Implementing the latest technology and industry practices is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition. For trucking and other transport-related industries, there’s telematics to help streamline operations and drive business to greater heights.

What is telematics? Combining telecommunication and informatics, this modern approach to vehicle tracking utilizes monitoring devices equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) to relay information over long distances.

It works by fitting a device — referred to as a BlackBox or T-box — to the vehicle. This high-tech device is the centerpiece to a telematics system as it is capable of collecting a wide range of essential data related to vehicle performance. It could be mileage, drive time, fuel usage or driver behavior. The array of data that is being gathered depends on the ports the device is connected to as well as the sophistication of its design.

For instance, when fitted into the engine, it can be used to capture engine load, temperature, errors and other such information. This could be incredibly valuable in the event of an accident resulting in an insurance claim and subsequent investigation. Other designs can be fitted specifically to improve driver safety, such as tracking seatbelt use, door locks and cruise control.

Not only does the device collect data, but also it can analyze it with an internal algorithm and then transmit it in real time too. The data goes to an external platform and is presented to the end-user in an easy-to-read format. It’s through this that fleet managers, delivery coordinators and other leaders are able to monitor their drivers from almost anywhere at any time.

There are many ways telematics helps to improve freight transportation. Using historic vehicle and trip data, a technology-driven telematics software system can lay out better routes for more efficient operations. It can also correct route adaptability on the fly. If there is an unexpected road closure or similar route disruption, the real-time navigation system sends an alert and facilitates the rerouting of drivers within minutes.

Another highly beneficial aspect of implementing telematics is the ability to augment vehicle maintenance. Conducting timely maintenance is crucial to efficient fleet management. With a telematics system in place, the truck’s health may be continuously monitored remotely which can help significantly increase vehicle longevity.

For further information on using telematics to improve fleet management and other aspects of freight transportation, please see the accompanying resource.

Infographic created by Track Your Truck, a GPS vehicle tracking devices provider