There is no doubt that fleet technology—specifically telematics has become a significant part of the transportation and logistics industry. In fact, telematics in trucks is considered a valuable asset for improving the efficiency of trucking operations.
The trucking industry has been seeking advantages from telematics solutions for a long time now. Telematics in trucks coupled with transportation management systems enables fleet managers to manage their operations more efficiently, improve processes and workflows of the business, and make the most out of their resources.
The implementation of telematics has become mandatory for numerous operators due to governmental ELD regulations. After gaining insight into the functioning of telematics systems, a company can opt for the setup that aligns best with their business needs.
To help you better understand fleet telematics and its influence on the trucking industry, we will discuss everything about telematics solutions, their significance, and how telematics in trucks can enhance fleet efficiency.
Understanding Telematics in Trucks
Let’s understand what telematics in trucks really means. At its essence, telematics consists of two basic disciplines—informatics and telecommunications. Telecommunications refers to communication over a long distance, whereas informatics refers to the practice of information processing.
Telematics is the process of remotely transferring data over long distances and has become widespread in several industries for enhancing efficiency, communication, and customer satisfaction.
Telematics in trucks is a technology used in the trucking industry to gather data through a combination of GPS, sensors, and onboard diagnostic codes. The data obtained usually encompasses driver behavior, vehicle location and activity, fuel consumption, and more.
This data is then processed using software platforms, allowing fleet managers to remotely monitor the company’s assets.
Typically, a fleet telematics system comprises two parts—a GPS tracking device and fleet management software. When the GPS tracking device is installed on the vehicle, it gathers and transmits the data to provide valuable insights into the fleet’s performance.
The fleet operators and managers can use this useful data to enhance driver safety and performance, minimize waste, and streamline fuel tax and ELD compliance, along with many other benefits.
How Trucking Telematics Work?
A telematics device generally comprises a modem that's connected to a vehicle's onboard diagnostics port via a SIM card. The modem transmits data collected by the device to a central server over a wireless network.
This data can then be accessed and viewed on a secure website or mobile app by the end user, such as a fleet manager, to improve fleet efficiency through informed decision-making.
Trucking telematics devices come in two types—some are plug and play while others need the assistance of engineers and support personnel for proper installation and setup. Additionally, the power sources for trucking telematics devices can either be batteries or the vehicle's electrical system.
Importance of Telematics in Trucking
As discussed above, telematics plays an important role in fleet management as it enables the collection of data that can prove beneficial for companies seeking logistics planning. Telematics can drive several important benefits for transportation and logistics companies.
Let’s discuss the importance of telematics in trucking and how this technology expedites fleet operations.
Reduced Operating Costs
Optimizing routes and monitoring vehicle speeds can result in reduced fuel expenses. Alerts for speed limits can also help prevent tickets in some regions and educate drivers on efficient driving practices.
Trucking telematics offer vehicle information that can alert fleet operators and managers of potential issues. For instance, they can check engine lights so the issue can be investigated right away. Also, by using added sensors, fleet managers can utilize real-time data to promptly update pickup and dropoff locations.
The continuous flow of data to the central software platform allows for uninterrupted monitoring of the fleet, increasing visibility to prevent theft and enabling quick retrieval of vehicles or cargo.
The telematics data also provides precise route information and delivery times, enhancing the reliability of the logistics network. Fleet management can set custom event triggers with immediate alerts sent to various devices.
Real-time data derived from the telematics system can improve fleet management by using techniques such as geofencing. This involves setting boundaries for a specific geographical zone that the vehicle must stay within.
If the vehicle moves beyond these boundaries, alerts are sent to rectify the situation. Fleet operators and managers can also establish benchmarks for fuel consumption, speed, and other key metrics as a standard for their driving performance.
Best Telematics with ELD
Below, we have listed some of the best telematics with ELD (Electronic Logging Device) functionality:
Formerly known as KeepTruckin, Motive is one of the best telematics with ELD functionality. This popular cloud-based ELD system provides compliance, tracking, and fleet management features. It supports both Android and iOS devices and offers real-time GPS tracking, IFTA reporting, and more.
Samsara is one of the best comprehensive telematics with ELD functionality that also offers fleet management and real-time visibility into vehicle and driver performance. The platform integrates with a variety of sensors and devices, including dashcams and cameras, to provide a comprehensive view of fleet operations.
Geotab is a scalable telematics solution that provides ELD compliance, GPS tracking, engine diagnostics, and more. This solution integrates with a wide range of third-party applications and services, including dispatching and routing systems, to offer a holistic view of fleet operations.
Omnitracs is a cloud-based telematics platform that offers ELD compliance, driver behavior monitoring, GPS tracking, and more. By integrating with a variety of third-party systems and services, including mobile devices and fuel cards, this telematics solution offers a detailed view of fleet operations.
PeopleNet is a telematics solution that provides wide-ranging features such as ELD compliance, GPS tracking, driver behavior monitoring, and much more.
The Future of Telematics
Telematics plays a crucial role in the trucking and transportation industries, and many fleets recognize its potential to save costs in other areas. The industry is advancing with the implementation of ELD devices and putting great emphasis on technology and safety.
Fleet management solutions and telematics in trucks are important tools for fleets seeking to stay ahead of the competition, as the data they provide can aid fleet administrators in making more informed and efficient decisions.
TMS and Telematics
TMS integrates with telematics systems to provide a one-window solution to the trucking companies. This integration provides real-time tracking and monitoring of vehicles, trailers, and shipments.
At the same time, it also allows for improved visibility and control over transportation operations, enabling trucking companies to optimize their supply chain processes, reduce costs, and improve customer service.
The telematics system provides GPS data, real-time vehicle status, and other information to the TMS, which then processes and presents it in a user-friendly manner, providing actionable insights to decision-makers.
About the Author: Sara Naveed
Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.