PDA

View Full Version : GPS Tracking


cooltype
12-29-2012, 06:36 PM
Do any of you all have experience installing GPS Tracking systems on your work trucks that will tell you where the truck is, where it has stopped that day, how long they stopped, etc. to help keep up with employees progress and keep everybody honest? If so what system are you using? Pros/Cons? Thanks in advance

acculawnsystems
12-29-2012, 07:02 PM
Yes, we have been using live view GPS. It does keep the workers more honest because they can not trump the GPS. It always tells the truth. We tell the crews that we have GPS on the trucks. Most do not like the fact that we do because they can not get away with much.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-30-2012, 12:49 AM
I've been using Realtrack GPS for several years. The device is hidden up under the dash. The best thing to do is to install it and don't tell your guys about it for a month. This way you can document any issues you see and find out if you've been getting the shaft. If you tell your guys right away it will let them cover their trail.

I don't think anyone can beat RealTrack's GPS price of $18 per month. No contract and you can shut off service if any trucks are parked and not in use for a while. I've had multiple places call me trying to sell me on GPS but when I tell them about RealTrack and my price they don't know what to say.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-30-2012, 12:56 AM
I've heard that works well...device is like 100 bucks...trying to get something to integtate with my clip scheduling program

PlantscapeSolutions
12-30-2012, 12:07 PM
I've heard that works well...device is like 100 bucks...trying to get something to integtate with my clip scheduling program

You may have seen some of my prior posts. The device runs $180. GPS is so cheap now it's really a bad business decision to run your crew or crews blind from the office and assume their doing everything the way you intended.

ELS Landscape
12-30-2012, 12:10 PM
I like to have something that will also push routes to the driver so they get to point a to b in the shortest way possible.

Might sneak one on for a month or two so I can watch them but it is not so much as trust as it is trying to optimize time.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-30-2012, 01:12 PM
I like to have something that will also push routes to the driver so they get to point a to b in the shortest way possible.

Might sneak one on for a month or two so I can watch them but it is not so much as trust as it is trying to optimize time.

Your will find guys taking longer gas stops then noted, taking the long way to a job, guessing on jobsite billing times, and all sorts of thing. I've had a customer or two say we skipped their house and I told them the exact time we were there and offered to send them a GPS report. For mowing crews it's awful easy to do that quick side job when someone throws some cash at your workers. GPS has lots of good uses. You can use it to determine the budgeted time for mowing properties versus the actual times. Lots of good on going uses.

Davids Lawncare
02-01-2013, 03:57 PM
I been searching gps locater all day. Realtrack is the best Ive found so far. The units are 180 a piece and only 17.99 month unlimited tracking, mobile apps, and more. Sounds like a good deal so far. Im planning on installing them on my hustler z and wright stander ,which is my to most expensive pieces of equipment. Dewalt has one for 250 a piece but has lots of limits on tracking .

seabee24
02-04-2013, 03:50 AM
I've been busy with the snow, I have to go back and look as I researched it last year, never got around to buying tho.

Best one, hands down.......made by a company called geotab. They make the unit so you have to find a distributer. I do know a place.

These units, can actually sense g forces. And if the driver is driving aggressively you will know about it. And it can be set to beep and warn him about his driving as well. Tells you if they have a seatbelt on. Gives you engine data. And a ton of other things you can do. Even can get a "key card" for each employee, so you can tell who is driving. Even if your drivers end up in different trucks each time, you can still find the aggressive ones.

Also they interact with lots of other technology's

H & M Yard Improvements
02-04-2013, 07:40 AM
It's just me and my partner and we both have an app on our iPhones called "find friends". We can track where each one of us are. I know not everyone has an iPhone but if you do or one of your employees do, it's worth checking out. The app is free the through the iTunes App Store!
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
02-04-2013, 08:50 AM
As far as bang for the buck you will not beat RealTrack. I've had other companies call me about GPS and when I tell them I use RealTrack they have little more to say. $18 a month is very little to pay and the best thing is there is no contract. If you park a truck in the off season you could stop the service if you wanted.

You can print out history reports months later that show exactly where your truck went. It can tell you the speed of the truck, the address the truck was at, and I think you can even set boundaries where you will be notified if the truck leaves an allowed work area..

The truck functions it will monitor are the key position. It will tell you on, off, or idle. Idle is good because you will know if your guys are enjoying the AC when they should be working.

I hope someday video monitoring becomes cheap. It would be great to have a camera with a wide angle lens to record the work being done at properties from a street perspective. If you suspect waste or inefficiencies it would give you a birds eye view of where you may be losing money. Plus if you get ripped off you might get to see who did it.

Like I've said in the past even if you only run one crew GPS is too cheap not to be using it. You will have records to prove you were at properties and you will know the exact time spent at those properties to know if your on budget. It also works well to keep track of lunch breaks to see if guy are writing precise times or just throwing ink on the time sheet at the end of the day. If GPS shows the truck is in motion during the lunch break you will know something is up.

Even good employees tend to fudge things sometimes. The longer people work for you the greater the chance is they will get complacent and develop time wasting habits that will waste your money. Having blind trust in your employees can be costly. From poorly designed trailer setups to mediocre employees the amount of waste I see when I look at other companies at job sites is just amazing. They are throwing money away hand over fist and have no idea they are doing it. I would dare to say anyone who is not using GPS and can't rationalize it probably has a lot of other issues being over looked as well.

lawntennis
02-04-2013, 03:08 PM
I have fleetmatics and i am committed for another year but I will have to check out real time. I pay $50 per month a unit and I can't turn them off. Paying 250 a month when I only have a couple trucks active in the winter. $18 soounds good.

cps
02-06-2013, 10:33 AM
How is the mobile app for RealTrack? Does anyone use it with an iphone?

PlantscapeSolutions
02-06-2013, 10:42 AM
I've never used the smart phone feature but it does have one. I'm still old school and am avoiding using my smart phone features. I think sometimes it's possible to be too in contact with your clients and email. I hate texting as well. If an issue is super urgent someone can pick up the phone and actually talk to me.

mckservices
02-06-2013, 11:33 PM
The best GPS product by far for any iphone user is pocket finder by location based technologies. Its only $12 per month and they have two different versions that we use. We use the pocket finer vehicle locater on our truck & ZTR's. On the trucks there is a feature where you can even get idle reports to see if while they are plowing snow if they have truck idling for extended periods of time. On the mowers I track the assigned lawn mowers to each crew member to confirm all ares are mowed and what employe mowed what zone on our larger commercial accounts, & to go back to for accountability. Also my Crew leaders can easily look on the pocket finder iphone app to easily find other mowers & whip guys (who are carrying pocket finder battery device) on the larger commercial accounts. Then we also use the pocket finder battery device for sub contractors to temporary hold onto while plowing & billing snow.
Check tem out

ELS Landscape
02-07-2013, 04:18 PM
Mck,
That looks like an interesting product. I would still likely go with a fleet tracking GPS on my trucks for the other features such as engine kill at night, door unlocking. I also like the idea of mounting a GPS on the truck along with a Garmin device to get traffice and routing too.

However, adding the vehicle mount to the mowers is a good idea, not sure I would make the guys carry one of those pocket units.

LawnDeveloper
02-08-2013, 03:52 PM
Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?

PlantscapeSolutions
02-08-2013, 07:01 PM
Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?

RealTrack is a stealth unit you put up under the dashboard.

ELS Landscape
02-08-2013, 07:18 PM
Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?

My basic understanding is you can do two way communications. You do have to have another level of equipment. IE, you hook up a garmin device and it will show the route to the assigned way point. It also has the traffic and routing feature and you can have them respond to two way SMS.