Toronto, Ontario — September 12, 2012 — GPS technology has become a commonplace technology in everyday life. In its growth from a highly specialized and rare piece of technological gadgetry and mystery to a nearly omnipresent household object, GPS technology evolved into a common tool for fleet operators. This type of technology has more than a few uses for modern towing and recovery professionals.
But like any new piece of technology, there are both benefits and pitfalls to its use.
“We put GPS in all of the trucks about three years ago,” says Paul Phagura, a dispatcher at A-1 Towing in Rocky View, Alberta. “We had two trucks stolen, so it made sense to put them in.”
Anti-theft protection is a common use for GPS. Having the ability to locate a vehicle after its theft gives an owner the chance at recovering their property without being forced to make an insurance claim, while also giving the police a leg up on catching the perpetrators of such crimes.
Phagula has seen other benefits arise after the initial installation. “It’s actually a pretty helpful tool. Sometimes we can look in on our employees,” explains Phagula, adding “it can help to see where they are, to make sure they aren’t speeding, and to see if they are close to accidents.”
As with any technology, there are potential downsides.
Frank Rego, General Manager of A Towing in Toronto says that they no longer have GPS in their trucks.
“We had it in and then we removed it,” says Rego. “Originally, we had it for customer service reasons, but it helped also to make sure that are drivers were telling us the truth about their whereabouts.”
But Rego ultimately felt that the cost of operating the GPS didn’t make sense for his business.
“We didn’t feel that it was cost effective in terms of maintenance. The equipment itself is cheap, but having someone watch it all day to find out where our drivers were just didn’t make sense,” says Rego.
GPS, like any new piece of technology, will make sense for some businesses and not for others. There are many providers who offer many services, so determining whether or not adding it to an existing fleet makes sense will take research and time, but having it may just have the advantages that are right for you to improve your business.