Truck GPS tracking: Is it worth the investment?

Truck GPS tracking: Is it worth the investment?

  • Truck tracking systems can help you manage your fleet by tracking your vehicles in real-time
  • While the initial investment may seem large, the value is very likely to make the system well worth the cost
  • The benefits of a robust system can far outweigh the costs

Truck tracking is just one component of fleet telematics, or the technology that fleets use to stay informed about their team and their assets. Investing in vehicle telematics equipment may lead to more efficient operations, monetary savings, and a healthier bottom line.

GPS truck tracking is a financial investment that can pay off big time if it’s done right. A robust tracking solution can help you in the following ways:

  • Save money on fuel
  • Reduce vehicle downtime
  • Reduce travel time by finding the most efficient routes
  • Increase driver and vehicle safety

What exactly is truck tracking?

Your fleet is the most cost-intensive investment your company has. Knowing where your vehicles are at any given moment is critical to an efficient operation. A truck tracking system is a foundational part of your overall fleet management strategy.

In most systems, a small GPS tracker device is connected to a truck’s on-board diagnostic port. Many of the devices are plug-and-play and don’t require an installer or any downtime.

The tracking device collects a myriad of data from the vehicle, including GPS location, distance traveled, speed, fuel usage, idle time, and any out of the ordinary turning or braking.

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

Benefits of truck tracking

The money you can save is a tangible benefit of your GPS tracking equipment investment. Your return on investment may happen quickly. In a survey published by the trucking and auto magazine Automotive Fleet, 91 percent of companies that invested in fleet telematics said they saw a monetary ROI within one year.

GPS tracking leads to intangible returns, too, that are nonetheless just as valuable. With GPS tracking technology, you can tell your customers when to expect their load to arrive. No phone call to the driver required, and no guessing based on past experience. The right technology tells you where the truck is, where it’s going, how fast, and what the traffic conditions are. This simple feature can help you offer premium customer service, which in turn helps you get and keep customers.

Asset tracking

GPS truck tracking can tell you where your vehicles are. Asset tracking technology is a closely related product that can act as a silent sentry protecting your trailers and cargo. The theft of valuable cargo is a major concern within the trucking industry. The advantages of asset tracking are huge and may include location tracking and the ability to get real-time alerts to threats. Geofencing, part of asset tracking, allows you to create a virtual geographic boundary and receive an alert whenever one of your tracked assets enters or leaves the area.

GPS truck tracking costs

The cost of a truck tracking system can vary greatly, depending on the type of system you choose, how many vehicles will be outfitted, and what type of monitoring software/service is chosen. As an alternative to outright purchase, some companies offer rental or leasing options. A disadvantage of renting or leasing is that the monthly rental fee could leave you paying more in the long run than you would have spent on a purchase.

On average, the cost to purchase devices may range from $100 to over $600 per unit.

Even at the top end of the pricing scale, purchasing might still be a better option since rental costs often equal the purchase cost after about a year, long before the end of a good device’s life.

In addition to buying the units, you’ll also need to subscribe to a monitoring service. Subscriptions may generally range from $15 to $80 per month per vehicle. The cost depends on the number of vehicles you want to track and the tracking system you choose. All tracking systems are not equal, and you should carefully compare specs before making a choice.

Why truck tracking is worth the investment

Every fleet owner wants to increase their bottom line and feel confident that every investment holds the promise of a return. Truck tracking most certainly does.

Companies use GPS trackers to:

  • Keep track of vehicles in the field accurately and in real-time
  • Create dynamic routes (help drivers avoid congested areas caused by weather, accidents, or construction)
  • Reduce fuel costs
  • Review driver performance to improve safety
  • Monitor vehicle usage information for maintenance and repair decisions
  • Improve security for the vehicle and the cargo (with trailer tracking)
  • Analyze location history and review routes

Any of these can result in monetary savings, but when viewed all together, it’s easy to see why truck tracking is a smart decision that has the potential to pay for itself in a short amount of time. Some insurance carriers may offer premium discounts to fleets that employ GPS tracking technology in their vehicles because the tracking system helps the fleet manage risk and control loss.

The potential benefits of implementing a GPS truck tracking system for your fleet far outweigh any potential negatives. Your fleet might notice tangible and intangible benefits right away. The monetary savings could surpass the investment in the first year. Perhaps even more important, truck tracking devices have the real potential to make your fleet safer and more efficient.

When you shop and compare prices and features of truck tracking solutions for your company, consider quality, features, and level of service along with price points. Look for a robust system that addresses your specific requirements. The final savings in fuel, downtime, insurance, and many other factors will almost certainly justify the initial costs of getting 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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Author


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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