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Cell Phone GPS Versus Vehicle-Installed GPS Tracking


If your business is related to the transportation industry and you deal with vehicle fleet management, then you have surely realized the importance of tracking your vehicles and your drivers. Most fleet managers believe vehicle-installed and cell phone GPS tracking systems are the same thing, and therefore tend to assume that cell phone GPS tracking as the cheaper alternative between the two. However, they actually work very differently….

When you install a GPS system in your cell phone, you are basically tracking a cell phone through its workforce management and field service software. This uses the location of the cell phone as the primary source of data. As a result, your vehicle is not covered with this method any time the driver is elsewhere with the phone. Also, what happens when the phone’s battery dies or is simply turned off?

As a fleet manager, you need to decide what kind information you want to receive through GPS tracking. If you only want to track your employees on their journey, and don’t mind the occasional “outage”, then cell phone GPS tracking can certainly help you. However, if you are more concerned with the fuel usage, driving behaviors and/or the actual physical location of your asset at all times, then a vehicle-installed GPS system is the right alternative for you.

But Cell Phone Tracking Costs Much Less, Right?

As per the Bobit Business Media report on the implementation of GPS tracking in the light-and-medium-duty fleet market, as much as 30% of the commercial fleet owners admitted that they have not installed a GPS tracking system due to financial stringency. So, budget is one of the main reasons that fleet vehicle owners are more interested in cell phone GPS tracking system.

However, choosing not to pay the cost for the vehicle-installed GPS tracking systems, will not only provide you with misleading vehicle tracking information, but it certainly will not provide you any insight into the generation of greater revenue, enhancement of operational efficiency, or maximization of ROI (one of the primary reasons for the adoption of GPS tracking among fleet owners nowadays).

…And did you know that vehicle-installed GPS systems actually pay for themselves with savings in other areas? More on this soon!

Disadvantages of Cell Phone GPS Tracking System:

Less Accountability Factor in Drivers

Your drivers can turn off their cell phone if they do not want to be tracked down by you. Cell phones offer multiple options to the drivers so that they can choose where and when they will be monitored. Such autonomy can be misused by the drivers. It also can’t monitor driving behaviors such as speeding and erratic breaking, so you won’t be alerted if they engage in reckless driving, which can cause damage to the vehicle, increased maintenance costs, and can lead to increased ticket and insurance costs as well.

Issues in Signal Connectivity

Cell phone based GPS tracking tend to be less reliable because these gadgets suffer from significant loss of signal coverage, especially for long-haul drivers. However, the vehicle-installed GPS tracking system uses the battery of the vehicle as the source of power, and they don’t rely on cellular towers, which helps you to track the vehicle even in places with no phone coverage.

Leaving Behind the Competition

If your competitors are using vehicle-installed GPS tracking system, they are very likely to excel in their customer service, as it helps them to eliminate traditional paperwork, enhance the efficiency of the routes, respond promptly to immediate customer needs, and optimize their vehicle maintenance management. Therefore, if you choose to use cell phone based GPS tracking, your business will very likely not have the same level of efficiency as your rivals, which may result in the loss of competitive edge for your company in the fleet transportation market.

No Insight into the Future Challenges

When using cell phone based GPS tracking system, you might miss out on many vital insights, which can turn into costly challenges in the future, such as fleet utilization, fuel cost, labor cost, vehicle maintenance etc. If you are not informed with undeniable data regarding the true utilization of your fleet, you can lose both money and customers.

Have Greater Fleet Intelligence with Vehicle-Installed GPS Tracking:

If you are looking for high-quality fleet management, vehicle-installed GPS tracking system is just the right one for you. You receive great fleet intelligence with reduced cost and risks.

Decreases Costs

As per the Bobit Business Media report, fuel is one of major fleet cost factors that fleet owners face. Luckily, vehicle-installed GPS tracking allows you to supervise the fuel usage of your vehicle, and helps you reduce excess by monitoring the vehicle idling, acceleration, speeding, and duration being driven on road. You can then take actions with your staff and processes to improve any items that need mitigating – and this will save you money. You cannot expect to have such savings from cell phone based GPS tracking.

Decreases Risk Factors

Enhancement of vehicle safety is one of the most coveted options offered by vehicle-installed GPS tracking system, as it helps you to use advanced safety features, increases the chances of faster responses during emergencies, keeps a track on the driver behavior, and ensures the safe operability of other vehicle equipment. Unlike cell phone based GPS tracking systems, vehicle-installed GPS systems provide you with a safer tracking platform that takes care of both your employees and customers while reducing critical risk factors. Insurance companies recognize this fact and will generally give you a discount!

Increases Revenue

With excellent monitoring of the vehicle’s overall performance, vehicle-installed GPS tracking systems allow you to have a higher number of successful trips (ie, less unforeseen breakdowns), which enhances your business productivity level. Your drivers will also be able to reach the job site faster through route efficiency and optimization, while you concentrate on the driver rescheduling that will maximize your annual revenue.

It’s Mobile Optimized

If you like using cell phone for vehicle tracking, there is good news for you. Many vehicle-installed GPS systems now come with a mobile app which will provide you with all the real-time benefits through the mobile app. You can directly track down any vehicle from your mobile device, without having to depend on the status of the driver’s cell phone.

A Vehicle-Installed GPS Tracking System Is The Best Choice!

At EcoTrack Fleet Management, we understand that a vehicle backed GPS system can help you make real improvements in your fleet management operations, thus enabling you to make right decisions at the right time. Get in touch with us today if you are curious to learn more about how the implementation of a high-quality GPS system can deliver more productivity and (truly) greater profit in your fleet management business.

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