Time to Upgrade to HOS247 4G/LTE Vehicle Fleet Management System Due to 3G Network Shutdown
Whether it happens in 2020, 2021 or 2022, the sunset of 3G technology will happen sooner than most customers are prepared for. Although upgrading to 4G and 5G technology has a host of benefits, not being prepared for it could be disastrous for companies that rely on 3G commercial motor vehicle management systems. Without updating their software, they could face customer service disruptions, put their drivers at risk of noncompliance and potentially lose business.
It isn’t just about losing 3G either. Fleets need to not only prepare for the sunset of their current 3G systems, but also look ahead to the future considering 5G is just around the corner. Just as mobile device carriers understand how the evolution of software can provide better services, so too should fleet managers who should always be looking for better ways to improve the efficiency of their vehicle fleet management and also ensure driver safety.
How the Sunset of 3G Will Impact Fleets
Less time to upload reports, quicker customer service and more data storage are just a few of the things managers of commercial motor vehicle fleets can expect of 4G and 5G technology. That’s just why, instead of waiting until their 3G devices no longer work, fleet managers should start implementing a strategy ahead of time in order to best benefit from this upgrade. Even if some mobile carriers continue to offer 3G while offering 4G and 5G, they won’t be able to guarantee their 3G quality.
The move from 3G doesn’t have to be complicated. Fleet managers can simply replace the outdated 3G device (providing it isn’t embedded in the telematics system). That means finding a supplier that is also ahead of the curve and offers software solutions that aren’t easily disrupted by such changes.
Advantages of Using Modern Vehicle Fleet Management Technology
Having a fleet management plan means thoughtfully considering how the tools, applications and practices used by a company can work together for optimal productivity and profitability. Most fleets use database information software, GPS fleet vehicle tracking software and other telematics to do so. The good news for companies in fleet management is that allowing drivers to use their own devices makes fleet management plans more affordable. After all, companies have less software to purchase and can boost productivity just by asking drivers to download an app to their own smartphone or tablet.
But choosing the wrong fleet management software could prove to be counterproductive, as many fleet management software providers aren’t prepared for and haven’t even considered how they will manage the move from 3G.
The Importance of an ELD integrated Vehicle Fleet Management
The purpose of companies having a fleet management plan is to ensure their fleet is operating smoothly, while also looking for ways to improve performance, keep operating costs low and remain compliant with FMCSA regulations.
Before the implementation of electronic logging devices, compliance procedures were completed manually with paper logs. Once ELDs came into the picture, companies realized that it wasn’t just logging hours of service or records of duty status made easier; it was also other operational features that they hadn’t anticipated. Choosing the right ELD provider helped them not only comply with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate, but also helped them be more productive and compliant, thus avoiding hefty fines and keeping their drivers from being placed out of service.
What Are the Benefits of Using Fleet Management Software?
Fleet management strategies ensure that a company’s operations align with its goals. In order to benefit from a fleet management strategy, companies need to look at it as a helpful tool instead of just another software for their managers to learn how to use. Companies that have to manage fleets also need to realize the implications of not using a trusted fleet management solution, as risks are more difficult to identify and fix.
Investing in any type of technology requires a lot of research and due diligence. This is especially true for transportation companies that have to contend with vehicle fleet management on a regular basis. The high-performing transportation companies know that it is worth the effort, however, because these tools make vehicle fleet tracking easier.
Digital fleet management solutions aren’t just about managing and monitoring fleet activity; they’re also a smart way to comply with the transportation industry’s strict regulations.
Companies that have implemented a fleet management plan have experienced the following benefits:
- Lower insurance and maintenance costs
- The ability to get more control over their vehicles and their drivers
- Improved productivity due to time saved trying to predict departure and arrival times, as well as keeping up with road closures and traffic updates
- Fuel costs, since routes are more easily and accurately planned
- On-time deliveries
- Real-time vehicle tracking
- Fewer accidents due to better driving habits
- Elimination of unauthorized vehicle use
HOS247 Offers All-in-One Vehicle Fleet Management Software and Hardware to Improve Operations and Safety
Besides the general overall benefits to fleets, there are specific benefits of all-in-one vehicle fleet management software to help companies improve safety and make general operations more efficient. These benefits include:
- GPS fleet vehicle tracking – Real-time tracking allows fleet managers to accurately track each vehicle and use this location knowledge to effectively plan routes and match vehicles with the nearest driver. It also ensures hours-of-service compliance (optional) and reduces fuel consumption. A vehicle’s GPS coordinates are updated every 30 seconds (up to 2 minutes depending on settings) when their vehicle is moving. With these coordinates, a fleet manager can choose to track the vehicle’s current location or look at the vehicle’s recent path. Location data is saved and available for a review.
- IFTA mileage reporting – Manual IFTA fuel tax reporting is an administrative burden. In addition to the time it wastes, it also costs money to hire staff to do it. The HOS247 solution is programmed to calculate the distance traveled by jurisdiction. Fleet managers can easily create reports from the HOS247 dashboard for any date or range of dates.
- Dispatch – Without dispatch software, the job of a dispatcher can be overwhelming at times. They have to make and send countless phone calls and texts, research which drivers are available and how close they are to the job, and determine whether the driver has the right tools for the job. The HOS247 dispatch features make the job of a dispatcher seamless, saving them the headache of coordinating jobs, viewing jobs in progress and digging up accurate driving records. They can effectively plan a driver’s day in a matter of minutes.
- Vehicle maintenance – Without intuitive software solutions, vehicle maintenance tracking had to be done like all other processes: manually. This creates room for error and poses the risk of vehicles missing their scheduled maintenance (and putting driver safety on the back burner). With HOS247 solutions, fleet managers can easily keep track of:
- Oil changes
- Warranty expiration dates
- Tire rotation schedules
- License renewals
- Preventive maintenance
In addition, the maintenance features also make it easy to:
- Input schedules for servicing every vehicle in the fleet based on hours of usage, mileage or preset dates
- Access records of past service history
- Schedule reminders for upcoming service
- Automated idle tracking – Excessive idling by drivers can equate to high fuel costs. By using HOS247’s automated idle tracking features, fleet managers can access idling and utilization rates from their dashboard. This can either be viewed per vehicle or driver, or for their entire fleet. Being proactive and preventing excessive idling can equate to major cost savings, as these reports help fleet managers identify drivers who are idling excessively. In turn, they can train these drivers on how to prevent idling and reward the ones who don’t.
- ELDs – Even though electronic logging devices are intended to record hours-of-service and records-of-duty status for FMCSA and DOT compliance, they offer many more benefits as long as you choose the right ELD provider. HOS247 ELDs help:
- Avoid hours-of-service violations by providing accurate, automated calculations and alerts.
- Seamlessly manage and edit driver logs.
- Easily manage and edit driver vehicle inspection reports.
- Access support on the road for help 7 days a week with software and compliance issues.
- Train drivers how to keep accurate e-logs via over the phone onboarding.
- Help drivers pass DOT inspections.
In December of 2019, the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated its truck driver electronic log law. This update ruled out the use of Automatic On-board Recording Devices (AOBRD) and confirmed that