GPS monitoring helps landscapers through the COVID-19 pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, landscapers and fleet managers still have to manage their fleets but may not want to go to the office every day and risk possible exposure to themselves or others.

Fortunately, by taking advantage of new technology offerings such as a real-time GPS vehicle tracking system via a smartphone, tablet or PC – remotely, in addition to email, zoom meetings, etc. – they can socially distance their fleets and their work as well as dynamically manage crews all over the world Day without missing a bar.

Compared to traditional techniques such as personal and mixed paperwork, the advanced technology now available improves control and enables immediate response and adaptation to the inevitable emergencies and changing needs that arise throughout the day.

“With an advanced real-time GPS vehicle tracking system, essentially all employees can socialize,” says Ben VanAvery, director of sales and marketing at Advanced Tracking Technologies (ATTI), a Houston-based designer and manufacturer of GPS tracking Products. “To avoid the possible transmission of viruses by other employees and vehicles, they can leave home in their typical company vehicle and go straight to the construction site without going back to the office, except to get the supplies they need.”

Such a GPS tracking system can facilitate social distancing and virtually eliminate the need for routine face-to-face interaction while ensuring that drivers and work teams stay on the job.

If during the pandemic logistics requires it, emergencies arise, or the work needs to be done by a qualified, available technician nearby, such a system can be beneficial. With real-time GPS vehicle tracking, landscape company managers can see which technicians they have across the area, including those closest to them, who are experienced and appropriately qualified for the job. By having access to real-time traffic data in the software, they can determine who is easiest to send to that location.

For example, a particular GPS vehicle tracking device broadcasts 10 second updates and shows exactly where vehicles are at the moment the fleet manager or dispatcher needs to know.

Compared to some other GPS tracking devices, which may only be updated every few minutes, the system offers real-time location updates as well as speed and idle time warnings when something is wrong. This data is transmitted around the clock to a smartphone or PC via satellite and cellular networks. The system has access to nationwide speed limits in its database.

Shipping can be done throughout the day and sent directly to the driver’s phone to inform the work team of the next construction site address. As soon as an order is completed, it is recorded in the system so that the dispatcher, owner or fleet manager can stay up to date. That way it can serve as a remote timesheet.

Greg Hamman, owner of Prime Landscape Services in Dallas-Fort Worth, has made good use of this ability. The landscaping contractor currently has around 20 lawn maintenance teams in North Texas and a total of around 55 service vehicles across the company.

According to Hamman, he can use a phone app to view the real-time location of his entire vehicle fleet on a map and zoom in on a specific truck. He can see at a glance whether a truck has moved (shown in green) or stopped (shown in red). When he touches a truck icon, the app shows where the truck is, where it stopped and how long it was idle. All of this helps with customer care and spontaneous coordination.

“I can pull up my smartphone and see exactly where my trucks are on the route, whether they are picking up material or getting stuck in traffic,” says Hamman. “In this way I can tell a customer exactly to the minute when a truck is arriving. I can also sit in the office for an extra hour, billing or calling customers while my crew collects supplies. “

According to Hamman, the systems can also improve the efficiency of the route.

“With the GPS tracking system, you can print a map at the push of a button that shows how your foreman drove his route to a construction site,” he says. “You can see where he got stuck in traffic and whether finishing work early and later could minimize extensive downtime.”

For better self-monitoring and efficiency during the pandemic, landscape company managers can configure the system to automatically send real-time text or email notifications to individual drivers, groups or the entire fleet when factors such as traffic congestion, Itinerary or Vehicle Occurs Speed, starts, stops, or idling are cause for concern or deviating from policy.

A smartphone used for GPS tracking enables safe social distancing.

Increase efficiency and security
During the pandemic or at a time when a quick response is required, advanced GPS tracking systems can also improve efficiency on more established routes.

Since the GPS system is automated, for example, travel reports can be created in which important historical data such as on-time pick-up or delivery services are analyzed. They can also be sent via email without anyone opening any software. The reports can be customized as needed to include as much detail as necessary, such as: B. How many stops, how long per location, top speed, mileage, idle times of the day, etc. Identifying and implementing more efficient routing and performance enables individual drivers and the entire fleet to achieve more in less time.

If landscape company owners and fleet managers are preoccupied with the logistical impact of the COVID-19 crisis, such a system can also help individual drivers drive safer and take more responsibility for their own behavior without the need for micromanagement. A maximum vehicle speed of possibly no more than eight miles per hour above the specified limit may be set and drivers may be informed. The system then tracks the vehicle speed and compares it with the speed limit in its national database. If desired, exceptions can be sent automatically by email to the driver and the fleet manager in a report.

In addition, implementing real-time GPS tracking can increase the driver’s responsibility by being less prone to making unauthorized trips, e.g. B. for personal errands when he is not on duty or in a rescue. This can help to minimize unnecessary vehicle kilometers, fuel consumption and wear and tear. On the plus side, GPS tracking can also be used to identify and reward a consistently quick response from employees.

For landscapers, however, the bottom line is that today’s advanced GPS tracking systems can help keep all people socially as far away from each other as possible while enabling optimal vehicle and crew management for work productivity.

This article was provided by Advanced Tracking Technologies.

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