auto-inventory reconciliation, meaning the location of assets/trailers in the yard is automatically updated as the yard truck goes about its operations, reading RFID tags and associating the tag with the current GPS location. If a trailer is not in the position in which it was last seen, the system automatically updates the location, eliminating the need for manual yard checks.” – Seve Carnera, Top Challenges in Yard Management and How to Solve Them, SupplyChain247; Twitter: @SupplyChain247

68. Use Spotting and Shuttling Services to Streamline Management. “When high volumes of trucks and trailers need to enter or leave a yard, congestion can drastically hinder productivity. As an extension of the facility or transportation operation, spotting and shuttling services can improve communication between drivers and facility operators, mitigating disruptions and enhancing distribution.” – Tips on Managing the Yard, NFI Industries; Twitter: @nfiindustries

69. A Yard Management Systems (YMS) Can Improve Fleet Visibility. “Two main roles come to mind—visibility and communication. Today’s best systems offer visibility into basic information including the location, status, and contents of assets on the yard. They are also able to offer more detailed information including historical data, load detail down to the SKU, and accountability of who is performing tasks and when.” – Nathan Harris, Improving Operations With a Yard Management System, Inbound Logistics; Twitter: @ILMagazine

70. Have Drivers Check-In With a Smartphone Device Upon Arrival. “When drivers check in with their smartphones, they can also activate their global positioning systems so that yard personnel can track their whereabouts. That information gives warehouse managers the ability to plot the location of every truck on their lot, avoid the time-intensive process of searching for vehicles that may be parked in the wrong spots, and fit more drop-offs and pickups into each day.” – Ben Ames, Five tips for getting drivers through your yard faster, DC Velocity; Twitter: @dcvelocity

71. Consider All Vehicle Parameters To Optimize Parking. “To find the optimal parking space for each car, it is important to consider not only where you have space on the yard, but take into consideration what the next steps are for that individual vehicle. Will the vehicle undergo modification? Is the vehicle damaged? What is the next mode of transportation? These questions must be considered to optimize parking and keep costly kilometers off the odometer.” – Luisa Walendy, 5 Tips For Vehicle Yard Operators, INFORM; Twitter: @inform_software

72. Use Multi-Technology Solutions. “In the yard, the lift truck is equipped with RFID readers. These are onboard computers with a cellular modem and a GPS device that allows dispatchers to assign move tasks and track driver performance. In addition, it also provides drivers with the ability to perform automatic, drive-by yard checks, manage move tasks and assign trailer locations based on GPS coordinates. By using this multi-technology solution, the 3PL was able to attain the required yard functionality in a cost-effective fashion.” – Chuck Papa, Organizing Yard Management Flow, Material Handling & Logistics; Twitter: @MHLeditor

73. Ensure Yard Drivers Are Onboard With Your Chosen System. “Absolutely key to the success of your implementation are the yard drivers. If they are not on board the system is sure to falter. They are typically a very skilled team who know how to manage a yard. So it’s very important to help them understand that the YMS is there to help, not take away their autonomy or worse—their job.” – Gregory Braun, A Practical Guide: Purchasing and Implementing a Yard Management System, C3 Solutions; Twitter: @c3solutions

74. Implement Efficient Labor Management Techniques. “If you visit a traditional yard (the one managed by a manual system with all the paperwork), you will see trucks waiting for their turn to be unloaded or uploaded. That is due to the waiting time since the manager has to manually find a place for a container, or where the truck should be loaded with goods. A YMS system is a lot more effective since managers direct trucks to sections where they should upload or unload goods prior to their arrival.” – Bethany Watson, The Importance of Digitizing Yard Management, Global Trade; Twitter: @GlobalTradeMag

75. Develop an Efficient Yard Layout. “Create a layout of your workspace. This can include which bays or loading ramps that you have which can receive trucks for loading and unloading. The plan should also outline the location of each storage space for storing products. Plan out these areas in blocks and give them labels. When everyone is knowledgeable about the yard plan, you can communicate much easier as a team, and as a result operations become more efficient.” – Best Practices In Yard Management, Dura-Ramp; Twitter: @duraramp

76. Integrate Yard Management Systems With Warehouse Technlogy. “For a yard management system to work optimally, it must have some capabilities that allow it to integrate with other technology that you have in place already. These would be things such as cloud integration, scheduling software, and billing tools. Additionally, if you use RFID or Bluetooth extensively in your warehouse, will the YMS be able to communicate with the devices that operate through that technology.” – What Is A Yard Management System?, Redwood; Twitter: @redwoodlgistics

77. Provide Training For Employees, Drivers, and Vendors. “Inform all team members, drivers, vendors and other personnel involved in yard operations of proper procedures and protocols, including how to use appropriate YMS functions to streamline the arrival, loading and unloading, and departure of trucks. The should also include a thorough review of all your businesses ‘Green,’ such as reducing fuel costs by eliminating the number of hours a perishable shipment sits in a running truck in your yard.” – 7 Ways to Overcome Yard Management Challenges, Veridian; Twitter: @VeridianInfo

78. Verify Technology Before Making a Purchase. “When working with potential vendors, make sure that you can do a test run on the system before it is incorporated into the organization. This is because you could settle for a system that doesn’t address all your needs, but have already made the purchase. Is there an advantage to common operating systems with their technology? How will the solution being provided address your business needs? Make sure you have someone with a technical background with you when examining the systems.” – Sunit Nandi, Tips on Choosing a Yard Management System, Techno FAQ; Twitter: @Techno_FAQ

79. Consider Using Dock Delivery Appointments. “A best practice, which is more common in Europe, is to have carriers book delivery appointments within a narrow window, the load is tipped on arrival, and the driver departs with an empty trailer. This practice is less common in North America, where yards are larger and can accommodate drop trailers waiting to be unloaded. Trailers tend to sit in the yard for a couple of days. However, having fully loaded trailers sitting in the yard acting as a safety buffer between transportation and warehouse processes is inherently poor practice.” – Steve Banker, How to Improve Yard Management, Logistics Viewpoints; Twitter: @logisticsviewpt

80. Combine YMS and Intelligent Truck Systems. “To further support yard operational efficiencies, organizations are also turning to intelligent truck supply control systems that automatically respond to unexpected workflow disruptions. In operation, these software solutions review truck time slot schedules after each event in real time and make adjustments, when necessary, via a web portal where sites and carriers are coordinated.” – Yard Management & Intelligent Truck Control: A Dynamic Duo, Advanced Fleet Management Consulting

Best Practices for Effective Trailer Tracking

81. Track Trailer KPIs To Improve Fleet Utilization. “The average American long-haul trucker travels over 100,000 miles in a year, showcasing the distance that fleets cover as they transport cargo. Tracking trailer KPIs such as percentage of loaded miles versus empty (deadhead) miles can go a long way in boosting profit margins, considering the amount of time truckers are on the road., considering the amount of time truckers are on the road.’ – Cody Lirette, 3 Reasons Every Fleet Manager Needs to Set Trailer KPIs, ORBCOMM; Twitter: @ORBCOMM_Inc

82. Also Consider Tracking For Other Non-Powered Devices. “From shipping containers, ISO containers to IBC tanks, fuel tanks, and other non-powered equipment, implementing asset tracking for your operations can give you the data and information you need, when you need it. Make sure that the GPS asset tracking devices you choose are catered to the needs of your operations.” – Sandra Meekins, Truck & Trailer (Large Equipment) Asset Tracking, Geoforce; Twitter: @geoforce

83. Fleet Data Can Improve Safety Awareness. “Trailer Tracking is a vital part of fleet management. Together, they allow managers and owners to operate their fleets at maximum capacity and improve profitability. It also ensures that all assets are utilized properly and maintained periodically. The reports generated are accurate and help in tax compliances and safety protocols.” – Emma Pauline, Trailer Tracking And Fleet Management – What’s The Difference?, Matrack; Twitter: @matrackinc

84. Use Dynamic Tracking To Reduce Maintenance Costs. “Trailer mileage can also be tracked digitally with fair accuracy. Additionally, when a trailer is inward bound to a lot, the fleet manager will know this ahead of time and can prepare to pull it off the line for maintenance, inserting another trailer in its place. With Flex, you can always know where your trailer is, not just where it was.” – Cory Halbardier, Cutting maintenance costs on trailers with dynamic asset tracking, Geotab; Twitter: @geotab

85. Address Service Issues Using Trailer Tracking. “Operating efficiency, asset utilization, and safety all impact the number of loads and tonnage a fleet can haul. Addressing service issues like low tire pressure has a big impact on fuel costs and tire wear.” – Gregg Wartgow, Nine ways new trailer tracking solutions benefit a fleet, FleetMaintenance; Twitter: @fleetmx

86. Use Fleet Data To Improve Training Effectiveness. “The data collected by fleet management software, as well as from GPS tracking and dashcams, can be used for training. It can also be used as a way to record good behavior and reward employees accordingly—one of several non-finance-related things proven to boost employee motivation.” – 5 Ways Telematics is Transforming the Landscaping Industry, Fleet Complete; Twitter: @fleetcomplete

87. Set a Clear Budget and Tracking Goals. “At the end of the day, installing vehicle trackers is about saving money. With GPS tracking equipment, you’ll be better able to dispatch efficiently and manage fuel use, which reduces waste and saves the company serious amounts of cash. As such, it’s important to choose GPS fleet trackers that make sense for your business– if you choose a model that’s too expensive, or that doesn’t have the features you need, you could actually end up losing money.” – Getting Started: Beginner’s Tips for GPS Fleet Tracking, Titan GPS; Twitter: @titan_gps

88. Focus On Your Customers. “Customer focus ensures the satisfaction of your company’s most important people — its clients. Fleet managers need to keep this in mind when making decisions regarding fleet operations. For instance, when acquiring new vehicles, a transport fleet manager should consider whether a rental car company customer would prefer to have a luxury vehicle or a small, compact model.” – The Ultimate Guide to Fleet Management, Rand McNally; Twitter: @randmcnally

89. Tailor The Use of Fleet Management To Your Business Needs. “Different industries may take advantage of fleet management software in unique ways. If a client schedules a pick-up, the nearest truck can easily be assigned to the job. Without this data, you might otherwise waste fuel and lose time selecting a truck that’s further away. Efficient dispatch times will increase customer satisfaction, and automatic delay notifications will reduce client frustration.” – Ryan Birdsell, how gps tracking can help improve fleet management, SATX Technologies; Twitter: @satxtechnology

90. Remain Compliant with Hours of Service (HOS) Rules. “Aside from ensuring fleet productivity, operators and managers also have to ensure the safety of their drivers and compliance with government regulations such as Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Fleet management software should alert drivers and managers to unsafe or problematic driver behaviors. At the same time, the solution should automatically be tracking HOS (hours of service) so drivers don’t exceed the allowable working hours under HOS rules, as well as keeping track of fuel usage on a state-by-state basis to simplify fuel tax payments.” – 7 Things to Look for in a Fleet Management Solution, DispatchTrack; Twitter: @dispatchtrack

91. Improve Vehicle Inventory Accuracy. “For bigger fleets operating in different locations, very often in the construction sector, it is necessary to exactly locate equipment for logistical and security reasons. Tracking your mobile assets is an invaluable aid to planning your daily schedule and cutting out the superfluous movement of assets from one place to the other. This can be achieved in a far more intelligent way!” – Eleonora Malacarne, 5 great asset tracking tips to keep tabs on your fleet, Transpoco Telematics; Twitter: @transpoco

92. Look for Cloud-Based Tracking Solutions. “Cloud-based fleet management software keeps users current on product updates with little to no downtime. Plus, no hardware means no overhead, maintenance costs or headaches for IT.” – Rachael Plant, 8 Advantages of Cloud-based Fleet Management Software, Fleetio; Twitter: @fleetio

93. Use Privacy Authorization to Protect Data. “Such business related information must be shared only with the authorized people like customs officers during the shipment, police for clearances. During the fleet operations, wherever authorization is needed, the company or the organization must e-verify the company vehicle and the person driving the company’s vehicle for a secured operation.” – 6 Tips to protect your Fleets from GPS signal jammers and scramblers, Vamosys

94. Consider Employee Morale When Implementing A Tracking System. “Implementing this software may result in employee pushback. Drivers may not want to be monitored and could view the decision to use GPS fleet tracking systems as a sign their employer doesn’t trust them and a violation of employee privacy. If you decide to use a fleet tracking system, consider how you plan to inform your employees that you’ll be implementing it.” – Matt D’Angelo, Choosing a GPS Fleet Tracking System, Business News Daily; Twitter: @BNDarticles

95. Create Standard Vehicle Replacement Schedules. “Proper replacement of vehicles is not only a financial issue. Substandard vehicles compromise the safety of your employees and others. A proper life-cycle analysis will help you determine the criteria for appropriate replacement schedules.” – The Most Effective Fleet Management Best Practices, GPS Trackit; Twitter: @gpstrackit

96. Remain Focused on Long-Term Fleet Management Goals. “It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane activities of fleet management. However, it’s important to stay focused on your long-term strategic and business initiatives as well. For example, utilizing a fleet management system to monitor vehicle use rates, as well as maintenance and repair costs, ensures you’ve set aside enough funding to replace vehicles and plan for other future expenses.” – Brian Dziuk, Fleet Management Best Practices to Improve Operations and Efficiency, Rastrac; Twitter: @Rastrac_GPS

97. Link Restraints to the Master Control Panel. “The traditional alternative to restraints are chocks, which are manually attached. This can cause injury during the attachment process, there is a high risk of error, and they don’t secure the trailer as strongly as restraints do. Today’s restraints are automatic, so there’s minimal risk of error or injury. Modern restraints can also be linked to the master control panel. This centralized system prevents any unloading actions until the trailer is firmly locked in place, and it also refuses to let the driver leave until all the unloading has been approved. It can also link up to the system’s lights to signal the driver and loader of the process status to ensure continuous communication.” – Top 7 Loading and Unloading Best Practices, Redwood Logistics; Twitter: @redwoodlgistics

98. Use Unique Tracking Numbers For Each Asset. “It’s possible that an asset’s serial number will be identical to that of another asset. If the serial number is used as the tracking number, the duplicate numbers will cause confusion because there is no way to tell the two assets apart. This can compromise data integrity and lead to inaccurate customer balances and inventory, reduce your rental income and impact customer satisfaction. Using a unique tracking number different from the serial number eliminates these problems. In the rare event that a tracking number is lost, the asset still can be looked up using its serial number and re-labeled properly to retain the asset’s history. – Tim Fusco, Top Five Asset Tracking Best Practices, TrackAbout; Twitter: @trackabout

99. Take Steps to Reduce Vehicle Drag. “Haulers and dump trucks are massive, so they consume a ton of fuel. And whether or not a mammoth vehicle like this is aerodynamic has a huge impact on its overall fuel consumption. In fact, drag alone can waste as much as half of a truck’s total fuel. For large truck fleets, that’s a huge budget consideration. To make your heavy duty trucks as fuel-efficient as possible, regularly assess all aerodynamic devices. Make sure you minimize any gaps between the tractor and the trailer, and monitor tire pressure consistently.” – Curtis Lederle, 13 fleet truck fuel management best practices, Contact Tread Technologies; Twitter: @treadapp

100. Assign Clear Ownership For Maintenance Work. “Sometimes vehicle maintenance doesn’t get taken care of simply because everyone assumes someone else is in charge of it. Avoid this mistake by clearly dictating who is responsible. It often works well to put drivers in charge of their vehicles, since they have the most control to monitor and manage them properly. But this decision will be fleet-specific. The key is to put a system in place that ensures proper accountability for the needed maintenance of each vehicle.” – Top 5 Tips For Effective Fleet Maintenance Planning, Track Your Truck; Twitter: @TrackYourTruck

101. Store Additional Vehicle Data Such as License Information. “Additionally, fleet management software can store a wide variety of information about vehicles in your fleet. Using this information, you can set up notifications about upcoming fleet license renewals and more so you don’t have to rely on memory or outdated paper logs.” – 5 Ways To Make Your Fleet More Efficient, MiX Telematics; Twitter: @MiXTelematics

 

This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission.



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