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Fleetcon: GPS is Not About ‘Big Brother,’ Fleet Managers Say

September 12, 2013

Rick Longobart, fleet, facilities, and central stores manager for the City of Santa Ana, Calif.
Rick Longobart, fleet, facilities, and central stores manager for the City of Santa Ana, Calif.

GPS units on public fleet vehicles are not about “big brother,” but about savings, fleet professionals said in a panel on “Fleet Manager Perspectives on GPS.” The panel took place at the 2013 fleetcon, presented by the Rocky Mountain Fleet Management Association (RMFMA) in Reno, Nev. Sept. 10-13. Norma Havens of Fleet Solutions, moderated the panel, which featured Brian Bass, who handles GPS coordination for the City of Los Angeles, and Rick Longobart, fleet, facilities, and central stores manager for the City of Santa Ana, Calif.

Bass explained that the goal of the GPS program at the City was to reduce operational and maintenance costs, reduce fuel consumption, and improve utilization and driver safety. The City’s Dept. of General Services currently has 200 of its 11,000 vehicles equipped with GPS. Bass said that not only did the City save significantly on fuel costs, it also was able to analyze field crew productivity, comparing idling time for different drivers and working on reducing that idling time.

Longbart said it’s important to come up with goals and objectives of implementing GPS, to figure out how to use it to the advantage of the public agency.

Following the panel, audience members joined in on the discussion, asking how fleet managers can reconcile the different data available from different systems such as a fuel system and telematics. Also discussed was how to deal with data overload. Panelists suggested fleets start with their most important key performance indicators first – focus on idling, for example, instead of data showing a driver has exited a geofenced area.

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