GPS Tracking

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by cooltype, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    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.
     
  2. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    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.
     
  3. cps

    cps LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    How is the mobile app for RealTrack? Does anyone use it with an iphone?
     
  4. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    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.
     
  5. mckservices

    mckservices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    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
     
  6. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,184

    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.
     
  7. LawnDeveloper

    LawnDeveloper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?
     
  8. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

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

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,184

    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.
     
  10. cps

    cps LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    I'm currently using mComet by Actsoft. It's GPS based app off of a mobile phone. I love everything about it except for the accuracy of the GPS and the fact it kills my phone batt. They say they can only offer GPS accuracy between 50 and 100 feet. Sometimes when I check the location it says they are on one street and I know for a fact that the house is on the next street over.

    What is the accuracy range with a real track or some of the other products?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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