GPS turns 20. Last month, clear across the globe, millions of people who are directionally-challenged celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The US Air Force made an official announcement on July 17, 1995, that the Global Positioning System was at full operational capacity. People who were prone to getting lost were undoubtedly grateful.
GPS tracking is an advancement that has become so embedded in our daily lives that it is a bit weird to think of it as being only 20 years old. It really feels as though GPS has been with us forever and is everywhere around us.
It kind of is, actually. There are four billion devices that are all locking on to our 24 solar-powered satellites, not to mention the five or more spares. It takes this many to offer us blanket coverage around the earth and make sure that signals will be received at any given point from four different satellites.
Position information and an atomic clock-driven time signal are broadcasted by the satellites in an extremely precise way. The GPS tracking device calculates the distance it is from this signal as well as three others, taking into account how long the signal took to travel from space to its position. If you think about it, that’s a lot of math to process on the fly and might help you understand more why you get that ‘calculating – calculating’ message which causes you to miss your turn while driving.
GPS is a part of our everyday lives, according to Centennial-based United Launch’s vice-president of Advanced Concepts and Development, George Sowers. He goes on to say that their rockets from both their current and heritage companies have launched each of the GPS satellites.
The original purpose was for navigation to allow airplanes, ships and troops to know precisely where they were on the Earth’s surface, Sowers said.
Now, GPS plays the role in a variety of civilian purposes from finding things that have gone missing to helping people find their way around.
Sowers said that it has helped people to find otherwise unlocatable people and objects. It can even help fight crime. By installing a GPS tracking device in your car, you can track it if it gets stolen.
“It is amazing how people continue to find new and innovative uses for the GPS signal,” said Micah Walter-Range, Space Foundation Director of Research and Analysis.
In the last 20 years, GPS has expanded and improved a great deal, including applications in farming, theft, wildlife, military, business, health, and more. It will be exciting to see how it’s applicability expands over the next 20 years.
Many fleet businesses for years have been considering running a greener fleet. Among the first to embrace a stiff emissions goal was the state of California. However, other states may soon follow along. One particular question that fleet managers are likely to ask is what the first step is that they will need to take toward running a fleet that is more environmentally friendly. The simple answer: GPS fleet management.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, things like heavy trucks, light trucks, construction machines, garden and lawn equipment and other parts of the transportation sector is presently responsible for around 27 percent of all United States greenhouse gas emissions. This averages to over 1800 million metric tons of harmful emissions and carbon dioxide being pumped out each year of fleet vehicles.
Below are five ways that your business can produce a greener fleet through GPS fleet management.
#1) Regular Maintenance
Your vehicles should have regular maintenance done to them. For optimal fuel efficiency, asset lifecycles, and driver safety, make sure all your vehicles are maintained and serviced immediately. Equally important, after being alerted electronically through your vehicle’s dashboard that maintenance is needed, don’t delay making the appointment.
#2) Reduce Idling and Optimize your Routes
When you are idling, you are getting 0 MPG. Although drivers have a tendency to discount the impact of idling, it can cost millions for some companies. Continual onboard stats of the engine will help you reduce it since you are unable to manage what you are not measuring.
Stats like these can, however, be measured through GPS fleet tracking. When your drivers have a GPS fleet tracking device onboard, they can re-route their route instantly for shorter traveling distance. This will help drivers to get to their destinations faster and avoid any unnecessary travel. This also helps your fleet business and emissions flow.
#3) Improve Wasteful Driver Behavior
When you can identify wasteful driver habits, you can directly impact your greening goals for your fleet operations. GPS fleet management provides you with the ability to monitor and measure fuel-wasting driver behaviors, like excessive idling, speeding, and hard acceleration, which will enable you to make required adjustments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With alerts through your GPS fleet tracker, you will have the ability to create things like Idle Alerts which will alert you when your driver as gone over the daily idle allowance. Speed Alerts can be created to alert you the moment your driver exceeds the speed limit.
#4) Set Team Benchmarks
Set a goal for a yearly percentage emissions reduction each year. Perhaps consider giving driver’s an incentive for reaching certain goals. This will allow you to motivate your drivers to reach individual and team goals.
#5) Offset the Rest
Lower or eliminate use of vehicles off hours that could be wasting your company money and contributing to your carbon footprint. You can track vehicles 24/7 through GPS tracking software.
By implementing these tips and others effectively, you will be able to improve fuel economy, boost on-road safety, and decrease emissions. You’ll not only save money and benefit from reducing your fleets’ emissions, but the environment will benefit from it as well.
Document shredding companies provide an important service to businesses of all shapes and sizes. GPS fleet tracking systems offer many benefits to document shredding companies. These are just a few reasons your document shredding business might want to consider bringing GPS tracking into the fold.
Because of federal privacy laws, the security involved in document shredding is more important for some businesses, than others. Savvy shredding services, though, can offer the same security to all document shredding customers thanks to the advanced technology used by modern GPS fleet tracking systems.
More specifically to the ability to use RFID tracking to follow the progress of specific document loads and confirm that they never deviated from their anticipated paths. This is especially important for businesses that handle legal, financial, and medical documentation.
From pharmacies that handle prescriptions for medication and insurance documentation to hospitals that generate copious amounts of medical data to serve their communities. You can offer the ability for them to track their documents through RRID transmissions to ensure that security.
Keep Your Drivers on Top of Things
There’s nothing quite like knowing their every mile is being tracked to keep drivers on time and on course. It helps to prevent lost money in labor bills due to inactivity, off-route detours, off-schedule pit stops, and longer than called for lunches on the road. In other words, it helps enforce honesty among the ranks because you always know where your trucks are at any given time of the day.
Saves Your Business Money
While it may not be all about the Benjamin’s, the ability to make more money is what will make or break the average small business. Using GPS technology for fleet tracking virtually puts money back into your pocket by reducing the waste of money on unnecessary labor costs, wasting fuel sitting in traffic (or through inefficient route planning), and time lost with drivers searching for their destination thanks to outdated maps and directions.
Provides you with the Ability to Respond Quickly when Thefts Occur
While GPS tracking is typically deterrent enough to would-be thieves, when thefts do arise, it’s good to know that GPS fleet tracking can help find vehicles more quickly. It’s not just the entire truck that can be protected, though. Each container on the truck can be fitted with RFID tracking so that you know not only if some of the documents were offloaded from the truck, but which business these documents belong to. It’s just one more level of protection for your business and the private information of your customers’ clientele.
Verifies Receipt of Documents
GPS tracking also serves to verify that you did indeed pick up specific document containers at specific times so that customers always know where their documents are and when the shredding takes place. This can help to ease customer concerns and can be used to help reconcile any billing discrepancies that may arise.
These are just a few small ways GPS fleet tracking can help document shredding companies today. Try it for yourself and see what a difference it can make for your business.
Are you in the document shredding business and have a mobile fleet. If so, call us here at LiveView GPS at 1-888-502-3636 to discuss how GPS fleet tracking and management can help your business.