Pool Service Providers Can Clean Up with Fleet Management Solutions
For Superior Pool Service, organizing its 10 crews to service more than 500 weekly Dallas-area clients is like choreographing a dance. Even if most of the participants are doing what they’re supposed to do, the entire performance can fall apart if everyone isn’t on the same page.
That’s why it was so important for Superior to find a fleet management system that would give manager Elizabeth Donald on-demand, real-time information about all of her active crews—while also providing enhanced customer service and fleet efficiency.
With GPS Trackit’s integrated system of in-truck monitors and powerful reporting tools, Donald always knows how specific crew routes are being covered—from where each truck is at the moment to how long it is spending at each job. That means more efficient crew scheduling and job quotes that more accurately reflect costs. “With the reporting function, I can see how long a crew has been at each pool, and that each pool was covered,” Donald says. “It helps with staffing—so we have enough coverage—and for keeping crews to the standards we expect.”
Better information about route coverage and length of jobs also gives Donald the ability to communicate very tight and accurate time windows to customers about when their technicians will arrive, and track specific job start and completion times. It also helps her back up her teams if a potential dispute comes up about whether or not a job has been completed. “Customers are always wowed by the fact that we know where our guys are,” says Donald. “A customer might call and say they don’t think their pool was serviced, and we can go and look at the GPS data and share the details—that they were there from this time to this time. Customers love knowing exactly when somebody has been on their property. That’s helped us retain customers…it helps us every day.”
Keeping customers happy means keeping customers—and good word-of-mouth is the best advertising money can buy. GPS-based fleet management also improves Superior Pool’s bottom line on the cost side by optimizing each truck’s operating efficiency. Fuel is an enormous cost—especially now—and even a small change in driver behavior can produce dramatic savings. Idling burns a half gallon of fuel per hour. When diesel costs $6 per gallon, that can be several hundred dollars a day in wasted fuel for a 10-truck fleet. Aggressive driving—speeding, rapid acceleration, hard braking and turning—can affect fuel economy by up to 40 percent in stop-and-go traffic. Around Dallas, that can mean the difference between Superior Pool making or losing money on an individual job.
Donald uses driver performance data to keep costs in line—and motivate her drivers to improve their metrics. “My drivers are motivated to be the best, and they’ve all improved because they know I’m watching the numbers,” says Donald. “It’s like saying, ‘Hey, you’re fifth in line. You better get that behavior score up.’ They love that.”
The central dashboard lets Donald keep track of how her drivers have performed, but top fleet management solutions also help train drivers into more efficient, safer performance as they drive. GPS Trackit’s VidFleet solution uses a driver-facing camera and sophisticated artificial intelligence to analyze driver behavior and give real-time feedback to improve performance. For example, when VidFleet senses a driver’s attention might be diverted, it offers an audible warning. Studies show that optimized feedback systems can reduce accident costs by 50 percent and reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 percent.
Customers get better service and more accurate information. Managers can more accurately quote jobs and schedule crews. More efficient routes mean more jobs can be scheduled per truck. And drivers can be rewarded for operating safely and efficiently.
About GPS Trackit
Since 2002, GPS Trackit has been a pioneering force in cloud-based, IoT fleet solutions and GPS fleet tracking. Our industry-leading technology and focus on world-class customer service has earned us a place on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list and supports over 12,000 fleets worldwide.
New Year. New Pool. New Technology?
As I write this, it’s the beginning of the year, and the Midwest, where I and a healthy portion of the country, is currently experiencing snowstorms, freezing temperatures, and just trying to find a way to stay warm – cheaply. Our pools are probably one of the furthest things from our minds, but that shouldn’t be the case. Summer comes swiftly, and if we’re to make the most out of it, we should be prepared. That not only means getting our to-do list ready, our yard improvements in order, our pool maintenance prepped but also, educating ourselves on all the pool improvements and accessories that our coming out because, surprise, 2023 is going to be a huge year for pools.
When it comes to our pools, they’re meant to be our escape into relaxation, our suburban oasis – no one wants to cannonball, swan dive, or backstroke through something more akin to a swamp, nor are we interested in spending our valuable weekend time scrubbing, skimming, and pumping dirt and debris from our watery haven. But let’s backtrack, that headline mentioned technology, what technology am I going to add to my pool? When it comes to the backyard, we don’t think about making it “smart” in the way that we do our phones, our cars, or our homes, but increasingly, the “Smart-Yard” concept is emerging, and it’s starting with your pool.
The global showcase of all upcoming tech wonders, CES 2023, just happened in Las Vegas and several notable pool innovations were on display throughout the show. Most notably, the new kid on the block but recent innovator and trendsetter, Aiper, unleashed its new Seagull cordless robotic pool cleaning series, led by the Seagull Pro, which earned Aiper a CES 2023 Innovation Award nomination. Since making a splash into the pool scene in 2017, Aiper has forced the pool cleaning industry to recognize and adapt by normalizing cordless robotic cleaners for your pool. The single purchase of a robotic pool cleaner typically saves pool owners hundreds of dollars in pool cleaning expenses and an equal amount of time saved by letting your toys do all the work.
Costing less than $1 a month to charge compared to your pool pump, which costs roughly $0.40 – $0.50 each time you use it. The new Seagull series by Aiper promises users to “take back their free time and start enjoying their pool.” The new Seagull series cleans pools of various sizes from 90 to 180 minutes, their newest, most advanced model releasing this March – the Seagull Pro, introduces the world’s first quad-motor pool cleaner, three-hour battery life, wall cleaning, and WavePath™ Navigation Technology increasing its cleaning area coverage when compared to most products that clean in random, erratic patterns.
But in 2023, are cordless pool cleaners worth it yet? 100% absolutely, yes! But why? Well, robotic pool cleaners clean your pool for you – that’s it, end of article. Jokes aside, even if you’re not already sold on the money-saving, time-saving, or eco-friendly aspect of a robotic pool cleaner, if you need just a little more push to give them a serious look, consider the following two things.
First, many robotic pool cleaners have their own built-in filter, thereby saving water. Why a robotic pool cleaners filter won’t be your end all be all filter solution, it will take the strain off your pool’s own filter. It takes between 1,000 to 4,000 liters of water to clean out your pool’s filter, but with a robotic pool cleaner, we’re talking about a bucket of water on average to clean your filter – saving time, money, and thousands of liters of water a year by using a cordless robotic cleaner. What this translates to is a well-kept pool that needs less regular maintenance or repair, potentially saving you thousands.
To piggyback on the previous point, most cleaners have sophisticated pumping systems, some up to 90 GPM of water cycled and mixed through your pool. What this does is prevents water from getting stagnant and building up bacteria or algae. Compared to hand cleaning and scrubbing, which will release debris and bacteria back into the depths of your pool, these pumps, combined with the filters, and some cleaner’s UV sterilization technologies, means your pool’s water is cleaner and healthier than even your eyes can detect.
So that’s it, it’s going to be an exciting year for pool technology, of all things, and I personally can’t wait to get my hand on the Seagull Pro. I’m super forgetful and always forget to charge my devices, with its impressive battery life, I can clean my pool two or maybe even three times, and with the WavePath™ Navigation Technology combined with the quad-motor system, I expect my pool to look its best. It’s a competitive, exciting field out there for pool cleaners, and Aiper is looking impressive and putting all other pool cleaning brands on notice!
If you’d like to hear what else was announced at CES, please visit Aiper.com to learn more about the new Seagull products, visit Aiper.com.
Benefits of Reducing Fuel Costs with GPS Trackit
GPS Trackit Has Fleet Monitoring Technology That Saves Pool Service Operators From Drowning in Fuel Costs
Spring and summer have been seasons of pain for pool service operators—at least when it comes to prices at the pump. Fuel costs crested in June at more than $5 per gallon, making an operator’s single biggest variable expense even larger.
Fuel prices have started to retreat, but the only way to truly take some control over fuel spend is to approach it systematically. And that starts with fleet monitoring technology like GPS Trackit.
The best fleet monitoring technology is a kind of cost-saving, safety-promoting, efficiency-encouraging Swiss Army knife. GPS Trackit’s fleet management system installs in each vehicle in minutes and provides an constant, real-time connection to the vehicle’s engine diagnostics to keep track of a truck’s fuel efficiency and overall health.
For less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day, pool operators can see where each truck is in real time, develop the most efficient routes between jobs, and collect complete diagnostic data on how each truck is being driven.
Fleet tech customers typically see a 5 to 20 percent improvement in average fuel economy system-wide—and many use the routing features to plot a more efficient roster of assignments for each truck. One client was able to see 20 percent more clients within 60 days thanks to more efficient routing—and he did it with the same number of crews and vehicles.
Lower fuel costs and more efficient routes are two of the most obvious fuel-related benefits that come from fleet monitoring. Others are more subtle, but also significant.
-Expanded service range
With better fuel economy and more efficient routing, visiting clients in farther-flung locations becomes more viable. Deploying crews more efficiently allows other trucks to be deployed in adjacent service areas.
-Better customer service
With more precise tracking, operators know where crews are, and can much more accurately predict when crews will arrive at the next job. Customers love operators who arrive when they say they will, within tight time windows.
-Improved driver behavior
What gets measured gets done. When crews know they’re being evaluated on metrics like fuel consumption and aggressive driving—hard acceleration, braking and turning—those behaviors are reduced. Driving within the speed limit and avoiding hard acceleration and braking is both fuel efficient and safer. It also reduces wear and tear on vehicles, which increases their service life.
-Consolidated fuel spend
The Google Maps-based interface within GPS Trackit makes it easy for operators to see where trucks are and assign them to refueling stops at preferred vendors. Instead of haphazardly refueling at “convenient” locations, operators can negotiate volume pricing from specific vendors and refuel in an organized cadence with fleet fuel cards.
-Less environmental impact
Fewer miles driven and improved fuel efficiency means less harmful exhaust. A Canadian study showed that avoiding three minutes of excess idling per day nationwide would remove 1.4 million tons of Co2 from the air, and be the equivalent of removing more than 300,000 cars from the road.
For more information on how your pool service company can save money on fuel, schedule a free demo with a GPS Trackit Fleet Advisor today.
By Penelope Rudy
I Stopped Cleaning and Started Enjoying My Pool
How much time do you spend cleaning your pool? A few hours a week? A month? Or do you dedicate time before swimming to the tedious task of cleaning it out? Depending on the size of your pool and how frequently you swim, there are bound to be as many answers as there are pool owners, so let’s set some parameters.
The average (American) size of a rectangular pool is 10 feet by 20 feet at the low end of the scale to 20 feet by 40 feet at the larger end. For a lap pool, the average size is about 10 feet wide and 50 feet long, which is pretty significant. However, the average size for a smaller in-ground pool can range from 10 feet by 20 feet and 20 feet by 40 feet on the larger side.
Now that we’ve identified a few of the typical American pool types and their average sizes, how do we keep our pools healthy? Think about it for a moment, tab up all the times you go to your pool to keep the waters fresh, the floor and waterline clean, and your entire pool area looking remarkable. Add up the skimming, vacuuming, checking the chlorine and pH levels, and running your pump. Got a figure in your head now? Now we’ll tell you how you compare according to our findings. On average, pool owners spend 90-120 minutes a week cleaning their pools. For those who don’t take carry out routine weekly maintenance of their pools, that number shoots up to four hours to clean and balance their pool.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend those two hours doing just about anything else rather than cleaning my pool. First, what are the basics? A pool vacuum head, hose, pole, skimmer net, and pool brush are the standard tools of the pool cleaning trade. Altogether, costing me around $180. Add on chlorine tablets, and there’s another $100 or MORE! Overall, not bad, but what if I value my free time and would rather my pool just….clean itself? Well, the obvious solution would be a costly pool cleaning service. Annually, on average, these services cost $1,432. While most services are impeccably professional and unintrusive, some people would rather keep their privacy.
Pool cleaning services have been around almost as long as pools have been around, and cleaning them, the technology really hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years, not until this century when robotic cleaners slowly hit the market. For a while, this seemed like an excellent solution to cleaning your pool while taking back your time. It wasn’t the revolution in pool cleaning we would have imagined. Despite the design or whatever technological “innovations” were included in generations of pool cleaners, they all, even the biggest names in the space, had one limitation – cords. Tangling and tripping aside, I never felt 100% safe plugging in an electrical device with the intention of putting it into water.
Finally, I stumbled across Aiper, who has been producing CORDLESS pool cleaners for the last five years. They’ve got a cordless robot for just about any pool size and style. Remember those averages we established earlier for pools in America? The Seagull 600 and Seagull 1000 can both easily take care of those. Have something a little more grand in your backyard? Or want something that scrubs your pool walls also? The Seagull 3000 has got you covered.
Okay, okay, you got it – I like my Aiper, personally, I’m using the Seagull 1000 right now with intentions of upgrading later. Why the hype for it? Well, as I mentioned, it’s CORDLESS. And it saves me money in the long run, it’s budget-friendly! I charge it overnight or, if I’m forgetful in the morning, drop it in my pool, and the pool is clean and ready to swim in about an hour and a half. All while I’m enjoying my morning, not cleaning. So, you’re interested, but it sounds expensive, right? No! My Seagull 1000 was a mere $300 compared to the $180 I spent on all those other tools I detailed earlier – that feels like a steal. The Seagull 3000 I plan to upgrade to later does cost a bit more of an investment, just over $1000. Compared to other brands in the space, though, it’s still a deal. Most robotic cleaners cost roughly $600-$800 with no entry-level options. Most cordless cleaners in the marketplace report electrical usage for their device costing less than $1 a year. Over time, that adds up to some massive savings.
Let’s imagine – you pick up a robotic pool cleaner, and you’ve now freed up 90 minutes of your morning; what do you do? Go to the gym, cook and eat breakfast and a second breakfast if you’re a hobbit, watch three episodes of television, learn or practice a new hobby, meal prep, organize, do yoga, practice a new language – whatever your choice, a robotic cleaner gives back your “you time.” Our lives, after all, are busier than ever today. Finding ways to be more efficient with our time and spending more time on things we actually enjoy will help give us a lot more fulfillment and more balance in our lives with minimal effort, and my Aiper has done that for me.
Our pool health should always be something we’re concerned with. An imbalance in the chemicals in your pool can cause skin reactions, infections, or damage to your eyes. Algae, if not cleaned up, may cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur. Dirt and debris are not only unsightly but, if left unkept, can chip away at the floor and walls of our pools, and that doesn’t make for a pleasant swim. Our swimming pools can be an amazing addition to our homes – they set the scene, are great workouts, provide leisure, and are fun and games for children and teenagers and feel like paradise on scorching summer days.
My pool has honestly done so much for me, and I want to take care of it in return; I just don’t want to babysit it. A cordless cleaner, and for me, my Seagull 1000, has allowed me to keep my pool not just maintained but has improved my overall pool maintenance – obviously, I’m not the one doing it. I just unplug it, drop it in, and get back to my life. While I hit the gym, my device cleans the pool more regularly than I ever would. While I’m playing with the kids, my cordless robot cleans deeper than I ever could. And when I’m – well, you get it. For both your pool health and your mental health, consider upgrading to a cordless robotic pool cleaner and see the difference for yourself.
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