Fuel Conservation, Reduced Payroll Costs, and Theft Prevention

Fuel Conservation, Reduced Payroll Costs, and Theft Prevention.

How are those for items of interest in your business?  Are you getting enough of any of them to suit you?  here’s an interesting article from one of my former competitors that might be of interest to any businessman or government leader ought to be interested in:

Advantages of GPS-base Fleet Tracking Software

…. advantages of fleet tracking software include fuel conservation, staff management, theft prevention, employee monitoring, and improved response times. “Fleet tracking software provides an all-in-one solution to many very common and costly business management issues,” …
… Fleet tracking software works in conjunction with GPS tracking devices …

… One of the most frequently touted benefits of fleet tracking software is that of fuel conservation due to the fact that dispatchers can easily determine the fastest and most efficient route for any driver…

.. protecting their assets. In the event of theft, ….

… valuable information on the misuse of staff hours by logging the frequency of duration of any stops along the employees’ routes of travel. “Fleet tracking software is the easiest and most reliable way to determine which parts of your business are not operating efficiently… full article on the benefits of fleet tracking software.

I’ve also written about this many times in the past, as well.

But It Costs Too Much

That’s a very frequent objection raised by management, from the smallest companies to large government agencies.  But actually, it’s a very backward and wrong assumption.

Systems like this actually cost your business nothing … that’s right,. nothing, as typical return on investment (ROI) periods happen in less than a year, and they will save you a lot for years to come.

Instead of A Money Pit, Each Vehicle Becomes a Profit Center

Fuel Conservation Reduced Payroll Costs and Theft PreventionI’ve been in this business for years now and one thing I have always found, no matter what the sixe client’s fleet had been or what the fleet’s “mission” is.

GPS tracking does not cost, it pays.

So what are you waiting for?  I’d love to hear some reasons why you aren’t getting better Fuel Conservation, Reduced Payroll Costs, and Theft Prevention.

GPS Tracking Watches the Watchers

This is actually a republication of a story I wrote several years ago … but the very same issues are going on all across America today.

Public agencies refuse to embrace the benefits of GPS Tracking in saving costs and improving service. And sadly, some public service employees, even when they know GPS Fleet Tracking is watching them, refuse to do their jobs.

Police investigate each other
GPS monitoring results in five suspensions, 13 reprimands

 By Michael D. Mullins
Reporter Staff Writer

After a 14-month investigation led by Hoboken’s internal affairs unit, 13 of the city’s 25 police officers who were assigned to a 12-to-8 a.m. shift were found not to have been patrolling their beats at certain times, and given suspensions recently. Since 2005, Internal Affairs has used Global Positioning System (GPS) in patrol cars to track how often each car moves during a shift. The GPS devices were public knowledge throughout the department, according to Hoboken Police Chief Dr. Carmen LaBruno.
Rather than patrolling the streets of their assigned area, certain cruisers remained idle for unnecessarily long periods of time, LaBruno said.
Of the 13 officers disciplined, five received a three-day suspension and an additional five-day work period without pay. Another five officers were ordered to work without pay for a period of one to three days. Also, three sergeants were issued written reprimands for their lack of supervision. … Full Article Here:

Hoboken, New Jersey.    

A lovely little town on the Hudson River shore of New Jersey.  If you turn right on any exit ramp when you exit the Holland Tunnel you’ll drive right into Hoboken … you’ll know it by the signs that say “Birthplace of Baseball and Frank Sinatra. 

Are There Chicken Coops in Hoboken?

One thing Hoboken isn’t the birthplace of is “Cooping”.  No relation to chickens.

“Cooping” is old police slang for finding a place to hole up when you’re on patrol and catching some Zzzzz’s. 

New Jersey is a state (properly, in my view as a native) where crookedness abounds. 

Of all the counties in New Jersey, Hoboken’s county, Hudson, has perhaps the worst reputation … think it is just by chance that Tony Soprano’s pork store was on Kearny Avenue in Hudson County?

I’m No Cop But I’ve Seen It For Myself

Years ago I used to ride frequently with a police officer in another burg, smaller than Hoboken, in another county nearby, a county that prided itself on being less crooked than Hudson. 

You couldn’t, however, prove it by their boys in blue.

The force was tiny.  There was typically only one officer per shift driving the one and only patrol car. 

The chief set a performance standard that each shift was to do a minimum of 100 miles of patrol per shift. 

So each officer took great pains to write down his car mileage at the beginning and end of each shift, turning in 100 or more miles driven in his daily report.

Does 100 Miles On The Log ActuallyMeans 100 Miles Driven?

The first time I rode … illegally, but who cared … with my friend on the department, I read off the speedometer to him but then noticed he had written the miles down about 50 short. 

When I brought it to his attention he explained cooping … and how it was the duty of each man on day or evening shift to log about 50 miles less than actually were driven on their shift … so that the mid shift patrolman would have 100 miles already in the book as soon as he came on duty. 

Happy Chief, Happy Officers. Town Citizens?  Maybe Not So Much

The chief was happy … he had folders and folders of reports that “proved” his men were doing 100 miles per shift. 

The patrolmen were happy … they all took their turn on mid-shift and always enjoyed being able to pull into an alley somewhere and snooze for most of their shift. 

My officer friend and I were happy as we drove to a restaurant for dinner break miles and miles away from the town, strictly to rack up extra miles on the patrol car … all at taxpayer’s expense.

But That Was Years Ago

So that was years ago, and this is now.  Check the cited Hoboken story out, it’s a hoot.

  • The police chief puts GPS tracking units on the patrol fleet.
  • The patrolmen know the trackers are there.
  • The patrolmen just go right on with “cooping” as if challenging management to actually manage.

Note:  “Cooping” isn’t used in the article but the chief makes it plain the times were much longer than simple coffee/meal breaks .. can you say: Zzzzzzzzzzzzz, boys and girls?  Thought ya could.

  • A captain (how much more did she get paid than a regular patrolman?) refused to go on patrol and let GPS document her refusal  … she knew it was there but didn’t give a crap.
  • The sergeants (who get paid extra for what?  Supervising patrolmen?)  Didn’t bother to supervise.
  • The police chief did his job, and now the whining starts.

What You Expect Me To Do My Job?  Just Becuase You Pay Me To?

About the only really predictable item is the PBA trying to condone their member’s malfeasance when presented with proof of it. 

I happen to be a strong union supporter.  But there are two big unions in this country that ought to be abolished … the NEA and the PBA. 

Both of them love to excuse their few incompetent members doing wrong … and that’s not what a union is for.

Hail To The Chief

Anyway, hat’s off to Chief La Bruno. 

And don’t get too busy laughing at either cops or Jerseyans. 

Your employees are doing the same thing with your vehicles … I can virtually guarantee it.

Back in the day when I sold GPS tracking systems, I found similar employee antics in 100% of the organizations I supply trackers too … so look in the mirror before you laugh.

To Manage You Must Measure

You can NOT manage what you can’t measure, and GPS Tracking will measure performance for you and easily pay for itself while doing so.

GPS Yourself For Fun, Profit and the World

Here’s a great article from CleanTechnica (recommended) that points up an issue I have been talking about for years now:  GPS tracking and GPS mapping isn’t “just for the other guy”.  You can make your own ROI.

When we mention GPS tracking most people think of three major areas:

  1. Tracking commercial fleets for safety and savings
  2. Tracking public transpo like buses and taxis for public convenience and compliance
  3. Tracking prisoners/paroled offenders to save corrections costs and make the pubic safer.

But driving to work?  How lame is that, of course each one of us knows best about how to drive ourselves, right?

Well, perhaps not so.  Read this article and think to yourself, “How is it that even though I know I one of the world’s best drivers, I somehow know traffic conditions on streets I can’t even see”?

Talent is one thing, Reliable clairvoyance is something else yet again.

NAVTEQ Announces Use of GPS Can Reduce Emissions by 21%

Written by Beth Graddon-Hodgson
Published on September 8th, 2009

GPS Traffic Navigation

Many commuters have GPS installed in their cars, or have purchased portable devices to try to get them where they’re going. A recent study by NAVTEQ, a data provider for navigation systems has demonstrated that using a GPS device can not only save drivers time spent in traffic, it can also reduce emissions from vehicles by up to 21%. … there’s a lot more in the article on the value of personal GPS tracking and the study it references.  Recommended.

Two nights ago I watched a show on the National Geographic channel about commercial logging.  Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit I watched due to the “boys with big yellow toys” syndrome … it was really interesting to watch these guys showing off the high tech world that logging has become.

But a big part of the “profit puzzle” in that business is moving the raw cut logs to the proper mill at the proper time.  Mileage and routing is a huge factor in determining if each day’s work made a profit or a loss.  (no wonderment there from the fleet managers of the world or independent owner operators reading this, now is there?)

When issues came up about discrepancies between what a certain mill was paying for mileage allowance and the mileage delivery drivers were recording, the transportation manager/truck fleet owner called the drivers over for an impromptu meeting and outlined the routs available and the routing her wanted the drivers to use … with a stick, scratching in the mud. Millions in technology for cutting, trimming and loading the logs.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars for each truck trailer rig to haul the timer, thousands of dollars per load, making the difference between profit and loss on each individual day … and these guys managed their mileage with a stick in the mud?

Why, oh why, are so many otherwise smart business people such CPS Luddites?  If you want to work your way out of this recession (and you had better work your own way out, government handouts can’t do it all), then start putting cheap, effective and PROFITABLE GPS tracking to work for you and throw away the stick you have been scratching out your business with.

Making Money Online by America’s Unions

I make it a practice never to delve very much into politics here on retired Pay the blog primarily for Seniors and Retirees Making Money Online.  And I am not going to break that rule today.  But I am going to give a brief shoutout to something that always seems to be very political in nature, America’s labor unions.

Some of you out there are currently union members or retired on union-backed pensions so I don’t need to fear too many brickbats from your direction.

Others are like me, I was only a union member for a short time in one job that I held and have not had too much dealings with unions, pro or con during my career.

Others are rabid anti-union advocates, blaming all manner of ills from the Wall Street business failures to the exporting of jobs overseas to the Civil War on trade unions.

Well this isn’t an open call for a debate, I’m not going to change anyone’s views in one blog post, surely, and I wouldn’t want to anyway.

But I will say that I recognize how many of the benefits I enjoyed while I was working and those that I continue to enjoy now as the fruits of the labor movement.  Even those of you in non-union jobs should give a moment to contemplate where your work hours, your annual paid vacations, merit promotion systems, maternity leave, EEOC office and so many other benefits we take for granted as Americans came from.  They were all founded in the work, dedication and sacrifice of union members and they have now become so much the norm that few even realize that fact.

Continue reading “Making Money Online by America’s Unions”

Immediate Danger Averted, But Fuzzy Frequency Thinking Abounds

Avweb Comes through with the best update I have seen on the GPS/LightSquared mess … Thanks, Guys:

LightSquared Update

GPS Tracking ROI

Recent tests have shown that LightSquared’s proposed grid of 40,000 wireless network ground stations could interfere with GPS signals, and now the FCC has granted LightSquared a two-week extension to file a report on its position. LightSquared’s report was originally due Wednesday, the same day the FCC granted the extension.

LightSquared spokesman Jim Carlisle said Tuesday that the company underestimated the number of tests that would be necessary to show the network should be allowed. In a letter to the FCC, Carlisle wrote that additional testing "was necessary to permit a proper evaluation of various mitigation options for addressing the GPS receiver overload issue." And that producing a report is really hard.

"Producing a final report is a massive undertaking," Carlisle wrote, citing the multitude of factors involved in the process. The FCC responded by granting the company a new deadline of July 1.

In response to the FCC’s decision, co-founder of the Coalition to Save our GPS and Vice President of Trimble Jim Kirkland described his understanding of the process, so far, saying, it’s "been a combination of really really bad ideas and slightly less bad ideas."

According to Kirkland, too much of the burden of proof has been placed on the companies that could be most affected by LightSquared’s network. Said Kirkland, "The FCC should let the private industry return to work and stop squandering resources to solve an unsolvable problem."

This is typical of a money-hungry hedge-fund investor driven company like LightSquared as opposed to a technically-driven company who might have come up with a better, less rapacious of the public’s spectrum.

It doesn’t even take a high school level understanding of the frequency spectrum and the power budget LightSquared is proposing to use to understand that it is impossible for their ill-conceived, duplicative frequency grab to co-exists with our essential public utility, the GPS.

Most indicative of their lack of familiarity with the water they are swimming in is their last-minute failire to dleiver their required report.

Their spokesman now say, “… it’s a massive undertaking …”.  Well, as my Training Instructor down at Lackland AFB, 45 years ago, TSgt Clarence D. Marshall would have been happy to tell Mr. Carlisle, “Well, aw no shit, troop”!

Mr Carlisle may be a very well educated man, indeed (I believe he’s a lawyer by degree), but his concept of how business is done with  the FCC seems pretty flawed, especially since he used to work for the FCC, approving claims against the public’s spectrum like LightSquared’s.  (Hmm, you don’t think they hired him from the FCC to get benefit of his insider knowledge, now do you?  No, I’m sure that wasn’t the case ….)

Anyway,they have two weeks to prepare the report on how they are going to make the square peg fit into the round hole … I for one will be anxiously awaiting the excuses that will be offered up come  July 1.

GPS Tracking — Jobs, Yes There Are GPS Jobs!

GPS World Career Locator Announcement to All Job Seekers


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Best of Luck in Your Job Search!
GPS World Career Locator

As I’ve Said, You Have Much More To Worry About Than GPS Tracking Privacy

I can’t count how many times I have written about this issue in the past, here and on other online forums.

Because this site is mainly about GPS tracking I get a lot of visitors who are highly polarized … for or against the government being able to track citizen’s positions and past movements via cell-phone based GPS or discrete GPS systems that might be in use by the subject of an investigation.

But folks, if you are deeply concerned about privacy and personal freedoms, you better shift the focus of your campaign away from the GPS system and start looking at the original big picture.

We could shut off the GPS in the interest of privacy today and government agencies would still be able to snoop and record tremendous amounts of data on anyone who even turns on their cell phone.

You don’t have to actually use the cell phone, and your cell phone does not need to be equipped with GPS.  “Big Brother” still knows and now he has even more authority to snoop and keep snooping … GPS or no GPS.

Court OKs Warrantless Cell-Site Tracking

A federal appeals court said Tuesday the government may obtain cell-site information that mobile phone carriers retain on their customers without a probable-cause warrant under the Fourth Amendment.

The decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (.pdf) was not, however, an outright Obama administration victory. Lower courts, the three-judge panel wrote, could demand the government show probable cause — the warrant standard — before requiring carriers to release such data to the feds.

The opinion does leaves the privacy issue in a legal limbo of sorts. The standard by which the government can access such records — which can be used in criminal prosecutions — is left to the whims of district court judges. Historical cell-site location information, which carriers usually retain for about 18 months, identifies the cell tower to which the customer was connected at the beginning of a call and at the end of the call.

Lower courts across the country have issued conflicting rulings on the topic and will continue to do so without appellate guidance or congressional action. The Philadelphia-based court was the first appeals court to address the issue.

The Obama administration argued a judge could force a carrier to produce cell-site data on a showing that the information was “relevant and material” to an investigation.

Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/cell-site-data/

GPS Tracking, Science and Insurance

I was really happy to read this release a few days ago highlighting yet another success of my old friends at Geotab.  I used to be a dealer of Geotab products and I am still convinced they offer some of the best business-oriented GPS solutions in the world.

ISO Equips Fleet with Devices to Develop Analytic Methods for Auto Insurance

ISO has announced that it will equip more than 600 ISO company vehicles with telematics devices to monitor and record data about driving behavior. Information will include Global Positioning System (GPS) and On-Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) data for vehicle information and 3-axis accelerometer data for driving maneuvers. Telematics data can provide predictive value to insurers through various methods. The project will help ISO, through its Applied Informatix until, to assess the methods needed to leverage this new source of data for analytics to predict loss and streamline rating, underwriting, and claims workflows.

ISO Headquarters building According to Steven C. Craig, general manager of Applied Informatix and A-PLUS, “ISO is undertaking this effort as part of its pioneering study to assess the predictability of telematics data for rating, underwriting, and claims purposes. Using the ISO fleet as a source of telematics data will provide our analytics staff an invaluable test bed for product development and telematics data troubleshooting.”

ISO created the Applied Informatix business unit to gather and analyze telematics data from devices installed in private passenger and commercial vehicles. The unit also plans to mitigate the obstacles currently experienced by insurers who wish to collect and use driving behavior data to create differentiated auto insurance products.

“By equipping the ISO fleet, we will gain firsthand knowledge of all aspects of such a program from installation, activation, data collection, and processing to linkage of claims and policy data,” said Craig.

ISO is working with Geotab, Inc., to equip the ISO fleet with Geotab’s small but powerful plug-and-play GO5 telematics device. GO5 offers state-of-the-art technology and Geotab’s patented tracking algorithm, which accurately recreates vehicle trips and incidents.

In addition to contributing to the ongoing Applied Informatix telematics study, ISO expects to reap other benefits, according to Craig. “We want to use the technology to help our risk management program increase fleet safety and efficiency, thereby reducing costs while supporting ISO’s green initiatives.”

To support the telematics initiative in the insurance industry, ISO has joined the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA) as a board member. CVTA is a nonprofit business league established to facilitate the interaction and advance the interests of the entities involved in the vehicle communication environment….

I’ve been in this GPS Tracking for Business market space for some years now, and I’ve always been conscious that one of the big players in the field has been lagging behind … the transportation insurance segment of the market.

This is a very important first step in getting the insurance industry “on the same page” as many business owners and fleet managers already read from.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure”, and likewise, you can’t give the best price(and reap the most profit) from insurance programs unless you really know who and what you are writing coverage for.

Hang up And Drive!

Here’s a recent entry in Rosalind Gardner’s Net Profits Today blog that at first glance doesn’t seem to be GPS-related but it’s just so important that I have to take the time to address the issue.  Now, listen up … Rosalind is a guru of what we web weenies call "Affiliate Marketing, but the link I furnished is no affiliate link and I’m not selling anything here … except the idea of trying to keep a few of you, or your teenagers alive.

New California Cell Phone Law Misses the Mark

How would you feel if the air traffic controller responsible for your flight was having a heated argument with his wife on the phone at the same time he was supposed to be safely separating your flight from others? You might start looking for that parachute, right?…

Like Ros, I’m very grateful that the "Gubernator" is paying some attention to the driving while phoning issue.  Also, like Ros, I’m very concerned that this isn’t enough.  There are many studies out there using driving simulators that prove that driving and cell phoning don’t mix.  using a hands-free phone is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t really the answer.  No matter how good a driver you are (or think you are) your driving performance deteriorates measurably when yakking while driving.

Don’t bother, in my opinion, to buy a Bluetooth headset or any of the other hands-free solutions, just turn the dang thing off while you are on the road and I am depending upon your superior driving skills to keep us apart when I make a driving error.  In Japan all cell phones are required to have a one-key ‘drive’ button that puts the phone into a voice mail mode with the outbound message, "I’m driving, please leave a message".  Driving is too complex and demanding a task, and the call you will have to delay receiving or making until you stop driving is just not that Earth shaking.

Ros uses the example of air traffic control as her illustration of the importance of paying attention to the task at hand.  Very understandable since she used to be an active air traffic controller.  Let me furnish a couple other examples as to why I feel this strongly on the subject.

Ever hear the term "sterile cockpit"?  No, it doesn’t mean disinfecting airliner cockpits with Pine Sol after each crew leaves.  It refers to a generally accepted regulation that requires airline crews to stop talking about their latest union meeting, how many days off they were getting next month or the new flight attendant’s legs when they are below 10,000 feet … in other words, getting close to the ground, or on the ground.  The reasoning behind this rule is unarguable.  A surprising number of fatal crashes have happened while the flight crew was yakking away on some non-flight related item.  It isn’t hard to conduct a conversation and it isn’t hard to actually control an aircraft in normal flight.  But the human mind will switch focus as it will … and if it switches focus to the wrong one of two relatively simple tasks at the wrong point in time … Wham!

I found this accident report interesting as well.  cell phones aren’t only deadly in high speed vehicles.  Many of today’s freight railroads today operate in a mode similar to air traffic control.  A freight train is "cleared" by the dispatcher for exclusive use of  a section of single track from point A to point B.  At point B the train has to stop unless it has been granted further clearance.  Many times the train is operating at a speed far less than you would be driving your car, and a train engineer has nothing to do except adjust speed … the rails steer the train … you could do it with your eyes closed almost.  Certainly a cell phone wouldn’t be dangerous in a railroad locomotive cab, would it?  Well read the whole report here or if you don’t think accident reports are a fascinating source of information as I do, here’s what matters:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the May 28, 2002, collision at Clarendon, Texas, was (1) the coal train engineer’s use of a cell phone during the time he should have been attending to (business)

To wrap things up and prove I haven’t just ignored GPS … those handy dashboard GPS navigators are no less intrusive than cell phones.  I love GPS, I’ve been around the technology since it was new, I even make a living with it, but please, don’t play with your GPS and don’t yak on your cell when you are driving.  Driving is more demanding than you think, and the stakes are much higher than many seem to realize.  (besides you look like a total a-hole to other drivers when you are yakking)