Water utility companies face a few challenges that other businesses do not face in their operations. One of these is managing a fleet of vehicles to take care of your daily needs. From reading meters to monitoring delivery, turning on services, and checking other interests in the field, it’s important to find new ways to make your fleet more efficient and effective. GPS fleet tracking offers numerous methods for doing just that.
Plan More Efficient Routing
This is one of the primary reasons businesses begin to consider GPS fleet tracking services. However, fleet tracking goes well beyond the obvious routing and scheduling. Because it operates in real time, GPS fleet tracking can reroute vehicles in order to avoid traffic issues, accidents, and more. This helps you avoid lost time sitting in traffic, inefficient idling, and still save money on fuel for your water utility fleet vehicles.
Extend the Life of Fleet Vehicles
This is another big winner concerning GPS fleet tracking that far too few people are discussing. You can set your GPS tracking system to monitor and automatically schedule routine vehicle maintenance. Why is this so important? Vehicles cost money. Preventative maintenance is far less expensive than costly repairs. That’s the first win. Second, routine preventative maintenance can extend the life of your vehicles by years. Adding just one extra year of service for one vehicle can save your company money. Doing it for multiple vehicles can save your business a lot of money.
Encourage Safer Vehicle Operation
It is human nature to be more cautious when being observed and monitored. GPS fleet tracking systems can be set up to notify you whenever any vehicle exceeds the speed limit or operates in a number of ways you designate. This helps you to conduct the appropriate disciplinary action against speeding drivers and encourages them to drive safely in the future. These types of actions help you keep your insurance costs lower, result in fewer traffic citations, and help improve the reputation of your business and your drivers in the community.
Improve Customer Response Times – And Satisfaction
People don’t like to wait. It’s a given. We have drive-thru banking, pharmacies, fast food, and even dry cleaning because people don’t like the idea of getting out of their cars and waiting in line. What they really hate, though, is waiting on service people to show up and then having them not show up during the “appointment window.”
GPS fleet tracking allows you to schedule these appointment windows more effectively to make meeting customer expectations easier than ever before. The real time monitoring allows drivers to redirect, on the go, in order to avoid costly traffic delays that might make them late for their appointments. It’s a real win for the business and for customers that are waiting not-so-patiently for you to turn their water on, check for leaks, or make repairs to their water lines.
For water utility companies, GPS fleet tracking services can make a world of difference to your profit margins (without raising customer rates) and your image in the community. Now is certainly the time to invest in GPS fleet tracking.
If you own or operate of utility company with a fleet of vehicles, give us a call here at LiveView GPS at 1-888-544-0494 to learn more about how GPS fleet tracking can benefit your business.
It’s summer and many of us are out and about getting exercise and taking in the warm weather and scenery on our bikes. It also makes now a great time to learn how to properly lock up your bike to keep it from getting stolen. If you have ever had your bike stolen, you know how it feels to see that empty space where your bike was located. To avoid bike theft, below are some do’s and don’ts of keeping your bike secure.
DO Lock Your Bike Always
No matter where you go with your bike, if you can’t take it with you, lock it up. It doesn’t matter if you are only going inside for a minute. It only takes a second for someone to run off with your bike, so always lock it up. If there isn’t a place for you to lock your bike to, you can simple lock the bike’s front wheel to the frame.
DON’T Use Cable Locks
Although these are flexible which makes it easier for you to lock up your bike, they are easy to cut quickly with a hacksaw or bolt cutters. You should get a hefty bike chain or U-lock instead. When using a U-lock, have the keyhole facing down when you lock it so it’s harder for a thief to break the lock.
DO Utilize a GPS Tracking Device
When you have a GPS tracking device of these installed on your bike, if your bike gets stolen, you can easily track it. GPS tracking shows the exact location your bike is and can help law enforcement easily locate it, retrieve it and arrest the criminals who stole it.
DON’T Assume Your Quick Release Wheels and Bike Accessories are Secure
Items that can be removed easily like seats, pumps, quick release wheels, lights and cycle computers are easy for thieves to steal. Take them with you. If you have quick release wheels, lock them. You should remove your quick releases (the little levers) since they make it too easy for thieves to remove your seat posts and wheels and gear. You might prefer to use a bolt on your seat post or security skewers on your wheels instead of a quick release. Security skewers require a unique key to loosen and make it harder for thieves to steal since they don’t have the key.
DO Write Your Bike’s Serial Number Down
After you write it down, put it in a place that you won’t forget or lose it. You can even email it to yourself. You can find the serial number underneath the bottom bracket. It’s also a good idea to write your information on a small piece of paper and stuff it inside your handlebar grips. This way, if you happen to come across it one day, you will know it’s yours.
Taking a little extra time to ensure your bike is secure can keep it safe. Let the September Bike Challenge Month be your reminder that locking your bike is important and you should know how to do it appropriately.
According to a report issued by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB,) which was co-produced by the National Equipment Register (NER,) heavy equipment theft is on the rise. In 2014, when the report was released, 11,625 pieces of heavy equipment were reported stolen to law enforcement agencies, which was an increase from the 11,486 pieces of equipment that were reported stolen in 2013 – a 1.2 percent increase.
Of the 11,625 pieces of heavy equipment that were reported stolen to law enforcement agencies in 2014, only 23 percent were recovered. This data illustrates that this type of crime is costly for all parties involved with heavy equipment, including companies that insure the equipment, individuals or companies that own the equipment, and agencies that rent the equipment.
According to this report, the types of equipment that were stolen the most include:
- Riding and tractor mowers – 43%
- Loaders, including skid steers, backhoes, and wheel loaders – 17%
- Wheeled or tracked tractors – 12%
The NICB stated that the only effective way to reduce this type of crime is through education and proper prevention efforts.
The following preventative efforts are effective ways to deter the theft of heavy equipment:
- Installation of hidden fuel shut-off systems on equipment.
- Removal of fuses and circuit breakers when equipment is not being used or is left unattended.
- Use of sleeve locks to keep backhoe pads in an extended position, with their wheels off the ground.
- Use of hydro locks to keep articulated equipment in a curved position, which will prevent it from being able to be moved in a straight line.
- Making equipment hard to move, or completely immobile, when it is not in use, by assembling it in a “wagon circle”.
- Keeping and maintaining a photo archive, as well as a specific list of the PIN and component part serial numbers of every piece of heavy equipment.
- Inscribe heavy equipment with identifying marks, such as corporate logos, the name of the owner, or a monogram.
According to the president and CEO of NICB, Joe Wehrle, in order to combat this type of theft, the support and cooperation of heavy equipment manufacturers is crucial. By sharing information and working with the NICB, manufacturers can help to improve the recovery rates of stolen equipment and prevent future thefts.
In addition to the above preventative tips, if you own or operate heavy equipment, you can protect your equipment from theft by utilizing GPS tracking devices.