Telematics solutions such as Ford Telematics™ powered by Telogis® are touted extensively as an operational solution: fuel savings, better allocation of resources, efficient routing, etc.

One of the greatest benefits of a telematics solution, however, is realized after regular business hours.

For contractors, especially those who work remotely or have temporary yards set up away from headquarters, asset security is a serious issue. Work trucks offer a tempting target for thieves not only for the value of the truck itself, but whatever other tools and equipment may be in or towed behind it.

Telematics, however, offers a solution: through geofencing and real-time location of the vehicle, truck owners are alerted much sooner to the theft of a vehicle. Geofencing is the equivalent of a virtual fence that is placed around any given location or yard. The fleet manager or truck owner can create an alert that is sent directly to their email or phone once a truck has left that virtual perimeter during off hours. This allows for faster response to the theft itself, and the authorities will use the real-time location of the vehicle to help track it.

One Telogis customer reported that the recovery of one truck more than paid for the annual subscription service for the telematics solution. That ROI grew exponentially if the truck had a trailer with an excavator or skid steer on it. In some cases, the location of the stolen truck often alerted authorities to the presence of other stolen goods and equipment as well. The ability to identify and track thefts at such a fast pace helps lower three significant costs: the lost time associated with a stolen vehicle, the actual replacement costs (after insurance) associated with the vehicle itself, and the insurance premiums. The equation is rather simple: stolen trucks lead to downtime and raised insurance rates, while recovered trucks lead to less downtime and hassle while maintaining and/or lowering insurance rates.

With Ford Telematics powered by Telogis, fleets can qualify for an immediate discount up to a 15 percent with a participating insurance carrier when buying a commercial vehicle policy. Further, safe driving discounts of up to 40 percent off participating carrier rates are available with subsequent policy renewals. Those are substantial numbers, even for one truck, but spread that out over a fleet of vehicles and you will experience substantial savings.

Identifying Unauthorized Use

A telematics system can also help protect your company’s assets and resources. Fleet managers and business owners can compare vehicle mileage and location to work schedules and pinpoint the exact amount of mileage/expense that is attributable to the job and how much of it was used on personal time by an employee. For instance, it can be detected if an employee took the vehicle on a 300-mile personal trip over the course of the weekend. It’s important to note that this is not only an issue of unauthorized use, but of exposure: the more time a vehicle spends on the road, the more time it is exposed to potential accidents and hazards. Increased exposure equals a greater chance of liability should something go wrong — a risk not worth taking on unauthorized use.

Systems are also able to leverage fuel card data and GPS location to better manage fuel purchases and identify possible instances of theft. Fleet managers can compare fuel card transactions to GPS-provided vehicle locations to verify authorized use. If a card is used when no authorized vehicle is present, that signifies an unauthorized use of the fuel card and can launch an investigation into the theft of valuable company resources.

These are just a few ways in which a telematics system such as Ford Telematics powered by Telogis can help contractors keep their vehicles and resources more secure. For more information, please visit www.telogis.com/ford.