Business-fleet managers are well aware of the many benefits of using telematics solutions that provide GPS location data among other useful information. When it comes to the choice of the telematics device, some opt for the battery-powered ones that can be placed anywhere in the vehicle, while others prefer to use the GPS fleet trackers that can be plugged into the OBD-II port of the vehicle. For those of you who are not familiar with the OBD-II port, it is a data port located in the area below the steering wheel and above the gas pedal in every light and medium-duty vehicle sold in the USA after 1996. This port offers access to emission and vehicle health data in addition to a pin for drawing 12V power.
While battery-powered telematics devices offer the flexibility to place it anywhere in the vehicle (e.g. under the vehicle) that may be useful in some applications (e.g. stealth surveillance by law enforcement), it is often painful in fleet applications. Batteries run out of power sooner or later and require you to charge those devices regularly. Missing out on charging batteries means no data is collected. On the other hand, the OBD-II GPS tracking devices offer all the benefits of the former device with additional vehicle health/emissions data with and the benefit of not having to charge the devices regularly using sheer manual effort. No wonder, the latter kind is increasingly becoming the choice of telematics device for most business fleets.
Here are a few more compelling reasons why OBD-II devices are better than their battery-powered counterparts.
Ease of Installation and Use
As mentioned above, the OBD port is normally located under the steering wheel above the gas pedal area. Therefore, installing it is a breeze. You just have to push the device into the slot to gain access to the wealth of vehicle health and maintenance data. With our product, for instance, you can visit our website or use our app to get this information.
No Need to Charge
Most products are battery-powered, which requires users to charge them at least once a week. Conversely, OBD variants do not need batteries as they draw power from the vehicle. They will never run out as you do not have to unplug the device.
As an OBD device stays plugged into the car, it gathers valuable information from the vehicle to help the owner understand everything going on under the hood and below the chassis. The tracking device allows you can determine the vehicle’s mileage and fuel economy. The Vyncs device can even provide car diagnostics, uncovering every existing problem. Additionally, the AI system of Vyncs will give you personalized suggestions regarding the optimization of fuel and maintenance expenses.
An OBD product manufactured by a reputable brand can automatically detect unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, harsh braking, or sharp cornering. Apart from knowing where and when you or someone else is driving, you can determine how well the person behind the steering wheel was operating the vehicle on the road. Vyncs possesses features like driver scoring and associated performance graphs and tables, allowing you to evaluate data, which comes in handy if the driver is newly minted.
GPS devices let you save fuel and money while creating safer driving conditions for your drivers. They also allow you to optimize routes and reduce insurance premiums.
Four Ways Telematics Can Enhance Fleet Performance
Now that you know about the OBD-II port, OBD-II devices, and why they are better than battery-powered products, read on to find out how telematics improves the performance standards of a fleet-business.
1. Decreased Paperwork and Other Time-Consuming Chores
Connected vehicle management systems provide drivers with real-time updates and workspace management, increasing efficiency in the process. They leave a digital trail of real-time updates, which eliminates the need for paperwork. Simultaneously, the same digital trail allows business owners or managers to make better decisions. Additionally, the business will be able to focus on the core aspects of the business and its operations rather than the aspects a telematics product can oversee and manage without human intervention.
2. Organize Preventive Maintenance
One of the lesser-known benefits of connected vehicle solutions is that it allows you to stay on top of preventive maintenance schedules. You can’t underestimate the importance of preventive maintenance if you hope to avoid costly repairs or dangerous roadside breakdowns. Once you use connected vehicle technology, you will never have to worry about forgetting an oil change, a tune-up, or any other essential vehicle service.
Streamlining preventative maintenance notifies you about the following:
Here are a few more advantages of a GPS fleet tracker
- Engine lights
- Emission information
- Battery health
- Oil changes
- Preventive maintenance routines
- It lets you create service schedules based on usage hours, mileage, or scheduled dates.
- It reminds you of upcoming services.
- It allows you to input service schedules and events for every vehicle in the fleet.
- It helps you maintain records of past service history.
GPS facilitates on-road efficiency and back-office work and allows fleet managers to keep maintenance tasks on schedule. As a manager, you will never have to worry about costly breakdowns in the middle of a job again, which leaves the driver at risk and the company's reputation tarnished.
3. Leverage Fuel Cards
When it is about managing fuel and maintenance-related expenses, fuel cards work better than anything else, especially when tethered to a connected vehicle solution. Fuel prices tend to fluctuate from time to time. Naturally, you need a foolproof way of tracking these expenses incurred by businesses relying on fleet vehicles. Fuel cards can save the day by helping you track and control employee expenditures, online purchases, fraud identification, or company fund abuse. Simultaneously, you can curate detailed spending reports.
Combined with potential fuel savings, these abilities keep employees accountable on the field. A driver ID is associated with every transaction that informs you who spends how much and where. Apart from establishing transparency, you can set spending limits based on the product, location, and dollar amount.
Fuel cards can even be incorporated into bookkeeping, thanks to the automatic capturing of financial activity to back-end tracking systems. This further streamlines back-office jobs and preserves the integrity of financial records.
4. More than Just Saving Fuel
The benefits of GPS go above and beyond fuel savings. It provides transparency, accountability, and efficiency powered by tech-forward features for your business. Before you even realize it, your company and its bottom line will start growing.
Location Tracking, Trips, Geofences and Alerts
Just imagine for a second that you can check and determine the entire fleet’s location from your smartphone! The deeper you dig, the more features you will unearth, including the following.
- Speed and direction of a given vehicle.
- Drivers closest to a specific location.
- The current address of a piece of equipment or vehicle.
- Time since the last GPS report issued.
You will also receive location updates every minute after a fleet vehicle starts moving. The notifications will pop up every hour when the vehicle’s engine is turned off. The equipment tracking devices will report battery usage every ten minutes when powered on and moving. There will also be an intuitive map for you to use, which will provide fleet updates about proximate traffic conditions to inform you whether the drivers are moving or stuck in traffic.
Driver Performance Reports
You can optimize business performance by holding your drivers accountable to ethical company compliance and high driving standards. Driver reports aggregate essential data to help you understand which employees on the fleet drive the brand mission forward and which ones need to work on improving their abilities.
Performance reports usually include the following.
- Daily detailed trip segments for every driver.
- A daily driving history for every driver, with animated route replays.
- The ability to check street-level details for further insight into various events or behavior.
- A review of all alerts, stops, and other key driving events.
Fleet managers can ensure their drivers operate as safely as possible with telematics. Reporting features of this technology delivers daily performance scores for every driver, summaries of safe driving behaviors, and summaries of idling and stops. The same system allows managers to authorize the hours during which the fleet vehicles will be in use and investigate the details of use outside of predetermined hours.
See the Bigger Picture
When you have access to real-time data, comprehensive reports, and sophisticated tracking capabilities, think about how advanced your business and its operations will become! GPS improves the overall performance of the fleet --- from vehicle maintenance to driver performance & accountability. The resulting ROI goes far beyond fuel savings and benefits every aspect of a fleet-based business.
Vyncs is a telematics brand that has helped numerous fleet businesses increase their return on investment. The Fleet 4G+ is a device that Vyncs has fabricated for fleet owners operating vehicles to fulfill their organizational objectives. The device allows businesses to add numerous vehicles to their accounts. This account provides access to the fleet dashboard, gives street addresses on the trip table, provides downloadable data in an excel-friendly format, facilitates fuel cost tracking, helps create custom maintenance tasks, and a lot more.
Visit our website to find out what we have in store for you and harness the power of connected vehicle systems for your business.