Asset Tracking

Equipment Tracking Systems for Fleets: What You Need to Know

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Let’s face it — fleets aren’t one size fits all. Different types of fleets have different needs, yet some tracking systems seem to take a cookie-cutter approach. If your fleet is a mix of cars, trucks, vans, and large equipment, you may find that these options don’t cover all of your assets. You need to upgrade to GPS asset tracking software that offers tracking for vehicles and powered and non-powered large assets as well. But with so many on the market, how do you choose the right option for your fleet? Here are a few factors to consider in your search.

GPS Is Best

Many fleets are still using barcode scanners to track large equipment. The system works like this: 

  • Each fleet asset has an attached barcode label. 
  • When assets move into or out of a location, employees scan the label into the tracking system.
  • Employees must then enter the details of where the asset is going and why.
  • When someone wants to find a specific asset, they have to search the database to find it.

Of course, there’s a big flaw in this system — human error. 

While you want to trust your employees explicitly, they are only human and are bound to make mistakes from time to time. In a barcode tracking system, the simple error of forgetting to scan equipment into or out of the yard can make it impossible to find those assets down the road. Not only that, this type of system does nothing to stop thieves and unauthorized users. 

In a GPS-based tracking system, human error is no longer a problem. Instead, GPS trackers are attached to each of your large assets. You can then see, at a glance, where each item is in real-time. You never have to worry about whether someone remembered to scan a barcode or if someone is using your equipment without your permission.

Tracking Powered and Non-Powered Assets

Many GPS tracking devices draw their power from the assets they’re tracking. This type of system works well for vehicles and some large assets but leaves others out of the loop. Storage containers, dumpsters, trailers, and fuel tanks may not be trackable in a system that only tracks powered equipment.

Fortunately, some GPS tracking systems offer a long-life battery-powered tracker for these types of assets. Azuga’s trackers can function for up to five years on a single charge, meaning you won’t have to change them often and can leave them on job sites for the long haul as needed. They can operate at extreme temperatures of -22° to 164° F and feature military-grade shock and vibration absorption. 

If you have a mixture of powered and non-powered equipment in your fleet, it’s best to have a single system to track them all. Be sure that the equipment tracking system you choose offers full coverage of your entire fleet with battery-powered trackers that can withstand all of the conditions they may encounter in the field. 

Geofencing Is a Must

Let’s go back to the possibility of someone using your equipment without permission for just a moment. Equipment theft and unauthorized use is a significant problem for fleets everywhere. A 2016 report on equipment theft found that we lose anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion annually. It further noted that assets are recovered in only about one in five equipment thefts. This is not the type of problem that fleet managers can afford to ignore.

As we’ve mentioned, GPS tracking can help you track down your assets when they’re not where they should be. While this is helpful for recovery, it doesn’t stop the theft from occurring in the first place — unless you combine it with geofencing technology.

Think of a geofence as an imaginary line you draw around your yard, project site, or any location you like. Once this boundary is defined, you can receive alerts whenever a tracked asset passes through it. These alerts mean you can confidently tell a client that yes, the equipment is on the way, and it left the yard at a specific time. But it also means that you will know when someone is moving your equipment after hours, no matter where you might be. You can then contact the authorities and use the GPS tracker to direct them to your stolen property.

Reduced Risk Means Lower Premiums

Of course, as a fleet manager, budget is likely one of your top concerns. You may be wondering how you can afford to implement such technology across your fleet. Fortunately, GPS equipment tracking offers a quick ROI in most cases. 

Most insurers offer premium discounts for fleets that use liability-reducing technologies. These include GPS trackers, dash cams, ELD systems, and other fleet management technologies that boost road safety. Once you’ve installed proper asset tracking in your fleet, be sure to contact your insurer to take advantage of these discounts. 

Remember, a fleet often includes more than just the trucks or vans operated by your drivers. It may also include construction equipment, storage pods, fuel tanks, generators, and so much more. Your fleet GPS software should be able to track all of these types of equipment and more. Looking for a solution that will cover your entire fleet? Contact Azuga for a demo today.