Track Your Engineers for Better Performance
Do you know where your vehicles are right now?
Keeping tabs on your service vans with real-time vehicle tracking has many benefits. GPS tracking can:
- Keep your engineers safer.
- Save money on vehicle maintenance costs.
- Charge the right fees for every job.
- Make sure your engineers aren't using your vehicles after hours.
- Cut down on rough driving and speeding tickets.
- Recover your van if it's stolen.
We researched the best posts, articles, and websites on vehicle tracking to help you get started.
Get Up-to-Date on the Tech
Before deciding whether to use a GPS vehicle-tracking system for your fleet management, learn the basics of what it is and how it works. Is it right for your business? These resources will help you decide.
Key quote: 'GPS tracking solutions are the future for mobile workforces. If you’re not using one of these systems, then you are not maximizing productivity and eliminating unnecessary costs and expenses. So, GPS tracking is a simple solution that will allow you to reap immediate benefits and grow your company accordingly.'
Key quote: 'Other vehicle information [that the device tracks and sends] can include fuel amount, engine temperature, altitude, reverse geocoding, door open/close, tire pressure, cut off fuel, turn off ignition, turn on headlight, turn on taillight, battery status, GSM area code/cell code decoded, number of GPS satellites in view, glass open/close, fuel amount, emergency button status, cumulative idling, computed odometer, engine RPM, throttle position, GPRS status and a lot more.'
Top Benefits of GPS Tracking Software: Your Business With and Without Software Tracking (Infographic) - Software Advice
Key quote: 'With GPS Tracking: By completing more work orders per day, lowering fuel costs and simply running a more efficient business, you can grow your bottom line.'
Key quote: '[Fleet tracking] gives you the ability to better respond to customer emergencies. If a customer calls with an urgent request, you’ll be able to direct the vehicle closest to them so they can get there as quickly as possible.'
Key quote: 'Few things are worse for an HVAC company than dispatching an ill-equipped technician to an appointment. That’s why the mash-up of real-time inventory management, routing and dispatching capabilities these systems offer is so valuable.'
Key quote: 'Dedicated GPS trackers can accurately measure driver behaviour, green driving indicators, and safety data. With enhanced insight into these areas you can be aware if your field service engineers are speeding, excessively cornering, or excessively braking, all of which can negatively impact your vehicle’s condition and increase associated costs.'
Getting Your Engineers on Board
When your engineers find out you're implementing a real-time vehicle tracking system, they may feel it's because you don't trust them. While 30% of employees admit to falsifying the amount of time they work, the majority of your engineers are where they're supposed to be, doing what they're supposed to do.
These posts show how you can track your engineers without breaching their trust.
Key quote: 'There is a range of incentives fleets can use to reward specific behaviours, such as extra holiday, cash, vouchers, eligibility for a vehicle upgrade or simple recognition. [...] [C]ompanies must decide whether they wish to reward excellence, or improvement, which may be very different things.'
Key quote: 'In large field service businesses with dozens of employees, no one questions why they need to track their engineers. If you want to grow your business as well, tracking your engineers is considered a smart business decision—not an unnecessary imposition on your employees.'
Key quote: 'If you’re losing sleep over that employee who you feel is “cheating the system” by showing up five minutes late every day, look at the big picture. When you refocus your attention on work output rather than the number of hours an employee occupies a desk, you may discover time isn’t as important as you think.'
Key quote: 'Policies should be drafted to carefully explain the legitimate business purpose for monitoring and the circumstances under which the monitoring will take place. After a well-crafted policy has been written and reviewed for compliance with applicable laws by an attorney, distribute the policy and obtain written authorization from employees that they have received and understand it.'
Key quote: 'It’s important for fleet managers to listen to the objections employees have about GPS tracking and debunk the myths to alleviate concerns. Fleet managers should also explain that using GPS tracking is not about a lack of trust; it is about incorporating tools that will create better results for the business.'
Protect Your Service Vans Against Tool Theft
Tool theft costs field service businesses like yours thousands every year—and even drives them out of business.
Luckily, tool theft has come to the forefront of the field service industry's attention, with many businesses and industry organizations working to implement harsher punishments for tool thieves and help tradespeople protect their tools.
Here are the best resources to help you safeguard your tools—and your business.
If you can't prevent thieves from breaking into your van, the next best thing is to dissuade them from trying, or at least slow them down. Here's what the experts recommend.'
Key quote: 'According to the findings of a Freedom of Information request, obtained from various police constabularies by Trade Direct Insurance, stolen equipment cost UK tradespeople £94,521,600 in 2016 alone. Further, the average insurance claim for stolen tools added up to around £1,200 – over a week’s work for the typical day rate of £210 for a tradesperson.'
'Can you thwart a devious tool thief? Find out how safe your tools are by taking this quick quiz. Don't worry about getting any wrong answers—we explain the answers and offer tips at the end.'
Key quote: 'Skeleton keys – which can be bought legally online for as little as £20 – have been blamed for the surge in thefts, but by fitting extra security equipment, such as slam locks and trackers, their effectiveness can be limited. Moreover, make it as tricky, noisy, and time-consuming as possible for would-be thieves to ransack vans.'
Key quote: 'Our advice would be to use more than one method of marking your tools, such as engraving and spray painting. That way, you can ensure your tools are easily spotted when they get "borrowed’"on site, and can be easily identified as your tools by the police if they are stolen.'
Key Quote: 'I want this petition to reach Parliament to demand new laws that impose a minimum 2 year sentence on those convicted of vandalising vans and stealing tools. Also, we need a system that ensures any victim will be reimbursed for their loss in full immediately to enable that person to carry on working.'
Key Quote: 'Take care when parking outside hardware stores and builders merchants, as there have been reports of thieves waiting there to target tradesmen’s vans.'
Attract Customers with Your Service Fleet
What's your service fleet saying about your business?
A dirty, poorly branded, or unbranded van tells customers you also do shoddy work—while a clean, well-designed van serves as a mobile billboard that will generate jobs.
Key quote: 'According to a study performed by the American Trucking Associations, a vehicle wrap on a typical trailer makes 10 million impressions every year. Another study found that fleet graphics give 101 impressions per mile traveled. With so many opportunities to get eyes on your advertising, adding graphics to fleet trucks or vans can go a long way toward boosting brand recognition.'
Key quote: "No one ever walks up to the driver of a blank van and asks for their business card."
Key quote: 'If your goal is to generate new business, the most important thing is to clearly say what you do and how to contact you. If you are handyman, the word handyman better be big and in the customer's face, especially if it’s not in your company name. It needs to be very obvious what you do and how to contact you.'
Key Quote: 'The most effective vehicle designs are colorful and dynamic but they typically show a high-level of sophistication in composition and design. It’s always preferable to be simple and obvious with your design, so eliminate noisy backgrounds and unnecessary clutter to allow the message to stand out.'
Branded Cars: The Surprisingly Effective Marketing Tool That Makes Business Vroom, Vroom - Grasshopper Blog
Key quote: 'You absolutely MUST play nice on the road. Tail-gating, honking, cutting people off, speeding, and running red lights are always repugnant, but especially so if you're in a company car.'
Key quote: 'A car hurtling down the road at 60 mph becomes a dartboard for any crud in the air. Your vehicle’s clear coat deflects some of it but can hold the sharper grit. Washing removes the surface dirt, but clay-barring is the only way to pluck out the embedded stuff. Buy a clay bar kit (one brand is Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit), which includes a lubricating spray and several pieces of synthetic clay.'
Key quote: 'Soften difficult contaminants such as bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap and similar contaminants by soaking them for several minutes with very hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (two parts IPA to 1 part water) or denatured alcohol may also help. Spot clean the contaminants. Do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, which will scratch the film. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.'