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Battery-powered GPS tracking for assets

By Simon Austin June 25, 2020

The Importance of battery-powered GPS for asset tracking

All assets and equipment are crucial to fleet-dependent businesses. Yet some are harder to keep tabs on than others—or simply get overlooked. It's common to focus on vehicles  and other powered assets when it comes to implementing GPS-based telematics for vehicle tracking purposes. Unpowered assets, however, are just as vital to fleet and company success. You can use the same telematics technology that tracks powered assets to keep track of valuable unpowered assets too with battery- powered GPS location tracking devices.

What are unpowered assets and what do you need to monitor them?

Non-powered assets include generators, tanks, gearboxes, tools, skips, shipping containers, 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 unpowered assets, you can use the same telematics-based GPS technology that you use for vehicle tracking. Keep in mind that the GPS device must have its own power source, whether that's a rechargeable or one-time use portable GPS tracker with a long battery life. It must also be rugged enough (weatherproof and waterproof) to withstand any extreme conditions that the asset that it’s monitoring might encounter. You can opt for self-powered asset trackers with an extended battery life of up to four years, or choose from other options including 12V DC, 24V DC, 48V AC, 110V AC or 220V AC chargers. You can still track assets even when they’re outside of the cellular network 4G LTE/5G LTE range by choosing GPRS cellular network data. By implementing battery-powered GPS trackers, your organisation can stay informed about a range of asset-related conditions, from temperature changes and door openings to vibrations or movement.

The benefits of battery- powered GPS trackers for unpowered assets

Whether you’re trying to get better visibility into equipment in general, want to improve asset utilisation, or want to improve maintenance, using an integrated GPS-based asset tracking solution can help. As a company that operates a fleet of vehicles and assets, monitoring your unpowered assets in addition to your powered assets can provide distinct benefits.

Utilisation and inventory management: As your fleet grows, the number of assets you manage increases. This can prove challenging for your administrative staff, particularly when it comes to asset tracking and inventory management. Not only is it hard to get an accurate count of what assets your company has, it’s difficult to determine how each is being utilised. While it’s unlikely that all assets are being used simultaneously, a good number are probably being used for multiple purposes at the same time. This is where GPS asset tracking comes in.

Using battery- powered GPS tracking devices alongside fleet management software can help you get a better sense of which assets are being used, at what location and in what way. It can also highlight which assets are operating at optimal productivity and which aren't. Tracking assets in this way gives your company full visibility into your assets, improving your resource efficiency and bottom line, enabling you to:

  • Identify assets that can be sold or repurposed elsewhere
  • Track asset usage by project to improve cost analysis
  • Know when and how specific assets are being used with near real-time location data
  • Get a centralised, comprehensive view of all data to improve asset utilisation
  • Use utilisation reports to learn how often assets are used across geographic locations
  • Make more informed decisions around renting additional assets vs. redeploying underutilised, owned assets
  • Simply decide what you want to monitor and how often you want the battery- powered GPS tracker to report—frequency and manner of reporting is configurable to meet your business needs.

Security: It is estimated that the construction industry loses over £400 million per year due to vandalism and theft. 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 battery- powered GPS tracking technology that provides location updates can have the benefit of added asset security, whether to deter thieves from stealing or to locate missing assets. It also affords:

  • Near real-time notification when an asset is used during unauthorised time periods or off-hours
  • Near real-time notification if an asset is moved or towed
  • Near real-time notification if an asset is taken outside specified geofence areas
  • Ability to locate assets and assist in theft recovery using breadcrumb tracking
  • Ability to leverage instant alerts to immediately notify the police
  • If a driver steals a vehicle connected to non-powered equipment, see which driver’s fob was used to start the ignition and give authorities that information
  • Digital backup of stolen asset data for proof of ownership in filing a claim

Maintenance: PPoorly maintained equipment and vehicles age faster, requiring replacement approximately 80,467 kilometers before regularly maintained vehicles or pieces of equipment. 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 recordkeeping to electronic-based monitoring to stay on top of service and repairs. Deploying a battery powered GPS tracking solution can help mitigate asset maintenance issues by getting ahead of them before they happen, including helping you to:

  • Reduce costly downtime and minimise job stoppage via preventive maintenance
  • Achieve proactive, integrated maintenance management via diagnostic alerts
  • Improve maintenance scheduling accuracy based on metrics (e.g. engine hours)
  • Hold verified, paperless inspections to ensure all equipment is in optimal condition
  • Create alerts for parts when they need replacing

What to look for in an asset tracking solution

When investing in battery GPS tracking technology for your assets, it’s important to look for solutions that provide comprehensive features that work with your unique needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The ability to track powered AND non-powered assets on one system
  • A platform that is intuitive, comprehensive and easy-to-use
  • A solution that seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, fleet management technology and other software (like OEM factory-installed telematics)

Find out how our platform gives you the visibility you need to get more done.

Simon Austin

Simon is the Associate Director, International Marketing, EMEA & APAC. With over 20 years marketing experience in the IT software and business analytics industry, Simon believes passionately in the power of data and how it can help business realise their full potential faster.

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