How IoT connectivity helps solve fleet management challenges

Learn how telematics service providers can help fleet managers overcome their challenges with IoT connectivity.
Maggie Murphy
April 25, 2022
Fleet of white delivery vehicles

Managing a fleet of hundreds, or thousands, of moving vehicles and other assets is stressful work. The management of these fleets — balancing costs, keeping drivers safe, and ensuring that they’re compliant — can result in time-consuming and frustrating tasks that don’t positively impact the bottom line. Thankfully, telematics service providers and their associated IoT devices can help fleet managers overcome the challenges they face in their jobs.

Let's look at some of the main frustrations that plague fleet managers, and how various IoT devices provide solutions that make the logistics and transportation industries more efficient.

What are the top 5 problems facing fleet operators?

Between managing countless people, keeping track of assets, and always monitoring costs, fleet managers have a lot of balls in the air. And no matter what type of fleet they manage — boats, delivery trucks, or a deployment of rental cars — all fleet managers tend to have the same five major challenges. Here, we go into each of these in more detail and explore the available solutions.

Prioritizing driver safety and risk reduction

Fleets lose an average of $60 billion a year due to driving accidents. Legal and medical expenses, damaged equipment, and drivers who are hurt can all result in unwelcome costs. To prevent this, fleet managers need to invest in safety training and technology.

The problem is that, though they consider safety and risk management a top priority, implementing all the latest safety tech can get expensive, especially when it means having multiple devices, and installing devices in lower-trim models. As a result, fleet managers often have to balance ensuring their fleet is safe with not overspending on technology.

One great solution to this challenge is to use fleet tracking tools that tackle multiple safety concerns simultaneously without requiring different devices that monitor individual tasks. For example, safety technology can report on things like speeding, harsh braking, or sharp turns. By monitoring these bad driving habits, and intervening using the actionable insights provided by the technology, fleet managers can prevent accidents and general wear and tear on vehicles. Ultimately, the cost of integrating fleet tracking solutions outweighs the cost of a fleet driving without this technology. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has even provided resources that fleet operators can use to help calculate the ROI of using advanced driver assistance systems.

Keeping up with fleet compliance requirements

All commercial vehicles in the US are subject to the regulations of the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT). The primary concern of DOT is maintaining safety. Within DOT, there are separate branches for each form of transportation — highways, railroads, harbors, airports, etc. — and fleets must comply with their corresponding branch. For instance, a fleet of trucks must be compliant with the FMCSA regulations. Maintaining compliance often involves inspections, following a maintenance program, and keeping records of vehicle incidents. Some regulatory bodies also require and enforce standards around fuel consumption, driver hours and downtime, and vehicle usage. Keeping track of all of these records can quickly become overwhelming, which is why having a telematics system that collects all of this data can be a huge time saver and prevent the fleet operator from having to pull it together when there’s an audit.

It is also paramount that fleet operators keep up with changes in legislation. For instance, recent legislation requires commercial vehicle operators to have a compliant Electronic Logging Device (ELD) in their vehicles. An ELD connects to the vehicle engine and records driving hours to ensure safety and compliance. But due to the 3G sunset, some ELDs and other telematics devices will lose connectivity and stop working. Without working ELD devices, the vehicle will no longer be compliant. Telematics service providers must take this into account and migrate their connectivity to 4G or one of the IoT-specific connectivity options. This way fleet operators won’t have to worry about ELD connectivity jeopardizing their fleet's compliance.

Recommended Reading: What’s the 3G sunset and how will it affect existing IoT deployments?

Preventing high fleetmaintenance costs

A vehicle breaking down can result in delivery delays, loss of productivity, and of course, costly repairs.

While the answer to this problem seems like a no-brainer — just keep on top of your maintenance schedule — it’s easier said than done, especially when trying to keep track of the maintenance for thousands of vehicles. These administrative tasks are time consuming, tax resources, and can be a headache for fleet operators.

Providing fleet managers with software that can automate the maintenance schedule and send alerts when a vehicle is due for maintenance can allow fleet managers to focus on more important tasks. With the help of IoT devices and AI technology, fleet operators can now also take advantage of predictive maintenance. IoT sensors on the vehicle can send data in real time about mechanical failures. Additionally, AI technology can analyze things like vehicle usage to accurately predict when it will need maintenance and prevent any potential downtime or costly repairs.

Making fleets more sustainable

It is no surprise that the fleet industry produces significant carbon emissions; for example, in 2019, 29% of greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation. Everyone wants that to decrease, including fleet managers and the government, but the reality is that becoming more sustainable is difficult to achieve. Alternative fuel vehicles are expensive, and they can be incredibly hard to justify using for a fleet manager who closely monitors costs. Yet, with governments worldwide creating more regulations around fleet sustainability and even pushing for clean air zones, fleet managers are finding more than ever that they need to implement sustainability practices.

Telematics devices can greatly reduce fuel consumption and the corresponding carbon emissions through route optimization, idling time monitoring, CO₂ emissions calculations, and more. This makes fleets more sustainable and compliant, but it also massively saves on fuel prices. These savings can offset the cost of implementing the technology.

Wading through too much data

Sometimes there is too much of a good thing, and that can be the case with all the data created by telematics devices. If the person interpreting the data doesn’t know how to utilize it, or if there is just too much data to sift through (which can be the case when you have thousands of vehicles constantly sending updated data), it can become more of a problem than a solution.

This is why it is important for fleet management software to provide tools to filter actionable data and insights. Using a dashboard to set up device alerts can also vastly improve the user experience for fleet managers. With the help of alerts, fleet operators only need to look at the data when an action is required.

Fleet management technologies that use IoT connectivity

Thankfully, there are a lot of exciting fleet management devices on the market that are using IoT connectivity to solve these fleet management pain points. Let’s look at some of the options out there for use cases across the industry.

Rental cars


RentalMatics has built a SaaS telematics-based operating system for fleet management and rental car companies that allow their staff to automate, visualize, and manage their operations. This telematics device relies on satellite positioning for fleet tracking, GSM for data transfer, and onboard accelerometers to capture any collisions a vehicle may have while it is being rented. This allows the fleet manager to fully own their operation and understand the events surrounding accidents while a car is rented.



Carsharing is a car rental model where users rent a car for a short period of time. This results in many different people using the vehicle and, as a result, a lot of unpredictability when it comes to maintenance. In order to provide car-sharing services, it is also beneficial to be able to control the locking and unlocking of a car remotely.

Teltonika allows the user to control the car’s central lock, windows, on/off turn lights, and trunk release. Also, they will be able to check the door, parking brake, and light status. Data that can be received in real time includes engine RPM, vehicle speed, and information about the current fuel level status from the dashboard. All of this allows the vehicle owner to spend less time meeting with the potential users and to better understand how the vehicle is being used.

Long-haul trucking


Motive, formally Keeptruckin, provides visibility into every aspect of fleet management, from safety and tracking to compliance and fuel costs. This full-service company provides video devices that can assess driver behavior, ELD installs, and so much more. This solution can assist with compliance, driver safety, and asset tracking.



Airplanes have some of the most stringent safety and regulatory requirements. This makes it imperative that the fleet management solution has robust maintenance tracking technology. Ramco does just that. Additionally, this aviation solution ensures global fleet tracking, records management, and status reporting for compliance requirements.



Smart railroad management uses a network of IoT-enabled devices and sensors to track and monitor equipment performance and environmental conditions in trains, rails, and connected equipment to improve operating efficiency, reduce delays, and ensure the safety of trains and cargo.

ZTR’s solution allows railroad operators to view and manage the health and performance of locomotives and other railway assets. Additionally, it offers asset tracking, so they always know where a train or railway asset is located. This can be a huge help in the prevention of downed railway lines and delayed shipments.


Intelligent Cargo Systems

Intelligent Cargo Systems created an AI-powered monitoring system for containerships that makes the loading and unloading process at ports more efficient. Through cellular connectivity they are able to monitor cargo operations directly from the ship and can give the shore-based team access to live forecasting of cargo completion times, helping the cargo ship to stay on schedule, reducing fuel costs and emissions. Not only does this technology help make cargo ships more sustainable and efficient, but it also saves shipping companies thousands of dollars.

IoT Is the key to solving fleet manager concerns, and Hologram can help

Fleet management devices are critical to solving the pain points experienced by fleet operators. And choosing the right connectivity option for any connected devices can make a big difference in their satisfaction. Hologram's SIM card offers seamless, global coverage for IoT devices with access to 2G/3G/4G/LTE and CAT-M technologies. Available in 200 countries with automatic carrier switching across 470+ carriers, with Hologram SIM cards, your devices will never go dark. Get connected today.

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