Like most other sectors in the industry, the logistics business has undergone a sea change. With the advent of technology like artificial intelligence, IoT (internet of things), and software and tools for the fleet.
Customers expect faster deliveries, fleet managers and distribution managers want more tools to monitor and analyze the performance of their vehicles and drivers. Moreover, senior management in every logistics business wants the efficiency to go up.
Which Software and Tools for Fleet Do You Need?
As these trends continue in the future, here is the only way to make your fleet ready to face the increasing demand. It is to upgrade them with the latest technology.
Here are some of the software and tools for a fleet that are available today that you should consider purchasing to make your fleet future-ready.
1. Location Tracker Provided by Software and Tools for the Fleet
The most fundamental tool you should have on all your fleet equipment is a GPS tracker that transmits real-time data about the location. By attaching these trackers to your trucks, you achieve several things:
- The fleet manager(s) and the client get to know the carrier’s exact location and, hence, can forecast the expected arrival time of the cargo.
- With help from other internet sites, GPS can also know about roadblocks, traffic jams, and other hindrances on the scheduled route and can quickly come up with alternative paths to take.
- The device can also be fixed to the container or the asset the carrier is transporting. This technique is called geo-fencing, which means that the concerned party (manager or client) is alerted as soon as the goods arrive or leave a particular geographical area. In case the asset is stolen and taken on an unplanned route, the tracker can warn the authorities.
2. Digital Timesheets and Records in Software and Tools for the Fleet
From entering the vehicle numbers of newly-purchased fleet equipment to filing taxes, logistics companies need an enormous amount of paperwork. A few years into the future, almost all of the record-keeping process is likely to get digitized. Online records considerably improve the accessibility, accuracy, and efficiency of software and tools for fleet management.
By storing the details about the fleet, the assets transported, pick-up and drop-off locations, dates, and other parameters in a centralized database, managers can quickly get all the information they need about a trip. They can find out which package is in which truck, which driver to assign to a specific delivery two days from now, what the closest mechanic shop is in case of a breakdown, and so on.
The ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) mandate necessitates that all commercial vehicles have electronic records of the trip details. All the drivers who go on trips to deliver cargo have to enter the following details:
- work hours
- idle time
- the number of overnight halts, which telematics devices calculate automatically now.
These tools increase the accuracy of maintaining records and ensure no one manipulates any numbers.
As an additional benefit for the company, you also save millions of sheets of paper by taking all the records online. While improving your business, you also get a chance to contribute to the planet’s well-being.
3. Predictive Analysis
Maintenance of your fleet is critical to efficiently carrying out operations, but in most cases, managers schedule the service checkup too late.
Telematics devices help managers stay ahead of the curve by monitoring the truck’s condition and engine parameters (such as coolant level, temperature, and battery acid level) to automatically schedule the next service at the ideal time.
Managers who are now informed can allot other drivers to take over the upcoming delivery tasks while some fleet equipment is under maintenance. This process also brings down the cost by not doing needless repairs but catering to the issues before the damage is beyond restoration.
4. Accident Prevention and Review
One of the worst things that can happen to a truck transporting goods is an accident or a breakdown during the trip. Predictive maintenance and vehicular inspections can control the instances of breakdowns, but accidents are harder to prevent.
Crash detectors on the vehicles warn the driver if other cars, people, or obstacles are too close to the truck. Speed sensors and gyroscopic devices also monitor the following:
- vehicle’s speed
- send updates to the driver and manager if there is any harsh driving.
If an accident does occur, the dash cams installed on trucks are meant to capture the footage. Managers can playback it and analyze later to understand what went wrong. A good dashcam or driver cams are typically positioned on the front windshield. There it can get the best coverage of the event. An additional feature of the GPS device can send a notification to other drivers in the area to request them for help.
5. Driver Training and Monitoring
The drivers of the truck have a big responsibility to ensure the safe transportation of the goods. So the drivers’ training process is crucial. Simulation software is a useful tool to give the drivers the experience of handling a truck.
The AI-embedded system can also pinpoint each driver’s weaknesses and provide personalized feedback. When a driver is on the road, it is crucial to watch over them at this stage. Driver monitoring systems consist of a camera mounted on the steering column. It scans the driver’s eyes to check for signs of abnormal behavior like fatigue or drowsiness.
In such a case, the devices in the truck bring it to a forced halt. They alert the supervisor of the same. This way, you can ensure driver safety as well as make sure no harm is caused to anyone on the road.
Is Your Fleet Future-Ready?
If you have never had these devices installed in your vehicles, the initial investment you need to make is quite high. However, you need to realize that the installation of these devices pays off in the long run. And you start to see a positive ROI.
To summarize, the use of IoT and automation in fleet management helps you carry out processes faster and more efficiently. In the coming years, across industries, speed, and efficiency will be the defining metrics for business performance.