It's a popular debate between drivers, fleet managers, and the front office: Should work vehicles have GPS tracking? Is it good for the fleet, or a resented invasion of privacy for trustworthy employees? GPS tracking can be a good idea, but it's a technology you need to implement judiciously.
Should You Track?
GPS, short for Global Positioning System, is fairly popular among fleets as accurate directions avoid time and money wasted by fleet drivers getting lost or stuck without assistance. But it's also easy to see why some employees would find tracking technology invasive - do their employers really need to know where they stop for coffee on their breaks?
That said, GPS tracking is a useful tool in multiple ways. In an emergency, it makes your vehicles easier to find and helps you keep your employees safe. If they get lost, you can easily find them and give them the directions they need to get to their destination. And yes, in some cases, it can be useful for charting performance for drivers who might need a little productivity "nudge".
That said, depending on your fleet, you might have union restrictions, push back from managers, or even outright objection from the drivers themselves. It is important to remember that the response of your fleet is really less about the GPS technology itself, and more about how the company plans to use it, and how your employees perceive this.
GPS can be far more than just directions.
Getting The Fleet Onboard
The issue generally boils down to one word: Trust. If you've got a reliable fleet who gets everything done on time and keeps everything above board, they'll understandably be confused as to why you want to monitor them more closely. So, the point to emphasize is that GPS tracking is not about monitoring, but about enabling their safety and efficency.
Transparency is the best policy with fleet upgrades, not least so your team can better understand the vehicles they're using. So lay out exactly what you're planning to upgrade, why you're doing it, and most importantly, how it can help them. For example, you might demonstrate how GPS tracking will allow you to collaborate with them in designing a more efficient route. Or you might show off the emergency features, explaining how being able to provide police or roadside assistance could be crucial in critical moments.
Another important aspect in the process is to listen. Explain when you're thinking about using tracking and what data you care about. Ask for feedback about it, and what would help you better understand the fleet's movements and the calls your team has to make. Make it clear that if, say, an employee stops for their lunch break, you're not going to be on the radio demanding they get back to work. If employees understand that you're installing this for them, not for you, it'll make life a lot more cheerful for everyone.
GPS tracking will likely always remain somewhat controversial. But if you're honest about how you intend to use it and demonstrate how it helps the fleet, it can be a great tool. If you're ready to put GPS in your fleet, make sure you've got all the components you need: start with our Wire and Cable Products, but don't forget to check out our collection of Automotive Power Points.