HVAC companies are constantly on the move. Fleet vehicles must continuously make service calls, perform installations, and even perform routine maintenance on HVAC systems throughout the cities where you conduct your business. This takes a toll on trucks and drivers — not to mention a huge chunk of change out of the profit category each year.
But, did you know something as simple as a GPS HVAC tracking system can actually save your business money each year? That’s only the tip of the iceberg though. These types of benefits are perfect reasons for HVAC companies to consider GPS fleet tracking services.
More Accurate ETA Reporting
People are either boiling in their homes or turning into ice cubes when their air conditioning units or heaters are out of commission. They only thing they want more than the problem solved is an accurate estimation for when the HVAC technician is going to arrive.
With GPS HVAC fleet tracking, you can accurately estimate the amount of time it will take service personnel to arrive based on their current location and current traffic situations. This makes you a real hero in the eyes of your customers.
Improved Fleet Management Abilities
Keeping track of several trucks can be difficult if you’re left to go by your memory and a vague understanding of the local landscape. Whether you’re planning daily service routes or dispatching emergency repair services, GPS tracking makes your job easier.
It assists you in finding the most efficient and cost-effective routes, identifying route deviations, and helping to navigate tricky traffic or construction situations. As a result, you provide a better overall customer service experience to your customers.
Verification of Service Calls
GPS tracking actually tracks your vehicles. If customers ever insist that service calls weren’t made, you can simply pull up the location of your trucks at the time the call was supposed to have been made to verify that the truck was, in fact, at the proper address at the time. Not only can it help you prove that you were there, but how long you were there is the actual billable hours is what the customer is disputing.
Eliminates Outdated Territories in Favor of More Efficient Routing Methods
Once upon a time, HVAC technicians worked within certain territories. This method, while orderly, is not very efficient. This is especially true when compared to the efficiency of planning daily routes and feeding emergency calls to the nearest technician, rather than a person in the territory who may be further away.
Now you can plan your business according to the route that provides the greatest fuel efficiency. This saves the company a lot of gas money each year, but also cuts down on wasted labor that’s fighting traffic rather than dealing with the business at hand.
The bottom line is that adequate GPS tracking of your fleet can help reduce labor costs, gas costs, overtime calls, and organizational inefficiency. The sooner you adopt this technology for your HVAC business, the faster you can begin reaping its rewards.
See how LiveViewGPS helped HVAC Company One Call Ventilation or, Call us at 1.888.502.3636 to discuss GPS tracking for your HVAC fleet today!
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently rendered a somewhat shocking, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), verdict. It was an eight to five decision in the case U.S. v. Katzin.
The surprising decision is that evidence derived from the warrantless use of GPS tracking is, in fact admissible in court, in some situations. The ruling relies on a massively expanded interpretation of the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule spelled out in the Fourth Amendment.
The majority opinion held that officers acted in good faith based on years of precedence when using tracking technology for beepers in previous cases without a warrant.
In building the case against Katzin, police, who suspected Katzin of a string of Rite-Aid pharmacy robberies, attached a GPS tracker to Katzin’s car and used information discovered as a result of the GPS tracking device to arrest Harry Katzin. They did this in absence of probable cause or a warrant.
The evidence was initially excluded by a federal judge in Pennsylvania as a result of its lack of a warrant. It was then appealed to a three-judge panel who were divided on the issue. The matter then went before the full court who reached an eight to five decision holding that because they were acting in good faith at the time, the search was admissible.
The original arrest and trial occurred during the period of time before the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that attaching a GPS device to a vehicle for the purpose of tracking the movements of the vehicle constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment in the case of U.S. v. Jones and, as a result, requires both probable cause and a warrant.
Since the violation occurred prior to the Supreme Court ruling, there is no evidence that police acted in anything other than good faith. In other words, the police had no idea they could be participating in activity that violated the civil rights of the defendant.
It should be noted that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the U.S. v. Jones case was unanimous that using a GPS device in order to track a person via his or her vehicle is the equivalent of a search and subject to Fourth Amendment protection.
Serious words of caution, however, were given in the majority opinion of U.S. v. Katzin, which stated, “[W]e caution that, after Jones, law enforcement should carefully consider that a warrant may be required when engaging in such installation and surveillance.”
The dissent was far more simplistic stating that the evidence should be surprised because law enforcement had, in fact, violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendant.
There was obvious disappointment by the defendant and ACLU attorney, Nathan Freed Wessler, who represented Mr. Katzin. Wessler said, “The court did a disservice to our system of constitutional rights by letting police make an end run around the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.”
Mark your calendars! Stanford University’s Per Enge and Frank van Diggelen have teamed up to teach a massively open online course (MOOC) about GPS basics during the fall of 2014.
When is the Course Offered?
The course itself, titled GPS: An Introduction to Satellite Navigation, with an interactive Worldwide Laboratory using Smartphones, takes place between October 13 and November 24 and focuses attention on the basics of GPS using smartphones.
Each week during the course a new lesson, or module, will be released along with a series of short quizzes to accompany the lessons. Some weeks will also require participation in a GPS lab, which is conducted outside with your smartphone or tablet. During these labs it is up to you to collect data and share it with the virtual classroom.
The fact that the class is offered online means that you have the flexibility to participate according to your own schedule. You have the option of doing all the week’s work in one sitting or breaking it up into small chunks during office lunch hours or whenever is convenient for you.
There is a great deal of excitement surrounding the course, the first of its kind taught in a MOOC (massively open online course) environment. The course, “GPS: An Introduction to Satellite Navigation, with an interactive Worldwide Laboratory using Smartphones,” is carried by the education platform Coursera.
The course guides students through the basics of satellite navigation to gain a deeper understanding of GPS and its role in our lives. After all, GPS technology is widely prolific, including GPS tracking applications, such as in animal and wildlife tracking, sports, weather monitoring, tracking of children, elderly dementia patient tracking, fleet tracking, and so much more.
- The first module is the basic introduction explaining how GPS works and how we use navigation all the time.
- The second module is entitled “Pseudoranges” and is much more technical in nature.
- The third module discusses orbits and signals. Once these first three course are complete you’ll move on to part two.
- The fourth module offers the basics about receiver design basics.
- The fifth module explores assisted GPS.
- And the sixth and final module theorizes about the future of GPS and satellite navigation in general.
What do Students Get Out of the Class?
Aside from the obvious benefit of learning more about GPS, students who complete the basic track of the course will receive a Statement of Accomplishment for completing the course. Those who do all the labs in addition to the basic requirements will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction.
Don’t forget that GPS knowledge is a skill that’s growing in demand in many professions. While this introductory course will not land you GPS engineering jobs, it can help you get GPS-related jobs in many industries.
Learning new skills is never a bad thing. It’s even better, though, when you’re getting Stanford quality instruction in the bargain. You really can’t go wrong with an opportunity like this aside from not taking advantage of it!
Here is an online video to learn more: