GPS vehicle tracking can be the ideal solution to fleet management concerns. These systems provide real-time information about vehicle location, driver behavior and fleet productivity. Fleet managers can use tracking systems to improve operations, lower fuel costs and improve employee accountability. Many of the benefits of tracking systems are well known to today’s managers, whether they use a system currently or not. One of the lesser known, but still significant, benefits of fleet tracking is its ability to reduce downtime. Whether you are shopping for a system or already have one in place, understanding how it affects downtime will help you optimize your benefits.
What Causes Fleet Downtime?
Fleet downtime occurs when fleet vehicles are removed from the field for repairs. This may or may not be due to a breakdown. Downtime occurs for regular, scheduled repairs and for unexpected breakdowns. If the vehicle is not on the road during normal business hours, you are incurring downtime.
What Are the Costs of Downtime?
Downtime causes more than frustration. Downtime results in your fleet losing money. When your vehicles are in the shop for repair, you not only must pay the repair cost, but you also are missing potential income that normally results from that vehicle being on the job. If your drivers are paid on a salaried basis and are not driving, you are losing value that is normally incurred when those drivers are on the job.
Estimates note that productivity losses when a vehicle is not on the road can be as high as $700 a day, depending on the industry. Add repair expenses and the cost of employees sitting idle and you can see that the amount is significant.
How Fleet Tracking Can Help
How can fleet tracking help with vehicle downtime, you may ask? This is where some of the other features of fleet tracking systems come into play. Fleet tracking notes more than just vehicle location; it also tracks maintenance schedules. The proper scheduling of vehicle maintenance can optimize uptime in vehicles and ensure the highest level of productivity. Essentially it gives fleet managers valuable data they can use to schedule their preventive maintenance times, in order to reduce downtime due to unscheduled repairs.