Preventative Maintenance for Semi-Trucks – A Comprehensive Guide For Fleet Managers

The fleet is the backbone of the transportation industry. Fleets vary in size and can be a small or big fleet. . However, any fleet with less than 50 vehicles is considered a small fleet, and anything more than that is considered large. Small or big, every vehicle needs to be maintained to ensure performance and get the maximum output. The truck and the driver form a cohesive team of man and machine. Hence it is necessary to have preventative maintenance carried out regularly to ensure the longevity of the trucks.

What is a Semi-truck?

A Semi-truck is a combination of a tractor (truck powered by an engine) that is attached to a trailer. The attachment is made with a fifth wheel called a hitch, a coupling device to haul or drag heavy cargo. The entire tractor-trailer unit is also known as the rig.

It is known as a semi-truck because the trailer, has no front wheels and is towed by a truck or tractor. The front of the trailer rests on the back of the truck or tractor. Semi-trucks are also known as 

  1.  Big Rig
  2. 18-Wheeler
  3. Semi-Tractor Trailer
  4. Semi-Trailer Truck
  5. Tractor-Trailer

Semi-trucks have two categories, sleeper and day cab. The sleeper has a bed in the back of the truck that is used, for long-haul trucking. The day cab is a truck without a sleeping area. Like all trucks, you have to do preventative maintenance for semi-trucks to ensure smooth long-term operations.

What is Preventative Maintenance?

Just as you go for annual medical check-ups to ensure that your body is functioning well, automobiles also require such check-ups to monitor their functioning more frequently. Trucks undergo the rigors of traveling on the most difficult terrains and climatic conditions. Hence, every truck in the fleet must be in top operating condition before each trip.

Preventative maintenance is regular vehicle maintenance or any assets to ensure proper functioning. This would prevent downtime resulting in losses and prove costly to the operator. 

What are the benefits of Preventative Maintenance?

Well-maintained vehicles form the pillars of any fleet. Frequent checks and maintenance reduce the operational hurdles, saving money and time and resulting in profitability. The benefits of Preventative Maintenance are manifold. Listed herewith are some of the benefits that will accrue:

1. Lower Downtime: Downtime is essential for any maintenance activity. Scheduled maintenance will reduce your downtime. A well-planned and scheduled vehicle maintenance will lower the possibility of breakdowns, resulting in the trucks being on roads more than in workshops. With the cost of capital continuously rising, lower downtime will save your money and benefit everyone.

 2. Increase in Overall Efficiency: Effective maintenance schedules will maximize the utility and output of the vehicles. An effectual fleet management system will go a long way in the performance of your fleet and increase truck drivers’ confidence.

 3. Truck & Driver Safety: Preventative maintenance helps guarantee the safety of your vehicles. Poor maintenance will put your trucks and drivers at risk. The damages will not only be confined to the goods but may also result in impairing injuries or fatalities of the drivers.

4. Increase in Fuel Efficiency: Trucks guzzle gallons of fuel, and preventative maintenance is one way to ensure fuel efficiency. With fluctuating global fuel prices, small savings will be a financial life saver for your vehicles. A tight vehicle maintenance schedule can help you achieve this goal.

 5. Cost of Replacement savings: Big fleets face constant breakdowns. It is always better to be prepared upfront and prevent breakdowns, as the cost of on-road repairs is very high. Moreover, some parts may not be available at the place where your truck might break down. Sometimes, the replacement cost is so high that you may find it difficult to bear. A preventative maintenance plan will help you tide over these unexpected situations.

What are the different types of Preventative Maintenance?

There are different types of preventative maintenance practiced. However, many find it hard to understand which method best suits them.

 Following four types of preventative maintenance are followed.

1. Time-based Maintenance: Also called calendar-based maintenance, it is done at periodic intervals. It’s a simple and commonly used maintenance, whereby vehicles undergo regular inspections. It’s preferred because it is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other types of vehicle maintenance.

 2. Meter-based Maintenance: It is also known as performance-based maintenance. This maintenance would include an engine oil change after a specific number of miles is covered.

3. Failure-finding Maintenance: This maintenance involves only finding a fault or defects in the truck. The objective is to find out if there is an existing problem and address it to prevent it from compounding in the future. It does not involve any replacement of parts. For example: Generating smoke near a vehicle to trigger its smoke alarm. In case of failure, the smoke alarm needs to be changed. 

4. Predictive Maintenance: Predictive maintenance is neither done periodically nor as a reaction to any malfunction in the truck. This technology-driven vehicle maintenance works on an algorithmic prediction. Due to this early detection, your vehicles can address any problems before they occur, resulting in cost savings for your organization.

What is a Preventative Maintenance Checklist?

A preventative maintenance checklist is a systematic program for vehicle maintenance and should be an integral part of your fleet management system. There is no defined checklist in the trucking industry. Every company has its own set of maintenance checklists suitable to the type of vehicles they own. However, as per industry standards, the following points listed herewith form a part of almost every preventative maintenance checklist.

  1. Engine
  2. Under the Hood, Fluid levels
  3. Chassis
  4. Brakes
  5. Driveability checks
  6. Emergency equipment

How to Create a Preventative Maintenance Checklist?

1. Your preventative maintenance checklist needs to be concise and not try to focus on too many things at a time.

2. A comprehensive checklist will keep the preventative maintenance process in check and control.

3. To be most effective, you need to have a list of each part that includes even the tiniest nuts and bolts integrated into your preventative maintenance checklist.

4. It is also necessary for you to have the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) manuals wherever possible. It will ensure that you are not missing out on anything important.

5. You need to check historical records of your fleet and factor instances of using non-original parts, apart from those mentioned in the OEMs. In case of such exceptions, your preventative maintenance checklist should have provisions for recording the same.

List of Activities in a Preventative Maintenance Checklist for Semi-Trucks

There is a wide range of activities that form a part of the preventative maintenance checklist for semi-trucks. Following are some tips that can be included in your list to help the fleet function more effectively and efficiently.

1. Make a Fleet Inventory

Firstly, the Preventative maintenance checklist should include details of the vehicles. You should note the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), brand and model, year of acquisition, and current mileage of each truck. You need to ensure that every semi-truck should have this checklist in its cabin. The activities should be separated, depending on their frequencies. There have to be separate checklists for Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Half-yearly, and Annual activities.

2. Engine

The engine is the heart of every automobile and needs the utmost attention. You need to take special care to ensure it is in good condition. Following inspections are required while checking the engine for preventative maintenance for semi-trucks.

  •  Check engine for oil, fuel, and coolant leakages
  •  Check power steering level
  •  Check radiator mounting for cracks or looseness
  •  Check A/c condenser mounting for cracks
  •  Test antifreeze protection
  •  Inspect coolant hoses and test the cooling system
  •  Inspect coolant recovery and pressure test radiator cap
  •  Check engine wire seals and connectors for damage

3. Check Fluid Levels Regularly

Fluids are essential for vehicle maintenance. You must check all fluids, including engine oil, brake oil, coolant or antifreeze, and power steering. Verifying the levels of these fluids does not take a long time. The fleet manager must ensure these requirements have been adhered to. In this way, any visible leakages between checks can be arrested immediately and fixed.

4. Changing Fluids

Changing fluids is critical to your vehicle maintenance. The frequency of changing fluids depends on the distance driven and the weight of the load carried by the truck. You need to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for changing fluids. You should specifically instruct the truck drivers not to compromise on the quality or brand of fluids in case of a top-up requirement during the journey.

5. Check Air Filters

The air filter is an integral part of vehicle maintenance. The air filter protects your engine and oil from outside particles and pollutants that contaminate and damage the engine eventually. As the air filter gets clogged, it will reduce the amount of air getting into your engine and impact its performance. Changing the air filter would depend on the type of routes your truck takes. If you drive in less polluted cities, the air filter needs a change after 20000 miles. In case of dusty roads, you need to change it between 10000 to 15000 miles.

6. Inspect Brakes

The most critical part of any vehicle maintenance is brake inspection. Brakes are life savers and have to be in the best condition. The brakes face the maximum brunt, and they are most likely to wear out or damage fast. You need to constantly monitor the brakes of all the vehicles and replace them immediately on the first signs of wear. Take your truck to the workshop if the brake pad linings are not compliant with the minimum width set by the FMSCA (The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Brakes are of two types Air brakes & Hydraulic brakes. You need to consider the following points while checking brakes:

Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Checklist - A Complete Guide
Source: doForms

 Air Brake Inspection

  • Inspect air lines and front brake chambers
  • Inspect front brake lining/pad condition and thickness
  •  Inspect front brake drum/rotor condition
  •  Perform ABS (Anti-lock brake) self-test

Hydraulic Brake Inspection

  • Inspect master cylinder and fluid condition
  • Inspect both front & rear brakes and lines
  • Inspect front brake lining/pad condition and thickness
  • Inspect all valves, hydraulic lines, hoses, and fittings for leaks

7. Tires

Tires need frequent inspection as they are prone to wear out soon. You have to look for bulges, uneven wear, cuts, abrasions, and cuts on the tread area and the sides of the tires. You need to check the tread depth by using the tread depth gauge on each tire. You should ensure that the tires are compliant with the minimum tread depth permitted by federal regulations. You need to do the following inspections of tires as a part of preventative maintenance.

  • Inspect for sidewall damage and cuts
  •  Inspect for irregular wear-out patterns
  • Check wheel bearings and lube cap
  •  Check and record the tire pressure
  •  Check for loose lug nuts
  •  Inspect for damaged or cracked wheels
  • Check and record tread design
  • Check wheel bearings and axle flange seals for leakages

8. Electricals

Electricals are very important in preventative maintenance activity. You need to check whether the headlights, flashers, turn signals, and brake lights on the truck and trailer are in perfect condition. Check if there are any cracks or holes in the lens. Check whether the all-around wiring in the truck has no cuts or abrasions. Additionally, check the batteries for loose connections or corrosion, and replace them immediately for any leakage.

9. In-Cab Inspection

Cab inspections are vital, as it is here that the drivers of the semi-trucks spend most of their time. The cabin must be comfortable and conducive for long trips. You need to consider the following points while performing preventative maintenance:

  • Check ignition key and start button
  • Check seat belts, seat suspension, and overall condition
  • Check dash lights and gauge illumination
  • Check dash gauges
  • Check horn operation
  • Check defroster and A/c heater controls
  • Check clutch pedals
  • Check steering operation
  • Check parking brake operation
  • Check wiper blades
  • Check mirror & brackets
  • Check window glass and operation
  • Check and lube doors

10. Apart from these, there are some checks that you need to perform based on hours spent on the road. The following table gives a break-up of the points that need to be a part of preventative maintenance for semi-trucks:

Sr NoHours Spent on RoadActivity
1For every 250 to 500 hoursBasic engine checks include the following oil ChangeOil filter change engine air filters change fuel filters change
2For every 1000 to 1200 hoursChange cabin air filters replace coolant filter (if required)Inspect air dryer (if required)
3For every 4800 to 5000 hoursHydraulic oils – Change or fill if required hydraulic filters – Replace at 80%Inspect pins and bushings for play or if they have worn outCheck radiator check hydraulic tank

11. Advanced technology has made the preventative maintenance process digital. A comprehensive fleet management system can streamline the entire process. Installing such a system in the vehicle will have manifold benefits mentioned herewith.

  • A GPS tracking solution can track driver routes, locations, and distances.
  • These fleet tracking solutions will send customized service alerts to the fleet manager. The configuration of these alerts can either be on distance traveled or any other criteria.
  • DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) track problems detected by a computer onboard the vehicle and can be generated in no time. It will help in alerting the fleet manager of any critical issues faced.
  • Hardwired GPS trackers in the truck engines help managers schedule maintenance based on mileage. The fleet management system also assists the drivers and managers decode the DTC code and understanding vehicle trouble.
  • All the preventative maintenance checks can be logged and documented in the software and retrieved whenever needed.
  • An exhaustive, preventative maintenance schedule for semi-trucking can help you automate the entire system and keep your vehicles and drivers in the best condition for the roads.

A good GPS tracker will benefit fleets in the long run. Matrack offers the best range of GPS trackers. MA-Hardwire is one such tested device that is tamper-proof and designed for Fleets management. With its compact design and direct battery connection, this real-time tracker will be a boon to your business..

Conclusion

A preventative maintenance checklist for semi-trucks will help keep your vehicles in good condition and avoid costly repairs and downtime. It is a mandatory requirement. The FMSCA requires at least one annual period of maintenance inspection. A good preventative maintenance policy will go a long way and benefit fleet managers, truck drivers, and the management in the long run.

Learn How To Build A Fleet Management Budget In 4 Easy Steps

No matter how many parameters there are in judging the success of a fleet, it always comes down to money. And the cardinal rule to making profits is managing the money you already have. A fleet budget is a rightful determinant of well-run operations. The success of a fleet is often measured by how its manager manages or controls the expenses. A budget, when created thoroughly, can help a fleet set its financial target and highlight the areas that need improvement. 

Budgeting is tedious work. Without enough information, anyone can find it a complicated and time-consuming process. So whether you are a veteran fleet manager or new to the role, here are some steps that you can undertake to create a functional and flawless budget for your fleet. 

Fleet Costs Or TCOs

Calculating and managing expenses should be the focal point for any fleet. It all starts with determining and calculating the fleet costs, also known as the total cost of ownership. Knowing the TCO  helps with budget management, allowing you to take proactive decisions for asset replacement. 

First, let us understand what TCO is. 

Fleet cost or total cost of ownership is the total cost associated with asset management. It includes costs related to the purchase and maintenance of vehicles in the fleet

There are two types of expenses categories comprising TCO:-

  • Fixed cost
  • Variable cost

Fixed cost: 

As the name suggests, this category is for fixed expenses that include taxes, purchase, loan or lease payments, insurance, registration, depreciation, etc. 

Variable cost: 

This type of cost fluctuates every month due to various factors. It includes parts replacement, fuel expenses, maintenance, parking, tolls, etc. 

Among the above, fuel and maintenance costs constitute the largest operating cost of a fleet. And hence, it is significant for a fleet manager to monitor these expenses and take action to control them. 

How To Build A Fleet Management Budget?- Four Simple Steps To Follow

Set Goals

Planning for a budget is just like planning for everything else. So the first step is identifying your goals. But your goals must be realistic. And to do that, you will need to go through your previous budget or financial performance. 

First of all, you should begin by specifying goals for your fleet. One of the ways to do so is by SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis helps a business identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. For example, it can help you identify where you are overspending or where you have to spend a little more than usual. And also which asset you have to purchase or replace to improve your productivity.

SWOT Analysis
Fleet Management Solutions Market SWOT Analysis by Advancement from 2019–2025 | Arvento Mobile Systems, Astrata, Autotrac

You can construct your budget according to the goals decided for the upcoming year. It will help you to allocate money to various operations under a set strategy.

Some of the expenses that a fleet has to incur are: 

  • Gas and fuel cost 
  • Vehicle maintenance cost
  • Tax or licensing fees 
  • Vehicle depreciation
  • Insurance or accident claim
  • Safety programs
  • Interest cost 
  • Parts replacement

Review Previous Year Expenses

The second step is reviewing the past year’s expenses. Reviewing the previous budget helps the fleet manager identify mistakes and look for room for improvement. 

It is also important as you can use it to develop the baseline for the current budget.

It can also help them to access the answer to various questions:

  • Did they overspend or underspend?
  • Which was the largest area of expenses?
  • Are the assets of the fleet utilized- properly or not?
  • What was the unexpected expense?
  • What were the measures taken to control or reduce the fleet cost?
  • Did they achieve their previous year’s goal with the budget? 

These questions will not only help you to identify where you were wrong but what measures you have to take this year to correct those mistakes. 

For example, if the maintenance cost is higher than usual, you can select a fleet management software such as Matrack for preventive maintenance schedules and service reminders. Or arrange a driver training program to help drivers overcome reckless driving behavior.  

Budgeting Technique

An ideal budget is well prepared for the upcoming future challenges. It is prone to unexpected costs and inflation. 

There are two different techniques you can use to cope with the fluctuating costs: 

  • Incremental Budgeting
  • Zero-based Budgeting

Incremental Budgeting

It is one of the most common types of budgeting. A flat increase, say 4 to 5%, is added to the previous year’s expenses. This technique tries to make adjustments for unknown expenses such as inflation. 

While this is an easy way to cope with the fluctuating cost, it has some major shortcomings. 

First of all, it does not assess whether the spending done in the previous year was appropriate or not. And secondly, it may encourage overspending. 

This technique can help small businesses or new owners operators to outline their budget but can be detrimental to large fleets.  

Zero-based Budgeting

The zero-based budgeting technique is more detailed and rigorous than the incremental method. 

According to this, the budgeting process starts from zero without considering the previous year’s expenses. A manager has to review the expenditure of each fleet and approve it accordingly. 

This technique aims to achieve an optimal allocation of the resources by making managers justify each expenditure.

The whole process involves five different stages:

  • Analyzing the causes of the activity
  • Determining its purpose
  • Finding alternative ways to do the same thing
  • Establishing performance measure
  • Accessing the consequences of not performing it. 

To start with, you have to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this expense necessary?
  • What if the activity ceases?
  • Is the current amount of money adequate for the function?
  • Alternative ways to carry out the same activity

Monitor, Control, And Reassess Fleet Budget

After you have completed the above process, all that is left is to keep everything in alignment. You have to periodically examine the actual expense and income against the projections in the budget and make changes if needed. 

You can make monthly, weekly, and even daily reviews according to the situation. You can also benchmark the budget against your previous year’s expenses for more clear insight. 

How Can Matrack Fleet Management Reduce Expenses?

The Matrack fleet management software helps you determine all of the above expenses. It also calculates your fleet TCO automatically, saving your time for other activities. 

Fuel is the largest expense of a fleet budget. The Matrack offers you a fuel card to provide you with discounts on fuel purchases. You can integrate it with fleet management software to get a broad overview of the fuel expense of your fleet. It automatically updates the data according to the fuel purchase made. So you don’t have to waste your time manually entering the fuel receipts for better fuel consumption data. Additionally, you can integrate Matrack fuel card service with the fleet management software to receive 10-15% off on fuel purchases and IFTA refunds. 

Maintenance is the other major expense of a fleet operating cost. Matrack helps you stay on time with vehicle maintenance with features like preventive maintenance schedules and service reminders and save up to $5k. By tracking every aspect of your maintenance, you can prevent unexpected breakdowns and improve the lifetime of the vehicles.  

With complete visibility over your expenses, you can save yourself from overspending. 

Apart from this, Matrack can also help you to save money in several ways:

  • It can help you with asset management. You can view the cost breakup of each vehicle and know when you have to replace it. 
  • You can maintain continuous cash flow in your fleet with the help of our dispatch and factoring service and get up to $10,000 per year at the nominal interest rate. 
  • Matrack offers you affordable and powerful telematics solutions. 
  • You have to pay the lowest monthly or annual subscription fees in the market given to our advanced features. 
  • You don’t have to sign any contract so you can activate or deactivate your subscription as per your choice.
  • You can save up to $5k with a real-time tracking feature and also improve your customer satisfaction. 
  • You can also avoid fines and liabilities with the use of FMCSA-certified ELD.
  • You can get a free ELD by paying subscription fees.
  • With our telematics system, you can improve your route management and expect an up to a $300% increase in your profits.
  • If you employ our system in your fleet, you can get up to a 15% discount on your insurance.
  • You can get all of these benefits and more at just $7 per month which is the lowest monthly subscription fee. You don’t have to sign any contracts, you can enter or exit as per your needs.  

To know more, click on the link.

Takeaway

As a fleet manager, you are responsible to monitor and control expenses. And for this, you have to learn how to make a budget.

To make a failproof budget, you need to have proper knowledge and data on various operations. A fleet management software like Matrack can help you with that. 

Matrack fleet management software can be helpful for the budgeting process. It provides you with significant data insights to identify new ways of cost-saving. When your budget is ready, it can help you to track fleet operations and associated expenses.

9 Best Fuel Cards For Truck Owners In 2022

Fuel cards are payment cards that can help you get discounts on your petrol or diesel purchases from a network of fuel stations. They are gaining popularity in recent years and are now synonymously known as savings cards. Why? 

  • Firstly, because the fuel prices are constantly going up.
  • Secondly, no trucking business can survive without proper fuel management plans. 

When a huge chunk of your budget, regardless of the size of your fleet, goes into fuel purchases, you need to optimally use it to increase your profit margin. One way is to go for a fuel card from a reputable company with a strong network of fuel stations. 

Matrack as a comprehensive Fleet Management Solution provider offers a premium Fuel Card service for all our clients. In this article, we have compiled a list of fuel cards, including ours, to give you a broader bunch of options from you to choose from.  

What Are Fuel Cards? 

Fuel cards are the tool that any truck owner needs to maintain a cash flow. These cards function like a credit card, where you can make the necessary fuel purchase through the card, and get 60-90 extra days to come up with the cash to repay the bill. From owner-operators and small fleets, a fuel card is the means to keep the business afloat. 

Based on price point, fuel cards are categorized into – 

  • Fixed price fuel cards
  • Pump price fuel cards

In Fixed-price fuel cards, the fuel rate is determined for the whole week. And you are informed a week ahead. So if you expect a rise in fuel prices in the upcoming days, you can refill at lower prices. 

On the other hand, with Pump price fuel cards, you will be charged according to the price displayed on the pump. One of the primary benefits of it- it is widely expected by major fueling stations. 

You can use the fuel cards to pay for fuel while fueling at fuel stations. It is the best alternative to cash, credit, or debit cards as it allows you to purchase petrol or diesel under the current fuel cost. 

Apart from fuels, few companies also allow you to buy additional items such as toll payments or similar expenses like lubricants, car washes, etc. 

Fuel cards are the best way to monitor and control the fuel consumption in your fleet. It allows you to streamline several related operations such as tracking fuel purchases in real-time, setting spending limits, auditing expenses, automated IFTA reports, etc. 

Fuel cards are beneficial for everyone regardless of the fleet size. Whether you are an owner-operator, individual truck driver, or fleet manager of 1000 vehicles, you can use fuel cards to boost your profits.

In simple words, if you are looking forward to saving money on fuel expenses, fuel cards are just right for you. 

Things to Consider Before Choosing A Fuel Card Vendor

While a fuel card is the best way to optimize the fuel expenses in your fleet, do you know some fuel stations may not accept your fuel card? And not all the fuel card companies give you uniform discounts. It widely depends on the agreement between them and the fueling location. 

Because of this, it becomes significant for you to choose the best fuel card for your business. You have to consider different factors such as fleet size, location, type of vehicle, and others while looking for an ideal fuel card for your business. You can read more about it on in our complete guide on choosing the right fuel card

Let us take a look at them one by one: 

Location

You need to know where you can use a fuel card. As already mentioned above, some fuel cards will only work in a particular region or at certain fuel stations. 

If you are a local or small feet operator that runs in a particular area choosing a branded or fleet fuel card with a limited operating territory can be a cost-effective choice. 

On the other hand, if you are a fleet manager of a large and nationwide operating fleet, a more universally accepted card with higher fees would be an ideal choice. 

Discounts

The second thing you need to consider while choosing a fuel card for your fleet is discounts. 

Fuel card providers offer you different types of discounts. We can broadly categorize them into two parts: point-of-sale and rebate model.

Point-of-sale discounts reduced the fuel cost at the time of purchase. The company immediately provides the amount to the fuel card company, which reverts it to the fuel station. 

On the other hand, in the rebate model, the fleet receives the fuel receipts for the total amount of fuel purchased at the end of the month. 

Controls

One of the biggest benefits of a fuel card is better to control. They give you the power to control the card users, impose purchase limits, and reduce the overall potential of internal fraud. And therefore, you have to look for a fuel card provider that provides you advanced control over the fuel cards of your fleet. 

Connectivity

An ideal fuel card would help you to monitor and optimize fuel expenses. 

You should look for a fuel car provider that integrates with the robust fleet management software to provide you with a clear and well-rounded picture of your fleet and assets. It should include price per gallon, location, driver, odometer reading, etc. You can use these data to optimize calculations such as cost per mile, asset utilization, fuel economy, and so on. 

How Do Trucking Fuel Cards Work?

Fuel cars are similar to credit or debit cards, but you can only use them for fuel purchases or trucking-related products and services. 

It is simple to use a fuel card for fuel purchases. At the fuel pump:- you need to swipe the card, follow the instructions, fill the fuel tank, and take the receipts with you. 

Depending on the company and fuel card you choose, you will be charged accordingly. 

For example, some merchants offer point-of-sale, while others provide a rebate model. 

Some rebate models may look confusing and not beneficial, but both methods are equally effective.

Benefits Of A Fuel Card For Your Trucking Business

Fuel cards are an excellent way for tracking companies to optimize their fuel consumption and enjoy other related services. Here are some main benefits of fuel cards:

Significant Fuel Savings

Fuel is one of the biggest operational costs of a trucking business irrelevant of its size. Every year they have to spend a large sum of their profit on fuel purchases. 

A fuel card can help you buy petrol or diesel from a range of fuel stations at a discounted price. It can help you save a few cents of every gallon-which becomes a thousand dollars saving everywhere.

Convenient For Drivers

Fuel cards are an easy and convenient way to complete fuel transactions. It cut down chaos or the risk of carrying colossal cash or credit cards. 

Every day, a truck driver has to go through the hassle of withdrawing cash to pay for fuel bills and then wait in line for receipts. Time is precious, but unfortunately, drivers have to spend hours on fuel purchases every day. Another difficulty is keeping receipts safe to submit later. 

A fuel card can help you save your and your drivers time by eliminating the above process. A driver can stop by the fuel station, complete the transaction from the fuel card and proceed with their journey. On the other hand, relevant data related to fuel purchases are automatically recorded in the cloud storage.

Saves Yourself From Frauds And Thefts

It is a hundred times safer to carry a fuel card on your journey rather than cash or credit cards. It can minimize the chances of theft and assaults. 

Additionally, you can set limits on fuel purchases for each driver and thus, help you to protect the business from fraudulent fuel transactions. 

Better Control 

Fuel cards provide you with better control over your fleet and employees. Several fuel card companies allow setting limits on fuel purchases, transaction limits, and even limits on regional usage. You can avoid unnecessary and unauthorized fuel consumption. 

Automated IFTA Reports

Fuel cards automatically track and generate automated IFTA tax reports for you. You can download them via your online account and submit them for IFTA tax auditing

Additional Services

Apart from fuel discounts, several fuel cards also provide additional services. For example, you can use them to pay for several related expenses such as repair, maintenance, lodging, boarding, etc.  

9 Best Fuel Cards For Truck Owners In 2022

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to LIST the best products in the market, and not to review or rank them. All the products listed here have several unique features catering to a wide range of customer requirements.

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Wex Fleet Card

At a glance

  • Accepted by 95% of US fuel stations. 
  • It is valid at over 45,000 service locations. 
  • Automatic accounting
  • Detailed and custom reports
  • Advanced spending controls
  • Exclusive discounts on fuel, tires, hotels, and many more. 

The WEX Fleet Card is the fastest way to grow your business with huge savings. It helps you automate fuel expense tracking, set employee pending controls, purchase alerts, and many other benefits. 

The best part of this fuel card is that it is accepted at 95% of the US fuel stations, so you won’t have to worry about looking for the exact fuel stations to refill the tank. 

The WEX fleet cards can give you better security and control over each transaction. Additionally, it can provide you with accurate and automated accounting reports, so you don’t have to waste your time on documentation. 

Some of the key highlights of this fleet card are: accepted by all major fuel stations and 45,000 service locations, accurate accounting, advance spending controls, exclusive discounts, etc.

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Fuelman Fuel Card 

At a glance

  • Cost controls
  • Reporting and tracking
  • Maintenance manager
  • Fuel rebates
  • Real-time alerts

Fuelman fuel card is a smart choice for you as it provides flexibility, freedom, and maximum control over your business. It can help you to avoid fraud and misuse with customizable fuel controls. 

It allows you to get fuel rebates at several gas stations across the USA. It offers a maintenance manager to help you track, schedule, approve and pay for maintenance.

The company has the best offers for you according to your business. So whether you are a small trucking business operator or a big fleet manager, you need to check out this one. 

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EFS Fuel Card

At a glance

  • Accepted at 12,000+ truck stops across America
  • Superior authorization and fraud prevention tools
  • Real-time online account
  • Fuel tax report
  • Up to 15 cents savings per gallon. 

If you are a small business operator that works in a specific location in the country, you can choose this fuel card. While it does not provide national coverage like its competitors, it offers something that makes it worthy of being considered. It can help you save at least 15 cents per gallon from more than 2200 EDGE Discount stores. 

Additionally, it does not have any monthly charges or transaction fees on the fuel purchases.

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Shell Fleet Navigator Card

At a glance

  • Accepted by more than 95% of fueling stations
  • Earn rebates up to 5 cents per gallon
  • Full control over spendings
  • Cancel lost or stolen cards in real-time

Shell Fleet Navigator card offers coverage for over 95% of the USA fueling stations. It covers almost every state of the USA, so you can operate your business without convenience. It offers you rebates up to 6 cents per gallon. But if you buy a higher volume of fuel, you can increase your savings. 

It can help you to set controls on the fuel transaction. So you can set limits on who, when, and how many purchases are made in your fleet. It also helps you avoid misuse and reduce the risk of fraud by providing individual driver IDs and purchase controls. If there are lost or stolen cards, you can cancel them in real-time. 

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Exxon Mobile Business Fleet Card

At a glance

  • Accepted at over 12,000 Exxon and Mobil stations. 
  • Valid at 700+ commercial fueling stations
  • Save up to 1-6 cents per gallon

Another promising fuel card on our list is the Exxon Mobile business fleet card. It is accepted by more than 95% of gas stations nationwide, so your drivers will not struggle to refill the fuel. And hence it will reduce vehicle idling by a considerable amount. 

Whether you want premium or regular gas at a commercial diesel location or a convenience store, you can choose any as the fuel card is accepted by 1200 stations and 700 + commercial fueling stations. You can save up to 1 to 6 cents per gallon. But it can exceed as the amount of fuel is increased. 

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BP Business Solution Mastercard

At a glance

  • Save up to 6 cents with volume-based rebates
  • Create and organize reports
  • Monitor after-hours purchases and daily transaction
  • Fuel at anywhere where Mastercard is accepted

BP Business Solution Mastercard is a perfect option for medium to large fleets. You can use this fuel card at almost any fuel station that accepts Mastercard payment. 

It comes with a $10 monthly fee, but you can waive it by buying more than 5,000 gallons of fuel per month. You can also use your cards to enjoy discounts on maintenance services too. 

It can help you earn up to 6 cents per gallon, but you can increase it by buying a higher volume of fuels. 

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Comdata Fleet Card

At a glance

  • $0 card transaction fees
  • Accepted at over 15,000 locations national
  • Savings up to 65% on tires and retreads at over 3,000 locations
  • Additional cash prices at different fueling stations

Comdata fleet card offers you fuel rebates, expense management, compliance, and many more in one place. Whether you are a truck driver or a fleet manager of a hundred vehicles, the company tries to make things easier. 

Some of its notable features are $0 transaction fees, additional discounts on different locations, nationwide acceptance at over 15000 locations, 24/7 driver support and online account management, etc. The Comdata fleet card helps you get around 65% off on tires and retreads at over 3,000 locations. 

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Pilot Fleet Card

At a glance

  1. Accepted at Pilot, Flying J, and One9 fuel stops.
  2. Win up to 3% cashback 
  3. Additional loyalty programs discount
  4. Maintain cash flow in your business with the factoring solution

The pilot fleet card, also known as the Axle fleet card, is different from its competitors. It doesn’t offer you direct savings on each gallon of gas but provides you 3% of cashback. Apart from it, you can also receive extensive loyalty programs at some fuel stations. 

You can also get discounts on maintenance, lodging, document scanning, tax services, etc. It is accepted by more than 2000 stations, including Pilot Flying J, Sapp Bros, Casey’s, etc. There is no issue with the contract or any yearly card fees. 

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RTS Fuel Card

At a glance

  • Save an average of 25 cents per gallon
  • Accepted by more than 2000 fueling stations
  • No annual fees or contracts
  • Integrated RTS Pro mobile app

Do you want to save more than thousands of dollars per year? If yes, then here is a perfect fuel card for you- an RTS fuel card. It claims to help you save 25 cents per gallon at over 2,000 fuel stations. 

You can also maintain cash flow and keep your business moving with the help of factoring solutions along with RTS financial help. You can enjoy back-office support, different financial tools, and fuel bundles. 

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Conclusion

Fuel cards are a smart way to optimize and control your fuel expenses. When the fuel prices are constantly rising, take a wise decision by choosing the best fuel card vendor for your fleet. 

7 Best Fleet Tracking Devices For Small Fleets

Congratulations! By being here, you have taken the first step in improving the efficiency of your fleet operations. So let us help you out. Currently, especially after the fleet industry proved its strength, fighting the COVID pandemic on the frontline, there are a lot of GPS products and service providers tapping into the market. The sheer number of GPS tracking device sellers and the features they offer can be overwhelming.

But as you have already taken the first step, let us help you. After a lot of research and analysis of several products, we have cataloged the 7 Best Fleet Tracking Devices For Small Fleets. These devices come with the latest features that help you not just in tracking the location of our fleet, but fuel management and IFTA filing as well.

Benefits Of GPS Tracker For Small Fleet Owners

Before we jump onto our curated list of best GPS trackers for you, let us find out some benefits that they are going to impart to your organization.

Know the whereabouts of your drivers

When your drivers are hitting on the road, you cannot expect to contact them via cellphone. It creates a huge communication gap between a fleet manager and remote workers. 

But with a GPS tracker, you can fill this gap and know the whereabouts of them 24/7.

Improve customer satisfaction

With the help of a GPS tracker, you can complete a task in an efficient manner. You can deliver shipments on time by allocating the job to the correct person.  

In fact, if the customer demands an accurate estimate of the delivery, you can provide them using the telematics solution

Improve safety and avoid unnecessary liabilities

A modern telematics solution can provide you with a detailed report of your driver’s driving behavior. So you can know their conduct on the road and take steps to avoid any unfortunate events beforehand. 

Asset management

With a GPS tracker, you can stay updated about your asset no matter where they are. Additionally, in case of theft, you can retrieve them fast using real-time location updates. 

Make informed decisions

An ideal GPS tracking solution does more than a simple GPS tracker. It collects significant data for you and provides you the power to harness it to make an important decision. 

Fleet Vehicle maintenance 

A GPS tracking solution will also help you to stay forward with the maintenance dates of different vehicles in your fleet. It will send you notifications to let you know the correct time to send the truck to the service center.

List Of Best Fleet Trackers For Small Fleet Owners

Matrack Fleet Tracking

matrack fleet tracking solutions

When it comes to GPS technology and related products and services, Matrack’s telematics solutions are unparalleled. One of the best things about Matrack GPS devices for a fleet is that not only do they have a wide range of services on an extremely affordable budget, but their services are also customizable based on your needs and the size of your fleet. 

Why do we recommend Matrack GPS devices for the Fleet?

  • Location In Real-Time
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Fuel management
  • 4G/LTE connectivity
  • Route optimization and ETA data
  • Wide Selection of Customizable features
  • Access Driver & Operator Behavior
  • Track Electronic Driver Logs
  • Track Maintenance Needs
  • Vehicle Health and Performance Diagnostics
  • Geofence, Aggressive Tracking Mode, Roadside Assistance
  • Affordable yet Comprehensive FMS 
  • Easy installation
  • Seamless and User-friendly Platform

Why choose Matrack?

Matrack has an expansive bundle of fleet solutions that include GPS-enabled vehicle tracker, asset tracker, ELDs, and more that increase visibility and help improve productivity. The GPS devices and their integrated platform work in tandem to collect and analyze location data, engine status, mileage, vehicle diagnostics, fuel usage, and more to give you real-time information on how all your resources – vehicles, equipment, drivers – are working. The information allows you to make informed decisions to improve the safety, productivity, and sustainability of your fleet, while cutting down costs and potentially growing your ROI. 

The devices from Matrack are in complete compliance with regulations under FMCSA, DoT, and other government authorities. The company also has a team of expert support staff, available round the clock, throughout the year. Users can also opt for roadside assistance and aggressive theft tracking, in case of emergency. Know more here.

Pricing

Matrack GPS devices for Fleet tracking come at a very affordable price starting at $50, with the lowest monthly subscription of $12.95 per month. There is no contract, no activation, or any other hidden fee, and you can cancel your subscription at any time. There is also no minimum vehicle requirement. 

Pros and Cons

  • Comprehensive GPS and FMS solution
  • Affordable and Ease of Use
  • Responsive Platform
  • No minimum number of vehicles required
  • No contract or hidden charges
  • Does not offer Dash-cam

GPS Trackit

GPS Trackit GPS fleet tracking device

With easy-to-use products and services, and cost-effectiveness, GPS Trackit is the second-best option for your fleet. The device and app are easy to use and responsive, making the managing of the fleet a piece of cake. They have a bunch of customizable features like Geofence, route optimization, and more that help you in enhancing fleet performance without extra expenditure

Why do we recommend GPS Trackit devices for the Fleet?

  • Real-Time Location Tracking
  • Accurate and reliable Data 
  • Time & Driver Management
  • Mobile Apps to Track from Anywhere
  • Asset Protection & Management
  • Faster recovery of stolen vehicle or assets
  • Low Monthly Price and No Contracts

Why Choose GPS Trackit?

Bundled with cutting-edge technology and sturdy design, GPS Trackit devices are one of the best GPS solutions in the affordable category. Their fleet management platform is intuitive and user-friendly and is compatible with all mobiles and tablets. The solution offers an eagle’s eye view into your entire fleet operation – fuel, engine, manpower, and vehicle – all at one place, which makes it easier to keep a close watch and take informed decisions. 

GPS Trackit is well known in the market for its passionate customer support. Their professional team of experts can solve all your fleet management-related problems in minutes. 

Pricing

You can procure its services for only $23.95 per month, with no contract or activation fee. The price for the device may vary, and exclude installation charges. There is no minimum vehicle requirement. 

Pros and Cons

  • No minimum number of vehicles
  • No contract or Activation fee
  • Free GPS with subscription
  • No 24/7 support
  • ELD compliance at extra cost

Samsara Fleet Tracking Solutions

Samsara Fleet Tracking device

GPS products and services of Samsara are fairly renowned for their high-quality products and services. Backed by their vast experience, Samsara GPS devices for fleet offer an all-inclusive telematics solution including location tracking and a complete fleet management solution. Like every competent fleet solution, Samsara too offers useful insights into your business, allowing you to streamline and reduce operating costs. 

Why do we recommend Samsara GPS devices for the Fleet?

  • Real-time location tracking
  • Personalized FMS solution
  • Integrated Platform
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Workflows and reporting
  • Data Safety
  • Driver, Asset, and Vehicle management
  • Geofence

Why Choose Samsara?

Samsara offers high-end GPS and fleet management solutions for fleets of every size. However, their products and services are best suited for fleets with three or more vehicles. The Samsara plug-n-play GPS devices are easy to install and collect and record a plethora of data that includes – real-time location, driving hours, engine running status, fuel status, mileage, and more. Leveraging these data and the related reports gives users and fleet managers a helicopter view of their overall operations. This allows for better management of resources and decision-making, enhancing overall productivity. 

Samsara devices are FMCSA-approved and in compliance with DoT and other authorities. They offer great customer support, available 24/7. If you are concerned about driver safety, fuel tracking, routing and dispatch, time on site, mobile app, and ELD compliance, then Samsara is your best choice. Apart from Samsara, there are many other Fleet management solutions that you can check out if you are looking for one.

Pricing

Samsara has custom pricing, based on your requirement and number of vehicles. You are required to pay one time for the device, and then take a yearly subscription. The device cost is close to $100 and the monthly subscription for each vehicle starts at $30 per month. 

Pros and cons

  • Free trial of device and fleet services for a month
  • International coverage
  • Custom pricing
  • In-depth vehicle diagnostics
  • 3-5 years of the contract
  • For fleets with 3 or more vehicles
  • No hardwired units

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Fleet tracking system

With 23 offices all over the world, Verizon Connect offers global services for fleets that operate across national borders. The company has end-to-end fleet solutions that include absolutely everything – from real-time location, theft/danger alerts, inventory and dispatch management to ELD and IFTA compliance. The vast amount of data and reports that Verizon devices and platforms offer are usually best suited for the big-sized fleet as they can utilize this data for better management of their operations.

Why do we recommend Verizon Connect GPS devices for the Fleet?

  • Real-time location tracking with live maps
  • Commercial Vehicle roadside assistance
  • Geofencing
  • ELD tracking
  • Dashboard Customization
  • Engine Status
  • Vehicle Diagnostics
  • Driving status and driver behavior

Why choose Verizon Connect?

Verizon Connect GPS products and services are best for fleets that operate globally. Apart from basic location tracking, there are several add-on services like live maps, fuel usage data, idle time, engine status, driver’s logs, and more that help users in performing cost analysis and improving the low-productive areas of their operations to attain maximum efficiency. Some of the other features of its GPS-enabled FMS services include complete customization of the dashboard on any mobile device to suit the needs of the fleet, Geofencing, and roadside assistance. 

With its GPS device, fleet managers also get access to driving habits that help in providing required training to its employees to ensure that their drivers, vehicles, and assets are safe. Verizon Connect also offers several AI-powered features like scheduling for maintenance and routing optimization as an add-on service. 

Pricing

Given the high-quality features, Verizon Connects monthly subscription plans are more expensive than the others on the list and might cost $50-$250 per vehicle. However, this is based on fleet requirement – the more add-on services you choose, the more you pay. Also, a long-term contract is required to be signed. 

Pros and Cons

  • International Coverage
  • End-to-end FMS Solution
  • AI-powered features
  • Not suitable for small-sized fleets
  • Long contract periods
  • Integrated Platform is comparatively complicated
  • Expensive

Azuga

Azuga Fleet tracking device

If you want live updates on absolutely everything, then Azuga Fleet GPS tracking is for you. Azuga GPS devices are simple to use, affordable, customizable, as well as very easy to install. It gives you improved fleet-wide visibility and allows create proper accountability and safety for drivers. Azuga’s GPS devices are paired with their FleetMobile FMS solution that you can access on any mobile device of your choice. Through this platform, you get regular updates of location, driving habits, driver working hours, and more. 

Why do we recommend Azuga GPS devices for the Fleet?

  • Easy to install and use
  • Integrated dash-cam (optional) 
  • Drive management
  • Real-time location tracking
  • Customizable alerts and Notification
  • Safety-oriented

Why choose Azuga?

Azuga GPS-enabled fleet devices and services are best suited to small and medium-sized businesses, for whom the security and safety of the driver, vehicle, and assets are more important. The company offers various telematics solutions like dual-facing dash cams that accurately record every moment inside and outside the vehicle. The recording helps in encouraging safe driving habits as well as recognizing accountability in case of an accident or theft. 

Azuga also offers an exclusive fuel card that automatically records fuel expenses; and with fuel usage data from the device, this service helps in the easier filing of IFTA. The Azuga devices are approved by relevant authorities and hence get you attractive discounts on your insurance premium. 

Pricing

Azuga has three plans – basic, safe, and complete – each with subsequent more add-ons. There is no upfront device cost, and all the plans include a dual-facing dash-cam without any extra hardware charges. The subscription plans are different based on the requirement and start from $22.99 per month per vehicle. All other add-on services including the ELD feature requires extra costing. 

Pros and Cons

  • Driver coaching
  • Dash-cam included
  • Fleet and Asset Trackers
  • Live alerts
  • 3 years minimum contract
  • Not suitable for users looking for all-inclusive FMS

Teletrac Navman

teletrac navman gps device

Accurate data and relevant reports are the USP of the Teletrac Navman GPS fleet tracking solution. Serving clients in several countries including the U.S.A, Mexico, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, Teletrac Navman offers a broad feature range of Cloud-based GPS services. With their devices and services, fleet managers and drivers can efficiently manage their time and resources, as well as save on expenses. 

Why do we recommend Teletrac Navman GPS devices for the fleet?

  • AI-powered telematics
  • Real-time visibility
  • Instant alerts, reports, and notification
  • Geofencing
  • Vehicle diagnostics
  • Maintenance and training
  • Accurate video footage
  • Plug-n-Play and hardwired devices
  • Robust Customer support

Why choose Teletrac Navman?

Teletrac Navman offers accurate data regarding location, driving hours, engine status, and more that helps fleet managers in deciding a driver-job assignment, fuel efficiency, route optimization, offering real-time updates to clients, and more. Their AI-powered solution helps in proactive management of workflow and increases productivity. With the real-time diagnostic alerts, fleets can always keep a check on vehicle maintenance and avoid unnecessary expenses in repairs and replacements. 

Teletrac Navman GPS solutions also come with dash-cams that help in identifying accountability in case of emergency, as well as coach drivers in better and safe driving habits. With Geofencing, users can create virtual boundaries around a location and monitor movement to track arrival and departure times, and unauthorized movement.

Pricing

 Custom plans with custom pricing are available, however, cheaper plans limit the number of features. A monthly subscription starts from $35 per month per vehicle, and hardware prices are not revealed by the company.

Pros and Cons

  • AI-powered features
  • Dash-cams included
  • A broad range of features
  • International coverage
  • Long-term contracts
  • 30-day notice for annual auto-renewal cancellation
  • Engine temp data not recorded

NexTraq

NexTraq vehicle tracker

Although last on our list, NexTraq is one of the best GPS fleet tracking solutions in the market. With flexible contracts, NexTraq covers two main features – compliance and safety. Its wide range of offers includes driver scorecards, behavior alerts, engine diagnostics, and preventative maintenance. It has robust compliance features for ELDs and DVIR and helps you in tracking every driver, individually. 

Why do we recommend NexTraq GPS devices for the fleet?

  • Vehicle tracking
  • Driver behavior
  • ELD compliance
  • Maintenance 
  • Routing and Job Scheduling
  • Fuel Management

Why choose NexTraq?

If you are looking to enhance your compliance with government regulations and ensure driver safety at the same time, then the NexTraq GPS fleet solution is the one you need. It offers a bunch of features that help in routing, job scheduling, fuel management, dispatch, scheduling for maintenance, recording of drivers’ working hours, and more. With the help of these features, you get access to untapped information and resources and utilize them to their maximum potential. Accurate information like real-time location and Geofencing help you in managing routes, reducing idle time, avoiding traffic, and reaching the destination on time. Alerts for driving behavior help you in training your drivers and avoiding any future accidents.

Pricing

NexTraq offers custom pricing based on the number of vehicles in the fleet, features required, and the term of the contract. More number of features means higher the price, whereas the longer the contract, the lesser the price. There is an upfront device cost of $80 per vehicle if the contract is for a year, however, if the contract is longer, there is no device cost. Also, this pricing is for mid-sized fleets. 

Pros and Cons

  • Focus on Driver Safety and Compliance
  • Wide range of features
  • Plug-N-play and hardwired devices
  • Customer service is comparatively delayed

How to choose a GPS device for your fleet tracking business?

Now that you know the best GPS fleet tracking solutions for you, let us tell you why you need them.

Real-time location tracking and Geofencing

The advantages of knowing the location of your vehicle at all times are innumerable. If it’s stuck in traffic, you can re-route to reach the destination faster. You can keep the client updated on the estimated time of arrival (ETA). You can efficiently reduce the wait or idle time while loading or unloading. Also, in case any of your vehicles need assistance due to a broken down vehicle, accident, or theft, you can get them the help they need immediately. 

Operations

With GPS devices and FMS, you are in constant contact with your driver and vehicle. This makes communicating back and forth with your driver redundant. With immediate alerts and notifications, you are in charge of everything happening in your fleet and can streamline the operations for efficient functioning.

Maintenance

As most GPS fleet trackers keep an eye on vehicle diagnostics and engine status, you can automatically schedule a maintenance check. Research has proved that regularly and well-maintained fleet vehicles tend to perform longer. Having a proper schedule also reduces the chances of vehicle breakdown in the middle of a job. Also, the proper functioning vehicle tends to use less fuel.

Driver management

A comprehensive Fleet Management Solution must be able to assist you in complete driver management including payroll, compliance with hours of service, as well as driving behavior. You can set alerts for bad driving instances like hard braking, crossing speed limits, unauthorized routes, and more which can help you in training your driver in safe driving habits, thereby increasing their safety. Many solutions also come with dash-cams that are extremely helpful in cases of thefts and accidents, and the recording from the dash-cams are admissible evidence in the court of law. 

HoS

By complying with DoT regulation for Hours of Service, you can ensure that your drivers are not overworked and safe. 

Sustainability

When the vehicles are well maintained and their driving routes are optimized, they use less fuel and have lesser emissions. This makes your business sustainable and environment-friendly.

Compliance

FMCSA, DVIR, and DoT have certain regulations regarding driving hours to ensure safer roads. To meet these regulations, you need to have an approved GPS fleet device or an Electronic Logging Device.

Efficiency

With all the data collected and the reports generated by an all-inclusive FMS, you can make an informed decision and improve the performance as well as productivity of your business. 

Insurance

Several insurance providers offer a sizable discount on insurance premiums if authorized, licensed, and approved GPS –enabled fleet solutions are being used by a fleet.

Read more: How To Prevent Tampering Of GPS Tracking Devices?

Boost Effective Communication With Matrack Fleet Management Solution

Have you ever felt a deceleration in the productivity of your fleet due to poor communication? Well, you are not alone. According to research, around 86% of employers and employees experience communication breakdowns. It is vital to proactively tackle and manage effective communication within the fleet for enhanced efficiency.

With the Matrack Fleet management solution, you are on top of things. You have deep insights into all your fleet operations and can plan for contingencies – including communication disruptions.   

What Are Communication Breakdowns?

Communication is a soft skill and is one of the most important and in-demand skills in a corporation. It can either break or make an organization.

But it is not a one-way game. Instead, it is a two-way street, which means that both employee and employer are equally responsible for communication breakthroughs and breakdowns. However, as a fleet owner/manager, the responsibility to provide proper and efficient channels to convey a message successfully falls on you. And Matrack fleet management solution can help you with that.

Communication breakdown is a failure to exchange information between different levels of an organization. For a fleet business, communication is more than delivering a message – the message needs to be deciphered, and conveyed at the right time. Delays in getting the instructions through can result in business losses. 

Moreover, the fleet industry consists of several movable assets like vehicles, and drivers. And thus, it becomes a stressful job to maintain a continuous communication channel. 

For example, you have assigned driver A to deliver specific cargo to city X. But suddenly, the client requests to change the delivery address. Due to a lack of communication, you cannot reach the driver. And unfortunately, driver A shipped it to the initial address.   

Now, no matter the kind of business you have, customer satisfaction is vital for growth. Happy client means recurring business. But misinterpreted messages between you and your employee can lead to losing a good client and disrupt your reputation in the market.

Additionally, correcting the fault will lead to fuel wastage and time consumption. And as a fleet manager, you are required to foresee these situations and proactively plan to overcome them.

Common Causes of Communication Breakdowns

Someone wise has said that to find a solution for the problem, you need to understand the root cause. Let’s find out common causes of communication breakdowns in a fleet:

Connectivity Issue

Drivers are always on the road. Their workplace consists of rough terrain and uncontrollable weather, which could lead to unreliable cellular connectivity. And it can result in delays in the exchange of information and give rise to communication gaps. 

Such gaps are harmful to your brand value and customer satisfaction. For example, if you are managing a logistic business, and the drivers are on the road. Suddenly one of your customers wants to know the exact delivery time. 

If you try to reach the driver via mobile phone and they are in place with bad network conditions, you will not be able to contact them. In such a scenario, you can only provide a guesstimate of timings to them, but that is not good for you and your business. You can solve this problem by using the Matrack fleet management system as it provides you real-time GPS tracker and a two-way messaging option. 

Change In Routes

In the same scenario of the customer requesting you to postpone or change the initial delivery address, you will be in a difficult position. You will have to wait for the connections to be re-establish. And then, you can update the details to the driver. 

There is not only in this situation where you can expect a change in routes. You have to alter the way if there is a landslide or heavy traffic in a predetermined track.  

Inaccurate Information

Another significant cause for communication breakdown is inaccurate information. Often, people tend to write down a piece of information and then verbally communicate it. However, when it comes to a business, this manual method is not feasible and reliable, and can lead to confusion. In fleet business, it is important to convey the correct information to the right person at the precise time. And that is why a fleet solution like the one from Matrack is needed. With the help of these solutions, a fleet manager can record numerous data, and accurately and timely convey it to related parties. 

Ambiguous Details 

In a fleet, there are different drivers. The numbers may vary from 10 to 20 and sometimes even more. Without proper technology or tools, it becomes impossible for the fleet manager to track information about all. 

For example, you are a fleet manager and have to manage more than twenty drivers simultaneously. They all have specific working hours, and you have to allocate tasks accordingly. Keeping track of all this information and informing them about any change in the schedule would mean contacting them individually. Although not impossible, it would only make your job tedious. 

However, we have an excellent solution to address all communication-related problems. 

Matrack Fleet Management Solution- Best Way To Improve Fleet Communication

Matrack fleet management software is an affordable yet effective management system. You can rely on this one to maximize your fleet’s productivity by organizing, scheduling, and allocating jobs.  

What Do You Get? 

  • One Device: Matrack OBD-$85/ MA Hardwired Classic-$50/MA Hardwired Silver-$135
  • An ELD
  • No contract- Pay as you go
  • Lowest monthly subscription fees
  • Lifetime warranty

Benefits Of Matrack Solution 

Communication between a fleet manager and drivers is crucial for the fleet’s productivity. And you can tackle every problem with the help of the Matrack fleet management system. Let’s explore what will the software impart to your fleet:

  • Boost Efficiency

One of the prime roles of a fleet manager is to boost efficiency by making optimum use of the resources. By employing Matrack fleet management software, you can streamline different jobs. You can create detailed and custom reports to implement data into work.

Additionally, you can check the working hours of your drivers on a single dashboard and assign work accordingly. And hence, you won’t have to call your driver individually to check their availability. So you can save time and diverge your focus on profit-generating activity. 

  • Vehicle Maintenance

Another significant advantage of Matrack fleet management software is vehicle maintenance. Our software can help you keep an eye on every vehicle in your fleet. With the help of it, you can detect minor fault codes. And solve them before they become big. It also reduces the chances of unexpected breakdowns leading to late deliveries.  

  • Reduce Communication Gaps

Matrack offers lightning-fast 4G connectivity, and hence, helps you to reach your drivers fast. You can stay connected to your drivers with the help of fleet management software. And your drivers can remain updated with the information with the mobile applications. 

So if you have to change the predetermined route owing any reason, you can update the information, and your drivers will get a notification. 

  • Real-time GPS Tracking

Matrack fleet management software can also help you monitor your vehicles in real-time. You can stay 24/7 updated about the location of the trucks. Additionally, your drivers can stick to the route and complete their work on time. 

On top of that, if your driver meets an unfortunate incident, you can send help quickly and send the vehicle nearby for assistance. 

And if your customer requests to know the exact time of the delivery, you can share accurate information to improve customer satisfaction. 

  • Better Compliance With Rules

With the help of Matrack fleet management software, you and your drivers can remain in compliance with the prevailing rules and regulations of the US government. How? Let us talk about it one by one:

  • With the help of Matrack fleet management software, you can log drivers working hours electronically. Hence, you can assign jobs accordingly. And also ensure the safety of drivers.
  • You can transfer data to law enforcement officers with minimal effort. And hence can save your fleet from ELD violations
  • Another advantage of Matrack fleet management software is automated IFTA reports. Your drivers can enter the required information such as distance covered, fuel purchased, etc. And you can use this information to generate an IFTA report.

Monitor Driving Behavior

Matrack fleet management software can help you to monitor driving behaviors. Since drivers are working remotely, you cannot observe their driving skills. If your driver is engaged in any reckless driving activity, you and your fleet can face serious consequences.

The fleet management software generates detailed reports. You can refer to these reports to take a clear picture of their driving behavior. If you identify any of your drivers engaging in such activities, you can reach them individually. Sometimes they need consultation or proper training to correct it. 

In A Nutshell

Managing a fleet is not a cakewalk business. Apart from professional skills and patience, you need the right technology. Fleet management systems can help you take care of all monotonous work and provide you time to contribute to revenue generation. 

Matrack fleet management software is an affordable and effective system that you can rely on for your fleet’s efficiency. For more information, visit the website now.

The Benefits Of Using Geofences For Your Fleet Business

GPS technology has become a popular tool and an effective way to track the location of your fleet vehicles. And once you add geofencing into the mix, the tech becomes attractive and functional for those looking for added safety.

Geofencing offers several benefits and tremendously enhances the safety of the vehicles, helps in cutting costs, and increases overall productivity. With the increasing use of geofence-enabled GPS trackers in the fleet business, including school buses, private taxis, movers and packers, rental cars, and more, this virtual boundary feature is proving to be a boon for safety. 

Let us discuss the geofencing feature and how it can help your fleet business.

• What is Geofencing?

• What are the features of Geofencing?

• How does it work?

• How does it help you in your fleet business?

• How to integrate it into your system?

What Is Geofencing?

The geofence feature in GPS tracking helps you create a virtual parameter and define a geographic area that you consider safe or unsafe. As soon as your fleet vehicles enter or exit this boundary, you get a notification of the same. The managers can create virtual fences as small as your yard or as vast as the entire country. They can also make an outstretched zone like a highway.

Besides these notifications, the fleet managers get a broad perspective of the location of their fleet and activities under the designated zone.

To summarize, the Geofencing features include:

  • Location-based: Geofencing is a location-based service.
  • Alert: Users can set prompt push notifications like text messages depending on platform configuration.
  • Monitor activity: One can set Geofence to monitor activity in a particular area.
  • Entry and exit: The management can see alerts when the drivers enter or leave that area.
  • Field employees: Businesses can also use geofencing to monitor employees when they are out in the field, automate time cards, and track company assets.
  • Corrective actions: Geofencing alerts help fleet managers take preventive and remedial measures and simplify their day-to-day fleet management.
  • High Industrial usage: Geofencing has vast utility for several industries like delivery companies, travel companies, car/bike rentals, and more. With geofencing, these industries can ensure that their vehicles are within the agreed area and are less likely to be used for any illegal activity. Moreover, this feature offers extra security for rental business owners and their customers in emergencies. 

Two important terms you need to know related to this technology are:

  1. Geolocation: The pinpoint location or placement is called Geolocation.
  2. Geofences: Geofences is the border around the tracking point.

The geofencing can use the following programs:

  1. Wi-Fi
  2. Cellular data
  3. A global positioning system or GPS
  4. A radio frequency identification or RFID number

How does it work?

These two simple steps are all that you need to know to understand the working of Geofencing:

  1. To start using geofencing, you need to create a virtual boundary by specifying a location.
  2. Once you set the perimeter, you get notified whenever your fleet vehicle enters or exits it. 

How does it help you in your fleet business?

Fleet management companies have been immensely benefiting from geofencing systems. Here is how the fleet managers can use the geofencing feature to improve their business

1. High Performance

Fleet managers use geofencing to elevate the performance of their fleet vehicles. Information such as turnaround times (TAT), operational cost, fuel expenditures, comparative vehicle efficiency analysis, and route cost analysis help you determine ways to enhance performance.

2. Saves time

Setting geofences around the regular spots that drivers visit, such as loading and unloading areas, warehouses, and rest destinations, allows non-verbal communication, saving time. 

3. Cut operational cost

Geofencing can help you reduce your operational cost. By eliminating the requirement for micromanagement, managing several phone calls, and other manual monitoring aspects, geofencing can help you lower your administrative expenses. The fleet managers can concentrate more on the core business tasks by reducing such costs.

4. Determine exact working hours

Many fleet businesses pay their drivers on an hourly basis. The geofencing feature helps them track their exact working hours automatically. With geofenced perimeters, the fleet management can record their working hours and provide you with an accurate log. It provides details, like the time drivers started working, total duration on the job site, total hours of driving, and more.

5. Payroll processing

Critical data helps in payroll processing. The HR and finance staff disburses the payment to the drivers based on what they rightly deserve. They can calculate payroll with accuracy without managing paperwork and checking manual records.

6. Route Adherence and fuel cost saving

Setting a specific point of interest ensures that your fleet vehicles do not deviate from the route. It can help improve route adherence habits and save extra fuel costs. Also, ensuring that the fleet vehicles follow determined routes prevents wear and tear, thereby lowering the maintenance cost.

7. Better planning

Geofencing allows you to do efficient operational planning and scheduling. Geofencing and GPS data provide you with the exact location of the vehicles, enabling estimation of their ETAs and adjusting trips, timely delivery, and related activities.

8. Security

One of the features of Geofencing is that it assures asset security. Since you receive instant alerts when your vehicles travel beyond the approved boundaries, the chances of theft reduce to minimal.

If the vehicles enter the area where they are not supposed to be, you get a real-time geofenced alert. You can check for the real reason for the deviation and take timely action if you think your vehicle and driver are in danger. 

9. Recover stolen assets

Due to the costly assets in fleet management, theft can cause a financial burden on you. It will be disappointing to lose productivity and create customer dissatisfaction. Geofencing alerts you when the vehicle is going out of the set territory. You instantly get to know if it is out of the delivery area or is in the company’s parking lot. Knowing about your vehicles’ movements can help the police recover from the theft.

10. Avoids personal use

Geofencing also discourages the use of fleet vehicles for personal reasons. These alerts help you detect improper use of the assets and also let you know their exact location. You can have a word with the concerned employee and instruct them not to use the vehicle for personal use without permission. You can then also schedule training, correction, and instructions for the offenders.

11. Verify project hours

Well-maintained and accurate logs are vital to the fleet management industry. These logs reflect the correct details, like when the driver started work, time spent on every delivery, when they finished work for that day, and more. The biggest problem with handwritten logs is that they can be illegible and confusing. Also, they can be edited, making them unauthentic. A geofence can help you verify all the information and have accurate details.

12 Improving customer satisfaction

By sending timely alerts to your customers and keeping them in the loop with ETAs, the customer experiences delight and satisfaction. GPS tracking and geofences help you identify the vehicles close to the customer’s location and enable you to arrange faster delivery. Creating driver checkpoints can help you stay updated on how far the drivers are from the delivery point.

How to implement geofencing?

There are multiple ways fleet managers can use geofencing to improve fleet management and customer experience. Working with a geofencing-equipped quality fleet management software like Matrack will give you the ability to augment business performance and efficiency.

Matrack Geofencing GPS tracker

Matrack is a leader in the fleet management solution industry. All Matrack GPS tracking services offer a Geofencing feature. Matrack’s client-centric companion app and interface make it easy to create virtual boundaries as and when needed.

Matrack believes in providing user-friendly and economical solutions to help you enhance fleet efficiency. You can trust Matrack for GPS fleet tracking with beneficial Geofencing features. The company focuses on providing expert and timely technical support.

Matrack Geofencing GPS tracker offers the following features:

  • Easy to install 
  • User-friendly 
  • It helps you to set Geofencing in simple steps
  • Matrack Geofencing GPS tracker provides you timely reports and accurate logs
  • With this tracker, you can track the movement of vehicles, assets, and equipment
  • You can monitor driver habits and schedule training and instructions for corrective action
  • Optimizing the delivery routes is one of the best benefits of the Matrack Geofencing GPS tracker
  • Matrack allows you to easily access the data using your desktop, mobile phone, or tablet
  • The company offers you 24*7 customer support.

Matrack Geofence offers you:

  1. Instant Push Notification
  2. Instant email and text alerts
  3. Real-time geofence entry and exit alerts
  4. Unlimited alerts
  5. You can manage the geofence radius with a click
  6. Matrack also allows you to locate different geofences to each vehicle

GPS tracking was already helping the fleet managers to locate their vehicles in real-time. Geofencing empowers fleet managers with comprehensive information and data about their fleet vehicles.

Using Geofencing GPS tracker for fleet management companies has become a thing of necessity. Do not delay purchasing a revolutionary, affordable, feature-rich Matrack Geofencing GPS tracker solution.

The Fastest Way To Achieve 200% Improvement In Construction Fleet Management With Matrack

No matter what business you run, asset management is an integral part. And the construction business is no different. It incorporates the management of assets, such as trucks, equipment, tools, and machines. 

If you are a business owner, you would agree that there are several times when your assets are misused or misplaced. And it results in heavy repair and replacement costs. You can solve these issues with the help of asset trackers.  

Investing in an asset tracker is a big question for your fleet. And coming to a decision may not be easy for you. So here is a detailed guide for you. Stay with us till the end and understand what an asset tracker can dispense to your business. 

Asset Management- Why Is It Important In Construction Business? 

Asset management, in general, refers to the process of managing and maintaining the assets of a business. In a construction business, there are different assets without which it cannot operate smoothly. These include:

  • construction equipment like cranes, bulldozers, excavators, and backhoes. 
  • vehicles such as cars and trucks
  • computers, tablets, smartphones
  • tools such as a hammer, screwdriver, and more 

Assets are not only a significant part of the business but are also expensive. If they are lost or misplaced, the organization incurs high costs. Apart from this, asset management holds numerous benefits for a construction business. You can save money, improve efficiency, generate profit and increase customer satisfaction. 

In a construction business, we can divide asset management into two broad categories:

  1. Asset Procurement
  2. Asset Tracking

Asset Procurement

Asset procurement is the process of obtaining an asset. To simplify, it is a systematic observation and planning in a company before purchasing any equipment. 

For example, company A has to rent a truck to deliver materials to the construction site. If it is a repetitive task, they might consider buying a vehicle to save additional costs. 

Asset Tracking

After a company has obtained an asset, it has to look over them. If they do not monitor it closely, there is a high chance of theft or breakdowns. 

Asset theft is a common problem among construction businesses. They have to rent their equipment or tools to a remote place for a long time. 

Another problem with assets is unexpected breakdowns. A construction business can own several assets. Each one has different maintenance dates and remembering them is a difficult job. Additionally, sometimes a fault can occur. If not addressed on time, it can become a big problem causing breakdowns. 

Common Challenges Faced By Construction Business

Even though asset management is an unbreakable part of your business, there are several challenges you have to face without proper management software: 

  • Equipment Theft

Construction sites are one of the unsafest places to leave your expensive assets alone. But still, construction businesses have to lend their equipment. It increases the chances of theft. And it can again directly impact the organization in different ways. 

For instance, you have to spend a whopping amount upwards of thousands of dollars to buy another one or wait till backup equipment arrives to carry out your activities.

  • Safety Challenges

Lots of accidents happen at construction sites. Tragedies often occur due to various reasons, such as communication breakdowns, inadequate technology, and carelessness in safety practices. An unexpected failure can also lead to unfortunate events. 

  • Inaccurate Information

A construction company can have different vehicles for its service. Each truck leaves and enters the yard at their time. Managing and keeping records of them is a difficult job, sometimes even impossible. Even if you may guesstimate the arrival timings, there are high chances that you will fail to meet the demand at that time. How?

For example, you assume truck A will arrive in the yard by 5’0 clock in the morning. So you decide to send it to another site by 10’0 clock. But when you check in your yard, you find out that the truck is stuck somewhere in the traffic. What will you do? Wait, right. But time is precious, and you cannot let such things happen repeatedly. 

  • Unexpected Breakdown

A construction company has numerous pieces of equipment. Ensuring their good condition is a challenging task. If someone fails to certify regular maintenance, unexpected breakdowns happen. It hinders the whole activity and harms the business’s productivity.

How Can Asset Tracker Help To Improve Construction Fleet Asset Management? 

You can mitigate the above challenges and streamline your business’s activity with the help of an efficient asset tracker. Doubtful? Here is a fact for you. 

According to the report of fleet technology trends 2021, around 72% of business owners consider GPS trackers helpful in carrying out their operations. Good telematics software can help you to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption, accidents, liabilities, and many more. 

Telematics technology allows you to use the power of data and streamline your operations. In fact, with the use of an asset tracker, you can expect dramatic improvement in your productivity, efficiency, and cost management. 

Before we jump into several benefits of an asset tracker, let us understand how it helps your business. 

An asset GPS tracker improves the visibility of your assets. And help you to stay updated on their location and condition 24/7. It can even help you to locate the resource across the construction sites. It can also assist you in bills by tracking engine hours during equipment rentals. 

Benefits of An Asset Tracker

Asset trackers have several benefits for your construction business. Let us list them one by one: 

  • Security

The most notable benefit of an asset tracker is security. Construction sites are the most dangerous place to live with your million-dollar equipment alone. s

Do you know?

According to the National Equipment Register, construction owners face losses of around $300 million to $1 billion every year due to theft? The most surprising fact is that this estimate does not include lost tools and other materials. It is highly destructive for a business. 

To avoid it and secure your assets, you can rely on asset trackers. It can help you to monitor your assets both onsite and offsite.

  • Cost Management

One of the primary benefits of an asset tracker is cost management. With the help of an effective telematics solution, you can keep excess costs in control. Here is how it can help you with different aspects of cost management: 

  • Fuel Consumption:

An asset tracker can help you to monitor driving behavior in your fleet. Reckless driving behaviors such as harsh acceleration and sudden braking contribute to excess fuel consumption. 

With the help of GPS trackers, you can spot reckless drivers and rectify the problem. You can also restrict unauthorized use and vehicle idling. 

  • Maintenance Cost: 

With the help of an asset tracker, you can easily spot any small fault codes in your equipment or vehicle beforehand. You will have enough time to rectify it before it becomes big and cause unexpected breakdown and heavy maintenance costs. 

  • Operational Efficiency

Asset tracking technology helps you to have better visibility over your assets. In this way, you can know the whereabouts of your assets and allocate jobs accordingly. On top of that, in case of emergency, you can use this technology to send immediate backup. 

It helps you with different aspects of operations, such as-

  • Resource optimization
  • Route management
  • Employee management
  • Billing and Invoices
  • And many more.
  • Better Utilization

An asset tracker provides you with insights into the whereabouts of your vehicles, equipment, and tools. You can know where your asset is across the country. 

It will help you use your resources efficiently by soundly allocating tasks. Hence, you can complete your project on time and increase customer satisfaction. 

  • Regular Maintenance 

An efficient telematics solution will keep your hands on the vehicle’s maintenance dates. You won’t have to mug up different dates or block your calendar manually. It can help you to increase the lifetime of the vehicles and equipment. 

Moreover, it will also remove the possibility of unexpected breakdowns in the middle of operations. 

  • Informed Decisions

Telematics solutions help you to harness the power of data. It stores various data of your business in its cloud storage. And let you access it whenever you want to make a decision. How?

You can get detailed driver’s safety score report cards. You can use these reports as a reference to give training or appraisal to your employees. You can use similar data to check fuel consumption in control. 

The data can also help you estimate the cost of carrying out a project. In these ways, you can use this data to make informed decisions for your business. 

Matrack Asset GPS Tracker

Matrack offers an affordable yet powerful GPS asset tracker to help you keep track of your assets. You can use these user-friendly and economical solutions to meet your different needs. They offer three options for you to choose:

  • MA-Asset Classic GPS Tracker:

Matrack asset tracker is a simple and sturdy device with enormous battery life. You can use this tracker to track almost any asset of your company.

  • MA-Hardwire Classic GPS Tracker:

Matrack hardwired classic is a discrete and durable device that can track vehicles or monitor your asset. It is a compact device and therefore facilitates discrete tracking. It offers you several benefits such as blink roadside assistance, IFTA tax report, etc. 

  • MA-Hardwire Silver GPS Tracker:

MA-Hardwire silver asset tracker is one of the most versatile pieces of Matrack. It is an asset tracking device and a telematics system as well. 

How Can Matrack Help You? 

You can enjoy several benefits of a Matrack asset tracker with a minimal investment. You can use this solution to pinpoint the exact location of your assets in real-time. Moreover, you can use these trackers to track trailers, heavy machinery, lawnmowers, construction equipment, etc. 

Here are some highlighting features of Matrack:

  • Real-time GPS Tracking

Matrack helps you to connect with your assets in real-time. It uses 4G connectivity, and hence, you can rely on it to know the whereabouts of your resources in remote locations. 

  • Aggressive Tracking Mode

Even after several precautions, an asset gets stolen, you can switch to aggressive tracking mode. In this mode, you can increase the frequency of updates from 2-3 per day to 2-4 per hour. Hence you can help recover your asset fast. 

  • Geofence

Geofence is a worthy feature for a construction business. Since you have to rent your equipment and vehicles to a remote construction site, you lose access to them. But most of the theft takes place on such sites. So to protect it, you can use a geofencing feature. 

You can set a virtual fence over the site. As soon as the asset crosses the defined parameter, you will get an instant email or text alert.

  • Detailed Report

Matrack provides detailed safety score reports. Hence you can access information, such as total distance covered, late-night driving, driving behavior, etc.

  • Exceptional Customer Service

If you encounter any difficulty or issue with the Matrack solutions, you can reach the customer service via email. They will assist you in solving your queries or problems. 

Final Words 

Asset tracker can prove to be a worthy investment for your construction business. It can help your organization in several ways. And this is why choosing an effective asset tracker becomes vital for you. 

Matrack asset tracker is a reliable and economical solution for you. It can help you to streamline various jobs in your organization. You can rely on it to organize, schedule, appoint tasks, and optimize the use of resources. 

You can visit the website for more details. Additionally, do share your queries in the comment section below. 

The Ultimate Guide To Choose A Fuel Card For Your Business- Even If You Are New To Transport Business

Whether you are new to fleet management or a veteran, you know that fuel expenses take up more than 30% of the operating cost. However, fuel for vehicles is like oxygen is for people. So, a fleet cannot completely cut out the outgoing expense but needs to manage it efficiently to improve profitability and productivity. Moreover, it is also one of the most unpredictable expenses, susceptible to variations that can suddenly transform profits into losses. Fuel costs also depend on economic, regulatory, and political variables outside your control. There are a few ways a fleet can save up on fuel expenditure – one of the most popular being Fuel cards. 

What are fuel cards?

Fuel cards are just as same as any credit card but are exclusively used only for fuel purchases. They are a smart approach to running your fleet business, streamline your fuel expenses, and curb the chances of unauthorized or inefficient use of fuel. Like a credit card, the fuel card links to an account. While refilling, you can swipe this card to pay. 

Before fuel cards, fleet owners and managers had to rely on the receipts submitted by the drivers, tally them, and file for IFTA. Fuel cards like the Amex card from Matrack can integrate with the fleet management solution and automate the entire process. All the records are authentic, and there is no room for any discrepancies. There is no need to track and tally up fuel receipts because everything is recorded and classified on a single tax statement.

Many fuel cards, such as the Matrack Card, offer discounts and savings, making them cost-effective and handy.

What are the benefits of a fuel card?

Time saver

A fuel card simplifies your business’s fuel management. No more paper receipts, misplaced dockets, scanning, or month-end reconciliation — it’s all taken care of for you.

All of your fuel purchases are categorized on a single tax invoice and statement, so you’re ready for tax season.

If you have a fleet of vehicles and drivers, giving them all fuel cards might save you time and frustration when filing expense claims.

Control over fuel expense

You can maintain your fuel cards, set up monitoring systems, download statements, and check transactions at any time if you choose a fuel card with a companion app.

You also have complete control over what your drivers can buy using their cards, allowing you to track the costs connected with each vehicle in your fleet. You can create notifications to alert you if a driver goes over one of your pre-defined limits.

Value

The most important advantage of a fuel card is that it assures you don’t miss out on any tax deductions owing to misplaced receipts. However, you should select a card to create a business solution to your specific requirements.

Some fuel cards provide easy repayment choices, such as the opportunity to settle your account with a credit card, allowing you to manage your financial flow easily. Some may even give a reduction on the per-liter price of fuel, based on the size of your company.

Fraud protection

Some of the best fuel cards, such as Matrack, offer you anti-fraud technology with individual PINs to track them easily. They offer an add-on service, where you can get the vehicle number or the driver’s name engraved on the fuel card to avoid misuse and confusion. 

Easy-to-find locations

Many fuel cards are committed to a specific brand and are well-connected with many service stations across the country. However, if you are driving a truck or handling a fleet of trucks, you must know which service stations are the best on the route and plan accordingly. Fuel card vendors often provide you with an easy system to find your nearest service station whenever you need fuel, no matter where you are.

What to look for in a fuel card?

The first step is to evaluate your fleet’s vehicles and the fuels they consume. Take your time to track consumption and determine which vehicles provide the best fuel efficiency for the job at hand — fuel management software can help with this.

Consider the following questions:

• Is it more cost-effective to run my fleet on petrol or diesel?

• Are alternative fuels a realistic option in terms of capacity, cost, and my company’s environmental goals?

A fuel card can help you save money, whether you’re a startup or an established company.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider while selecting a fuel card:

Type of vehicle

When evaluating cards, the first thing to consider is the sort of vehicles in your fleet.

Whether you operate a hauling company, a national sales team, or a small mixed fleet, the vehicles you use can influence your buying decisions.

Hauling has its own set of challenges, so opting for a card that concentrates on HGV-friendly sites will save you time and money.

If most of your fleet consists of saloon vehicles, flexibility is crucial. The drivers in sales-oriented jobs require the assurance that their card will be accepted anywhere, as their travel itinerary can be unpredictable.

Type of fuel

Most fuel cards are for diesel or mixed-use fuel. However, unleaded-only fuels are becoming more frequent, so this can help you filter your options.

You might want to think about whether you want a pump-price or a fixed-price card.

With a pump-price fuel card, you pay the price displayed at the time at that station.

With a fixed-price card, you pay the fixed price despite the price at the gas station. For a more reasonable perspective on why fixed-price cards are better than pump-price cards, consider this – Fixed-price fuel is cheaper by 2-3 cents/liter than the national average pump price.

Branded or unbranded

Picking a branded or a non-branded fuel card comes down to the kind of driving your fleet will be doing. If the trips are local, a supermarket card will be better than a fuel brand card because of fuel station access.

Location and coverage

Another thing that can influence your decision is your industry niche. If your business, for example, requires drivers to travel throughout the country, a card with significant motorway coverage might be ideal.

Shell and Esso are likely to be the most prominent if you work in the neighborhood. You might come upon a Texaco station if you work in a rural area. As a result, a branded fuel card is a superior choice.

There are a variety of possibilities here, and you should consider how you travel a lot for work. There are benefits to using a local, regional, or national fuel card.

Why choose the Matrack Fuel card?

Matrack has teamed up with Amex to give you the Matrack Amex Fuel Card that has numerous benefits.

The majority of factoring firms pay in two installments, the first covering most of the receivables (meeting your demand for immediate cash flow) and the second when your client pays their bill, minus any factoring fee.

The factoring company will then purchase the outstanding invoices for a percentage of their worth and handle the debt recovery procedure once they establish the eligibility. Once the factoring company recovers the total amount of the invoices from your clients, they will refund the remaining amount owed to your business for the invoices.

How do Matrack Fuel Cards work?

Matrack offers you a 2-in-1 solution to provide more flexibility and benefits apart from additional advantages. Matrack’s Amex Fuel Card is a simple and powerful tool for drivers and fleet owners.

With the Matrack GPS tracker and American Express Fuel Card, you can access the fuel data anytime, anywhere in the US to keep the fleet running strong. You can save more and get more benefits with Matrack Fuel Cards at your choice of truck stop locations. There are no hidden charges or fees, and you can access everything such as transactions, reports, invoices online. It helps in proper systematic management. 

Benefits of Matrack Fuel Card

Here are some of the benefits of Matrack Amex Fuel Cards.

• Online Transactions – All transactions are recorded online without any upfront payments or stress about receipts.

• Control – You can classify authority and specify which driver can buy fuel.

• Hassle-free – Fuel cards have multi-fold utility. You can use the card to pay for lodging and boarding, repairs, and other truck-related purchases. 

You and your team will spend minimal time understanding who paid for what by tracking expense forms. 

You can also track your fleet’s routes, mileage, and where and how frequently they stop using a fuel card in conjunction with your GPS management software. This feature is critical when evaluating data to determine the shortest path for your fleet, saving you money in the process. 

With Matrack’s Amex Fuel card, you get a 1.5% early-pay discount and a 60-day no-interest payback period. You also get real-time fraud notifications and assistance in identifying credits, refunds and exemptions for your fleet, and a whole lot more. 

Contact us to know more about our Fuel cards and related services. 

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%.

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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.