any good GPS tracking programs

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Sharps_lawn&landscaping, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Sharps_lawn&landscaping

    Sharps_lawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 83

    I was wondering what's out there as far as GPS tracking . Like to know where my guys are and be able to send directions if possible . Seen a few different things but I'm lost on whats good. We run two crews and I'm needing a Good time clock and good tracking system
     
  2. zimmatic

    zimmatic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    gotrack

    they office in kansas city.
     
  3. Sharps_lawn&landscaping

    Sharps_lawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 83

    Thanks I looked them up. That seems like a pretty good one to use.
     
  4. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,171

    I just ordered one from gotrack.com

    Can't wait to see what I find. Going to test it on me for plowing first then each truck after that.
     
  5. cps

    cps LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    We plan on installing Real Track GPS. No contracts, month to month service (turn on/off each unit as you need it) this was important to us because we don't use the same amount of trucks in the summer as we do in the winter for plowing. Check it out http://www.realtrackgps.com/index.html
     
  6. zimmatic

    zimmatic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    djagusch
    Once you get use to the unit there are many things you can do with the online user interface tools. When installing on vehicals employee's use I suggest letting them know you have it installed and it is a tool to help you and them by creating efficent routes. I like using it to know where my crews are at any given time of day so I can be at the same job site they are and not having to call them to find out where they are at when mowing.

    It eliminated for me right away the morning stops to the gas station and the excuse " I had to get something for lunch"---You do that on your own time.!
     
  7. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,171

    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,171

    My plan is to try it on my truck then move it to my other two trucks during the rest of plowing season. I'm just going to put it on the truck and the next day go over it with the driver and explain what we are looking for. Then the next.

    One driver I think I'll find he doesn't take the quickest way every time and if he missing a turn it will take a bit to get on track. Even though he's done his plow route 8 times so far he depends on the Garmin way to much and doesn't have a good sense of direction (at least compared to me). Besides extra stops for food I don't expect much.

    Driver two I'm scared to what I may find. He thinks his valuable while being my weakest employee. Also gets defensive if any constructive critisism is being talked about. I'm going to guess maybe sitting or taking on extra drives but maybe he's just that slow. I have ran his route and the skid driver can tell a big difference in times away from sites. The GPS will give me a good idea to confirm what I think I should do. Being so late in the plowing season I'll just probably put up with it for the next month.

    If I like the info I get I'll have 3 units total by spring (2 lawn trucks, 1 irrigation van). Maybe even one for my truck so I can track my time better also.

    For the price and commitment it's a good price for the gotrack system. $200 for the unit and what ends up being under $17/month (but you buy it in 1 yr or 2 yr packages). You can also buy a 6 month package but it costs slightly more per month. Another thing that is nice is no hardwiring, just plug it into your obdII port, switch between vehicles no problem.
     
  9. zimmatic

    zimmatic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    Yes, you can unplug it from truck to truck just make sure the employee's do not know that. I hard wired it into my trucks. When I installed 3 years ago one employee was not happy and for good reason because he knew he couldnt just stop or go somewhere on his own. One thing to remember is that you cannot teach someone to go the most efficent routes if they dont care. I updated my garmins and they do a better job for the employee's. The gps is a tool. If the employee follows the same route everytime that the garmin gives them or I help tweak a few times and I can see they stick to the route I am happy.
    Be ready to let the employee go that could care less if it takes 2 hours or 5 hours they are stealing from you.
     
  10. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,171

    Driver 1 cares just need him to take the time to learn basic geography. In my head if I say head to bloomington from forest lake they should know 35w is the way to go, figure the rest on the way there. It just seems like the Garmin is a crutch to get there instead of real learning happening.

    Driver 2 yes I'm ready to let him go. Like I said he thinks he adds value when he's my weakest link. Nice guy but just no drive, no speed, and just makes simple mistakes. First employee older than me and by 12 yrs. I hoped to make him a decent employee but just can't get him to "get it".

    The nice thing is I have 3 shovelers that could become a driver if I want to train them. This summer I see having 5 really good employee's which will be great.
     

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