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How to Use Fleet Telematics to Reduce Idle Time

Jun 2, 2023
Michael J. O'Connor

When you work with a fleet for your business, idle time can be one of the biggest challenges that you have to overcome. Every minute that one of your vehicles isn’t being used to deliver your goods or services to your customers can translate to lost income. Whether idle time consists of sitting in traffic, waiting to go to the next stop, or time spent in the shop, it is best to avoid it whenever possible. Fleet telematics can help you reduce the amount of time your vehicles are spending off the road and keep your business running smoothly. 

Fleet telematics is a system that can be integrated with all your vehicles that will track pertinent information like location, timing, and vehicle behavior. Having this information at your fingertips is crucial if you want to make the most of your fleet. Reducing idle time and maximizing efficiency is the key to a successful fleet operation and telematics is your best tool. Knowing how you can use fleet telematics to reduce idle time will help you take control and keep your fleet moving. 

Real-Time GPS Tracking 

One of the most important ways that fleet telematics can help you reduce idle time is through accurate GPS tracking. Knowing where your vehicles are at all times is an essential part of fleet management and taking the driver’s word for it may not always be the most reliable method. With fleet telematics, you can get real-time GPS information so you can know where your vehicles are and how they are behaving. Over time, this will help you identify idle time patterns so you can make the necessary changes. 

GPS tracking through fleet telematics can also help you know what the problem areas are for traffic and service interruptions. If, for example, you are regularly seeing idle times in specific areas of town at a certain time of day, you can advise your drivers to avoid the area in real time. This keeps everyone on schedule and helps you avoid downtime with your vehicles running, all of which can end up costing you more in fuel and missed business. 

Efficient Routing and Scheduling

As a fleet manager, one of your most important jobs is to effectively route and schedule your vehicles. As your fleet gets larger and your business expands, this will get more and more difficult to do. Having a fleet telematics system in place is the best way to plan out your day-to-day schedule and create routes that will keep your vehicles moving. By using your fleet telematics and tracking to recognize patterns in when your vehicles are idle the most, you can change your approach and reduce the time they are sitting still. 

No matter where you are operating, there are always going to be areas that can slow down drivers and increase idle time. Construction, accidents, and high-traffic points are major time-wasters for fleets and can bring business to a stop. Using a fleet telematics system to identify these slow-down points and direct your drivers away from them is your best option for keeping your company efficient. By taking control of where your vehicles go and how they get there, you can make the right decisions when it comes to your schedules and routes. 

Driver Behavior Information

The most unpredictable factor in your fleet operation will always be the drivers. The human element of running a business can be difficult to navigate no matter what kind of industry you are in. However, it is especially challenging with a fleet because you can’t always be keeping watch over your drivers and making sure they are staying on-task. Driver behavior can be a tricky thing to manage but fleet telematics gives you a solid metric to work with. 

With a fleet telematics system in place, you can see what your drivers are doing and how they are behaving at all times. Aggressive driving, frequent breaks, and poor route planning can all cause significant idle time, not to mention the fact that they can affect driver safety. GPS tracking and time management systems all allow you to cut down on the unwanted driver behaviors that cause idle time. With a good understanding of how your drivers are acting on the road, your business can maintain its reputation for safety and excellent service. 

Theft Risk Management

Theft risk is something that a fleet manager or owner will always have to deal with. Having so many vehicles on the road making frequent stops opens you up to all kinds of issues with a potential theft. However, if you have a robust fleet telematics system in place, you can act quickly when a theft happens. Not only can theft be problematic due to the missing vehicle, but it also contributes to the overall idle time of the fleet since you will be down a vehicle until it is recovered. 

Since fleet telematics allows you to track your fleet  in real time, you can start the recovery process as soon as a vehicle is stolen. Unlike tags and other theft-prevention systems, fleet telematics sensors are integrated within the vehicle. This keeps them out of sight of the thief and ensures that they can’t disable tracking. The sooner you can get the vehicle back, the less idle time you have to worry about and you can get that vehicle back on the road where it belongs.  

Timely Maintenance Alerts 

The most important thing to keep track of when it comes to your fleet is the maintenance and service of your vehicles. A serious mechanical issue could turn into weeks in the shop, so it is crucial that you stay on top of the care and upkeep of all your vehicles. With fleet telematics, you can schedule automatic alerts to let you know when the time has come to service a specific automobile. This way, you never miss a scheduled maintenance procedure and you don’t have to worry about large repairs that can greatly increase idle time. 

With a high-quality fleet telematics system, you will always know the status of your vehicles’ condition and what they might need in terms of service. Oil changes, brake pad replacements, and transmission fluid flushes are all simple, quick procedures but if you miss them, they can cause long-lasting damage. Fleet telematics can tell you when the time has come to schedule service and can even be automated to do it for you, so there is no risk of missed appointments.  

Keep Your Vehicles on the Road With Fleet Telematics and Top-Quality Service

Idle time can be a major source of lost revenue and knowing the status of your vehicles at all times is your best defense against it. Fleet telematics will give you complete control over your vehicle monitoring and ensure that you are maintaining and scheduling your fleet effectively. Reliable, timely information gives you an accurate picture of your day-to-day operations. It also presents plenty of opportunities for improvements and tweaks that can take your business to the next level. 

If you want to use your fleet telematics as effectively as possible, ServiceUp is here for you. With one easy-to-use dashboard to help you manage your maintenance, collision, and mechanical repair needs and seamless integration with major fleet management companies, it has never been easier to get your vehicles repaired by qualified, experienced technicians. Whether you need simple oil changes or major body work, ServiceUp will take care of everything and get you back on the road. Request a demo today to find out how ServiceUp can help your business thrive!

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