A Buyers’ Guide To GPS Truck Tracking

A GPS tracker for trucks is an advanced location-tracking device that assists drivers, owner-operators, and fleet managers in getting the real-time locations of their vehicles. From securing your assets to increasing your productivity, truck GPS trackers are advantageous in many different ways.

For a truck or a fleet owner and manager, using a GPS truck tracking system would allow locating your trucks at any given time. Moreover, you can also analyze the data like driving speed, routes taken, distance traveled, estimated arrival time, etc.

As someone in the trucking business who wants to invest in GPS tracking solutions, you are at the right spot. We have created this comprehensive guide with tips that will assist you in selecting the right GPS truck tracking solution.

What is a GPS Truck Tracking Device & How Does It Work?

Initially created for military use, GPS technology gradually became available for public use, making it easy to track people, vehicles, assets, etc. GPS tracker for trucks allows you to know the precise location of your trucks in real-time. The application of location data is vast in the transportation industry. It facilitates and simplifies several operations while streamlining different sectors of a business.

A comprehensive GPS Fleet tracking solution offers intelligent insights into the entire business, thereby offering owners and managers a chance to focus on areas that need improvement. It allows your business to optimize the utility of your available resources to enhance productivity, ensure a profitable ROI, and increase client trust.

The GPS (Global Positioning System) consists of a network of satellites that orbit above our planet. A GPS tracking device uses the signals from at least four of these satellites to evaluate the location. The GPS device then sends this data to the platform or application, accessible on any android or iOS device. 

Advantages of GPS Truck Tracking

Fuel Management

A cost-efficient GPS tracking solution comes with fuel usage reporting. It provides you with the data regarding your fuel consumption so you can improve your performance. You can learn to streamline routes, maintain the engine, encourage better driving, etc., and adopt these practices to minimize fuel consumption. 

Time Management

Knowing the real-time location of your resources can help in various functions. You can allot jobs to the available trucks. You can assign two or three hauls to the same vehicles with proper route planning. You can minimize the time your resources – trucks and drivers – spend idling, either at the traffic or clients’ loading dock. For enhanced customer experience, you can also share an ETA with your clients. All in all, with a good GPS truck tracker, you can manage your time efficiently and get more done in less time. 

Monitor And Improve Driving Behavior

A GPS tracker with smart alerts lets you know about your drivers’ speeding, harsh braking, rash driving, etc. This way, you can guide your driver for better driving habits and eventually improve your CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores.

Vehicle Safety

As the advanced GPS tracker comes with the anti-theft alert, you can protect your vehicles or the loaded trucks when an unauthorized person tries to enter. Also, with the help of a GPS tracker, it is easy to find your truck’s location if you forget where you parked it.

Drivers’ Safety

A GPS tracker not only aids the safety of your loaded trucks but also helps you in safeguarding your drivers. Your driver can immediately contact you in case of emergencies through a GPS tracker. All they need to do is press the SOS button, and you will get a notification. In such cases, you can get help for them in no time.

Assist In Customer Satisfaction

One of the major factors for a successful trucking business is its ability to satisfy its clients. If you use advanced tracking solutions for trucks, it may assist in providing better services to your clients. You can stay punctual, provide quick deliveries, and find their accurate locations. You would also comply with FMCSA rules which improves your reputation for your future deals.

Things To Consider Before Buying A GPS Tracker For A Truck

Pricing

One of the most crucial factors for choosing a tracking device for trucks is its price. The device should come with all the necessary features that aid in fleet management at a cost that matches your budget. It is streets ahead if it is available at a lower monthly subscription than its contenders. Moreover, it would be a great choice if it offers you an extended warranty at a reasonable price.

Size

The size of a tracker depends on your usage. However, if you want to track your vehicles discreetly, a small-size tracker would go well. A mini GPS tracker can fit in any small space. You can use a trouser pocket, glove-box, seat cover pocket, etc., to hide the tracker. The mini GPS tracker also assists you in hidden tracking, especially when you want to use it for anti-theft or theft recovery purposes. The offenders should not know that a tracking device is attached to the trucks so you can catch them hassle-free.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery, ask yourself these questions before choosing a GPS tracker for your trucks:

  • How many hours/days does the battery work?
  • How long does it take to charge that GPS tracker?
  • Does it come with an internal or external battery?
  • Would you need a spare battery for your average journey?

If a GPS tracker fulfills all these requisites according to your needs, opt for that tracker. 

No doubt, a GPS tracker for trucks should have a long-lasting battery. It should at least work for 14 days. However, a hard-wired tracking device is one of the options if you do not require it apart from tracking your trucks.

Alerts

A GPS tracker with an intuitive alerting system can be a great utility. If you find a tracker that can send you alerts on reckless driving, harsh braking, driving at odd hours, engine status, crossing Geofence, and fuel consumption reports, it is an ideal GPS tracker for your trucks.

The advanced GPS trackers also come with an option of “aggressive tracking” or “SOS alert” that helps your drivers to send an alert to you or the 911 service in case of emergencies. Look for this valuable feature before you consider choosing a tracker.

Installation

What does a cost-effective device mean to you? A device that doesn’t require much of your money and works efficiently. Most GPS trackers are only costly because they require you to incur extra installation charges. Get yourself a GPS tracker that is easy to set up, so you do not need any expertise for installing it. Even if it is a hard-wired GPS tracker, it should attach to your vehicle without any extra cost.

Companion App

An efficient GPS tracker provides you with rich features and a user-friendly application to operate them. The companion app for the GPS tracker should be compatible with all types of smartphones, tablets, and PC.

It should be available for both Android and iOS users. Moreover, it would be a better option if the app came with custom mapping. The companies with a mapping system design it according to their app’s functions, and the maps are way more effective for the users.

Strong And Water-Resistant

A GPS tracker for trucks should be a sturdy and waterproof device. You never know in what conditions, weather, or place your trucks need to travel. You may want to attach the tracker to an unsafe area. For instance, if you mount your GPS tracker under your automobile, it would face a lot of crashes, splashes, wear & tear, or collisions. Look for a GPS tracker that can survive in any of these conditions.

Accessories

A GPS tracker brand marks its presence in the market by providing better goods and services than others. What is the point of buying a tracker that does not provide you with the minimum accessories such as vehicle mounting hooks, cables, cases, pouches, etc.? If you find a tracker that comes with all the necessary accessories along with it, you should go for it.

Coverage

Look for a tracking device that covers a larger area or works in many countries or at least functions in the areas where you manage your fleets. Most trackers come with limited coverage. Those are not good for your long-haul trucking business.

Warranty And Tech Support

If you are looking for a tracking solution that assists your business for a long duration, you should find a tracker that offers you a long-term warranty. Like any other electronic gadget, a GPS tracker is prone to bugs and damages. A long-term guarantee also comes in handy when your device is too old to work, and the company takes the responsibility to replace/repair it. A good brand may even exchange your device with a new one. Likewise, the brand with efficient tech support would always solve your problems with the product.

If you opt for a company that offers unparalleled post-sale services, impressive tech support, and a long-term warranty, you can save yourself from trouble and useless expenses.

In Conclusion

Truck drivers or fleet managers can benefit from truck GPS trackers as they work to build a better and more efficient business. They can improve their speed and productivity by choosing the best trackers available in the market. Matrack GPS tracker is one of the best trackers for trucks available in the market. It provides you with data regarding real-time location, driving behavior, tracking logs, maintenance reports, and a lot more. Matrack is ideal for Truck GPS tracking as it provides a plethora of features at an affordable price.

What Is Telematics?

Telematics, also known as Fleet Management System, is a network that allows devices to send, receive and communicate data via mobile yet connected objects. It is a combination of ‘Telecommunications’ and ‘Informatics’. Telematics is software that involves monitoring cars, equipment, trucks (or any other vehicle of your choice) by using GPS technology and On-Board Diagnostics (OBD). Telematics is now an essential component of fleet management. Not only commercial but also government fleets opt for telematics technology for their operations. Globally, it is gathering crucial information and slowly reforming the way fleet management works in the world.

What is a Telematics System?

In fleet management, Telematics allows vehicles to transmit live information to the managers and operators in real-time. Fleet telematics usually has two components – the stationery fleet communication system and the mobile vehicle system, and both are easy to understand and install. A telematics device will not simply track your vehicle and keep tabs on its location. It will also aid in relaying relevant information about your fleet to your organization- fuel consumption, tire pressure, speeding, harsh braking, vehicle faults- you name it, and it will remain accessible even in a year or two.

The fleet communication system is used either by an internet service operator managed by the supplier of the system or by a single application operated by the motor operator. It involves a database wherein all vehicle location data is stored. Telematics also incorporates digital maps in its day-to-day work, allowing visual demonstration of vehicle tracking and location. For this purpose, satellites, cellular connections, and trunked radio transmissions come in handy.

Most telematics technologies help collect, process, and transmit data on vehicle use, maintenance requirements, and automotive servicing. Fleet management software is a common branch of telematics. It assists in coordinating with the other vehicles to gain a detailed view of the fleet’s working, productivity, and condition of the overall fleet. 

How Does a Telematics System Work?

At the fundamental level, a telematics system uses a tracking device that uses GPS technology to send, receive and transmit vehicular data. It connects through the vehicle’s OBD ports, enabling the system to operate through a wireless interface. This GPS-enabled tracking device collects all data and transmits it to a centralized server through a stable internet or satellite connection. The centralized server interprets the data and allows the operators to access it through a user-friendly website. Through Open Platform Telematics, companies integrate with the public, user-friendly platforms available out there. The data is made accessible on computers, smartphones as well as tablets. This data also offers an in-depth analysis of the entire fleet.

Fleet managers aim for good quality, safety, and overall management of fleets at the lowest cost possible, leading to awareness, motivation, and extensive knowledge of the industry and the fleet management system in the organizations. 

Features of Telematics Systems

  • Wireless Communication: Wireless communication has become the predominant method of communication in GPS fleets. Several leading technologies such as GPS satellites, GPRS networks, and cloud computing are now employed to track vehicles. Information is seamlessly transmitted to web servers through wireless GPS technology and can be used to communicate with fleet vehicles or dispatch drivers at the snap of your fingers. Satellite communication, though much more expensive, offers flawless connectivity without coverage gaps to the fleets. 
  • Engine and Data Mapping: Through mapping service providers like google and apple, data transmitted via GPS fleets are enabled and optimized for web browsers and mobile applications. It also includes geofencing, a newfound and crucial aspect of GPS fleet management. 
  • Cloud Services: Cloud services have now become a necessity in GPS fleets. The GPS device captures the data and transmits it to cloud services via the internet or satellite connections. 
  • User-Friendly Optimization: Rapid development in technology has also helped curate user-friendly and easy-to-read web browsers and mobile apps. Data from the in-vehicle devices can be easily accessed and used by fleet managers through these platforms. 
  • Vehicle Engine Computer Module: The GPS device connects and transmits data directly from the vehicle engine, gaining access to information, such as fuel consumption, travel time, harsh braking, seatbelts, and faulty engine. 
  • Insurance Risk Assessment: Insurance companies often use telematics data to access driver behavior. It allows them to gauge the risk factors and formulate insurance plans and premiums accordingly. 
  • Safety Assurance: Telematics helps keep an eye on the location and speed of the vehicle and to watch out for any ill activity such as harsh driving if it takes place. Essentially, it provides every piece of information fleet managers need to keep tabs and have complete control over their vehicles. It aids in making improvements and formulating emergency plans in case of an accident. 

Telematics technology also allows fleet managers to create geofences depending upon their needs as and when required. Fleet telematics makes fleet management practical and gives complete autonomy of the vehicles to the manager too. 

Why Do You Need Telematics?

Using telematics technology has become a prerequisite for many industries these days. Integrating fleet telematics in day-to-day technology has increased productivity and efficiency, raised revenue, improved the quality of customer service, and made fleet management organizations much more reliable than before. Automobile insurance companies, fleet management companies, construction, and transport companies are a few examples of the industries that heavily employ fleet telematics in their day-to-day operations. 

Benefits of Telematics

  • Improved Driver Safety: With the help of telematics, fleet managers can get continuous updates on driver activity and vehicle diagnostics. It keeps the driver’s behavior in check. Through the insightful data, fleet managers can take care of any problems or defects in the fleets as soon as they are detected. They can improve the overall fleet operation based on reports that highlight driver performance and safety measures. 
  • Improved Work Productivity: Fleet telematics has improved the quality of service and made it suitable for the ever-changing needs and demands of the industry. All the transmitted data is translated and adapted into different, modern, and easy-to-use applications thereby, increasing productivity. Using telematics also reduces dependence on paperwork, making the workload much easier for everyone involved. 
  • Lower Fuel Costs: Telematics identifies operations that cost waste of energy and fuel, such as idling and longer routes, and helps in eliminating them. It allows fleet managers to identify such practices and deal with them to increase overall productivity. For example, minimizing vehicle downtime by creating time-effective routes for drivers can also lead to optimum fuel consumption. It can also help come up with driver-specific route plans to reduce unnecessary mileage. 
  • Notifications: Fleet managers receive immediate notifications facilitated by telematics. It allows them to take immediate and appropriate actions in emergencies or avoid malpractices at the hands of the drivers. They will also know where the vehicle is at all times, reducing unauthorized usage of the fleet resources during and beyond work hours. 
  • Easier Payroll: As telematics can automatically record the accurate work hours of every driver, fleet managers can make payments based on this data. It saves them from manually calculating the amount and also avoids any discrepancies. 

Fleet telematics stands to provide exponential growth in the industry as newer services come up and aid operations with the help of existing GPS technology. More and more fleets are recognizing the efficiency of using fleet telematics and incorporating it in day-to-day businesses.  

Telematics has become essential in the GPS dominating world. Without telematics, the most basic operations which are a part of your day-to-day work can seem impossible. By incorporating the most basic needs of a fleet with the most complex one within one system itself, telematics has become an indispensable part of fleet management all around the globe. Before opting for a telematics provider, consider the features vital to your product and your pockets, such as the pricing, the hardware, the services provided, and the services you require carefully. Choosing the correct telematics service provider for your fleet is vital because you need all the information cohesively delivered to you at the touch of your fingertips.

Matrack Telematics Solution

Matrack Inc. offers qualitative and economical GPS and tracking telematics solutions for your fleet. We also provide technical and customer support, which is available for your service 24×7. At Matrack, we offer plans and premiums personalized for your needs and fleet requirements. Our telematics system can easily acquaint itself with the driver’s habits and detect inactivity or usage of vehicles outside work hours.

Our services include top-tier features such as geofencing, user-friendly interfaces for communication, and real-time tracking and reports. You can access the platform via a laptop, desktop, mobile, and almost any device with an internet connection. Our software platform has all features essential to telematics and fleet management and also comes with additional services and features for an economical price. With us, you can reduce costs and mitigate third-party channels of communication, thereby improving the overall productivity of the fleet and organization.

Collision Avoidance System

Managing a fleet is a tiresome and stressful job. You have to take all possible measures to ensure safety, operational efficiency, and maximizing profits. While you can take the help of telematics, still there is room for improvement.

Life on the road is full of unpredictable incidents, and a small mistake can prove deadly. There are high chances that- a car suddenly stops in front of you, an animal passes by, and they are distracted. What will the driver do at that moment? 

It is where a collision-avoidance system can help you. In this article, we will talk about collision avoidance systems in depth. So let’s get started. 

What is a Collision Avoidance System? 

First of all, let us understand what a collision-avoidance system is. 

The collision avoidance system is an advanced driver assistance system, which aims to avoid a collision or reduce its severity. There are different types of collision avoidance systems in the market. These systems use various technologies and services to perform their job.

For instance, they employ radars, lasers, cameras, and sensors according to their function. If any danger is detected, the system sends a warning to the driver or overrides the vehicle. 

But how to choose a collision-avoidance system that works for you? Let us navigate through the features and functionalities of a collision-avoidance system to understand your needs better. 

Types of Collision Avoidance System and Their Functionality

Collision avoidance systems differ based on their functionality and technology, such as radars, sensors, stereoscopic cameras. Here we will talk about them one by one. 

1. Forward Collision-Avoidance System

The Forward Collision-Avoidance system saves the drivers from crashing into any object or the vehicle in front of them. 

Let us see how it works:

The forward collision avoidance system comes equipped either with a radar system pointing forward, or a laser system, or a combination of both. The main essence of the forward collision avoidance system is that it continuously calculates the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. 

As soon as the control unit detects dangerous proximity that could potentially lead to a collision, the system

  • sends an alert via sound or light to the driver, or
  • pull the brakes for you. 

Although ingenuine, the system had a major flaw. When a vehicle stops abruptly to avoid crashing into something in front of it, it could collide with the car or truck at the back. Therefore, CAS service providers upgraded the system with a reverse collision warning. The advanced system can now calculate the speed at which the vehicle must go or stop to avoid a collision in the front and back. 

2. Lane Departure Warning System

The other type of collision avoidance system is the lane departure warning system. The primary function of this system is to help the drivers to avoid straying from their lane. 

How does it work?

The lane departure warning system has a stereoscopic camera on the windscreen of the vehicle facing forward. This camera continuously analyses the condition in front of you and reads one of the painted lines on the road. 

It detects that a vehicle is starting from its lane, the system intervenes in either of the two ways: 

  • It either sends you a warning via sound or light. It helps you: change the lane and avoid any possible collision with the vehicle. 
  • Or, in the advanced system, it either pulls the brakes of the inner wheel that will haul the vehicle back into its lane. If you have an electric steering wheel system, it will physically turn the steering wheel. And hence cause you to bring the vehicle back to its lane. 

3. Bling Spot Assist System

The blindspot assist system makes up for your inability to see the vehicle coming into your blind spot. The system has a radar either under the wing mirror or on the rear bumper. 

So, how does it work?

When a vehicle comes into your blind spot, and we try to maneuver across a lane the blind spot and coming in front of that vehicle, the blind spot assist system assists in two ways:

  • It sends you an alert via sound or light, giving you time to change your lane.
  • Or, similar to the lane departure warning system, it either pulls the brake of the inner wheel or turns the steering wheel. 

4. Traffic Rules Recognition System

Traffic rules recognition system helps the drivers to avoid traffic fines in their way. The system has a stereoscopic camera in front of the windscreen that constantly reads the traffic signs on the pathway. 

How does it work?

Suppose the sign on the road requires you to drive under the speed limit of 25mph, and you are moving at 40mph. The control unit will read the traffic sign. It will either send you: a warning to slow down or automatically pull the brakes slowly to reduce the speed. 

5. Pedestrian Detection System

The Pedestrian Detection system helps you to avoid any possible collision with pedestrians or cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable targets for vehicles and account for nearly a quarter of road fatalities. This system has a sensor to detect human movement on the road.

If a person or a cyclist comes closer to your vehicle, the system either sends you an alert or pulls the brakes to avoid any impact. 

Features of the Collision Avoidance System

Features of the collision avoidance systems are as follows:

1. Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control uses radars, lasers, or a combination of both to manage the vehicle’s speed and maintain a safe distance between you and the truck in front of you. 

2. Automatic Emergency Braking

When the system detects that the vehicle has come too close and the collision is unavoidable, the system pulls the brakes for the driver

3. Rear Automatic Emergency Braking

It is the opposite of the automatic emergency braking system. The system uses radars or lasers to detect any object or vehicle behind you. When you come too close, it affects the brakes of your truck to avoid a collision. 

4. Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control is an extension of the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system. Suppose your truck loses traction on the road and you are drifting on the road. The ESC system will use the onboard computer and manage the brakes and steering of your vehicle. 

5. Parking Assist

Parking assists collect feedback from cameras and sensors on your vehicle to assist in parking the same safely. 

6. Adaptive Headlights

Adaptive headlights illuminate the headlights of your vehicle as you turn the steering wheel. This system is helpful at night or on foggy days. 

7. Drowsiness Detection

This type of system detects your steering behavior and calculates if you are dozing off behind the wheel. Some advanced technologies may also track your eye movement in your position to spot your drowsiness. If the system detects that you are feeling groggy, it will send you a warning alert. 

Benefits of the Collision Avoidance System for Fleet

Business owners and fleet managers should invest in collision avoidance technology as it helps them to stay safe and cut down any worse driving behavior. With the help of a collision-avoidance system, fleet managers can reduce or avoid any compensation or liability. 

The collision avoidance system avoids any potential threat and reduces collision. Fewer collisions imply few repairs, few liabilities, few insurance claims, less fuel consumption, and longevity of the fleet. 

If you employ any collision avoidance system, you can prevent or reduce any threat on the road. The collision avoidance system will help you to avoid accidents altogether. But if the impact is inevitable, that at least lowers the damages for you.  

According to the IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) studies:

  • Forward collision avoidance system reduced 27% of front or rear crashes.
  • The Blindspot warning and Lane Departure system brought down lane-change crash incidents by 14%.
  • Traffic rules recognition system reduced 22% of crashes.
  • Pedestrian detection system helped minimize pedestrian-related insurance claims by 35%.

Matrack Fleet Management Solution

Matrack’s GPS-enabled fleet solutions facilitate fleets of all sizes to realize the most of their available resources and maximize ROI. Matrack offers you the most affordable and comprehensive fleet management solutions, starting at only $7 per month. You get electronic logging devices, GPS tracking, weigh station bypass, trailer & asset tracking, and freight factoring, and more. The user-centric solution comes with NO CONTRACT, free activation, and cancellation. Clients get access to round-the-clock tech support through various channels. 

For more information, visit the website now and talk to our experts. 

Final Words

To sum it up, we can conclude that the development of collision avoidance systems is still on its path. With technological advancements, it will become more precise and effective. It’s your call to employ a collision-avoidance system, but if you will, your fleet would gain benefit from it. It can help you to reduce risks, liabilities and monitor the driving behavior of the drivers. 

Complete Guide On Improving CSA Score

Drivers and fleet managers do their best to maintain their CSA scores to follow safety standards and better business opportunities. By learning how to maintain CSA scores, drivers and fleet managers understand compliance and safety rules. Read on to know how you can improve and maintain your CSA score.

What is a CSA Score?

The CSA Score stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability Score. The CSA Program was introduced by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) in December 2010. It works as a program for identifying high-risk commercial vehicles.

The CSA program was created with specific goals – to prevent accidents and hold truckers, fleet managers, and motorists accountable for their role in road safety. The lower the CSA scores, the better is compliance, safety, and accountability. The program encourages companies or drivers to stay in compliance and follow the measures for road safety.

For the better functioning of the CSA program, FMCSA created SMS (Safety Management System). SMS uses data from roadside inspections, state-reported crashes, and investigation reports from the last two years.

The FMCSA categorizes this data into BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories).

CSA Score Rules You Must Know

  • The CSA scores depend on the violation of the past 24 months. 
  • Each month, the driver’s and owner-operator’s or carriers’ profile is updated with the violations, if any. 
  • The score lands up between 0 and 100 percent. 
  • It only includes the violations while driving commercial vehicles and not personal vehicles.
  • Violations related to the vehicle and the driver operating under a carrier’s DOT are assigned to the carrier. While violations pertaining to the driver are assigned to the responsible driver’s data. 

How To Check Your CSA Score?

Carriers should check their scores regularly. If they have a low score, they should take action immediately. You can learn where you need to improve if you keep monitoring the scores. Moreover, you can analyze your progress once you implement the solutions for the improvements. You can also share your scores with potential clients once you have improved.

You can check your CSA score from the USDOT website, that is, csa.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Steps to check your CSA score

  • Enter the USDOT number with the PIN on the SMS login page and check your score.
  • You can request the PIN from USDOT if you don’t have one.
  • It usually takes four to seven days for the delivery of the PIN.

What is a good CSA score?

The CSA scores are determined on a 0 to 100 percent level. The FMCSA has categorized the score on every level, based on the BASIC relationship to crash risk. Higher scores can attract FMCSA investigation.

For example, if your score is more than 65% in Crash Indicator, Unsafe Driving, and HoS, you are subject to FMCSA investigation. The threshold score of a commercial vehicle carrying hazardous materials is 50%, and for the vehicle carrying passengers is 60%. The remaining categories have an 80% threshold, after which the FMCSA can intervene.

Carriers with good CSA scores can have the following benefits:

  • Lower Insurance Premiums
  • Better Reputation For Business Opportunities
  • Fewer DoT Audits
  • Prevent Roadside Inspections
  • Impacts Overall Performance And Management

BASIC Categories That Contribute To CSA Score

Unsafe Driving

The Unsafe Driving BASICs prioritize intervention for dangerous driving behavior. It includes speeding, texting, holding a cell phone, rash driving, improper lane changes, not wearing a seatbelt, and inattentive behavior. The state officer may issue a citation or just a verbal warning.

HoS Compliance

The HoS Compliance BASIC states the compliance with the Hours of Service Regulations set by FMCSA. It conveys to the drivers the necessity of staying awake, aware, and responding quickly.

Vehicle Maintenance

The Vehicle Maintenance BASIC includes keeping your vehicle up to the mark to ensure safety on the roads. It requires you to do proper vehicle inspections, find faults, and if the automobile is ready for a trip.

Issues like worn tires, improper load securement, faulty brakes, lights, improper cargo attachment are considered.

Controlled Substance And Alcohol

The controlled substance/alcohol BASIC includes operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol, misuse of the prescription of over-the-counter medications, and illegal drugs. Its violation also covers failing the alcohol/drug test while driving.

Crash Indicator

The Crash Indicator BASIC identifies patterns of high crash involvement. It looks at the history of previous crashes. It is a “crash” when it involves a collision, fatality, injury, or requires transportation of the vehicles from the location.

Currently, the Crash Indicator BASIC does not involve a driver’s role in the crash though the crash is reportable. However, the FMCSA is working on incorporating the same in the future.

Hazardous Material Compliance

The Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC addresses special attention to hazardous materials. Materials that require proper packaging, mark, labels, load, placard, well-built containers, etc., need special care. It also involves regulations for the testing tank, attendance, loading/unloading, and leakage.

Driver Fitness

The Driver Fitness BASIC involves checking driving records. It includes drivers’ qualifications, CDLs (Commercial Driving Licenses), state driving records, medical certificates, annual reviews, and compliant employment applications.

Best Ways To Improve CSA Score

Improving your CSA score may take time though you can increase its probability by clearing more violation-free inspections. The more inspections without violations, the lower the score will be. Here are some tips that may help you improve your CSA score

Reliable And Efficient Electronic Logging Device

An efficient ELD (Electronic Logging Device) lets the manager know about the driver’s location, driving behavior, estimated arrival, etc. assisting in productivity and providing good services. However, an ELD that reports false, inaccurate, or late data can cause you a loss. It may slowly report back to the web portal and create a troublesome situation. Ultimately it would lead to an increase in the CSA score.

For instance – A driver is traveling through a remote area with no cellular connection, not recording the logs at the right time could lead to inaccurate data and the HoS violation. In such a case, they could use an ELD that can work offline and upload the data as soon as it catches the signal.

Thorough DVIR

You can prevent the violations that occur due to imperfectly packed trailers by doing thorough DVIRs. With careful DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Report) inspections, you can not only follow the safety rules that are federally mandated but also increase the chances of improving your CSA score. Regular DVIR assists you in identifying the issues with trucks functioning, lighting, trailer, tires, etc. You can find out all the faults you need to avoid before a journey through a proper inspection.

Strict Recruitment Process

The CSA score depends on your driving skills and behavior. Their inspection reports are critically important. While hiring them, you should check their PSP (Pre-Employment Screening Program) records to know about their safety records.

Proper Training of Drivers

Even if you hire skillful drivers with a good PSP record, give them training and prepare them according to the CSA program. Some of the thresholds are based on aggressive driving. Just like hard braking, ELDs can monitor the aggressive driving of a vehicle. Drivers tend to drive recklessly or speedily when they are running out of time. It not only deteriorates the condition of your CMV but also puts them in danger.

Healthy Drivers

The penalty for driving while unwell is 10 points. It is the same as texting while driving and driving while controlled substances/alcohol. So, make sure that your drivers are in the best of their health and do not have any life-threatening disease. Healthy and attentive drivers are the epitome of road safety. It is the reason why the FMCSA insists on breaks and rest periods.

Stay Up To Date With Rules And Regulations

The rules and regulations for commercial vehicles or trucking industries keep on updating every year. Your ignorance of the law can cost you your reputation or get you in big trouble. Staying updated with the FMCSA and DoT rules increases the probability of improving your CSA scores. The threshold percentage and points table changes every year, so staying up to date will let you keep your score low. Whether you are a truck driver or own a business, being knowledgeable about every update is ultimately beneficial for your business.

Use Modern Tech 

If you use modern technology or gadgets such as software to detect the performance, dash cams, tire air pumps, etc, you can improve the efficiency as well as CSA scores. By regularly monitoring your drivers and vehicles, you will be able to detect the flaws hassle-free. You and your drivers can also exercise the practice of intuitive gadgets in your daily routine so your drivers can handle various situations in any condition. All of this may lead to a better CSA score.

Final Note

The best way to improve your CSA Score is to learn about the rules and regulations and avoid violating them. Drivers can practice ethical driving habits to promote safety and improve scores.

11 Underrated ELD Benefits that go beyond Mandates and Compliance

Are you still skeptical about the fleet-wide installation of ELDs? Or, do you find the enforcement of the ELD mandate to be a hastened one? Regardless, the ELD mandate is here to stay and the only way long-haul truckers and fleet managers can continue to thrive is by accepting this directive, at the earliest.

But then, a majority of us aren’t quite accommodative towards imposed decrees. This is the reason why ELD installation should not be viewed as a rigorous move but as productivity-enhancing action. Also, as a fleet-wide ELD setup is expected to be a cost-intensive affair, truckers, companies, and independent drivers need to understand the comprehensive rationale behind the communiqué.

Also, ELD directives vary with states, and therefore, it is advisable to concentrate on a bigger picture and get hold of all-inclusive Electronic Logging Devices that can offer a lot more than ROD maintenance and HoS logging.

Plus, with ELD standards in California being slightly different than some of the other states that operate as per the existing federal laws, it is necessary to have an Electronic Logging Device that offers a complete suite of productive features and not the standard HoS guidelines and logging facilities.

11 ELD Benefits That You Don’t Know of

Considering each of the mentioned aspects, we would now enlist 11 underrated perks of using electronic logging devices for your commercial vehicles or the entire fleet in general.

Lesser Manual Paperwork

In addition to maintaining compliance, ELDs can readily minimize the overall administrative burden by putting power in the hands of the remote fleet manager. As an ELD connects to the OBD port, it automatically logs in the hours of service, pertaining to a given driver. Plus, these records are subtly stored in online databases for the quickest possible retrievals. 

Improved Diagnostics

Did you even know that ELDs can help keep the entire fleet in the pink of health by succinctly monitoring and displaying engine conditions? Yes, you read that right as upon connecting to the diagnostic port, the concerned ELD has direct access to the fault codes of the vehicle, if any. This way, every issue, maintenance requirement, and anomaly can be observed with accuracy, as detailed reports or real-time intimations.

This feature allows you to strategize several precautionary measures, which if implemented in time can amplify the productivity and efficiency of the vehicles. 

Minimal Fuel Wastage

If setting up an ELD network seems to be financially worrisome, this point will certainly put most doubts to rest. Once the ELD connects itself to the dashboard, it can monitor and track the idle time synonymous with a particular driver. Therefore, as a fleet manager, it becomes easier to identify instances of drivers idling around, and necessitated rectifications can therefore help save an insanely high amount of money that would otherwise be lost to fuel wastage.

Therefore, as a fleet manager, it becomes easier to identify instances of drivers idling around, and necessitated rectifications can therefore help save an insanely high amount of money that would otherwise be lost to fuel wastage.

Improved Route Management

ELDs make sure that fleet managers are always privy to the location of their fleet. However, for this functionality to have large-scale effects, the concerned electronic logging device needs to have GPS functionality. 

Once the GPS tracking feature for the concerned ELD is activated, the fleet managers can trace the router taken by the driver. Depending on the type of tracker the company decides to invest in, the updates can either be in real-time or as constantly changing breadcrumbs. 

Also, drivers and fleet managers can plan out the shortest long-haul routes for the subsequent deliveries, which in turn can save a lot of fuel and cut down the fleet operational costs. Finally, improved route management effectively streamlines operations whilst making the drivers and assists even more productive in the long and medium run. 

Bad Behavior, Identified

Electronic Logging Devices can effectively identify and track shoddy driving behavior, which is common for select long-haul drivers to project. Starting from accelerating excessively to hard cornering the vehicles, bad driving can cause accidents, property damage, and whatnot.

With ELD connected to the dashboard, a fleet manager can very well keep a track of the driving behavior. In case the concerned trucker has bad driving tendencies and habits, the data stored in the ELD database can help managers train them better.

Once high-risk drivers are identified, organizations can replace them with safer alternatives on longer and more complex routes, which in turn minimize the risk of accidents. Plus, the driving data is useful enough when it comes to appraising drivers or putting the worst-performing ones through rigorous training. 

Minimized Liabilities

As a fleet manager or an independent trucker, you already have a lot on your plate in terms of timely deliveries, load management, DoT compliance, probable citations, and more. Amid these issues, an accident or two can certainly hit your businesses the hardest. Not just that, even inadvertent damage to property can attract lawsuits and eventually increase your liabilities.

However, trucks with ELDs installed can strengthen the case of innocent truckers by offering credibility, actionable data, and proper pieces of evidence. In case the ELD doesn’t log hard cornering, abrupt braking, or any bad driving behavior, the driver isn’t at blame and the company has maximum chances of winning a lawsuit. 

Simplified IFTA Calculations

Inter and intrastate fleets need to file their IFTA reports by the end of each quarter. However, in absence of an automating resource, manual IFTA filing can quickly turn cumbersome and error-prone. Plus, the insanely high volume of paperwork requires fleets to allocate several resources to the IFTA filing, thereby increasing costs but not the chances of human errors.

As ELDs keep storing data incrementally, deploying ELDs for IFTA calculations is advisable and it even cuts down on exorbitant filing costs where a massive volume of manual resources are hired. Not just that, letting the ELD manage IFTA calculations also eliminates the risks of inconsistencies. Therefore, if someday the fleet books are audited, managers hardly have to worry about the risks and penalties.

Affordable Insurance Premiums

Indeed, higher insurance premiums are usually levied from vehicles that are accident-prone or do not have the requisite tracking facilities. However, fleets that have ELDs installed get sizable discounts on the insurance premiums as they entail increased fleet safety.

Also, fleet ELDs that are fortified with GPS tracking, Geofencing, and other traits are better equipped when it comes to mitigating the risks of hijacks, pillages, and thefts, which in turn allows the insurance companies to be at ease while offering the lowest possible insurance rates. Hence, one can say that fleet ELDs with GPS tracking will help you get good insurance premiums.

CSA Score Improvement

Every fleet is distinguished by businesses based on the CSA scores, with higher being better. However, ELDs can help fleets improve their CSA scores by assisting drivers to stay on point with the working hours and driving behavior. Even if there is a California-based fleet to work with, ELDs can be quite a handful as ELD standards in California are different from the rest of the states, courtesy of the 12-hour driving HoS within the 16-hour duty window.

These variances can be managed effectively by a reliable electronic logging device that can adapt itself according to the changing rules and driver habits. Plus, the electronic interface cuts out manner and form violations, log defilements, and falsified recordkeeping, which also add to the CSA score of the concerned fleet

Enhanced Safety

As per reports released by FMCSA, ELDs on commercial vehicles are expected to save over 26 lives and even prevent close to 562 injuries, each year. This reiterates the fact that fleets that have ELDs installed as way safer as compared to the non-ELD ones. 

But then, you might be wondering how a logging device with restricted capabilities adds to the safety quotient of the fleets. The answer lies in the details as most ELDs come loaded with route management systems, fault-code generation, GPS tracking, and the ability of the fleet to identify bad driving habits. 

Once these details are made handy and accessible, preventing accidents, thefts, and loss of property becomes gradually possible. 

Increased Profits

Be it the reduced paperwork or minimal workforce engagement for handling IFTA filing, ELDs can lower the resource involvement by automating most tasks. With the operational costs reduced, it becomes easier for the fleet managers to break even and even make profits quicker than expected. 

Not just that, ELDs can also help reduce the overhead costs by helping managers locate better routes, lessen the idling time, manage and maintain vehicles better with fault-code diagnostics, and even increase the driver retention rate courtesy of a better management setup. Each of these aspects helps to increase the margin and hence, the profits.

Final Words

Individuals, drivers, and fleet managers who only consider ELD implementation as a way around the mandate need to read through this post with the utmost attention. While having an ELD network can readily empower your fleet and make it more compliant, it also allows you to achieve other benefits, including escalated products, newer business opportunities, increased productivity, streamlined operations, and much, much more.

But then, as a fleet manager or an independent trucker, it is your responsibility to procure devices with advanced telematics, to make the most of the enlisted benefit. If you are a fleet manager or an Owner-Operator you can check out this list of Best ELD devices for upscaling your businesses and earn some profits.