A term that didn’t even exist a dozen years ago, telematics is the heart of successful fleet operations nowadays – all thanks to the speed of technology. This handy monitoring solution can increase your business’s productivity and profit, but the question is, how much does a telematics device cost?
You may be thinking that such modern technology will put a dent in your expenses budget, however, some services such as Ascent Fleet Services can give you all the important features along with 24/7 customer support for a great price per value.
Keep reading to find out more about telematics devices and how they’re priced.
What Are Telematics Devices?
Telematics itself is the process of sharing various information remotely. The telematics device is an information transmitting solution that’s used to securely send this data over large distances, which is usually between the vehicle and fleet manager.
What Is a Telematics System in a Car?
Most telematics devices are made up of two major parts. The first component is the device (the hardware), which is usually installed inside the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port, or somewhere else depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
The other part is the system or the software, which is usually known as the communication system and receives data from the fleet vehicles, so they’re located at the recipient end.
The recipient end varies according to the use of the telematics device. For instance, insurance companies might be the receiving end where they receive information about your driving habits.
On the other hand, telematics devices are also popular in the trucking industry because they greatly help fleet managers collect a wide range of valuable information about different vehicles of the fleet.
How Does a Telematic Device Work?
A telematics system in any vehicle is the device that transmits information about the vehicle and collective data about the driver’s behavior. In general, the telematics device provides software with a lot of metrics, such as:
- Fuel consumption
- Vehicle mileage and uptime
- Time spent idling
- Maintenance information
- The counts of hard braking and sharp cornering
- Hard acceleration and speeding in general, and more
The information transmitted by a device depends mainly on the type of device and software used.
As you can see, such a device is extremely valuable for truckers and fleet managers, whether you own a single van or a fleet of 100+ trucks!
With all this information in hand, you’ll be able to cut your spendings by minimizing fuel wasted and diagnose issues much quicker, which reduces time wasted in the maintenance center and increases the operation time on the road!
The Breakdown of Telematics System Costs
Now that you know what a telematics system is, it’s time to know how much it’ll cost you. First, you should know that telematics systems consist of various parts that you pay for.
Let’s have a brief breakdown of these costs, so you have a better idea about the budget needed for it.
One Time Fee for the Device
In the majority of cases, you’ll need to pay for the device (the hardware part) itself. This will usually cost a single fee that you just pay once.
The number of devices needed for your fleet depends on the number of vehicles you need to manage. Ideally, some companies will offer discounted prices for large quantities and huge fleets.
For each device installed in your vehicle, you should expect it to cost you anywhere between 80 to $250 depending on the type of the tracker.
Real-Time Monitoring vs. Predetermined Interval
Also, the price of the devices might fluctuate depending on various factors. The first one is the number of features you want your device to monitor, as some high-end devices might offer a wider range of metrics to record and transmit.
Additionally, some devices are smarter than the others, offering the ability to record and transmit information on a real-time basis.
This can be extremely valuable for fleet management. These devices are built with more advanced technologies, so they naturally cost more.
On the other hand, there are devices that will only transmit information within a predetermined interval, such as every 5 to 30 minutes. These devices will cost you much less but they won’t give you as much value either.
After getting the hardware trackers, you’ll need to acquire the telematics software, which you’ll be paying for on a monthly basis. The price for the monthly fees will vary from one system to the other.
However, if you focus on getting the cheapest possible monthly subscription, you might end up getting a poor system that won’t benefit your business, lowering your Return on Investment (ROI).
The price of the software might also vary depending on the variety of features you want in your system.
For instance, at Ascent Fleet Services, the Standard plan will cost you $25.95 per month for each vehicle.
This is ideal for a small to medium business with a fleet size of about 50 vehicles. This will grant you full customer support, various software features, and report modules.
If you have a larger fleet or want to enjoy the full array of features that Ascent Fleet Services offers, there will be a custom quote that usually depends on the size of your fleet.
Depending on the company you’re dealing with, there might be some additional costs before you get the systems up and running.
While these costs might not be necessarily hidden, they can be easily overlooked while you’re assessing your budget for the system. Here are some examples of these costs.
The installation costs might not be covered by the company you’re dealing with. While some devices are easy to install manually, the more complex ones might be a bit challenging and need a professional to install them.
You should also assess the costs of software cables and other related expenses while installing.
Another form of hidden costs that you might not notice until it’s too late is the across-roaming coverage. In most cases, the tracking device will be designed to work within the borders of your country.
However, in case your vehicles might operate across borders, you might be required to pay extra fees, depending on the company you’re dealing with and the distance you need to be covered.
Telematics devices installed in your vehicles come with a variety of features. One of these features is the GPS tracking system.
Through this system, you’ll be able to get the location of your vehicle, especially if the device is working in real-time.
Knowing the exact location of your fleet vehicles can be extremely beneficial. You can rely on this feature to get the drivers to stay on track, as they’ll know they’re being monitored.
Also, GPS tracking systems will help you if a vehicle is unfortunately stolen since you’ll be able to track its current destination and report the local authorities as soon as possible.
There you have it. A complete guide that shows you what Telematics devices are and breaks down their pricing systems.
As you can see, a telematics system can be an extremely handy solution that will help your business grow by monitoring your fleet closely.
However, the thing that’s more important than the price is that you get all the necessary features, so you can have a robust and reliable monitoring system for the truck drivers.
What makes Ascent Fleet Services special is that you’ll get all those must-have features as well as 24/7 customer support for an excellent price per value!