Best Telematics Companies: Top Picks for Fleet Management in 2024

best telematics companies

A great telematics company automatically tells you everything you want to know about your fleet. It tracks your vehicles, optimize their routes, monitor your drivers’ behavior, and reduces fuel consumption, just for starters. The problem is that the best telematics companies are hard to find in a world that has many dozens of them.

In this article, we’ll try to pick out a handful of the best telematics companies so you can hopefully see which one makes the most sense for you to use for your fleet, no matter how large or small it may be.

Snapshot Overview: Best-in-Class Telematics Providers

The short list below gives you what we think are the best telematics companies in five categories. If none of these designations relate to what you’re looking for specifically, there’s sure to be another company out there that does, and we encourage you to continue looking after you’ve examined these five.

  1. Best for Comprehensive Solutions: Geotab. Geotab stands out among the top fleet telematics companies. You get a vehicle database, SaaS-based offerings, and AI-driven intelligence capabilities. This makes Geotab a one-stop solution for fleet management and minimizing your fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Best for Businesses of Any Size: Verizon Connect. Though Verizon itself is a very large company, its Verizon Connect division is set to handle your fleet’s needs no matter how big or small your company is.
  3. Best for Identifying Trends: Trimble. What your drivers actually do can be seen as trends over time. Trimble helps you find good and bad trends so you can adjust as needed.
  4. Best for Organizing Dispatches: Samsara. Samsara lets you choose the optimal vehicle and route for your fleet’s jobs and calculate the predicted departure times according to traffic.
  5. Best for Customer Support: Zonar. With so much relatively new tech involved, there are going to be problems. Zonar has you covered when it comes to 24/7/365 support.

Note that, since most pricing is customized to your needs, we have not listed such information for any of the companies listed here.

Geotab: A Comprehensive Fleet Tracking Solution

With reports and charts, like “Driver Scorecard”, “Idle Time”, and Risk & Safety Reports”, you can effectively manage all the parts of your fleet’s business.

Specifications:

  • Driver tracking
  • Advanced fleet reporting
  • Routing and Dispatch
  • Asset tracking
  • Fuel management
  • Fleet maintenance
  • Fleet benchmarking
  • Driver safety reporting
  • Driver coaching
  • Electronic Logging Device (ELD) compliance
  • EV assessment
  • EV fleets

Pros:

  • Boosts productivity through driver tracking, management, and training
  • Improves fuel efficiency as you monitor and optimize consumption via idling, overspeeding, and routing alerts
  • Prevents vehicle failures by identifying, scheduling, and prioritizing vehicle service and maintenance
  • Promotes safety with collision avoidance tools, safety alerts, dashboard reports, and dashcams
  • Achieves environmental sustainability targets and identifies areas for improvements
  • Ensures regulatory compliance

Cons:

  • Can take some effort to configure for your fleet

Verizon Connect: The All-Encompassing Fleet Manager

A professional illustration of a comprehensive fleet management platform with various integrated features

Verizon Connect (formerly Fleetmatics) probably does everything you’d want your telematics software to do, and it does it for businesses of any size, whether you have just a handful of vehicles or more than 500 of them. It seems they could stand some improvement especially in the customer service area though.

Specifications:

  • GPS fleet tracking
  • Fleet dashcams
  • Field service and scheduling
  • Compliance management
  • Performance reporting
  • Asset monitoring

Pros:

  • Fleet tracking includes trend analytics, integrated performance videos, hours of service, smart dispatching, route history, custom alerts, custom maps, asset search, fuel card, and smart maintenance
  • Fleet service and scheduling tells you about job management, technicians status, and proof of service. It also lets you send notifications to customers and receive their ratings and reviews
  • Integrates with accounting, compliance, supply chain, fuel management, and vehicle maintenance software

Cons:

  • Could use improvements in theft prevention
  • Poor customer service and issues that are constantly transferred instead of being resolved
  • Difficult, confusing, and inaccurate contracts
  • Bad management, incorrect installations, and the wrong parts being delivered

Trimble: Do I See a Trend Here?

Trimble (formerly TMT Software) works hard to show you patterns and trends that your fleet drivers create (whether they know it or not). Below is the short list of some of their products… of which there are dozens.

Specifications (products):

  • 4-Channel DVR
  • 2-Channel dash cam
  • Onboard Event Recording
  • Weigh station bypass
  • Remote vehicle diagnostics

Pros:

  • Optimizes your supply chain by giving weather updates, showing best routes, ETA, etc.
  • Reduces fuel cost by suggesting where to buy fuel and calculating the most effective route
  • Promotes vehicle and driver safety with alerts and notifications about crossing speed limits, meter information, diagnostic checks, and location tracking

Cons:

  • The system can be slow and will occasionally crash

Cons:

  • Does not offer traffic alerts or automatic route optimization

Samsara: Who Should Go Where and When

Samsara does what many of the other telematics companies do but with an emphasis on dispatching and routing. In fact, it handles this aspect of your fleet management better than most.

Specifications:

  • AI dashcams
  • Site View
  • EV assessment
  • Document accessibility
  • Messaging
  • Equipment monitoring
  • Trailer condition tracking
  • Advanced alerts

Pros:

  • Enhance driver safety by tracking unwanted behaviors
  • Streamline communication by sharing routes and turn-by-turn directions (in real time, if needed)
  • Ensure ELD compliance
  • Asset tracking
  • Remote access to fleet information
  • Minimize vehicle breakdowns with preventative maintenance tools

Cons:

  • We really couldn’t find anything to list here

Zonar: When You Need Help

As of this writing, Zonar is one of the smaller telematics companies out there, which may be why they can concentrate so much on customer service. If that’s what you need – perhaps because you’re just starting out and have a relatively small business yourself – then Zonar could be just what you’ve been looking for.

Specifications:

  • MobileCommand
  • Ground Traffic Control Maps
  • Zonar Coach
  • SightIQ
  • Enhanced Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM)

Pros:

  • Pre- and post-trip electronically verified inspections increase safety and reduce breakdowns
  • Offers ELD solutions, including simplified hours of service, so your drivers can avoid violations
  • Gives you better safety, efficiency, and on-time performance regardless of your asset class
  • Anti-tampering technology detects interference keeping your equipment safe
  • Encrypted data and a private VPN protect your privacy
  • Diagnoses remote engine and system metrics
  • Uses an “intelligent logging” algorithm to examine every aspect of your vehicle’s activity
  • Reduces your costs by optimizing navigation, driver hours, and fuel efficiency
  • Tracks your assets consistently and reliably
  • Captures driver activity and analyzes bad driving habits so you can eliminate them

Cons:

  • May be lacking in emergency management

Navigating the World of Telematics: Your Fleet Management Compass

The best telematics companies for fleets

Telematics and fleet management are very closely related in many situations, but they are not the same thing. Think of telematics as the raw data from which you can make charts, graphs, and reports that you use to determine what to do next with your fleet. It’s those decisions that are the fleet management part of your business.

A good telematics company can give you lots and lots of data points in many different areas related to your fleet – GPS location, vehicle speed, driving behaviors, and more. It can normally do this is real time or near real time.

A good telematics solution can give you real-time messaging, email, and other communication channels, to enhance your business operations. It can also analyze operating expenses, fuel costs, idle time, and driver efficiency (and more) that will lead to significant cost savings for your business.

There are several classes of telematics solutions you can choose from.

  • Hybrid solutions that combine both hardware and software
  • Application-specific telematics that are tailored for specific needs (like fleet management)
  • Hardware-free solutions that virtually eliminate your use of physical devices

Telematics is not currently mandated by law, but for commercial vehicles, you’ll find that there are regulations that push you toward using telematics for gathering data such as Hours of Service and the use of ELDs.

Verdict: The Best Telematics Companies For Your Fleet

Over the past several decades, telematics has really revolutionized fleet management. It provides you with valuable insights into the performance of your vehicles, your drivers’ behavior, and your overall operational efficiency. So, choosing the right telematics provider for your business is crucial to optimizing your fleet’s operations and maximizing profitability.

From comprehensive solutions like Geotab to more specialized providers like Zonar, each provider brings a unique set of features and benefits to your table. With the most suitable telematics solution, you can streamline your operations, reduce your costs, and ensure the safety and efficiency of your fleet.

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