What are the costs associated with truck tracking?

What are the costs associated with truck tracking?

  • Return on Investment (ROI) for truck tracking systems may happen quickly
  • Truck tracking systems help in fleet management by keeping track of your vehicles in real-time
  • More efficient routing and driver safety are just some of the benefits of the technology

Make no mistake, truck tracking is an investment. Common sense and a little homework are needed when deciding on a truck tracking system, which is an investment that may have beneficial returns from the very start.

When you are researching truck tracking solutions for your fleet, you should always keep in mind how it will affect your company’s bottom line. The costs associated with truck tracking equipment and services should be in alignment with your company’s growth plans.

Your goal for utilizing asset tracking solutions should center on key company objectives for your fleet such as:

  • Saving money on fuel
  • Cutting vehicle downtime
  • Reducing travel time by finding the most efficient routes
  • Increasing driver and vehicle safety

These objectives can lead to monetary savings and in turn, a healthier bottom line.

What is truck tracking?

Your fleet is probably the most cost-intensive investment your company has. Knowing where your trucks are at any given moment is paramount to an efficient, cost-effective operation. A truck tracking system does just that and should be considered a foundational part of your overall fleet management strategy.

A small GPS tracker device is generally connected to a truck’s on-board diagnostic port. Many of the devices are simply “plug-and-play” and don’t require an installer or any downtime.

The truck tracking device collects data from the vehicle including GPS location, distance traveled, speed, fuel usage, idle time and any unusual braking or turning.

The device sends the gathered data to an online dashboard, generally through a cellular or WiFi connection. The data is then organized into insightful reports and alerts, which you can analyze and use to better manage your operations.

The theft of valuable cargo is a big concern in the transportation industry. The advantages of truck (and thereby cargo) tracking are immense, and generally include both vehicle and asset location tracking, and the ability to give real-time alerts to cargo threats using sensors.

Truck tracking costs

As with anything that uses new technology, the costs associated with truck tracking can vary greatly. Some companies offer rental or leasing of the systems, which can provide an advantage if your vehicles will be out of service for long periods of time, or if certain trucks are nearing their retirement.

The downside of renting or leasing is that you will be paying a monthly rental charge for the onboard equipment, and over time, you may end up paying more than if you had simply bought the devices outright.

Other factors affect costs. Some of these include:

  • How sophisticated is the system (does it transmit in real-time, or at lesser intervals)?
  • Is the tracking device plug-and-play or does it need a hardwire install?
  • Do you want real-time monitoring of the devices with a robust monitoring system?
  • How large is your fleet (how many devices will you require)?

How much do you need for asset tracking equipment and monitoring?

Costs vary depending on the devices and monitoring systems chosen. Outright purchase of the devices (again, depending on the type of device) can range from $100 to over $500 per unit.

Even at the high end, purchasing may be the better option since rental costs can often equal the purchase cost in about a year, long before the end of a good device’s life.

The cost of monitoring the data provided by the devices can range from $15 to $50 per vehicle per month, again, depending on the number of vehicles and the type of tracking system.

A truck tracking system is generally far more cost-effective when it is part of an overall fleet management software and platform.

How truck tracking can offer a quick ROI

In today’s economy, every company, no matter which industry they may be involved in, is looking to save money, increase their bottom lines, and make sure that whatever they invest in offers a substantial return on investment. Truck tracking can offer just that.

Trucking companies use location intelligence (the use of GPS trackers) for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Tracking vehicles in the field
  • Improving driver safety
  • Reducing fuel costs
  • Monitoring vehicle usage information for maintenance and repair decisions
  • Improving the security of vehicles

All of these can contribute to monetary savings, once again showing great potential for quick ROI. An Aberdeen study showed that vehicles with truck tracking devices had, on average:

  • A 21 percent reduction in CO2 emissions
  • An 18 percent reduction in driving time
  • A 15 percent reduction in vehicle downtime
  • A 13 percent reduction in fuel costs

In addition, many insurance companies offer reduced premiums for companies that use truck tracking for their fleets.

A recent article in the Commercial Carrier Journal detailed how insurance companies are leveraging technology to calculate insurance risks, a major factor in determining premiums.

One firm cited in the article saw their premiums go from $14,000 per vehicle to $7,500 per vehicle. Since the trucking company had 50 trucks, they ended up saving $325,000 per year on insurance premiums thanks to the installation of truck tracking hardware and the accompanying software.

Truck tracking benefits outweigh the cost

As you can see from the above numbers, while there is an initial investment in a truck tracking system, the benefits to a company’s bottom line can often far outweigh the costs. Your return on investment is likely to be quick. Truck tracking devices and monitoring can make your fleet safer and more efficient.

Remember when you look into a truck tracking solution for your company that the cheapest route may not be the best solution for your fleet. Look for a robust system with monitoring solutions that address your company’s specific needs. The savings in fuel costs, downtime, insurance and other factors could more than make up for the initial cost of a truck tracking system.

Disclaimer: All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute financial, business, or legal advice. Although KeepTruckin strives to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in the area for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any professional, legal, business and financial or tax-related decisions.

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Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is an award-winning writer in the energy and transportation industries, a playwright and actor/director, and the author of an Amazon Top 100 book. He is certified by the Department of Homeland Security and Michigan State University in Incident Management and Crisis Communications. He and his wife Beth (also a writer) live in Texas.

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