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Why is GPS asset tracking important for powered and non-powered equipment?

By Verizon Connect May 21, 2024

Effective fleet management goes beyond just tracking vehicles. All assets and equipment are crucial to fleet-dependent businesses, yet powered and non-powered assets can be harder to keep tabs on—or simply get overlooked—when implementing GPS tracking. Powered and non-powered assets are just as vital to fleet and company success. With telematics, fleet managers can seamlessly track assets as well as vehicles. Asset trackers offer a reliable and effective solution for visibility into your entire fleet, powered or not. 

What are non-powered assets and how do you track them?

Non-powered assets include generators, tanks, gear boxes, dumpsters, trailers and any other equipment that cannot run under its own power supply yet is crucial to the operational productivity of a business.

To monitor non-powered assets, you can use the same telematics-based GPS technology that you use to monitor powered assets and vehicles. The GPS asset tracking device will need its own power source, so an asset tracker with a long life battery is crucial. It must also be rugged, weatherproof and waterproof to withstand the extreme conditions the asset might encounter. 

The benefits of tracking devices for both powered and non-powered assets

For companies managing a mix of assets, GPS asset tracking can help give better visibility into equipment location and utilization and help improve proactive maintenance. Monitoring your powered and non-powered assets can provide three distinct benefits.

Utilization and inventory management

As your fleet grows, the number of assets you manage increases. This can prove challenging for your administrative staff, especially when it comes to asset tracking and inventory management. Your team must not only maintain an accurate asset inventory, but needs to also determine how efficiently each asset is utilized. Since all assets are not likely to be in use at the same time, there is a potential for underutilization, wasting your business’ money. 

GPS-based asset tracking software can help you get a better sense of which assets are in use, at what location and in what way. This type of full asset visibility improves your resource efficiency and bottom line, enabling you to:

  • Reduce costs and fuel consumption by analyzing usage, travel and “power on” duration. This can save money on fuel and power by enabling more efficient scheduling and providing data for employee coaching opportunities regarding wasteful practices.
  • Identify underused assets that can be sold or repurposed elsewhere.
  • Track asset usage by project to improve cost analysis and confirm billing.
  • Monitor asset location and time of use. You can track when specific assets are in use, and if it’s in the manner for which they’re intended.
  • Generate advanced utilization reports for powered assets to learn asset movement duration and idle time, as well as location and distance traveled.
  • Make more informed decisions around renting additional assets vs. redeploying underutilized, owned assets.
  • Decide what you want to monitor and how often you want the GPS asset tracker to report—frequency and manner of reporting is configurable to meet your business needs.

For example, J&M Contracting based in Conroy, Texas, needed a way to monitor the whereabouts of its heavy equipment in the field, which was often left unmanned and unguarded during off hours. Now, with GPS tracking, J&M benefits from enhanced fleet management and accurate data reporting. With precise mapping by Google Maps API and minute-by-minute location of all assets, managers know exact locations of their assets around the clock. The Verizon Connect Reveal platform also comes with several other features such as notifications about driving habits and idle time.


One stolen asset can lead to significant replacement costs, lost opportunity costs, unplanned downtime and customer and employee frustration. 

Whether standalone, or attached to a vehicle, your fleet equipment requires the same protections and precautions as your fleet vehicles. Investing in GPS tracking technology can provide added asset security, whether to deter thieves from stealing or to locate missing assets. It provides near real-time notifications when an asset is:

  • Used during unauthorized time periods or off-hours
  • Moved or towed
  • Taken outside specified geofenced areas

It also provides the ability to:

  • Locate assets and assist in theft recovery using breadcrumb tracking
  • Leverage near real time alerts to immediately notify the police
  • “Check in” at configurable intervals based on your security requirements

When a backhoe valued at approximately $50,000 went missing, J&M Contracting needed a way to track the location and use of its equipment in the field. They chose Verizon Connect’s asset tracking solution. Soon after implementation, someone stole a backhoe from a construction site and thought they made a clean escape. However, with the new asset tracking solution in place, J&M was able to track the location of the back hoe and recover the expensive stolen equipment.

"Our insurance agent is so happy that we have this telematics system because we haven't had to report a theft since we got into the Verizon program.” – Garland Spivey, Fleet Manager, J&M Contracting

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Properly maintaining assets is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain fleet productivity and profitability. Yet you may need help transitioning from manual record keeping to electronic-based monitoring to stay on top of service and repairs. Deploying a GPS-based asset tracking solution can help mitigate maintenance issues by helping you to:

  • Reduce costly downtime with data which enables planning for preventive maintenance
  • Improve maintenance scheduling accuracy based on quantifiable metrics (e.g., engine hours, distance traveled, etc.)
  • Obtain on demand and scheduled reporting

Learn how GPS asset tracking can help you get more out of your valuable equipment and resources.

What to look for in an asset tracking platform

When investing in GPS asset tracking technology, it’s important to look for solutions that provide comprehensive features that work with your unique needs for both powered and non-powered assets. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right solution:

  • The ability to track vehicles, powered and non-powered assets on one software platform
  • A platform which is intuitive, comprehensive and easy-to-use
  • A platform with near real time mapping and features such as alerts, reports, configurable features and outstanding support
  • A solution that seamlessly integrates with your existing systems and fleet management technology 

Verizon Connect can provide a 360° view of business-critical data, helping you to achieve your organization's business goals. With Verizon Connect’s robust, centralized software, asset tracking, Live Map and reporting, fleet managers can have more visibility into their device location and performance to proactively track vehicles, powered and non-powered assets, plan for maintenance and secure their valuable equipment. 

Is it time to upgrade your asset management solution? Check out our buyer's guide to learn more details about what to look for in an asset tracking solution.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Cost control, Vehicle & asset security, Data & Analytics

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