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GPS Fleet Tracking & Vehicle Life Factors

Argonne National Laboratories, part of the US Department of Energy, conducted a study on the aggregate effects of excessive engine idling and speeding as part of overall vehicle operational costs:

ENGINE IDLE EFFECTS: Running a vehicle at idle speed dramatically reduces engine life; 60 minutes of idling is equivalent to between 80 and 120 minutes of driving time. The resulting loss of fuel economy from excessive idling can add up to 800 gallons of fuel annually for the average truck. On average an idling vehicle burns between 1.6 and 2.4 gallons of gas. (Since 2002, we have helped our customers learn that their vehicles average between 1 to 2 hours PER DAY of unnecessary idling! That is 2 to 4 gallons of gas saved per day!)

ENGINE WEAR-AND-TEAR: Ideal driving speed for the average truck is 50-55 mph; the power required to increase speed multiplies dramatically:

  • 73% more horsepower to cruise at 60 mph
  • 159% more horsepower to cruise at 70 mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: Each mile per hour above 50 mph increases fuel consumption by one-and-one-half (1½) percent. A truck, which averages 8 mpg at 50 mph, will average 6.8 mpg at 60 mph.

EFFECT ON TIRES: Sustained speeds raise tire temperatures above the critical level, causing strength and wear properties to deteriorate rapidly. Tire wear will almost double at road speeds of 70 mph or greater.

MAINTENANCE COSTS: Gears, bearings, clutches, suspension and drive trains wear much faster at higher speeds. Increasing speed from 50 mph to 60 mph increases maintenance cost by 38%. Increasing the speed to 70 mph increases the cost by 80%.

ACCIDENT AVOIDANCE: Approximate stopping distances, factoring in the reaction time for the average person driving a 2-axle truck, are listed below:

50 mph - 275 feet (.92 football fields)
60 mph - 375 feet (1.25 football fields)
70 mph - 500 feet (1.67 football fields)

At 70 mph, stopping distance is 63% greater than at 50 mph. Even in daylight, higher speeds will significantly increase accident probabilities.

Measuring Fleet "Soft Costs" Can Save You Big Money!
GPS Fleet Management Gives You The Tools To Deal With Downtime and Driving Safety

"Soft costs are actually more significant than hard costs and addressing them can have a greater impact on the success of a fleet program, both directly and indirectly."

Jim Frank, President; Wheels, Inc.
2006 Fleet Manager of the Year Award Ceremon

Every business needs accurate and quantifiable data to make profitable decisions and long-term plans.  Measuring hard costs like fuel, vehicle purchases, equipment expenses, etc. is a well defined way fleet managers track their progress.  But identifying soft costs such as the bottom line impact of fleet downtime and driver safety is just as important!.

Downtime Is Critical

One of the most important responsibilities in fleet management is ensuring the dependability and productivity of a company's vehicles so that employees can effectively serve customers and produce revenue. Consequently, preventive vehicle maintenance is key. Lost business due to out-of-service vehicles can be a significant drain on your budget.


A company with a fleet of 20 vehicles can typically have one vehicle out of service for unscheduled repairs at least twice every month at an average cost of $750 a day (the cost may vary according to your industry). A simple 25% reduction in this unscheduled soft cost can result in an annual savings of nearly $5,000 based on the following formula:

$750 x 2 days =$1,500 per month
$1,500 x 12 months =
$18,000 per year

25% savings X $18,000 (year) =
per year

Fleet managers and drivers in companies both large or small have realized an average savings of nearly 25 percent in reduced downtime costs due to maintenance management programs using  GPS Fleet Management solutions.   No fleet maintenance program can afford to be without this technology.  Our solutions notify fleet managers of maintenance due issues at their earliest stage. It automatically notifies fleet owners of these issues via email so that efficient action can be taken before any serious problem arises.

Safe Driving Equals Serious Savings

Safe driving is a major factor in keeping your workforce protected and productive. But as Jim Frank, President of Wheels, Inc. explains, "Many fleet managers have a difficult time implementing effective safe driving programs, because the benefits are considered soft and unquantifiable."

Speeding by company drivers is a primary cause of accidents and corporate liability issues. Excessive speeds can lead to soft costs like vehicle downtime, driver absenteeism and legal liability as well as a serious expense in the form of wasted fuel. Monitoring and controlling driving speeds is something companies are powerless to do without a quality GPS system.

Industry estimates put the business costs of one fleet vehicle accident at between $6,000 and $12,000.  By tracking and controlling driver speeding behavior, a company can reduce accidents!





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