Image of truck with Vehicle Trackers installed

GPS vehicle trackers have become an important component of Businesses, especially for fleet managers, as it serves the following major purposes:

Fleet Vehicle Trackers

Fleet monitoring solutions are instrumental in managing fuel costs. With a monitoring system in place, vehicle idle time, personal use of vehicles etc can be significantly cut down, leading to fuel efficiency.

  • Vehicle Monitoring Services will also help reduce delays & cut down-time.
  • With GPS tracking devices, there is likely to be improved logistic support functions ultimately leading to better customer service

GPS Vehicle Trackers can be categorized basis a number of factors.
The most commonly used categorization of GPS vehicle Trackers is whether they are Active or Passive.

Active Vehicle Trackers

Active Vehicle Tracking – Also referred to as Real Time Vehicle Tracking Systems, they provide a real time update of the Vehicle’s location & Speed.

Vehicle tracking systems do not necessitate retrieving the device to get the information. They can broadcast the GPS position using the GSM/GPRS network, SMS, ad even Satellite communication.
There are three essential elements of a real time vehicle tracker. The tracker itself, the receiver, and the software.

The GPS tracker transmits the location to the receiver. More advanced GPS devices have built in functions to send rescue signals. The GPS receiver collects the data from the tracker, and also allows you to view it remotely .Most modern GPS systems make use of Google Maps when displaying data.

GPS software is the user interface for accessing the data.

Website based trackers, more often than not, require a monthly or yearly subscription.

The primary Advantages of using an Active GPS Tracking System are:

  • These systems store information such as GPS location, vehicular speed and sometimes event such as key on/off, door open/closed.
  • Once the vehicle reaches a predetermined destination, the device is removed and the data is evaluated.

GPS Vehicle Trackers

GPS can also be classified according to how they store and send data. On the basis of this classification, there are three types of Vehicle Trackers:

Data Loggers

These are Passive Vehicle Tracking Systems. They typically have an on board memory where information is stored & can be retrieved at will.

Data Pushers

They also store information. However, they push it on to a remote computer at regular intervals. Data pushers include cell phone GPS tracking or mobile device GPS tracking.

Data Pullers

These are the most advanced systems, that allow information retrieval, irrespective of the vehicle’s location. GPS vehicle trackers that operate in real time typically send information at one minute intervals.

They are also programmed to send information when a vehicle exceeds a certain speed, or enters a geo-fenced area. The information is sent to a server where the data is retrieved and pulled into a software program. Data pullers assist in optimizing routes, as well as monitoring the vehicle status.

Tracker Communication

The communication mode, is also a classification factor of GPS Vehicle Trackers. Depending on how the devices communicate, they can be classified into:

  • Cellular
  • Satellite

Cellular Devices rely on the network provided by Cellular Operators. They are typically suitable for use for vehicles that travel within a specific range.

Their success depends upon consistent availability of cellular coverage. Furthermore, they are not absolutely up to date as locations are reported approximately every five to ten minutes depending upon the system opted for.

Also, in terms of expense, it involves a monthly recurring service cost.

Service business, such as cable companies, might prefer the cellular option because frequent updates are needed to communicate with employees and customers.

Satellite Devices, on the other hand, communicate through satellites and are useful for vehicles traveling long distances where there may not be consistent cellular coverage.

Other than surface fleet tracking devices, GPS boat & vessel tracking systems play an important role in marine navigation. They help in:

  • Real Time location of the vessel
  • Offshore Handheld GPS receivers help in remote boat navigation
  • Helps Man On board functions
  • Link GPS to Autopilot
  • Track a lost boat
  • Prevent Theft

Boat Trackers

Finally, GPS Boat trackers are rugged devices that are typically, weatherproof.
The type of GPS Vehicle Tracking device used is largely a function of:

  • Need for an overt or covert device
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Allocated Budget