Fleet management is the process of organizing, tracking and maintaining a vehicle fleet, using a fleet management system (FMS). Typically, these commercial fleets will consist of cars, trucks and vans. Fleet management can also help businesses care for drivers’ health and safety, and make sure that they’re obeying the law.

A fleet management system will normally have a hardware element — such as GPS trackers fitted to the vehicles — and a software element. The software element allows drivers to keep their records up to date, and gives bosses an easy way to see, at a glance, where their fleet is and how well they’re performing. Fleet management systems can also be used to dispatch drivers, provide routing and traffic information, monitor fuel, and much more.

If your business uses a fleet of vehicles, it’s well worth investing in a service. If you’d like to get an idea of the costs involved, you can get no obligation quotes from the top fleet management system providers using our simple fleet management quotes form.

What is a Fleet Management System?

A fleet management system is a bundled combination of hardware and software that includes three elements:

  The Fleet Management Software device. Hardware sensors and an interface are installed or plugged into every vehicle in the fleet.

  The vehicle software. This collects data like vehicle location from each vehicle.

  The management interface software. Software that the fleet manager uses to receive and interpret data from all the vehicles.

Different fleet management software record different data. Those with sensors installed into a vehicle’s engine will receive more comprehensive data about the engine status than plug-and-go dashboard devices.

Some operations do only or mostly “less than truckload” (LTL) shipping, meaning that a single truck is delivering goods to multiple clients. These fleets should look for LTL-friendly fleet management software, which includes a specialized load optimization service not offered by TL-oriented fleet management software.The best fleet management software come with active data trackers rather passive ones. This means the data sent by a fleet management system might refresh as often as every few seconds or as rarely as every ten minutes. A passive tracker collects data on the go but only transfers it to the software later. Near-real-time data updates are essential for truly effective fleet management software, so fleet managers can react quickly to important updates, such as late deliveries, or vehicle faults. Some fleet management software may even be operated using smartphone apps, making it even easier for managers to respond to situations.

Advanced fleet management solutions may also offer accessories such as in-cab driver coaching devices.

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