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Keeping tabs on trucks

The Geotab system can work with the NHVR work diary.

Geotab provides tracking and insights on fleets and key personnel for its customers. To uncover more about this impressive technology, MHD sat down with Geotab’s Associate Vice President of Sales, David Brown.

With more than 20 years of experience delivering connected transportation solutions to more than 47,000 customers, Geotab provides leading data research and innovation to support supply chains globally with its systems capable of revolutionising fleet management. 

Geotab is plugged directly into a truck’s OBD port, allowing the user to extract a multitude of information and parameters directly related to that truck and its operator.

Tracking and assessing data in real time enables fleet managers to pre-empt issues and ensure drivers are operating within safe working limits.

“We can track whether a drive is wearing their seatbelt, any warnings on the dashboard, and fuel efficiency all in real time,” says David. 

“Electronic work diaries can be incorporated into the system, it can notify the driver of required breaks, ensuring they are meeting state and national requirements.

“Geotab is scalable as well, so whatever parameters an organisation is looking to track, we can incorporate that into the program.” 

Geotab can track tyre pressure and other similar components even in some of the most remote parts of Australia, providing an added layer of safety to drivers in high-risk environments.

The live tracking can also be beneficial to clients if they are waiting for an important delivery, or something is time-sensitive because it can help alleviate their concerns.


Users can find customised solutions on the Geotab Marketplace, such as in-vehicle cameras, real-time temperature tracking and tyre pressure monitoring, as well as innovative mobile apps, third-party integrations, business services, and more.

The Geotab Marketplace has more than 200 partners that can provide solutions, working in a similar way to the Google Play or App stores, to enhance the user experience. 

“The system is designed to be constantly evolving to meet the needs of any supply chain partner,” explains David. 

“Companies are consistently evolving now, and we know we need to keep up to meet their needs, and this is a hallmark of the Geotab system.”

A system that’s often incorporated into the Geotab system is the ability to access the dashcam, which can view through the front windscreen and back into the cab.

“The dashcam can be viewed immediately, in the case of an accident we can access it to simplify the whole process,” adds David. 

“It also gives organisations the ability to track fatigue and distracted driving. They can all be sent back to managers, giving added protection and accountability.

David Brown, Associate Vice President of Sales, Geotab.
David Brown, Associate Vice President of Sales, Geotab.

“On the marketplace system as well, you can access tyre monitoring, track a slow leak before it becomes a problem, and better protect operators.” 

The National Driver Work Diary from NHVR is evidence of a driver’s work and rest hours. Operators of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles aren’t allowed to drive or work more than the maximum work hours, or rest less than the minimum rest hours in a certain period set out by law. 

The Geotab system can work in with the NHVR work diary, fully automating the process to minimise driver errors and ensure all requirements are being met.


The GO fleet management device plugs directly into the vehicle’s standard diagnostic port – the OBD II. It can be used as a vehicle or truck tracking device, with adaptors available for heavy vehicles when setting up a truck tracking system or other vehicle types if needed. No antenna, wiring or special tools are required for a standard connection. 

“We try to make the Geotab installation as simple and painless as possible,” says David. “It can take 45 minutes to an hour maximum, which we find is much quicker than many other systems out there. 

“By having a simple installation process as well, it helps lower costs. We know companies are not looking to add too many extra costs, so we have ensured we keep our costs low.”


David reveals that the time for a driver to notify the workshop manager of a warning light on the dashboard can be up to a fortnight. 

“In those two weeks it can take for a driver to notify their manager of an issue, it might create even greater headaches when it comes to the repairs,” he adds.

Geotab is plugged directly into a truck’s OBD port.
Geotab is plugged directly into a truck’s OBD port.

“The fact you can get this real time diagnostic data to key stakeholders will ensure that fleet managers can decide if an issue is a high priority. Also having that ability to recognise issues early allows managers to pre-plan for vehicle down time, keeping fleets moving for longer.”

The visibility extends to some of the more remote parts of Australia, adding an extra layer of protection to operators as well as greater planning capabilities.

“When the user is in cellular range it can feed back simply, and when it becomes more remote, it can use Iridium satellites to see and locate those vehicles,” says David.

“The Geotab GO90 can actually monitor driver behaviour from how harsh the vehicle is being driven demonstrating how much fuel is being used.

“If a driver is driving a vehicle too vigorously, the fleet manager can recognise that and correct the driver behaviour.” 

The system can track if a vehicle is idling. It can also give greater understanding around fuel consumption and can help to correct behaviour that is detrimental to the vehicles. 

This can even improve buying patterns. If a truck uses less fuel when idling, and a driver knows a vehicle is regularly idling, they can adjust the purchase to meet that need.

“What we want to be able to do for our customers is give them the power of choice, but also look at doing it in a cost-effective manner,” explains David. 

“Regulations are costly, and this is why if a customer wants the process to be cheaper, they need to be compliant.”

For more information on Geotab, click here

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