GPS Truck Tracking System:
Know Where Your Assets Are
As long as companies have been trucking goods, they have needed a system for managing that transportation, including route scheduling, methods for drivers to check in with base, and systems to monitor drivers, especially during vehicle breakdowns. Efficient fleet management can reduce overtime and increase profits. Implementing a truck tracking system is a major important part of fleet management, and the best tracking system today is a GPS truck tracking system.
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GPS (Global Positioning System) was established by the U. S. Department of Defense and consists of 24 orbiting satellites that continuously transmit radio signals. By placing a GPS receiver in a vehicle, the distribution center or warehouse can keep track of the exact location of each truck on the company’s delivery route.
To determine the exact position of each truck, the GPS receiver must be able to lock on to three satellite signals. By measuring the difference between the time the signal was sent and the time it was received from these three satellites, the receiver can calculate latitude, longitude, and altitude.
Managing the GPS data and monitoring the trucks is a two-part system. First the equipment must be installed into the vehicles, and then a system set up at home base to receive the information. The type of system can vary depending on the specific needs of each trucking company.
For example, a company with a small fleet may only require basic vehicle tracking. This system shows location, route, stops, and speed of the truck. Independent contractors and executives may also find the basic system helpful as a way to keep record of trip mileage, time, and travel records.
A company with a larger fleet or who needs more detailed information, may select a real-time GPS truck tracking system. These systems can provide location updates every few minutes, automatically email reports, provide digital and satellite maps, and help keep a record of vehicle maintenance.
Advanced real-time systems include additional features such as wireless communication, two-way text messaging, and automatic downloads when the truck approaches base (ideal for large fleets). In addition, the GPS receiver can record information for over two months, track idle time with an ignition on and off sensor and document actual stop locations. These advanced systems often require a laptop computer or a PDA.
For long haul or “over-the-road” trucking, there are advanced real-time GPS vehicle tracking systems that provide the features already listed, plus on-board automated DOT (Department of Transportation) reporting, reports on engine diagnostics, and paperless forms.
One of the downsides to GPS tracking is that the radio signals from the satellites are line-of-sight signals. That means that the signals pass through clouds, glass and plastic, but can be obstructed by mountains and buildings. For a company that cannot afford to be without coverage due to signal loss, there are systems that will continue to track the vehicle when it enters an area not covered by cellular signals. With these systems, the user can locate the truck on demand without waiting for historical data, which provides an invaluable tool for companies performing critical services.
By implementing a GPS truck tracking system, companies can obtain many important details to improve service and to reduce problems while transporting goods. These systems can locate drivers who claim they’ll arrive in a few minutes, but don’t. With GPS mapping, the company can more accurately predict truck arrival times. Unauthorized truck usage can be reduced and/or eliminated, and home base can be notified when a driver speeds or leaves his or her designated route. Plus, in case of drivers who get lost or vehicles that breakdown, the GPS system can more accurately locate them and quickly get them assistance.
See related information at Covert GPS Vehicle Tracking and
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