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Iceni Magazine | September 25, 2021

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10 Important Things to Consider When Buying A Tracking Device

tracker device

Whether you intend to use a GPS tracking system for personal or commercial use, this device offers a lot more than the geographical location of your vehicle.

What differentiates the quality of a GPS tracking device is how it gathers, transmits, and presents the location-based tracking data to the end-user. In the Audi Q3 review, GPS capabilities come as standard fittings.

The data offers commercial vehicle operators real-time tracking abilities, which help them optimize their operation and resources efficiency. With a few options available on the market, how you intend to utilize the device will determine the one you choose; however, here are things to consider when shopping for a GPS tracking device.

1. Live Tracking vs Passive Tracking

There are two types of tracking data system, live tracking and passive tracking. Passive tracking means that the data receiver stores monitoring data in 15 to 30 minutes intervals, in some cases even longer. Commercial users typically store data from the receiver once all vehicles have returned to base at the end of the day.

Avoid relying on a passive data reading of 2 or 3 minutes, rather wait the recommended 30 minutes or longer. On the other hand, live tracking is more reliable and actively updates vehicle data every 2 minutes, giving you real-time information.  

2. Software

GPS tracking systems use various computer software to operate, and in many cases, need installation. Utilizing proprietary software, these computers need regular manual downloads and upgrades; ultimately, this means the tracking data can only operate and be viewed on proprietary software compatible systems. This kind of software is not ideal if you want to view data from multiple devices, from anywhere.

To have this freedom, you want to get an internet-based GPS tracking system that will share the data you need on a secure network. When deciding on a specific tracking system, the internet-based system makes it possible to access data 24/7. Usable devices include but are not limited to smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktop, provided it has internet accessibility.

3. Reporting Quality

To help you make strategic business decisions, you need a flexible GPS tracking system with the capabilities of reporting customized data. The flexibility of the tracking device should allow you to generate and retrieve data instantly when you need it. However, it must have customizable yet automated data collection features on a weekly or monthly basis.

If a GPS tracking system cannot allow you such quality reporting capabilities, move to the next one.  Whether you want your reports online, in email, or in spreadsheet format, the system should allow. Customizable by date and time, essential reports should be archived for at least a year. These reports generally include speed violations, excessive idling, starts and stops, and more data.

4. Alerting Features

An alerting feature is probably one of the most critical features in a GPS tracking system. Any unwanted or abnormal behaviour should come up as an alert on a selected device. Given explicit notification and recording, these alerts should be flagged and form part of the essential reports for action. The notification alert can come in any chosen form, via mobile device or email.

When your vehicle travels into a specific or foreign geographical location, and when violations like excessive speeding occur, the signal can be triggered. When your car is due for scheduled maintenance, based on engine-on time or miles driven, the system should be coded to alert you and the driver for action. Avoid wasting your time on GPS systems without the above critical features; look for another one.

5. Quality Mapping

Sound GPS tracking systems are partnered with renowned mapping companies. Such a partnership for tracking systems is an advantage providing accurate and updated mapping data from a well-established company. Using advanced technology, a good quality mapping system will allow graphical zoom features to a street-level position, from different map view, angles like a birds-eye, satellite and street map.

6. Real-time Tracking

You should seek a tracking device with efficient real-time tracking capabilities to help track and follow your fleet accurately for your fleet. Knowing the exact location of your vehicles with live tracking gives you complete control and management over your fleet to best service them proactively. Real-time monitoring provides you with information to help calculate accurate trip times, Estimated arrival time at each destination for your fleet.

Should you need to call for emergency response, you can give emergency services accurate live tracking. An added advantage to live tracking prevents unauthorized use of your fleet, whether your drivers or your teenage son/daughter at home.

7. Safety

Sometimes you may not be tracking your vehicles full time, or maybe you are sleeping, taking your well-deserved rest. For this reason and safety, real-time automated alerts are vital. Notifications features in a GPS tracking system allow you to be on top of unsafe driving habits from your driver. Rapid acceleration, over-speeding, harsh cornering, hard braking, and more habits could lead to severe accidents if not corrected immediately. Be proactive and rectify any poor driving habits to keep safety at the highest level.  

8. Fleet Maintenance

To mitigate any unplanned or delays in vehicle maintenance, and automated fleet management schedule should be integrated into the tracking information system, which helps decrease downtime or possible breakdowns on the road. Before any minor technical issues become severe and prove costly, real-time alerts give you enough time to plan corrective measures.

9. Warranty and Upgrades

You know you are getting a good product when you are offered a warranty for an extended period. It is critical to confirm the product warranty before installing the tracking system. The last thing you want to worry about is the maintenance and replacement costs of the device once you leave the shop. A long-term warranty gives you peace of mind that the product will last for a reasonable amount of time and product updates as tracking innovations improve.   

10. Staff & Fleet Size Management

In any business, cost-saving margins are critical to the lifeline of the operation, and this is where accurate tracking data comes in. GPS tracking data gives management all the necessary information about the frequency of staff and fleet utilization. Informed decisions from such data include planning the right fleet size and staffing, allowing you to manage your operating costs.


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