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Real World GPS Fleet Tracking Test

Last week I had the opportunity to work with a prospective customer on the viability of fleet tracking within their organization. The best way to do this is to simply test a device in a vehicle for a few days and then process the data that was returned.

First off, I love doing this. Not only is a great way to convey the importance of fleet tracking but it really gives the fleet owner/manager something to plan on when the tracking system is installed and running across their entire fleet.

For this test we used one of our DWS-3030 OBDII tracking devices, this is the easy to install plug and play type of tracker. The owner had plugged this unit into one of their trucks without the knowledge of the driver. Now, I always say that the drivers should know they are being tracked, but for this test a better sense of what’s happening on the road will be achieved if the driver is unaware they are being tracked. The device remained in place for 7 days, but 2 of those days were not work days so the truck remained parked at the driver/employees home. I’m happy to report that the employee did not use the truck at all over the course of those two non-work days. We know this because we have alerts set up for any events generated by the device for non-working days.

After the test period was over I had the opportunity to sit down with the owners and the data that we had received. At this time I had already translated this information into real dollar values, and the amounts of money that was spent in waste was very eye opening. We got a chance to look at total mileage for the week, idle times, speeding events, and also harsh driving practices. This owner was not only surprised at the kind of alerts that our fleet tracking system was able to generate but also at the number of occurrences that were revealed. Here is some of the information that was returned and the dollar values associated with them. It is simple to see how a tracking system can save time and money it is also easy to see how expensive it is to do nothing at all.

Optimization of Fleet Vehicle Use

That’s right, saving money can be as simple as just optimizing the use of the vehicles while they are out on the road in operation. But is optimizing something that is out of your immediate supervision easy? Only if you’re tracking the vehicle!

Our test vehicle generated about 700 miles for the week it was on the road, that’s an average of 140 per day. The manager that we were working with did reveal that there was a lot of mileage that was not necessary. One example was the driver had gone way out of their way, and way off route, certain restaurant for lunch on 2 of the 5 days. Another example was driving to a job that was supposedly finished the week prior. If you take an average cost of $0.75 per mile those 700 miles costs you $525.00. With a tracking system monitoring the use of your vehicle we can easily assume a reduction in total miles driven will occur. The restaurant for example was a total 30 miles off route, round trip. That’s 30 each occurrence or 60 miles for the week. We can then assume a reduction of 10% is achievable… but even if you only reach a reduction of 5% you are still saving $105 per month. $105 per month or $1260 per year multiplied out over your entire fleet will really add up… quickly!

And please don’t think we are the only ones promoting tracking because we sell the service, there are a lot of articles and case studies online that will tell you the same thing, tracking saves money.  Here’s just a few for you to read through:

Automotive Fleet – How Telematics is Improving Fleet Productivity.

Waste Advantage – 5 Myths On GPS Fleet Tracking

Business News Daily – GPS Fleet Tracking Services

Business Insider – Keep Track Of Your Vehicles Fuel Consumption MPGS



Excessive idling tends to be that pesky little problem that no one really wants to worry about, or knows how to worry about, that’s where we come in! Managers and business owners know it’s going to happen and they all have a level of idling that they are willing to tolerate, but exactly how much money is that level of acceptance actually costing your company? According to a federal government website a vehicle at idle can burn up to 0.5 gallons of fuel per hour, and in this example our test vehicle idled for 7.1 hours and with the cost of fuel around $2.50 they will spend $36.00/month extra on just one vehicle. Have a fleet of 10 trucks? That’s an extra $360/month or $1800/month in wasted fuel if you’re operating 50 trucks! Idling may be a pesky little issue, but it sure has a way of adding up… quickly!

Idle, Time, Savings, GPS, Tracking


Speeding is not only dangerous, but it also costs extra money. For this example we will acknowledge the fact that speeding can be extremely dangerous and can put the general public at risk, but we will simply deal with the economic ramifications here. We don’t want to even think about the cost of having to defend a company against a razor toothed trial lawyer.

Fuel burn in an average vehicle increases exponentially over 50 mph, its equivalent to paying an additional $0.19 per gallon for every 5 mph over 50 mph. Our test vehicle was allowed to drive 70 mph and anything over that speed would generate an over-speed warning. This driver generated 28 speed warnings over 70 mph. That is same as paying an additional $0.76 per gallon over 70 mph or $1.02 per gallon over 75 mph. Slowing down pays for itself, the extra time earned is not enough to justify the extra cost in fuel spend. This truck was a half-ton pickup truck with a fuel tank size of about 30 gallons, with the additional burn of fuel associated to speeding that come out to just over $100 per month.

Harsh Driving Practices

Harsh driving practices can be defined as anything from rapid acceleration, to harsh braking, and also turning quickly at a high rate of speed. These maneuvers are usually associated with aggressive driving; these maneuvers can be very expensive to the vehicle owner and are usually a sign of a driver that needs to be reeducated on safe vehicle operations.
Excessive wear and tear as well as an increase in normal fuel consumption is the result of these maneuvers. So isolating these events and educated your drivers will save hundreds of dollars over time. For our week long test with this specific vehicle the driver generated 20 separate harsh driving events. Now these events do show a pattern as well, late afternoon rushing to get home or off work is when most of them occurred. These patterns definitely forecast an unfortunate event as well, a collision. Reeducated this drive could possibly save their life or the life of another person. At a minimum it will save your company a ton of money.

Driver, Behavior, Monitoring, Tracking, Savings

All in all the amount of money that we can help this owner save is in the neighborhood of about $250 per month per vehicle. We get the $250 number by taking care of the things we’ve talked about already, optimize the fleet vehicle use, we slow down the drivers, we eliminate unnecessary idling and we help reeducate the drivers so we they reduce the cost of wear and tear to what is normal.

That $250 per month factored out over an entire fleet of 25 or 50 vehicles is huge savings. Here, I’ll help, that’s $6500 for the fleet of 25 and up to $12,500 for the 50 vehicle fleet and that savings is per month.

That money saved, once again, it really adds up… quickly!

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2 responses to “Real World GPS Fleet Tracking Test”

  1. […] In short all kinds of data can be obtained by a moving truck, and this data can be sifted and collated so that meaningful information can be retrieved and compiled to determine how the overall fleet is doing in regard to efficiency.  It’s a huge savings! […]

  2. […] your info.  Here’s a quick tutorial on how you want to add the vehicle’s specific mileage to the platform.  This will be used in reporting and also accumulation of total miles driven […]