In the world of telematics and GPS vehicle tracking, it is common for fleet managers and business owners to have questions about specific aspects of fleet management and how it can benefit their team. Take a look at some of the top FAQs concerning fleet management rules:
Q: What are fleet management rules?
A: Fleet management rules are an advanced MyGeotab feature that, when used correctly, can bring great benefit to your business. A rule is made up of conditions that the MyGeotab server uses to continuously validate incoming GPS and telematics data. Whenever a violation of the rule occurs, the system records the event as the exception event. Exceptions can be instantly sent to a list of recipients, received through the MyGeotab Data Feed API, or aggregated later by the exceptions report.
Q: How can the rules benefit fleet management?
A: All businesses and fleets have unique requirements. Our rules allow you to leverage industry best practices with the flip of a switch. We have an extensive list of rules you can leverage without any additional effort. In addition, you can customize and create complex rules that suit your individual business needs. This approach benefits your fleet because it creates unique data points that measure things that are critical to your business.
Q: What kind of rules can be set up?
A: There are built-in (stock) and user-defined (custom) rules. Two practical examples include a rule that detects entering/exiting a zone (refer to An Overview of Geofencing and Routing in MyGeotab) or a rule for exceeding the posted speed limit.
Q: What are stock rules?
A: There is a fixed number of built-in stock rules that can be simply turned on by the user. These rules usually provide minimal customization parameters, which limits flexibility, but also reduces complexity. For more information on stock rules, refer to the Geotab Product Guide.
Q: The system comes standard with the “Engine Fault Exception” rule. What does it do?
A: The Engine Fault Exception rule detects the engine’s fault/trouble codes. Some of the codes may also activate the check engine light, while others may not for minor or intermittent conditions. To see what exactly triggered the exception, open the Exception Report and examine the exception info column to determine the cause. For example, it could be the “Engine Coolant” info pointing to an issue with the vehicle’s coolant. Some other examples include:
- Coolant level
- Device has been unplugged
- Engine oil pressure
- Engine oil temperature
- General vehicle warning light
Note that there is another stock rule called “Engine Light On” that is narrowly defined to only detect the state of the dashboard check engine light.
Q: What are custom rules?
A: Advanced MyGeotab users can add their own custom rules to better suit the needs of their organization. Customization of rules can be done by clicking on the “Conditions” tab in the rule editor. A great way to leap into the world of custom rules is to clone a few stock rules (see below).
From there, you can review the conditions that define the specific rule.
1 – In “plain English”:
2 – In the rule definition script:
Q: Can any given fleet management/reporting logic be translated into fleet management rules, in order to let the MyGeotab system do the leg work?
A: Not exactly. Even though the rules currently handle various business intelligence tasks, not every scenario is supported.
Q: I would like to set up a rule for detecting a very important condition that would greatly benefit our business if detected early. I am looking at the rule editor and am still not sure how to proceed or whether it is even possible to achieve. Who can help?
A: Please take a look at the software section of the Geotab Forum for a similar case/topic, or simply by exception rule keyword. If no answer is found there, post a question to the forum. Our engineers will review the case and work quickly to find a solution.
Q: It is straightforward to create an exception rule that sets off a notification if the speed is say, 15 km/h over the posted speed limit. How do you make a rule that states “15km/h over the posted speed limit if the posted speed limit is >70km/h” So I essentially want to ignore any speeding (or be able to fine tune my rule) if the posted limit is less than 70km/h. Is it possible to do this by typing out the rule?
A: Rephrase the rule to: “the speed is over 70 km/h and also 15 km/h over the posted speed limit”. Paste the following into the advanced conditions editor:
Q: How do you create an exception rule that captures GPS jamming?
A: Paste the following into the advanced conditions editor:
Q: How do you create a rule that identifies when a vehicle is being towed? I am specifically looking to identify stolen vehicles and I would like to send alert notices immediately. How would you recommend this rule be written?
A: Paste the following into the advanced conditions editor:
Q: We have the speed limit rule in our system, but it creates too many exceptions. What can be done to reduce this so that only obvious/dangerous violations are detected?
A: Make sure that you have not set the speed limit value too low. We also recommend that you augment the rule with the appropriate duration or distance condition. For instance, for travelling at a speed of over 55 km/h for longer than one minute, the advanced conditions editor script would be:
Q: I just modified the existing rule and all of my historic exceptions for the rule disappeared. What happened?
A: Modifying the rule removes the historic exceptions, as they are potentially no longer valid.
Q: Should I then reprocess all of my data when opening MyGeotab in order to restore the exceptions?
A: While that is an option, we recommend choosing a reasonable reprocessing date range. For example, if the results of three month rule processing are no longer relevant, it would make no sense to reprocess data that is older than three months. Doing otherwise would bring no additional value and potentially interfere with the real-time data delivery and processing.
Q: I requested reprocessing of last month’s data, but have not seen any results come in. Is there anything wrong?
A: Large reprocessing requests are generally being dealt with after hours so check again the next morning.
Improving the rule processing engine is a continuous customer-driven work in progress. We are looking forward to reading your comments and answering questions in Geotab’s forums or in the comments box below!