GPS identifies location through use of the earth’s satellites. It’s often used for both navigational and location tracking purposes, with GPS tracking being especially useful for businesses attempting to save time and money by monitoring assets. But how do you choose the best GPS tracking solution for heavy equipment specifically? And what are the benefits in the first place?
Why Track Heavy Equipment
Theft of heavy equipment is a recurring problem when it comes to heavy equipment. The size of the equipment often means that it cannot be stored as easily as other assets might. Further, it’s simply more convenient to keep heavy equipment on site, as it allows crews to begin work immediately upon arriving at the site rather than needing to wait until the right tools arrive.
GPS tracking can help mitigate this problem by alerting managers when the equipment has been moved without authorization, ideally helping them locate and retrieve the missing equipment rather than having to write it off as lost.
Monitor Maintenance Needs
Depending on the amount of heavy equipment owned by a company, it can be difficult to monitor which vehicles require routine maintenance when. This makes the equipment far more prone to break down at inopportune moments. In the best case scenario, this could cost teams both time and money. In the worst, this could result in severe injury for workers.
GPS tracking can help prevent these breakdowns by making it easy to track when and where specific pieces of equipment are being utilized. In keeping a record of the equipment’s use, managers are better equipped to know when each individual asset is due for routine maintenance, alleviating costly, dangerous breakdowns in the process.
It’s a simple equation – the more efficient a company is, the happier their customers will be, and the more money they’ll make. In terms of managing heavy equipment, one of the biggest obstacles to efficiency is not understanding exactly what equipment is or is not being used at any given time. This means it’s more difficult to know what’s available to complete a task, as well as to identify whether it would benefit productivity to obtain new equipment.
As with monitoring maintenance needs, GPS tracking makes it easier for managers to keep a record of equipment’s use. It allows them to locate equipment quickly, without needing a manual search, and it also equips them to better understand what equipment is used both the most and the least, allowing them to make expense recommendations based on what their company does or does not need.
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Factors to Consider When Selecting a GPS Tracking Device
Real-Time Tracking Capabilities
Not all GPS tracking units have real-time location tracking capabilities. A real-time GPS system transmits data back to the receiver immediately, whereas a passive GPS system will store the information internally for later access. For the purposes of heavy equipment tracking, real-time tracking capabilities are usually preferred. After all, location information stored internally and installed in lost or stolen equipment will not help you find that equipment.
Affordability and Risk
It’s important to know not only the costs of different GPS devices, but also how many pieces of equipment you want to track and how much you are willing and able to pay. It’s also important to know how much money you could stand to lose if you do not invest in a location system, as the goal of using GPS tracking for heavy equipment is to ultimately save money from unexpected losses, downtime, and maintenance.
Battery life impacts not only system maintenance costs, but the reliability of the system. It’s important to understand how often different GPS devices require battery changes, as well as how easy or difficult it is to change said batteries.
As GPS requires other technologies to transmit readable location data – usually cellular data or Wi-fi – it’s important to consider the type and quality of the coverage within the range of intended use locations. Also, consider what type of technology the tracking device that you are considering uses and how that relates to location coverage.
As your business grows and obtains more assets, it’s important to ensure the scalability of a GPS tracking solution. This means understanding how easily the system can be added to without breaking the bank. Scalability is also important because it allows for implementation on smaller scales without requiring the same hefty costs as required for a large scale version of the same system.
Location Monitoring for Your Heavy Equipment Tracking Needs
Link Labs provides GPS tracking for heavy equipment via our AirFinder Everywhere and SuperTag solutions. Not only is our solution affordable and scalable, allowing for tracking based on both GPS and cell towers, but the SuperTag boasts a battery life of up to seven years.
To learn more about how Link Labs can help you monitor your heavy equipment, book a demo today.