Keeping track of a large number of trucks simultaneously was once impossible. Fortunately, modern technology has streamlined live information regarding fleets in an easy to digest format. Using fleet management software is more of an investment than an expense: with due diligence, the money saved on fuel, maintenance, and safety make the systems pay for themselves rather quickly. Here are some key features of fleet management software, and our top picks.
The primary reason you get the GPSs and software in the first place is to know the locations of your trucks, to make sure they are on course towards making their delivery rather than having fallen into a river. If it doesn’t have this feature, it’s hardly fleet management at all.
Vehicle Health Monitoring
The best form of maintenance is preventative, so being able to spot wear and tear on a truck before it becomes a noticeable issue is a major plus of many types of fleet management software.
Some fleet management GPSs will track the mileage driven in each jurisdiction per day, allowing you to create a report and know how much is due to each member state with no math on your behalf.
Direct or Indirect Integration
Data from fleet management software can be entered into other relevant software suites, such as accounting. Some require you to save and import reports, and others can be directly linked to other programs, although the latter is more rare and requires specific compatibility.
Hours of Service Compliance
Avoid fines from the FMCSA, get a system that can track the number of hours the driver has spent on duty each day, and can alert the driver (and you, if needed) if he or she approaches the daily limit.
Tangentially related, but some companies that create fleet management software also create dash cameras that save video when the truck does a hard brake, acceleration, or turn, and integrates with their fleet management software. Having this information can vindicate your driver during a collision or other accident.
Most fleet management software systems will let you try them for free, so if you do not like a certain aspect of their system, you can move on and try another one.
Here are our picks for the best fleet management software systems.
Keep Truckin Gateway
The Keep Truckin Gateway has all of the listed features above, and gets our top pick. It goes above and beyond the standard system, even providing a wi-fi connection for the driver in their Pro and Enterprise plans. With a free trial you can test it out on your fleet and see if the package is worth the price, a quote for which you need to ask on their website.
Fleetio provides you with an absolute bastion of information on your trucks, for each individual expense type from fuel to tolls, real time cost per mile, and see what percentage of total expenses each section is to help reduce the total size of the pie chart. Allows you to manage vehicle assignments so you can have multiple people use the same truck on different days with ease. It is also reasonably priced at five to eight dollars per vehicle per month, but does not double as an ELD, so you will have to get a separate ELD to be FMCSA compliant.
Real time GPS tracking, monitor driver performance and authorize purchases on the spot,easy data export to a CSV file, a wealth of vehicle health information including fuel level and battery voltage, free trial options, and clear pricing makes Zubie a solid choice for trucking fleets, although you may need an OBD-II to J1939 converter to make it interact with your semi truck properly.
ERoad supports IFTA fuel tax reporting, tracks idle time, helps optimize routes using previous data, and provides daily fleet activity information to help you reach your goals one day at a time. With many more features for heavy trucks (including hours of service compliance and a compliant ELD), the only real downside is the price: pricing starts at $25 per vehicle per month, three times larger than Fleetio’s advanced pricing.
Verizon Connect Reveal
Easy to install. Satellite viewing. Prompt alerts. Speed limit reporting. These are just a few of the benefits Verizon Connect exemplifies on their website for their GPS and software system. The price range varies on a variety of factors, and you will need to enter your data to obtain a quote.
When it comes to fleet management systems, one size does not fit all. If your fleet already has ELD systems, you can save money by going with a simpler system such as Fleetio. If you need your system to double up as a set of ELDs for your trucks, it can be worth the extra money to use ERoad instead. Ultimately it is up to you to decide which system is best for your company. With most companies offering free trials and demos of your system, you can research efficiently and make sure that you and your fleet are fully satisfied with whatever fleet management system you choose in the end.
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