Most businesses fail to extract the full potential of their fleets due to one simple misunderstanding. That is, the owners think they can manually track the drivers like they used to do in the earlier days of their business.
But, as their business starts to grow, they feel the pressure of manual paperwork. They also grossly overlook that driver tracking is not only about keeping checks on your drivers. It also involves the route they are taking and how they are driving the vehicles.
About 32% of the companies that started using driver tracking show positive growth in their ROI. Therefore, here is a brief guide to help you understand the importance of real-time driver tracking for your delivery business.
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Driver Tracking: Definition
As the name suggests, driver tracking refers to tracking the driving style, performance, and location of your fleet drivers. With advancements in technology, driver tracking also tracks the performance and condition of the vehicle.
The goal is not to spy on your drivers but to check the daily output levels and driving behavior of your delivery personnel. Later, these data insights are utilized to boost the overall efficiency of your deliveries and fleet.
How Does Driver Tracking Work?
To begin with, you need to set up an external device (driver tracking software) in your vehicles. Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) (especially for truck drivers) or any other GPS tracking device are more than enough to track the locations of your vehicles and offer real-time data.
A more cost-effective way is to install the GPS tracking software onto the work phones of your delivery drivers and track them through it.
Now, if you want to track more than just the real-time driver’s location, you need to invest in ELDs.
- ELDs can be directly plugged into the On-Board Diagnostics port of the vehicle.
- With this, you can measure fuel usage, engine condition, engine idle time, and vehicle speed.
- ELDs equipped with gyroscopes can also show rash driving, excessive speeding, and hard brakings done by the drivers.
- In Canada and US, ELD has become non-negotiable as their Governments want proper documentation of the working hours.
- In the backend, you get software with a dashboard showing all these details about your drivers. The dashboard of the tracking device shows vehicle numbers, driver IDs, planned stops, and scheduled routes.
- Your driver tracking software will also show if they have completed their deliveries. For example, route planning and optimization software like Upper uses its proof of delivery feature to immediately update the status of these deliveries.
- Coming back, the dashboard of ELDs also contains a detailed analytics area to track the vehicle’s performance and schedule any upcoming maintenance or repairs.
How Does Driver Tracking Help Your Business?
Here are a few reasons that prove driver tracking can grow your business.
1. Driver availability
One of the biggest benefits of having driver tracking is knowing where your drivers are all the time. Therefore, you know exactly how many personnel are available before making your daily schedules. For short-distance deliveries, fleet managers can use GPS tracking to see which drivers are returning with incomplete deliveries. This allows them to manage their overnight inventory better. And, for long-distance deliveries, fleet managers will know which drivers are away on deliveries and recalibrate their strategies accordingly.
2. Last-minute adjustments
It is not too far-fetched to say that it is impossible to manage a fleet and adjust as per contingencies without knowing where your drivers are at all times. Fleet managers and dispatchers need driver’s locations to make last-minute adjustments.
For example, if there is an urgent delivery, the fleet manager can recall the closest delivery person to complete the priority assignment before moving on to the others. All this would be impossible to manage without driver-tracking software or real-time GPS tracking.
3. Accurate ETAs
Driver tracking solutions also allow you to send accurate ETAs to your customers. It is recommended you focus on better communication with customers and keep them updated at every step of the shipping process. With this feature, you can alert the customers when their package leaves the depot.
This notification also prepares the customer to stay home and receive the package. Your ability to focus on such details and have active communication about the status (delays, if any) and progress is what will make your customers happy.
Consequently, you reduce backtracking and save money on gas. You can also send notifications using the driver tracking software to the driver’s mobile number to notify them when a customer is unavailable to accept the package.
4. Better driving habits
Installing a tracking system like gyroscopic ELD on your trucks can track driver performance—excessive speeding, hard brakings, and rapid acceleration. Such aggressive driving behavior harms the vehicle and is unsafe for public roads. Gathering this telematics data will allow you to confront the delivery drivers about their driving style and ask them to change it.
Improved driver efficiency means there will be less wear and tear on the engine, thus decreasing maintenance costs. As a result, the life span of your vehicles also increases. Additionally, eliminating aggressive driving reduces your insurance liability as these drivers are less likely to cause road accidents.
Adopt Efficient Driver Tracking with Upper
Upper brings you a live driver tracking feature that enables you constantly track your drivers wherever they are. The feature helps you view the driver’s position and update you if they are idle. If you want to make last-minute schedule changes to accommodate urgent deliveries, Upper’s live driver tracking feature can help.
Here are some core features of Upper Route Planner.
1. Multi-stop route planning for faster deliveries
True to its name, Upper Route Planner excels at planning routes with multiple stops and minimum time. The software also considers delivery constraints to optimize the routes. It reduces backtracking and is fully automated. It also reduces the burden on the back office workers and makes it easier for the drivers to schedule their days.
2. Route optimization for shortest routes
After planning the routes, the software goes into route optimization mode where it ensures that more stops can be covered using the shortest routes possible. Moreover, you can store the most covered routes for easier delivery.
3. Live driver tracking
Upper’s live driver tracking presents a host of features, as stated below.
- Set speed limits and monitor if it is being followed or not.
- Check the current driver’s status—on the way, idle, returning to the depot.
- Identify if there’s a gap between the optimized route and the driver’s actual route.
- Check the driver’s ETA.
Upper also provides a 7-day free trial for you.
Upper Route Planner
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Yes, you do need external hardware to track your drivers. You can either use a compatible phone or an Electronic Logging Device to track your drivers.
There’s no universal answer to this. The answer depends on the type of software and device you are using to track your drivers.
While most companies offer subscription-based vehicle and driver tracking services, there are certain companies that offer these features for a one-time fee.
As a fleet manager, tracking software can only provide you with real-time (driver and vehicle) data about driving styles and driver behavior. However, all these data points will be in vain if you are not actively implementing better driving regulation and route planning strategies.
Therefore, to get the best out of your drivers, we recommend using Upper Route Planner to automate route planning and optimization. You’ll then be able to maximize deliveries while using your leadership skills to implement better driving parameters. Try the Upper 7-day free trial today.