The devices that make GPS tracking possible

HomeGPS Tracking Devices for Fleet Vehicles

GPS tracking devices

Verizon Connect GPS fleet tracking requires hardware devices to enable vehicle and asset tracking. We can help you choose the best GPS tracking hardware, understand your installation options and help get your fleet operational as quickly as possible.


What is a GPS tracker?

A GPS tracker, or black box, is a small piece of hardware, sometimes no larger than a matchbox. It typically includes a slot for a SIM card and a plug, normally OBD-II, to connect it to a vehicle.

To find its location, a GPS tracker receives a GPS signal and sends that information, along with other vehicle data, to the internet using cellular 3G, 4G LTE, CDMA or satellite networks. Using your vehicle tracking system, you can then monitor your fleet in near real time.


What different vehicle GPS tracking devices are available?

There are a range of different GPS vehicle trackers available, and while they all serve the same basic function, there are some differences in the data they collect, how they attach to a vehicle and how they are powered.

The hardware you use depends on what data you need.

OEM (factory-fitted) devices

These are installed as standard or as an optional extra by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and included in a new vehicle (organized by the dealer). Verizon Connect offers OEM solutions for Ford, GM, Hino, John Deere, Mack, Ram and Volvo trucks and equipment.

Plug-in devices

Easily purchased from most electronic stores, these mini GPS tracking devices plug in to a vehicle’s OBD-II port and provide a basic level of near real-time location information on basic iPhone and Android tracking apps.

Aftermarket GPS devices

Normally installed by a technician, hard-wired vehicle GPS trackers are connected to a vehicle’s wiring harness in a hidden location to minimize tampering. Aftermarket devices are preferred when adding features like power takeoff (PTO) monitoring, Driver ID and fleet dashcams to your GPS fleet tracking solution.

Smartphone or tablet

A cellphone with location services enabled can be used as a near real-time GPS tracker. When coupled with a dedicated car GPS tracker, smartphone apps can streamline a worker’s daily tasks, like filling in DVIR reports or completing service calls.

Asset and trailer tracking devices

Stand-alone tracking devices powered by rechargeable batteries are weatherproof and waterproof. They can be configured to report locations less frequently to extend battery life, connected to additional sensors for near real-time tracking of refrigerated loads or set up to send alerts when a trailer door is opened.


Is GPS tracking device installation difficult?

Depending on the tracking unit, installation can be as simple as plugging a vehicle tracking unit into a truck’s OBD-II port or can require a visit from a certified technician to connect the unit to a vehicle’s wiring harness.

Installation instructions are available for Verizon Connect Reveal, Fleet and Networkfleet for a range of devices from Calamp, Xirgo, GenX and the VT-400. Dashcam installation guides are also available.

Plug and play

Plug and play

What is an OBD-II port?

Light commercial vehicles purchased new in the US with a model year of 1996 or newer typically have an OBD-II port.

Possible location for your OBD-II port

Most OBD-II ports are located behind a panel near one of these locations.

Hardwired


Case studies

How Maple Hill Lawn & Garden Created Success With Technology

By using Verizon Connect to know where our trucks are at any given moment, we've saved approximately $100,000 in labor.

Robert White
Operations Manager
Learn more

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Frequently asked questions

How do you access the data that GPS tracking devices collect?

To get the data from a GPS tracker, you need special software. Our GPS tracking software is hardware agnostic, which lets you access the data from a diverse range of devices.

How does the GPS tracker know where to send the data it’s collecting?

The device needs to be set to point to the correct IP address and port number of the internet server used by the GPS tracking solution. Software companies who provide trackers will generally preprogram devices to connect to the correct server.

How does the server identify each different GPS tracker?

Each GPS tracking device has a unique code, known as an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This code allows the GPS tracking software to match the GPS tracker in the tracked vehicle to the moving marker you see on the screen.

Can GPS tracking devices be used to create a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Yes. Some devices have a Wi-Fi option, using the cellular data plan on the SIM card in the hardware. Also known as vehicle as a hotspot (VaaH), this option creates a Wi-Fi hotspot area around a vehicle, allowing drivers (and passengers) to access the internet.

What different GPS tracking devices are available?

There are a range of different GPS tracking devices available. While they all serve the same basic function, there are some differences in the data they collect, how they attach to a vehicle and how they are powered. What hardware you use depends on the specific requirements for the data you need to collect.

Can GPS tracking devices be used with geofencing?

Yes, geofences are easy to set up in fleet tracking software and can be used to generate many types of data and notifications. You can generate reports based on when a vehicle leaves and returns to the garage, or get alerted if construction equipment is removed from a worksite.