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Measuring fleet productivity and managing downtime

Measuring fleet productivity can save your business money in difficult times.

Tracking fleet productivity is a top concern for many businesses, especially when labor is one of their most significant costs. Improving productivity will help you provide optimal service to your customers, which is important now more than ever. Telematics technology gives fleet managers accurate and detailed visibility over their vehicles, helping businesses allocate assets where they are needed most.

In this blog, we discuss several cost-control strategies using Geotab GO device data which can help boost productivity and vehicle uptime.

What is fleet productivity?

Maintaining 100% visibility over vehicle utilization and work assignments helps make sure that Hours Paid = Hours Worked as much as possible. Gaining just one hour of driver productivity per day, or even per week, adds up quickly.

Fleet productivity is the basic measure of employee work output. Creating a productivity score provides a way to objectively measure performance so you can identify successes and pinpoint where improvement is needed.

Keep in mind, it is not ideal to expect 100% productivity, especially when employees lack control over their own output, for example when they are dependent upon customer availability, or when they are impacted by adverse weather and traffic.

Productivity score formula

(Total Hours Worked) / (Shift Hours less Lunch, Breaks or Meetings, Downtime like traffic) = Productivity Score

For example:

(Drive time = 5 hours + Office time = 1 hour) / (8 hour shift - 1 hour lunch and breaks)

(5+1) / (8-1) = 86% Productivity score

You can adjust this formula as needed depending on the structure of your business.

Managing downtime

How would one additional job per day or week impact your fleet’s profitability? You can find out with telematics.

There are several Geotab reports available that can be used to track and measure driver productivity:

1. Trips Summary Report

This report measures mileage, driving time, idling time and zone type duration by vehicle, over a given time period. The Trips Summary Report can be used with customer visits to see if drivers are utilizing their day to the fullest.

2. Customer Visits Report

This Customer Visits Report measures zone activity by vehicle, displaying time of arrival/departure and the duration spent in a zone.

For businesses seeing increased activity because of recent events, this report can be used to flag new locations and track which customers you are still able to visit, and not visit. For businesses facing loss of revenue, this report can help determine which customers are able to maintain a relationship, so that they can be paid extra attention.

3. Time Card Report

This report measures first and last ignition of the day, driving time, idling duration, location of the last ignition, and zone type. These measurements can be used to see whether breaks or lunches are being extended, or whether an excessive amount of unauthorized stops are occurring.

4. Trips History Report

This report shows you the breadcrumb trail of your vehicles to help understand day-to-day activities.

Custom rules can also be created with the help of Geotab Customer Success Specialists.

Managing idling

If you’re looking at ways to improve productivity, idling is another area to look at. While not all idling is avoidable, for example in heavy traffic, there are many instances where it can and should be minimized. For an explanation of true idling versus operational idling, see this article. Excessive idling not only wastes fuel, but also time — idling vehicles are not making deliveries or driving to their next work location. Idling can also put extra load and engine hours on your fleet, increasing the number of oil changes and other maintenance tasks required. While the GO device automatically monitors idling within each trip (no setup required), customizable reports and rules make tracking idling easy. Here are the most effective reports for identifying and curbing idling: 1. Highest Idling Duration

See the percentages of engine time spent idling versus driving, per driver, per day. The results of this report can be used to determine which drivers need further training.

2. Daily Idling Cost Trend

The Daily Idling Cost Trend report provides a rolling, seven-day view of your fleet’s total cost of idling, which can be refreshed daily. You can use this report to spot trends during certain days of the week, which may correlate to specific work assignments or job sites, allowing you to make adjustments for the following week.

3. Last 3 Months Idling Trends Report

This report displays the total fuel spent while idling across the entire fleet. You can use this report to assess whether or not your efforts to reduce idling have been successful. Trend reporting tools can also be used in areas like asset utilization.

You can download the Last 3 Months Idling Trend from the Geotab Marketplace. View report.

4. The Idle Cost (previous 30 days)

The Idle Cost report provides a 30-day rolling view of the fleet’s total cost of Idling. While managing productivity is key, seeing the whole cost of idling over 30 days is impactful as well.


Your telematics system can be used to measure and understand the productivity of your fleet. Confirm drivers’ time is being used effectively with a productivity score and run reports regularly. Idling reports are also useful for finding vehicles that aren’t contributing to productivity and need further management.


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