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What is GPS Fleet Tracking?

What is GPS Fleet Tracking?
Author: Melanie Serr, Content Marketing Specialist

GPS FLEET TRACKING is the use of a vehicle tracking device and software to monitor and manage a fleet of vehicles. Through GPS tracking, a fleet manager or business owner can collect data on location and vehicle health, as well as driving behavior and fleet productivity.

Benefits of GPS fleet tracking include:

  • Increasing productivity and efficiency.
  • Reducing fuel and maintenance costs.  
  • Improving driver safety and minimize risk.
  • Reinforcing company policy.
  • Staying compliant with regulations.
  • Improving customer satisfaction.

GPS tracking device Geotab GO
Geotab GO Vehicle Tracking Device and car key

Fleet Tracking Gains Popularity Among Smaller Fleets

Fleet management can be a valuable way for small businesses to manage vehicle-related costs and get the best return on investment (ROI) for their dollar. ABI Research reports that telematics is gaining popularity among smaller fleets since the technology has become more affordable and mobile-friendly.

However, companies of any size can use GPS technology and fleet tracking to make their company safer and more efficient. From a fleet with only one truck, to an enterprise-size fleet of over 1,000 trucks, GPS fleet tracking has become an essential management tool. Jean Pilon-Bignell describes how fleet managers can identify savings opportunities in their fleet operations in this article: Show Me the Money! Fleet Management ROI vs. COI.

You can find GPS fleet tracking in many different industries, including: courier and delivery fleets; field sales and services; landscaping and lawn care; towing; transportation and logistics; utilities, oil, gas, and mining; construction; food and beverage, and government fleets.

For tips on selecting the right solution, download our Telematics Provider Evaluation Sheet.

telematics provider evaluation sheet checklist for fleet managers

Overview of GPS Fleet Tracking Devices

GPS tracking is made possible by a small, plug-&-play device, also known as a telematics device, which is connected to the OBD II port of the vehicle. If the vehicle or truck does not have an OBD II port, an adapter can be used. The data and trend information can be accessed from a web-based fleet management software on a PC, smartphone, or tablet.

The GPS tracking device collects data and transmits it to the cloud via a cellular network provider.

A high-quality vehicle tracking device can collect a vast amount of data. For example, the Geotab GO device captures rich, second-by-second data on position, speed, trip distance/time, idling, harsh braking and cornering, seat belt use, fuel consumption, vehicle faults, battery voltage, and other engine data. The Geotab GO also includes a cellular modem, highly sensitive GPS, and accelerometer.

To learn more about device features and functions, go to our vehicle tracking device page

How do you know if your GPS tracker device is safe? Read about device testing and safety in this article.

Fleet Management Software

The software translates data into useful business intelligence. Fleet managers can see exactly where the truck or van travelled, at what time, how the driver was driving, whether there were any problems with the vehicle, plus much more. Real-time vehicle location is displayed on an animated map. GPS fleet tracking makes it possible to follow trends on idling or fuel economy. A driver safety scorecard will summarize speeding and aggressive driving for each fleet driver. It’s even possible to view the fleet’s CO2 emissions.

gps fleet management software posted road speed vs actual

Proactive driver coaching is an especially powerful feature. Fleet managers can set rules for speeding, harsh braking, and many other scenarios, then send drivers real-time in-cab spoken alerts. Driver coaching is helpful in reducing risky driving and also for reinforcing positive behaviors.

Open Platform Telematics

Fleets can do more with their data by going with an open platform for telematics. They can integrate their telematics data with other systems, automate tasks, or build new solutions by using a software development kit (SDK) and APIs.

GPS fleet tracking can also be combined with other technology such as in-vehicle cameras, advanced collision systems, or bluetooth beacons. For more examples, visit the Geotab Marketplace.

Find out if GPS fleet tracking is right for your fleet.

Request a Demo

How Live GPS Tracking Works

How to Use GPS Technology for Safety Monitoring


  • Posted November 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Would like to see how the system works. We don’t have a big fleet, 2 semi’s 1 roll off truck and one dually truck.
    The 3 big trucks are what is most important to us. We would like a quote for the 3 trucks and one for all 4.

    • Posted November 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for inquiring! A Geotab representative will follow up with you directly.

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