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Out in the Open

There are many reasons why some fleet managers are tempted to keep their new GPS tracking systems a secret at first. In most cases, the manager has some suspicions that he would like verified. The new tracking equipment is a glorified mousetrap, set with fresh cheese.

Dreams of watching that little icon that represents your truck, moving across the screen to places it should not be and at times no one is working, fill the manager’s head. Visions of finally confronting your suspected trouble employee become clear. Your victory is so close you can taste it!

I think it is fair to say that most of us can relate to this temptation. Maybe you saw a truck out in the field in a part of town that it should not have been in. Perhaps it was a report of your company vehicle being seen at a location you do not service. Alternatively, it could just simply be the rising fuel expenses for a unit that is not seeing increases in productivity. It is quite reasonable to desire some justice and put to rest your suspicions.

However, before you go setting out those GPS mouse traps, consider the possibility that it may be in your best interest to be upfront and honest about your new Fleetlog tracking program. Now put that cheese back in your refrigerator and let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should let your drivers know they are going to be monitored.

Trust and Respect: Good intentioned employees do not appreciate feeling like they are not trusted by their employers. Sure, the tracking systems are meant to catch the bad apples, but in the process, if not introduced properly, it may offend your star players.

They are Going to Change: Do you really want to know what your drivers are doing when they think they are not being watched? The most effective element of GPS tracking is the prevention principle. The vast majority of infractions are prevented by the drivers knowing that they are being monitored. Let the equipment do its job and you will save yourself some ulcers.

Team Members Will Not Feel “Targeted”: When you have a staff meeting up front and let everyone in the company know that you are implementing a GPS fleet tracking program, it lets everyone know that it is company-wide and not just intended for a few problem employees. This will give the people breaking the rules an opportunity to change their ways and the conscientious drivers a way of showing off their good driving habits.

It Eliminates Excuses: Properly introducing a tracking program cuts off the possibility of someone telling you that they did not know better. Company policy is explicitly stated (get it down in writing and have them sign it) and expectations are established.

It Smokes Out the Current Offenders: Think about it. If you are a good driving who is following the rules and being safe; why would you care if your company starts watching your driving habits. However, if you have something to hide, you are likely not going to be too happy to hear that Fleetlog equipment is being installed in your truck. Chances are, if you have a complainer, you are looking at an offender too.