UPDATE 10/9/2017: We’ve updated this list to add two new options and include some updated information for the original entries.
With three employees in three trucks, it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s where, if they’re on time, and how much each technician is costing you at the pump. With twenty techs and a dozen vehicles, trying to track all that can get hairy. Luckily, fleet management software can help you keep tabs on everyone.
Across the board, fleet management software is ideal for providing a real-time view of your trucks. You can see where everyone is, track mileage, schedule maintenance, and generate reports based off of usage.
Here is a fleet management software comparison illustrating the ways five of the big players are distinguishing themselves through unique features. All of these options allow GPS integration, making sure you get the most out of your purchase. All of the options on this list have mileage tracking, routing, and vehicle tracking. Results are organized alphabetically.
ClearPathGPS’s primary distinguishing feature is their month-to-month contract structure. Rather than getting locked into a multi-year contract, ClearPath’s model provides the flexibility to drop telematics, should you decide you don’t want it (though (ClearPath’s user reviews suggest that most customers do).
A screenshot of a GPS virtual timecard
ClearPathGPS also offers tools that ease a fleet manager’s workload. They offer virtual timecard reports that turn your drivers’ workloads into easily viewed reports. Those timecards can also be exported to your accounting software, cutting down on data entry.
This data ClearPath collects can become part of a comprehensive, strategic overview of your business. ClearPath comes with a library of more than 60 types of visualizations and reports, so you can take the individual details of those virtual timecards (how long was that one driver stopped at his noon delivery site?) and make them part of an overall summary (How long do each of my drivers take at each delivery stop? Who takes the longest?)
Fleetmatics offers a few twists on the classic fleet management package. First of all, the system centers on drivers, not just trucks. Techs are given key fobs with unique IDs. When they climb into a truck, they tap in. This means that managers can generate reports based off a single driver, no matter how many different trucks they use over the course of a month.
An example of a Fleetmatics dashboard on tablet and desktop
The Fleetmatics system also has a feature called geofencing—we’ll see a lot more of this as we go on that allows managers to expand the area associated with a client or point of interest. For instance, perhaps you service a college campus. Instead of techs having to visit the one spot on the map that “counts” as the college, you can generate an area on the map that encompasses the whole campus. Then, drivers can go where they actually need to go, and the system will record the visit correctly for reporting.
While not an entirely cloud-based system, GPS TrackIt has designed a tablet-focused website called Driver, that allows field workers and central office managers to collaborate. The Driver site has a section for messaging, stop scheduling and route planning, and a system for filling out forms. Users can create custom forms for refueling, job management, and updates.
GPS Trackit maps on mobile devices
GPS Trackit offers two devices for monitoring vehicle diagnostics. Users can use either an OBD-II or an under-the-hood solution, helping you preempt breakdowns by interpreting that pesky check engine light. The system also supports geofencing, driver management, and fuel card usage monitoring.
Route4Me is another cloud-based fleet management software. The plus side of cloud software? You don’t have to invest in, or maintain, the servers that hold all your information. Route4Me handles all of that, and you get the benefit of the information.
A sample screenshot from Route4Me
Route4Me calls itself the most dynamic fleet management software on the market. Whether that superlative is true, they do update their maps up to thousands of times per hour. If there’s some change to your route, Route4Me is likely to catch it.
Route4Me also has open APIs, or application programming interfaces. Click on that link if you’re interested in what an API is; read on to know what it can do for your fleet. Open APIs let you customize the Route4Me program to your needs (assuming you know how to code, or you’ve got someone who does know on your IT staff). If you have a need the off-the-shelf program can’t meet, you can customize it, as you would a fleet vehicle.
As an example, Route4Me suggests using their open API to integrate their last mile delivery feature with the addresses in your sales software. As a result, you can get the right addresses into Route4Me without worrying about data entry errors.
Teletrac Navman is a cloud-based fleet management system. In addition to all the usual features, Teletrac gives users some excellent management tools, including multi-mapping and vehicle diagnostics. Multi-mapping gives dispatchers a way to view up to 20 small maps at once, allowing them to keep a closer eye on individual trucks that would otherwise be lost in a sea of dots.
An example of a Teletrac Navman dashboard
Using add-on devices, Teletrac can also capture and decode engine status updates. Depending on the type of vehicle being managed, you can either plug in an OBD-II compatible tracker or drop a J-Bus enabled device under the hood.
Interested in other GPS tracking software?
Knowing the locations and histories of your trucks and techs is as simple as turning on your computer. Finding the right system for your business is the only hurdle between you and a more efficient process.
For a full listing of options, check out Capterra’s fleet management directory.
If you’re interested in what else fleet management software can do for you, check out one of these Capterra posts: