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A new report by Fleetmatics offers a gold mine of data on fleet benchmarking and the estimated economic impact of commercial fleet telematics in the launch of the first edition of its FleetBeat report.

Fleetmatics is a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based fleet management solution for fleetsof all sizes, including those with as few as five service vehicles to those with thousands. At the time this research was compiled, Fleetmatics’ customer base was comprised of roughly 20,000 commercial fleets and roughly 417,000 actively subscribed vehicles.

Fleet telematics technology empowers fleet-based organizations to reduce fuel consumption, decrease hours in the workday and mitigate overtime payouts, perform more service calls each day and become more eco-friendly, among myriad other benefits. Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan estimates that currently 12.6 percent of all commercial vehicles in the United States and Canada have telematics units on board to aid optimization.

A handy infographic summarizes the FleetBeat report’s findings, and here are the highlights:

  • contractors (heavy) experienced a 20 percent increase in their service call and delivery performance from the inception of the technology to now;
  • contractors (light) experienced a 14 percent increase in their service call and delivery performance from the inception of the technology to now;
  • for-hire trucking (not including local deliveries) averages a 185-mile service radius for the Midwest but only 107 miles for the Northeast;
  • for-hire trucking (not including local deliveries) averaged $20,005 in cost savings due to a decrease in payroll hours in annually; and
  • contractors (light) spent 23 percent less time idling.
Using fleet telematics resulted in the following business optimizations:

  • decrease in fuel consumption (gallons per year): 573 million;
  • total fuel savings: $2.2 billion;
  • decrease in CO2 emissions (tons per year): 5 million;
  • decrease in payroll hours per year: 1.3 billion; and
  • total cost savings due to decrease in payroll hours: $34.9 billion.


Fleetmatics’ data shows a 20 percent decrease in payroll hours was derived from having an optimized fleet. In many cases, this makes the difference between a standard versus overtime workday, meaning not only less hourly pay overall, but also the reduction or elimination of overtime payouts.

On average across all industries analyzed (using wage averages by industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), annual payroll cost savings were $14,962 per vehicle for those that used the technology to reduce payroll hours. That means a small business operating just five trucks could save $74,810 per year through optimization. A larger fleet of 150 trucks could save more than $2.2 million using the technology.

In addition to reducing payroll hours while maintaining (or increasing) the number of service calls, fleet management solutions with automated time sheet validation can streamline payroll processes, which helps a company more closely monitor staff hours and reduce overtime costs.

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has specific regulations for what a standard workday looks like in terms of hours of service (HOS). Fleet management assists businesses in complying with those guidelines and avoiding penalties associated with lack of compliance.

Fuel Savings

Fuel is a necessity for any fleet-driven business, and it also happens to be one of the largest pain points when it comes to containing operating costs. By reducing unnecessary idling, improving routing and dispatching, and hindering speeding, hard driving and other fuel-wasting behaviors, fuel costs can be reduced significantly, which can amount to tremendous cost savings, according to Fleetmatics.

Fuel savings discovered in the report are based on a 0.9-gallon-per-hour fuel consumption rate for engine idling and a 2.7-gallon-per-hour fuel consumption rate for engine driving, with an average fuel price of $3.70 per gallon (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, February 2014).

An overall average savings of $11 per vehicle per month in reduced engine idle time was seen. In the course of a year (based on a 20-workday month), that’s a total of $132 per vehicle per year. Those savings will be even greater for industries in which service calls and deliveries are made on the weekends and therefore, the number of workdays per month is higher, according to Fleetmatics.

On average, $34 per vehicle per month was saved primarily through reduced engine driving time, in large part due to better routing. Over the course of a year, this would result in $408 in savings per vehicle due to more efficient routing.

Using less fuel also helps business fleets achieve “greener” operations, specifically as it relates to reducing greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions.


According to Fleetmatics’ customer data, a 12 percent decrease in idling minutes (per vehicle per day) was achieved after implementing commercial vehicle telematics technology. That figure encompasses idling minutes at inception (before fleet management software was implemented) to current (the time at which the research was conducted).

The plumbing, heating and HVAC sectors experienced the most drastic decrease in idling minutes, with a 27 percent drop during this time period. That number represents a decrease from 37 idling minutes on average per vehicle per day, to only 27 idling minutes per vehicle per day. In a typical 20-workday month, this equates to 200 minutes of idling time saved and an approximate savings of $11 per vehicle per month.

Of Fleetmatics’ customers studied, those in the South Central region have the highest average idle time of all regions at 82 minutes per vehicle per day. On the lowest end of the spectrum is the Southeast at 59.7 minutes per vehicle per day. Idle times peak during the winter and summer months, which is to be expected due to the typically more extreme temperatures during those seasons across regions.

For more information or to receive the full report, visit www.fleetmatics.com.

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