Vehicle Tracking Devices: How to Keep Track of Your Vehicle Fleet

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One of the most efficient and lossless ways to track your vehicle fleet and company asset is by implementing a hardwired tracker on your fleet.

You simply can’t imagine commercial companies with a large number of cars, trucks, and assets function properly without a reliable vehicle tracking device.

Tracking devices for cars are quite common these days. Moreover, there are special vehicle tracking devices that work like a charm for fleets. Having a quality vehicle tracking device on each and every one of your asset and company fleets offerс punctual monitoring and correct statistics, which in turn, ensure that your company handles transport and/or escort duties with exceptional efficiency.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a taxi company, commercial escort service, or pizza delivery, etc. Every company with a fleet absolutely needs a tracking device.

In this guide, we’ll talk about the many benefits and features of GPS vehicle tracking devices, where to find them, and what makes the vehicle tracking device an essential component of your company.

We hope that this vehicle tracking guide finds you well and maybe narrows down your choices so you can find the best suited trackers for you and your company.

GPS Tracking 40 Years Ago, and GPS Tracking Now

Since the early 1980s, after Reagan purposefully greenlighted the Global Positioning System, GPS fleet tracking has been helping fleet managers to effortlessly get the job done by conducting monitoring on their assets, company equipment, and staff.

Only the most solid companies in the 80s had their hands on this novel, yet essential technology and it has been largely popularized since then. There have been major GPS advancements since that time, including software merging, web-based enhancements, and computer system upgrades that rendered the GPS even more accessible to the common folk.

This also paved the way for a new and refined branch in telecommunications to become a full-grown industry that is today used by the world - an interdisciplinary branch called telematics

Telematics goes hand-in-hand with GPS technology, and it mostly works with road transport, safety, the transfer of information, web-based vehicular technologies, and navigation systems.

What are GPS Devices?

We’ll spare you the details. If you want more information about GPS devices and their system, please refer to our guide here.

GPS tracking devices use the Global Positioning System, a network that works with around 30 satellites orbiting around the Earth. The devices can be either hardwired to the car’s mainframe, or they can be attached to it, possibly via magnets, adhesive, or bolts.

The satellites (exactly three of them at least) send and receive radio signals to these devices, and the data gives away their position at a current time and interval. 

The process is called trilateration, and it pinpoints your location with an accuracy of around 5 meters.

There are so many different types and models of GPS tracking devices on the market. But, tracking devices for cars, vehicles, and assets can be broken down into two basic types:

  • Real-time trackers. They process and transmit data in real-time, with just a couple of seconds of delay. Most tracking devices for cars have this feature, though some prefer the passive trackers.

    They are more costly than passive trackers, but you’ll be able to keep tabs on your vehicles and they provide a more detailed interface and statistics that’ll greatly come in hand.
  • Passive trackers. They can be hardwired to the vehicle’s mainframe. We’ll focus on these more and talk about their overlooked benefits that are specifically tailored for companies. 

    Passive GPS trackers are simply called ‘data loggers’, because they store data in their internal memory. They monitor travel distance, activity, speed, trajectory, and date/time. In contrast to the real-time trackers that feature a live update, the passive GPS tracker records travel data and fleet monitoring - perfectly suitable for companies. There are also passive GPS trackers for fitness enthusiasts and athletes.

Most passive trackers don’t have monthly fees, and this is why passive GPS devices are more economical than active trackers

Why GPS Vehicle Tracking Devices Are Important

Accidents happen, things get lost and stolen, traffic jams and road-blocks occur every day. As a manager, you do not want a part in any of that jazz.

Long story short, the power to have a close monitoring on your fleet, drivers, vehicles, assets, equipment, and invaluable objects, is an absolute necessity if you’re a fleet or company manager. 

Let’s see how vehicle tracking devices can benefit your business.

Reduces Costs, Prevents Idle Time, Avoids Mistakes, and Keeps Your Employees Safe

It’s hard to imagine how your business will operate without a reliable GPS system, watching over your vehicle fleet. Being able to conduct monitoring, with a display of statistics, speed, details, and a precise location as well as fuel status, time on site, maintenance, waypoints, predicting vehicle routes, etc. will undoubtedly boost the overall productivity of your business.

By having this information you’ll be able to:

  • Hammer return on investment recovery typically within the first year by saving on fuel costs;
  • Structure your employee’s schedules carefully and manage company time;
  • Eliminate idle time and ensure employees aren't taking the scenic route;
  • Prevent damage to company reputation from speeding reports and aggressive driving reports;
  • Potential insurance price reductions;
  • Keep track of mileage with more accurate reports;
  • Reduce maintenance costs.

Tightens Security

Fleets and expensive equipment can be vulnerable to theft when left for the night. Vehicle tracking ensures it doesn’t come to that.

Quick and easy monitoring will keep the staff informed, quite possibly in an instant when something happens to the tracked fleet/asset/equipment if using a real-time tracker.

Scheduling and Time Monitoring

By using a real-time GPS vehicle tracking system, fleet operators and managers are able to precisely predict the time required for delivery. 

We strongly advise you use a timeframe calendar to determine each of your vehicle’s maintenance, refueling, downtime range, and tasks, so you’ll have a better and closer look for recommended hours of operation and mileage recommendation. 

Weather Monitoring and Road Updates

You’ll be able to properly schedule drop-off and pick-up times, all thanks to your carefully planned system. Additionally, a big advantage is the ability to closely monitor the weather patterns and communicate better routes according to the weather changes. This is an overlooked and underrated feature that helps fleet managers with their time scheduling.

Unplanned maintenance, excess fuel abuse, and irresponsible repair costs absolutely lead to loss of time and revenue, so plan your calendars and schedules carefully with the vehicle tracking system.

With a GPS system and a sturdy vehicle tracking device, you’ll find out firsthand about road construction or blockages, so your drivers won’t have to themselves.

Vehicle Tracking Devices We Recommend

Here are our top-picks for the purpose of vehicle tracking. We will walk you through and showcase their features and their uses.

The Outlander

We’ll start off with the Outlander - an all-purpose, standard GPS vehicle tracking device that suits the needs of both company fleets and individual drivers.

We recommend this one because of its sheer flexibility and simplicity. Because of its monitoring features which allow tracking directly from your cell phone or PC/laptop, many find it a very convenient and hefty vehicle tracking device.

The 10-second updates ensure punctuality, and with a near-perfect accuracy, as well as the 18 days of battery life (with an 80 days add-on), it’s definitely a GPS device for saving time. The interface incorporates 3D map systems, with a date/time grid and calendar and a detailed daily report and up to 90 days of history, so you’ll be able to properly monitor your vehicle’s movement and other statistics. It’s motion-activated, and doesn't use any power when the car is not in motion.

We recommend the Outlander Magnetic Case if you’re planning to put it under the car, or on the steel bar of your car’s bumpers.

Want to get notified when the car gets turned on, or when it leaves/enters a certain neighborhood? You can set up text or email notifications and you’ll instantly know if the car is on the move.

The Outlander came out almost 10 years ago and has gone through a lot of improvements. It’s especially designed for stability and accuracy, as well as safety. Anyone can find it extremely useful. We would also like to recommend you the Outlander Battery & Case, made especially for those long rides.

The Commuter: A Hardwired Vehicle Tracking Device

If we’re talking GPS trackers for your vehicle fleet, go for the Commuter, the hardwired GPS tracker. It’s perfect for fleet tracking and it works faster with more accurate data. If you want to have a full overview of the details and stats regarding the whereabouts of your fleet and vehicles, the Commuter has you covered.

It lets you see the location and speed of the vehicle at any time, and you can monitor it via smartphone or computer.

Just hook it up to your car battery, and don’t worry about it. It’s designed specifically for fleet managers and supervisors. They will be able to see a detailed grid of info of the vehicle’s history of movement in the past 90 days.

The 3D map system offers a very clean and tidy overview of the cars’ statistics, and it’s updated every 10 seconds. The ‘reporting section’ is the most popular overview monitoring and this is where you’ll find the movement history and other data.

We strongly suggest the Commuter as a more cost-efficient solution for your vehicle fleet. It’s a straight-to-the-point device that gets the job done and it’s specifically designed to help out fleet supervisors.

The Recon 4G LTE Real-Time GPS Tracker

If you want a nice real-time GPS tracker for specialized purposes like watch guarding your assets and equipment, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the Recon GPS Tracker, a regular all-in-one premium vehicle tracking device.

It’s a Google Maps-powered tracker, equipped with 4G LTE, with real-time updates for that instantaneous info updates and an extra layer of security. The battery lasts 15 hours and it has a built-in motion sensor so you can save battery when the car isn’t moving.

The Recon’s monitoring section has a whole 90 days of activity, and you can review its speed, travel, and mileage. It monitors aggressive driving as well. The Recon is rechargeable and only uses power while you’re driving, it’s compact-sized, with built-in magnets, and it has an IP66 waterproof surface.

The Brilliance of Geofencing

One of the most powerful reporting features of the Recon is geofencing.

Geofencing is just what the name suggests. You select a certain area or radius in Google Maps, and the device remembers this setting. You’ll be notified via text or email when the tracker enters, how long it stays, and when it leaves the zone.

So, once your company truck or car arrives at the destination for pick up or delivery, you’ll be able to monitor entry and time spent in the geofencing zone.

Geofencing greatly benefits fleet managers in the trucking industry. They can be quickly informed if a truck goes off its specific trajectory or boundary, and it can hasten the recovery of the asset when it gets stolen.

Asset and Equipment Monitoring With Vehicle Fleet Tracking

It’s obvious that GPS services are mostly used for vehicle tracking devices, fleet tracking, or similar tracking devices for cars. Many people don’t know that stationary objects, such as construction equipment, can be also tracked with a fantastic precision and quality.

There are construction companies with equipment like cranes, electrical equipment, generators, and bulldozers, stuff that’s mostly stationary. They also require the much needed security and monitoring just as much as moving vehicles. No one is immune to accidents or thieves.

This is where geofencing comes in. It’s simply a strengthened security and monitoring precaution, guaranteed to prevent theft. The supervisor won’t have to worry about the equipment when it’s left at the construction site at night.

Data Plan Info

GPS trackers rely on a cellular network. This is why they need a data plan.

Our GPS data plan is straightforward and with no contract. All of our GPS trackers require a strong data plan with superb connection.

You are free to cancel your subscription at any time. We value our customer’s time, which is why we believe in having a flexible data plan you can use to benefit your business.

For more on data plans for GPS tracking, please read this guide here.

Contact Us

If you’re reading this article, there’s a high chance that you can’t decide on the most suitable GPS tracker for you or your company.

Our experts are available to answer any questions you might have and help you choose the right GPS product. Please feel free to ask any questions you have and we’ll set you up as fast as possible.

For any inquiries on GPS devices, vehicle tracking devices, and similar products, simply drop us a line at any time. 

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