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GPS tracking is a tremendous asset to cut costs and make operations more efficient. However, widespread adoption has been hindered by misconceptions of its purpose and ease of use. GPS tracking can be a tough sell to communicate to drivers and third-party haulers. In a survey of drivers who have not been GPS tracked before, 38% had a negative opinion of the concept. Of those who had been GPS tracked in the past, 54% had a positive opinion while only 5% had a negative opinion.

Once drivers are familiar with GPS tracking and understand its benefits, they are more likely to be confident in its ability to enhance their overall job performance. The question is: How do leaders get their drivers to accept GPS tracking?

Swaying drivers’ opinions on GPS tracking and effectively implementing depends on strong relationships with drivers and hired haulers, but can be aided by these five tips:

  1. Keep the team in the loop;
  2. Talk about the benefits;
  3. Take time for training;
  4. Assure your team they are valued; and
  5. Get ahead of the competition.
Keep the Team in the Loop

Moving to GPS tracking doesn’t happen overnight and requires thoughtful decision-making and strategy. Drivers are not always privy to those conversations, so a sudden announcement of a new system that directly impacts them can be met with resistance or backlash.

Communicating plans well in advance of implementation is crucial. Drivers have time to process the news and adapt to a new way of work, and it makes the transition easier over time rather than operating as an overnight change. They can get involved, ask questions and feel like they have more control over the process.

Talk About the Benefits

 The benefits of GPS tracking on business operations are clear and include:

  • Tracking trucks’ real-time location for timely status updates and planning;
  • Accessing verifiable, time-stamped route history;
  • Understanding where and when drivers punched in or out; and
  • Gaining clearly defined geofence arrival and departure points.

These all contribute to improving the bottom line and ensuring that drivers are using their time valuably. The operational clarity that GPS tracking provides will benefit everyone, and outlining this clearly will make the transition much easier.

Take Time for Training

Frustration over the move to GPS tracking will be exacerbated if drivers do not understand the system. Build in time to train all users on the system and exactly how it will integrate with their jobs. This establishes a proper level of understanding that will make the system launch run more smoothly, keep employees engaged and improve the overall impact. But do not stop at initial training—creating ongoing training opportunities is also important to keep usage and adoption rates high long-term.

Oftentimes, those that ask the most questions or challenge GPS end up being the biggest advocates once they understand how the system works, how it can improve their day-to-day, and how it will benefit the organization’s overall health.

Assure Your Team They are Valued

A large concern for drivers regarding GPS tracking is that they aren’t trusted to complete their jobs or they will be monitored 24/7 for misconduct. Beyond just sabotaging the success of GPS tracking, these concerns can cause drivers to lose dedication or look for work elsewhere.

For GPS tracking to reach its full potential, driver cooperation is imperative. Fleet owners and contractors must articulate an understanding of drivers’ fears and clearly explain the positive impacts.

  • Customers are often the pushers of GPS tracking; when they’re happy, everyone is happy.
  • GPS tracking benefits haulers with increased visibility, a digital summary of work history and up-to-date running total of earnings.
  • Drivers are only tracked when they are punched in.
Get Ahead of the Competition

Amid labor shortages and the infrastructure bill, it is more important than ever to keep projects efficient. As contractors vie for projects with limited resources to accomplish them, they’ll begin to flock to technology to help them better manage their business. Implementing GPS tracking now before it becomes a necessity will alleviate unnecessary stress for drivers and contractors and help ease the transition for all involved.

GPS tracking does not have to be the daunting transition that contractors and drivers often fear it is. By clearly communicating its benefits, understanding drivers’ concerns and giving all parties time to adjust, contractors will significantly improve implementation success and overall operational efficiency.

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