Simplytrak Sponsors New Hull City Striker

East Yorkshire-based vehicle tracking and camera telematics company Simplytrak announced its sponsorship for Hull City’s new striker Josh Magennis.

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Magennis signs for the Tigers from League One side Bolton Wanderers on a two year deal. There is the option to add a third. The Northern Ireland international player scored seven goals in 44 games for Bolton last season having made a summer move from Charlton Athletic.

Simplytrak Limited is based in Market Weighton near Hull and offers fleet management and remote tracking solutions to its clients. The company is committed to support and promote regional activities and particularly its local football team.

Managing Director Ian Wood states: “We have a strong commitment to Hull City in our group of companies and are proud to be sponsoring the new striker. Josh is a promising addition to the squad. We are excited for the new Championship season and to see what he brings.”

The sponsorship will last for the current season 2019/20.

Vehicles that don’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards will have to pay a daily charge to drive within the zone, on top of the congestion charge.

You can check your vehicle on the TfL online checker but generally the charges are:

Non-payment will result in a fine of £160.

Obviously, this is bound to have an impact on businesses and the cost of operating in and around London.

While the changes are likely to encourage businesses to consider upgrading their fleet in the long-term, right now they’ll be keen to monitor journeys in and around to ULEZ and only venturing into the zone if absolutely necessary.

Thanks to the geofencing feature available on the Simplytrak system, our customers have the ability to zone useful areas on their map and then set up reports and alerts to inform drivers when they breach a geofenced area.

With this feature, fleet managers are able to run a report at the end of each day to show which vehicles have been in the ULEZ and therefore arrange to pay the total daily charges for your fleet.

To make it even easier for our customers, we’ve already created geofences for the ULEZ and the wider Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

To apply this to your portal, please email enquiries@simplytrak.com or contact our customer support team on 01430 879197.

Taking over the role of MD from Andrew Johnson, who will remain a key part of the business, Ian said:

“We’ve had some fantastic results over the last couple of years and the business has continued to grow both in terms of personnel and the products and features that we offer to customers.

“It’s definitely an exciting time to be taking over the role of MD. There are more plans to recruit so that we can continue to offer the same exceptional levels of service to our growing customer base that our existing customers are used to.”

On handing over the reins to Ian, Andrew said:

“We’re confident that the business is in safe hands with Ian as he’s already been a vital member of the senior management team for a number of years.

“The changes will allow myself and the other directors to focus on the long-term financial planning and growth of the wider group of companies, while handing over the day-to-day running of the company to Ian.”

Please join us in congratulating Ian on his promotion.

Simplytrak, the East Yorkshire-based fleet management software company behind the device, are familiar with this method of vehicle recovery and specialise in helping their customers in similar situations. Ian Wood, Simplytrak’s new Managing Director, explains:

“Motion detection is one of the many options that come with our trackers and is becoming increasingly important for businesses who want to protect their vehicles.

“As well as detecting when the ignition is switched on and off, our trackers continue to track the location of a vehicle when the engine is off. This means we can still alert the owners when a vehicle is moving even if, like in this example, the vehicles are loaded onto a wagon and taken off site.”

On this occasion, the thieves thought they had done enough to disable the trackers by disconnecting them from the quad bike batteries, however, what they weren’t planning on was the emergency power supply that kept the trackers in full operational mode for long enough for the Misson Organic Dairying Ltd to spring into action.

Easy target

The quad bikes were leased from Richard Platt Farming, who supplies various vehicles to agriculture businesses. Mr Platt said:

“The agriculture industry uses a range of vehicles such as quad bikes, which are often seen as an easy target for thieves.

“That’s why I recommend that all the vehicles I supply have the Simplytrak system installed, complete with motion detection – offering customers peace of mind that they’re getting a secure vehicle to reduce the risk of business disruption.”

Joel Rathbone from Misson Organic Dairying Ltd added:

“We’re extremely grateful to Richard Platt and the team at Simplytrak for helping us use the system to its full potential to recover these vehicles. This is a busy time of year for us and all our vehicles are important to the running of the farm. We’d be lost without them.”

Following the theft, motion detection alerts have been set up in case the thieves come back and try again. During set times, if the vehicles move when the farm know they shouldn’t be moving, an SMS/email alert will be sent to Mr Rathbone at the farm so they can act quickly to keep tracks on them.

Rural crime stats

According to the Rural Crime Report 2018 from NFU Mutual, the cost of agricultural vehicle theft and quad/ATV theft last year was £5.9m and £2.3m respectively, meaning much needs to be done to tackle this increasing threat.

Effective vehicle tracking is just one of the ways in which farmers should be looking to protect their assets in 2019.

The driver, who was delivering parcels on behalf of online retail giant Amazon, was dragged from the vehicle before the thieves drove away. Luckily, he didn’t suffer any injury as a result.

Immediately after receiving notification of the theft, Practical’s director Naz Akram called the Simplytrak customer helpline.

He said: “Fortunately, the van was fitted with a tracker which has the functionality to immobilise the vehicle once the engine is turned off. So, I called Simplytrak to inform them of the incident.

“The Simplytrak team were excellent and they started tracking the van, so we knew where it was and then remotely immobilised the vehicle, so we were able to recover it.”

Immobilisation works by remotely sending a signal to the tracking device, which is wired up to the vehicle’s electrical supply, enabling users to cut the power to the engine to prevent the ignition from being turned on.

Upon recovery of the vehicle, Mr Akram noticed that the interior light and roof lining had been ripped out. These are areas where some other models of vehicle trackers are often located.

Simplytrak’s business development manager, Ian Wood, explains why their trackers are harder to locate: “Vehicle thieves are getting wiser and they know that tracking devices are becoming more popular, particularly in larger fleets.

“This is why our trackers are carefully concealed in a way that makes them difficult to locate so we never lose track of our customers’ assets, which is so important when immobilising and safely recovering vehicles.”

This incident came just days after the Sheffield branch of the Practical franchise experienced a similar theft. But the Simplytrak immobilisation feature came to the rescue then as well.

Practical’s Mr Akram added: “There’s a strong partnership between Practical and Simplytrak and quite a lot of the franchisees use them for tracking.

“Occasions like this really show the value of the system but what’s impressed us the most is the customer service we’ve received from the team at Simplytrak. They helped us to immobilise and recover this van swiftly, even on a weekend.”

Which one should you choose?

Well the answer depends on what you are trying to achieve.  If you are trying to track your mobile workforce than the app might be sufficient. However, if you want to track driver behaviour, fuel consumption and have accurate route replays you’ll need an installed vehicle tracker. When weighing up your options make sure that cost alone is not the drive to your decision or you might end up feeling disappointed.

What will a mobile phone tracker app offer my business?

You might decide to use a mobile phone app for ease of use with no installation needed in your vehicles. However, if you are trying to keep track of a fleet it really isn’t a reliable option. Loss of signal could mean that you can’t always access the location of your fleet or that parts of the journey aren’t recorded at all. As the tracking device is the driver’s phone then the GPS can just be turned off if they wish to stop their employer tracking them. A GPS app can also drain your employee’s phone battery so unless they turn up to work with a fully charged battery every morning you run the risk of their phone going dead.

You also run the risk of your business getting left behind. If your competitors are using more sophisticated fleet management systems, and they likely are, they’ll be eliminating paper work, increasing route efficiency and have an insight into unwanted driver behaviours.

Why should you choose installed vehicle tracking?

It might feel like the more expensive option but the efficiency it will drive across your business will offer you a significant return on your investment.

Increase revenue

A fleet management system allows businesses to be much more intelligent in how they schedule trips. Fleet managers can optimise planning too by assigning jobs to idle vehicles or that are within closest proximity or travel time to the location. Overall the number of jobs and trips can be minimised by planning the workload in a strategic way. By maximising the workday, your fleet will be able to complete more jobs and increase revenue.

Gain insight into driver behaviour

With a fleet management system it is easy to gain an understanding into unwanted driving habits such as excessive speeding and harsh acceleration and braking. By identifying any trends within your fleet, it will help you to educate drivers on safer and greener driving habits. This will reduce fuel consumption, maintenance costs and the chances of an accident.

Protecting your fleet

Your business can keep on top of all vehicle maintenance checks with a range of alerts set up inside a fleet management system. Healthy vehicles waste less fuel and are more efficient, reducing the risk of any unwanted repairs that may come. Specialist fleet management suppliers might also supply an immobilisation feature for extra security if it is stolen, allowing you to safely immobilise your vehicle until it is tracked and found.

Reduce time completing paperwork

A fleet management system will help your drivers, dispatchers and managers reduce paperwork as the system can automatically track and record the details of the time spent at a job. This makes invoicing much easier as job lengths will all be recorded in the system accurately.

Mileage records can also be recorded by a turn-by-turn updated system, eliminating the use of paper records and ensuring a correct submission to the tax office every time.

Reduce fuel consumption

Excess fuel consumption is bad news for a business and the environment. A fleet management system can provide fleets with the most efficient routes, saving time and eliminating unnecessary fuel expenses. A fleet manager can also set reports to inform them if engines are left running or vehicles are being used out of hours.

Overall an app can be a convenient tool for a mobile workforce but if they are going to be driving a vehicle on a regular basis an investment in vehicle tracking will be well worth the investment.

To learn more about how the Simplytrak system can improve efficiency across your fleet, please contact Ian Wood our Business Development Manager at E: ian@simplytrak.com or on T: 01430879197.