Which Asset Tracker is Right for Me?
Choosing the right asset tracker is critical to ensuring benefits such as time savings and reduced loss that asset tracking provides fleets and businesses. But with so many options on the market, the choice can seem overwhelming. To help you get through the jungle of options, we compiled the below advice on how to choose the solution that best fulfills your needs. So let’s dive in!
Step 1 : Identify your Unique Requirements
Having a clear understanding of what you actually want to track and profiling this with clear data before you shop for a tracking system will make your buying process more efficient. Start by asking yourself the following:
- Do I need to track an unpowered asset? Is the asset of high value costing upwards of $10K? Or is it of lower value such as a porta-potty?
- Do I need to track trailers waiting to be unloaded/re-loaded?
- Are external sensors needed, such as temperature, weight, pressure sensors, etc. ?
- Do I want to combine the asset tracker with a fleet management system?
Once requirements are profiled, you are ready to dive into the various tracking solutions for each:
Scenario 1- If You Want To Track High Value, Unpowered Assets:
If your large, high value portable assets—like containers, drilling rigs, and even rail cars are left at public (construction) sites or expensive equipment is leased out for several years.
Look For: A Solar Powered GPS Tracker
Sure, a long-life battery powered asset tracker could do the job. But a solar powered gps tracker, like the Piccolo ATX2S, is the pill for this case.
A solar powered gps unit is an asset tracking unit with one supreme advantage- It’s capable of recharging it’s internal batteries, providing an indefinite power supply to the unit. This major benefit provides you with the security and extra peace of mind that your assets are safe and where they should be for as long as you need without having to go through the trouble of maintaining and charging the devices periodically.
Key Features To Look For In A Solar Powered GPS Tracker
Be sure to choose a solution that is rugged, powerful, and self-sufficient.
Check for a unit that is packaged in an IP67 waterproof enclosure. This means that the unit can withstand extreme weather conditions- cold northeasters or sweltering southern summers.
Second, you want complete visibility on to the whereabouts of your assets so make sure you get a clear understanding of the battery size and expected performance so you can make the right decision. Check for initial battery capacity for GPS check-ins per day, length of battery life before charge and the capacity for GPS check-ins once charged.
- Most importantly, inquire what happens on unauthorized use or possible theft. A powerful solution will provide you with visibility and comfort that you are in control as it will send an alarm upon unauthorized vibration/movement and check in alerts every few seconds while the asset is moving.
Lastly, look for a combined solution with fleet management. Keep your options open with a solution that can be standalone or as part of a complete integrated solution for Fleet Management, ELD Compliance & Driver behavior.
Scenario 2 - If You Want To Track Less Valuable, Unpowered Assets:
If your smaller, less valuable unpowered portable assets—like dumpsters, roll-offs and even porta-potties are left at public (construction) sites or leased out for several months at a time.
Look For: Wireless Active RFID Tags Integrated With A Telematics Device
Hands down, a wireless RFID solution will give you the most buck for your money allowing you to scale easily by simply attaching RFTags on all of your dumpster/roll-off/porta-potty/assets for a fraction of the cost of a stand-alone battery powered asset tracker. The main advantage of the Active RFID solution is the tight integration with your fleet management system. Not only do you get the asset tracking benefits of seamless traceability and reduced losses, you also receive supplemental data from the GPS telematics unit installed on your trucks, for instance:
Which asset was picked up
When and where was it dropped off
By what truck and/or driver
Make sure it is a complete, end-to-end solution that is easy to deploy and easy to maintain.
Verify the RF Tags are packaged in an IP67 waterproof enclosure designed to withstand natural elements, from sub-freezing cold temperatures to tropical heat, rain , heavy snow, and UV rays.
Scenario 3 - If You Want To Track Powered Assets:
If you want to monitor powered assets - trailers / refrigerated trailers, heavy equipment, or high-value mobile assets that are left at job sites for long periods of time (ex: refrigerated trailers parked outside a grocery store waiting to be unloaded/re-loaded).
Look For: A ‘Hybrid’ Dual Mode device
Feed two birds with one seed with a versatile dual mode solution, (like the Piccolo Hybrid+ for trailer tracking). One that operates as a real-time GPS tracker when tethered to power (to the truck) and as an asset tracker once trailers are detached from truck, disconnected from external power and left at job sites waiting to be unloaded and reloaded. The beauty of this scenario is that the device recharges when the trailer is hooked up to a truck, removing maintenance and battery charging burdens and providing you the security and assurance that trailers are safe and where they should be for as long as needed.
Key Features To Look For In A ‘Hybrid’ Dual Mode Device:
- Check the specification of the device: Make sure it will automatically switch from regular vehicle tracking mode to asset tracking mode when external power is disconnected.
- Make sure the unit will provide driver behavior and engine diagnostics when connected to truck for added streamlining and control.
- Verify the solution provides optional external sensors such as temperature, weight and pressure sensors for your various application needs.
- Verify the unit operates as a full asset tracker with specifications as in scenario 1. (sending check-ins 1-2/day, waking up upon vibration, etc)
We hope this guide simplified this area for you and helped you on your search for the asset tracker that will fulfull your needs. We offer a wide selection of advanced asset tracking devices for high value assets such as trailers, containers, construction equipment, refrigerated trailers, and more.
Our trailer/asset tracking solutions can be used as a stand-alone service or as part of a complete integrated solution for Fleet Management,Temperature Monitoring, ELD Compliance and Driver Behavior.
Learn more on the dedicated page for asset tracking devices and contact us on the form below for a free, no obligation demo!