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Best Fleet Management Software- 2018 Comparison

August 22, 2018

11:10 am

Finding the best fleet management software is a daunting task. Not only are there dozens of options, but each one comes with a ton of different features, hardware accessories, and its own website touting its benefits.

In the end, most fleet managers are looking for the same traits. They need a reliable system for dispatching drivers, tracking each vehicle’s fuel use and location in real time, and logging  the hours of service needed in order to comply with the ELD mandate.

Of course, choosing an FMS with additional features, a responsive customer support team and a cost-effective subscription fee can all have a big impact on your fleet operation’s bottom line.

So how best can you compare all the options and prices available in order to find out which one’s right for you? The good news is that you don’t have to. We’ve done the research for you, and this article will sum up the best FMS companies available in 2018.

Verizon Connect

What They Sell

verizon connect fleet management software

At the top of the list is Verizon Connect, which offers an FMS packed with as many features as any manager will need, wrapped up in a user-friendly interface that won’t require a learning curve. Three different telemetrics platforms (Verizon Networkfleet, Fleetmatics and Telogis) merged to create this company, giving them plenty of experience and making them the largest company on this list, with offices around the globe. Their FMS combines a central dashboard software with in-vehicle tracking hardware.

What It Does Best

Verizon Connect hits the trifecta for a high-quality FMS: They offer strong customer service (covering more than 122,000 customer distress calls in 2017 alone), their product is easy to use, and it offers a large variety of features. Top benefits include fuel efficiency, increased productivity, engine diagnostics, safety alerts, and IFTA, DVIR, and ELD compliance.

Want more images and details? You can read our full Verizon Connect review here.

Samsara

What They Sell

samsara fleet management software

Established in 2015, Samsara serves wireless software solutions to a broad variety of industrial vehicles, from school buses to refrigerated units.

In addition to the fleet manager software, the FMS includes plug-and-play tracking units on a one-year warranty.

What It Does Best

Their FMS covers most core features (driver safety, fuel tracking, routing and dispatch, asset tracking) and it benefits from a simple installation process paired with strong support and training options. The interface is simple and compact: Once logged into the software, a fleet manager will see a dashboard displaying a map of all the fleet vehicles in real time, with a left-hand list of vehicle diagnostics covering data such as engine speed, fuel rate or ambient air temperature.

Samsara’s prices are average, and the ease of use is a big draw. You can read our full Samsara review here.

Teletrac Navman

What They Sell

teletrac navman fleet management software

This company, after a merger between Teletrac, Inc./Navman Wireless, is one of the largest FMS vendors in the world, known for their cloud-based GPS fleet tracking software product, “Director.” Paired with hardware units inside the fleet’s vehicles, Director’s central dashboard displays each vehicle’s location and status in real time. Service coverage extends to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

What It Does Best

Director is a great choice for cost-efficiency: It offers a comprehensive array of core features that should satisfy the large majority of commercial fleet operators, but at a price below the industry average. Features include GPS fleet tracking, two-way messaging, safety alerts, ELD compliance, and vehicle diagnostics covering fuel use, idling times, and drive goal tracking.

For more details, read our full Teletrac Navman review.

US Fleet Tracking

What They Sell

UST fleet management software

US Fleet Tracking sells GPS trackers, not a traditional fleet management system. As a result, they’re not as comprehensive as the FMSs we’ve described earlier in this comparison article.  However, they offer more features than the standard GPS tracking system and are a serious contender as an alternative option. Their products are used in 150 countries internationally.

What It Does Best

US Fleet Tracking’s raft of GPS solutions all boast one big selling point: fleet data and alerts that update live every 5 or 10 seconds, depending on the service package. Fleet managers can rest assured that they know where every asset is at all times, not just after the fact.

Features include historical playback (letting managers review fleet movements for up to 90 days in the past), limited dispatch functionality, one-way messaging, ELD compliance and email or text alerts for routing, geofencing, and driving incidents.

For more information and our recommendation on a stand-out GPS tracker, check out the full US Fleet Tracking review.

Fleetio

What They Sell

Fleetio fleet management software

Unlike every other FMS on this list, Fleetio only offers software solutions, with no hardware component, although you can integrate a GPS tracker from one of their telematics partners if you wish.

In terms of products, Fleetio keeps it simple, with just one GPS tracking system, “Drive,” and one FMS, “Manage,” both of which are updated frequently.

What It Does Best

Fleetio’s interface is sleek, intuitive, and mobile-friendly, and its online customer support and training options are comprehensive. Drivers can communicate with operators and can track their on-duty hours with free mobile apps from Fleetio. Features include trip tracking and history, geofencing, asset management, parts and inventory options, and manual fuel tracking.

Granted, some functionality is limited — noteably, Fleetio is not ELD compatible, though Manage can be integrated with certain third-party ELD devices. However, what Fleetio does, it does well. Fleet managers without extensive needs will enjoy the price tag that comes with Fleetio’s service plans.

For more information, you can read our full Fleetio review here.

Fleet Management Software FAQs

What’s the difference between GPS tracking and Fleet Management?

GPS tracking services primarily track the locations of the vehicles in a fleet, while fleet management software offers an array of features, usually including ELD compliance, with the main goal of giving a fleet manager as much knowledge and power to run their business as possible.

In other words, GPS tracking is a subset of fleet management. Any FMS should be able to track vehicle location.

What’s an ELD and are Fleet Management Systems ELD Compliant?

An ELD, or electronic logging device, is a device with which all U.S. commercial motor vehicle drivers must record their hours of service, as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

There are a few stipulations, for example organizations using non-ELD automatic on-board recording devices are being grandfathered in, and have until December 16, 2019 to switch to ELDs. You can read more about the guidelines and consequences for noncompliance over here.

Not all FMSs are ELD compliant, but following the recent requirement that all HOS must be recorded through ELDs, most fleet management software vendors have made sure their service offers the option. Still, you should make sure your FMS has ELD compliance covered before you commit to it.

How much do FMSs cost?

Costs vary. Basic FMS service plans will likely cost between $3-$25 per vehicle per month, while advanced FMS plans might cost $30-$50 per vehicle per month. Some factors that might affect your quotes include the size of your fleet, the features you require, and whether the vendor requires you to supply additional hardware — you might need to buy tablets for each of your drivers if the FMS vendor doesn’t supply them.

Additional cost-impacting choices include whether to license or own your hardware devices and whether to buy the cheaper plug-and-play devices or to spring for the hardwired units that must be installed. For more detail, check out this article exploring FMS costs, and fill out this quick form for a selection of custom quotes from the top fleet management software companies.

Properly used, an FMS should pay for itself, as fuel use, harsh driving incidents, and unneeded overtime can all be reduced more easily once they’re being tracked 24/7.

How many vehicles can I track with an FMS?

Fleets of 5 vehicles can benefit from an FMS as much as those with thousands of vehicles. Some fleet management software vendors can serve larger fleets than others though. If an FMS provider is equipped with a large enough team of developers and customer service specialists, it can serve fleets of thousands of vehicles. Each of Tech.Co’s fleet management software reviews outlines the fleet size that provider can cover.

What kinds of vehicles and assets can I track with an FMS?

An FMS is designed to track standard vehicles, like cars, vans and trucks, but some providers also offer additional asset tracking software for managers to track other kinds of valuables. These might be unmoving, such as warehouses or sensitive equipment, or might require additional data tracking, such as refrigerated units which must be kept below a certain temperature. Tech.Co offers price comparison services for both fleet management Software and asset tracking software. Make sure to ask what features might be available for your particular vehicles or assets when making an enquiry.

How do I get started with fleet management today?

You should start by gathering quotes from qualified FMS vendors. You can get free customized quotes from vendors like the ones on this list though TechCo’s quick and easy online form.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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