Posted on Tue May 19 2020
Why Cellular Connection is Essential for Fleet Vehicles & Telematics
Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
At any given time, countless vehicles are on the road that are connected, or that need to be connected, to a central communications point or hub. These vehicles need to be able to communicate with a point of contact on an immediate basis if the need arises, and they need to be able to depend on their ability to connect at all times. While this is taken for granted in many respects, all it takes is one instance when someone cannot get through to their hub for a semi-serious problem to devolve into something truly terrible. Fleet telematics is something that private companies and public entities need to pay attention to closely, and that largely comes down to connectivity.
We understand what it takes to help keep commercial fleet vehicles, ambulances and the like connected with their operational nerve centers, and we fully understand the importance of it. Below you’ll find some information as to why cellular connection strength and dependability is essential for fleet telematics systems.
Importance of Telematics in Rural & Urban Areas
TruckInfo.net, estimates that there are more than 15 million commercial trucks on the road in the United States. That’s over 310,000 trucks in every state, which is why we are all used to seeing them on the highways, moving along towards their destinations. All of these vehicles need to be able to communicate with their operators for many reasons, some of which we’ll detail below.
What matters right now is that according to United World Transportation, which completed a trucking survey a few years ago, the average length of a trucker’s route is approximately 1,055 miles. That’s not only a long way, but it means that every trucking route goes through remote, rural areas where cell towers are scarce and natural blockers of signals, such as mountains, can be present often. This makes fleet telematics extremely difficult, and that can create a lot of problems for drivers, trucking companies and the industry as a whole.
Besides fleet telematics, there’s also the very real need for a driver to communicate throughout the day. If the truck has a tire blowout in a place that’s nowhere near services or a cell signal that’s dependable, that could not only prolong the route delay but put the driver in a situation of unnecessary risk. TruckInfo.net stated that more than half of road-related problems truckers face involve their tires. They need help in these emergency situations as do all commercial fleet vehicles, and telematics connectivity is necessary in order to get that help.
Not all problems arise in rural, remote areas, either. Every city has dead spots or areas where connectivity is a big problem, and if something goes wrong in that part of the world, situations can quickly progress to a severe level. WhistleOut.com rates connectivity for cities, and even in a populated area like San Diego, there are defined dead spots where making and receiving calls is extremely difficult despite the area’s high score. The same can be said for every major metropolitan area in the United States. When a trucker, an ambulance or some other fleet vehicle cannot communicate, it can be a huge disruption to communication and cause safety concerns.
Why Telematics Connectivity Is Important
Aside from the matter of where telematics connectivity is important, the question of why is also paramount. Commercial fleet vehicles need to remain connected to their nerve centers for many different reasons, some related to legalities. Commercial truck telematics are a focal point for every hauling company, as reports need to be generated and data tracked. In addition, driver telematics data is essential because of driving requirements and restrictions that must be followed.
For instance, telematics data helps track the following:
- Number of miles driven that day/week/month
- Number of hours the driver has been behind the wheel
- Number of times that driver has stopped for fuel
- Average speed of the vehicle
- Any other stops for any other reason
Telematic data exchange is an important process because all of these factors above need to be tracked in order to remain compliant with relevant trucking regulations. Drivers are only allowed to drive a certain number of hours before having a rest of a minimum duration. Fuel stops need to be accurately recorded so a company balance sheet is maintained.
Not only are these factors needed for regulations and for the health of trucking companies that need to track their progress, but commercial trucks telematics could prove vital if a large commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, which does happen often. When such a circumstance arises, the telematics data will become evidence to support arguments.
To put some perspective on this situation, CDLKnowledge.com published a report that focused on trucking accidents in the United States in 2015. According to that report:
- Approximately 415,000 large truck crashes occurred in the United States that year.
- More than 4,000 of those crashes were fatal.
- More than 87,000 of those accidents led to at least one injury.
- More than 340,000 collisions led to property damage.
- 60 percent of trucking accidents occurred in rural areas.
That comes to more than 1,100 trucking accidents every single day across the country, and that doesn’t even take into account those tire blowouts and other problems where the driver needs to contact the central operator for assistance. Yes, fleet vehicle tracking is important, as are fleet telematics, and this applies to the drivers, the trucking companies and the public at large.
Fleet Telematics and Public Safety
Speaking of the public at large, the final reason we’d like to discuss the extreme importance of telematics connectivity relates directly to public safety. Ambulances, police cars and firetrucks are all essential to our safety and in some cases, our survival. While there’s no national figure in terms of how many of these vehicles are on the road today in the United States, estimates indicate that there are nearly one million emergency response vehicles ready to help with problems that arise.
Everyone seems to understand that seconds matter in these emergencies, and every second cellular connectivity is lost could be the difference between saving a life or not. This is not meant to be dramatic, but it’s simply the reality of the situation and why fleet telematics is so important. Just think of a few “typical” situations these vehicles encounter below:
- Ambulance – An ambulance will need to report to its hospital that it’s coming with a patient or patients, their conditions, their injuries or illnesses and when they should arrive so the medical staff can be prepared to admit them.
- Firetruck – A fire engine will need fleet telematics to communicate with the station so it can call for backup, report any injuries suffered by the response team, call for medical help or call for police help.
- Police vehicle – A police vehicle may need to call for backup, call ahead to report that it’s coming in with a suspect, or report that a situation is under control before more officers are sent to a scene.
Each of these situations are dangerous, and each simply has to involve dependable communication.
Fleet Solutions For Reliable Cellular Connectivity
We offer a full line of products designed for fleet vehicles, and we have long been known as an organization that helps people remain connected, even in the most remote areas. Staying connected with a fleet cell phone signal booster helps fleet managers effectively utilize fleet telematics to manage their fleet and ensure driver safety while on the road.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can rest easier with the knowledge that your fleet vehicle tracking will be sound, that your fleet telematics will be dependable and that you’ll be doing the most you can to promote safety and compliance by way of communication, take a look at our fleet vehicle booster solutions or email us at [email protected] for more information.
We’ll be happy to walk you through the process of finding the best fit for your needs, and we’re ready to assist you at any time.