What should you look for in a good GPS tracker?
In the GPS Tracking Device market, there are GPS devices designed for all sorts of applications: From logistics tracking and heavy-asset tracking to fleet tracking and personal tracking. Do you need a GPS device with a rugged, weatherproof exterior or one that is the most power-efficient? What kind of data are you hoping to receive from your GPS tracking device? Would you need a rechargeable battery to go with your device? If this is your first time buying a GPS tracker, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed at the number of choices that you have available at your fingertips. Not to worry, though, we will walk you through some of the options to consider before you purchase your GPS tracking device.
In considering your hardware, the three main categories that you should consider are device measurements, mounting options, and environmental durability.
What will you be attaching the GPS device tracker too? For example, if you are trying to attach a GPS tracker to a motorcycle or e-scooter, the size and weight of the device would matter a lot more than if you are trying to attach it to an industrial crane.
This matters as well. Depending on the type of vehicle and/or asset that you will be attaching these GPS devices on, the mounting options available would determine how securely fastened your item will be to the asset. Of the various mounting options, the most common are zip- ties, screws, industrial double-sided tape, and magnetic. Depending on your use case, a magnetic one might be more suitable compared to a zip-tie option.
This is a big one, especially for industrial users or outdoor equipment. Environmental protection directly impacts a device’s performance when exposed to the elements. Outdoor equipment users – this is something you would want to prioritize when shopping for a GPS tracker. Waterproof, dust-proof and humidity control are amongst the most common environmental protection features. However, devices designed specifically for rugged use are also tested for shock absorption, thermal protection, electronic static discharge, and more.
Data from device
What sort of data are you looking to get from your device? Depending on what your use case is, you might have to pick and choose between all the features that a GPS tracker can offer you.
How often would you require your GPS to report to you? In the Buy- Here-Pay-Here world, an average of a 2-minute check-in and 3-hour heartbeat are necessary for the dealers. However, in the New Car Lot world, dealers may only need the device to check-in after longer periods of time.
The amount of data that you can get from your vehicle can be crucial to your business. Many GPS trackers track basic information such as miles traveled, speed, and location. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg: GPS devices are also able to track information to generate crash reports, and maintenance reminders. If you think that this is it, you might be surprised to find out that GPS devices also have input and output connection wires where other items such as the doors of your vehicles, sensors and more!
What are Vehicle Interfaces? In short, vehicle interfaces translate data from a vehicle or asset and translates it into measurable data for you. Depending on what vehicle or asset you will be attaching the GPS device to, you will need to make sure that it has the proper vehicle interfaces. For example, if you are tracking a heavy-duty vehicle, you would want a GPS device with a J1939 Protocol. If you are utilizing a light-duty vehicle, a standard CAN bus would be more suitable, and other options such as a plug-and-play OBDII device are available to use as well. Much like translating any language into another, you need a good translator, and choosing an appropriate vehicle interface ensures that you get the right translator to do the job for you.
Connectivity: Cellular Coverage
Depending on what your needs are, different classes of cellular technologies are used in a GPS tracker. Cellular coverage would determine specific features of a device such as power consumption and the amount of data that can be transmitted, where the most common cellular technologies used in the subprime auto industry are LTE Cat-1 and LTE Cat-M. If you are tracking international assets, you might also want to consider choosing a technology that tracks internationally.
Concox, we are a company fighting over 20 years in the GPS Tracker industry, with over 2000 employees, including 600 engineers for R&D. Currently, we have Asset trackers, Vehicle trackers, Personal trackers, all of which are under our own development, including our tracking platform. If you want to learn more about GPS Tracker, information at https://www.iconcox.com