Tracking and monitoring unpowered assets


When it comes to tracking company asset like fleet vehicles, GPS devices are often wired to draw from the vehicle’s power supply. But some assets and equipment don’t have a power supply that you can connect to. The asset might be situated in an isolated location without power, or it may not be possible to connect to its power supply. Is it possible to track non-powered assets with a GPS device?

Telogis has worked with several clients who needed to do just that. For example, you may need to track truck trailers, and also record door opening events. Other objects such as containers or portable offices may also need to be tracked to monitor unauthorized entry, employee start and stop times, or to simply to verify when the asset is on site.

To monitor unpowered assets, you need…

  • A GPS device that has its own power supply
  • Rugged hardware that can withstand extreme weather
  • Devices that are easy to position and attach
  • Hardware that requires little or no maintenance

There are several companies that supply GPS tracking hardware that meets all these requirements. Telogis offers the flexibility to use the hardware best suited to your business.

How are GPS tracking devices powered?

If you can't attach the device to the asset's power supply, how are they powered? Most are powered by special batteries that can last up to seven years. In some units, these batteries can be replaced. The battery life is reduced if frequent status updates are required, but if you only need one or two updates a day you can usually get the maximum life from the battery.

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How are these GPS tracking devices being used?

GPS devices are portable, self-powered and smart enough to incorporate sensors to detect temperature change, door openings or vibrations. Fleet companies have found many different uses for them, particularly in the area of asset security and management.

As fleets grow, the number of assets they manage increases exponentially. This can prove to be a headache for administrative staff, particularly when it comes to asset tracking or inventory management.

With GPS devices attached, assets constantly report their location regardless of where they are in the world. A common dashboard, like that found in Telogis Fleet, allows managers to easily monitor unpowered assets, obtain details on individual items, and receive alerts and notifications when the asset is moved or some other exception occurs.

Other uses for GPS monitoring include:

  • Specifying a geofence for an asset to ensure it stays on the job site. If it is moved from the site, a fleet manager can be automatically alerted.
  • When equipment is moved from a job site, its movements can be tracked.
  • Worker start and stop times can be confirmed, which is useful when verifying client invoicing or if that data is needed for bill recovery.

As GPS tracking becomes more widespread, and the tracking devices more adaptable, the number of different uses will continue to grow. Using GPS fleet tracking, including monitoring unpowered assets, is a giant leap forward in improving office efficiency, saving fleet managers a huge amount of time in tracking and monitoring company equipment.

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