GPS tracking your vehicles helps keep your business or family safe in many ways. This has led many people to wonder if they can use tracking to keep other expensive assets such as trailers, boats, construction equipment and even cargo units safe. The answer is yes, you can get all of the advantages of vehicle tracking for your other assets. There are a few differences between tracking vehicles and equipment, though. The key is taking the time set up your app for asset tracking instead of tracking vehicles.
Choosing The Right Equipment For Asset Tracking
Before you optimize your tracking app, you need to pick the right GPS tracker unit. Plug and play devices (such as the GoTrack EZ) will only work with a vehicle’s OBD II port. If you want to track something with a constant 12 volt power supply, though, you might be able to use a hard-wired device (like the GoTrack 3-Wire). The best option in many cases is a self contained battery powered unit such as GoTrack’s TTU-720. This type of tracker unit operates without being connected to an external power supply. That means it can be mounted to parked trailers, containers and more. This type of tracker can even be bolted to smaller, but valuable, pieces of equipment such as lawn mowers, heavy duty air compressors and generators.
Optimize Your App For Asset Tracking
Once your GPS units are in place, it is time to optimize your app settings for asset tracking. With GoTrack you can log in through our website (http://www.gotrack.com) or through our free smartphone apps (available for Apple and Android smartphones). Unless you have someone constantly monitoring your GPS units, it is best to download the smartphone app. This way you can monitor your trackers right from your phone.
Instead of actively monitoring the GoTrack app 24 hours a day you can get alerts via text or email. Under the Settings tab, select the button next to “Enable notifications for all devices in this account.” This means you will receive alerts from all of your GoTrack GPS trackers.
Under this button there are a number of options to enable. For asset tracking, select the following:
Device goes offline
GPS unit power
These selections mean that you will get alerts if the tracker stops working, has low power, moves, exceeds a speed limit or leaves an area (we will set up those last two parameters later). To be sure that you are getting alerts as quickly as possible set up text messaging notifications. You can find directions to set this up on the GoTrack website. It is easy to do (you just need to know your phone number and cell phone provider).
Customize Your App For Asset Tracking
Now that your GoTrack app is set up to send alerts, there are a few options to set so you get the most out of the app for asset tracking. If your assets and vehicles should only be operating during certain hours, set work hours under Settings. If any of your trackers moves outside of these pre-set hours, you will get an alert. On the Settings page you will find a section titled Working Hours. This will allow you to set working hours for every day of the week. Be sure to check the “Notify for motion outside working hours” box to enable these alerts.
Just under the Working Hours section you will see a Speed Limit section. Here, you can set a maximum speed limit for all of your units. If you are only tracking assets, and not vehicles, set the limit low so you will get an alert whenever it moves. For stationary assets, like cargo boxes or generators, you can set the limit very low (5 miles per hour). However, if you are tracking something that does move, such as lawn mowers or skid steers, you may want to set the limit just a bit higher than the equipment moves when operating.
Geo-Fences And Their Uses
Finally, you can get even more out of your asset tracking system by using geo-fences. A geo-fence is small area created around a location marked on your app. Basically, your app draws a circle around a location you specify, such as your warehouse or home. Whenever a tracker moves through that circle (in or out), you get an alert.
Imagine you set up a geofence on your latest jobsite. If the tracker leaves the location, you will get an alert. You can do this by going to the Locations tab while you are logged into your app and clicking “Add New Location.” Enter the address you wish to mark, then choose to create a circular goefence and select the radius. If your equipment is going to move around on the site, choose a slightly larger radius. If your tracker should remain motionless, choose the smallest possible radius. If you store equipment at a certain location (such as your business parking lot, warehouse or a rented storage unit), be sure to mark it as well! Learn more about geofences in this short article.
Now that you have set up these alerts, you are ready for asset tracking with GoTrack. Your phone should automatically get a text message if your equipment moves, especially if it leaves the marked geofence. If someone does attempt to take a trailer or cargo box equipped with a tracker, you will be able to see exactly where they are going!