GPS Tracking Small Equipment Reduces Theft
One of the biggest requests we get is how to protect small equipment from theft. Mowers are one of the most frequently stolen units because of their mobility, value and ability to provide revenue. They are hard to trace since most police will not randomly stop and check VINs on a mower. GPS tracking small equipment is a good way to reduce the risk of not recovering your mower, monitor productivity and add a layer of safety. GPS trackers and mobile app trackers are affordable options for any landscaping company. Fleetistics can track trucks, people and equipment in one account for central command and control. GPS tracking small equipment may also reduce your insurance premiums if you have an ongoing theft problem.
Contact Fleetistics to discuss your GPS tracking small equipment needs. 855.300.0527
Tips To Deploying GPS Tracking for Small Equipment
- Â Find a device with battery life greater than 2 years
- Â Match the GPS device cell network to the cell network that works well in your area
- Understand how the GPS device will be reporting at rest and when in motion
- After installation, review the data to see how it looks
- Combine various security measures such as motion detectors, dogs, cameras, chain and fencing in conjunction with GPS tracking. The stress of the theft process will reduce their interest in searching for a GPS tracker.
View Video Transcript
Part 1- Transcript of GPS Small Equipment Tracking
Hi everybody, Eron with Fleetistics and today we are going to be talking about different types of tracking. We are going to talk a little bit about tracking zero turn mowers we also have an opportunity to talk about trailer tracking.
There are a lot of customers that lose these expensive commercial mowers to theft, we can track mowers to help recover them in the case of their stolen but we can also track the mowers to help indicate productivity. It’s one thing to get to a job site, it’s completely a different situation for that expensive piece of equipment to get right to work and be busy throughout the course of the day.
If you’re on a job for four hours but you’ve only got two hours of cutting and you’ve gotta ask yourself why. Why are we losing productivity and we can do that through a physical GPS device hidden on the mower itself or we can utilize a mobile app which can be provided to the driver which has secondary benefits. So if you are using something like this in a commercial application in you are out in a remote area say you’re cutting a retention pond and you send somebody out to do it by themselves or even if they’re in a team in there working in different areas but from the same vehicle; what happens if something happens to that employee? If the mower rolls over or the mower gets stuck something of that nature.
On a couple acre property it might take you quite a while to figure out where they are, especially if they rolled own an embankment or rolled into the water God forbid. So having a mobile app that functions in addition to tracking the equipment but can also track the employee if they get up off the equipment and walk somewhere to do some work provides some very nice secondary benefits so will pop some screen shots of what a mower in action looks like through the mobile app and then we can talk about you know what are the some of the differences between mobile app tracking and device tracking.
So the first thing I wanna do those I wanna talk about where on earth can you install a tracking device on a zero turn mower like this. So first I’m gonna grab a tracking device and we’ll go from there. Okay so here we have a fairly typical battery powered asset tracker and this is just a off the shelf waterproof boxes you can get almost anywhere. These asset trackers are typically IP67 rated so they are ready for heavy vibration as well as a wet environment that you typically find on a mower.
If you want to provide some additional camouflage or you want to provide some additional protection then a box like this can be that type of additional protection. You just simply put this inside of there it’s not gonna be any interference this is simply plastic so it’s not a problem. But, this little tracker here could be hidden on the mower and let’s take a look at the mower itself and kind of discuss some areas that we might put a tracker like this and why some areas might be better than others. So let’s switch over to the mower.
Okay so obviously we want to hide the tracker on the mower somewhere and what we really have to be careful of is not putting it in a location that is going to interfere with the operation of the mower or going to inter interact with the things that are being cut. When you have heavy vegetation things like that obviously that comes into play and it could wipe the device off vehicle the mower if it’s in the wrong location. So you start to get kind of limited.
The other thing to take into account is that you know GPS now is way better than it used to be so you can put these trackers upside down sideways you know all different angles. Which you wouldn’t want to do is completely surround them in metal I E. if you put it inside the control units like down in this area down here you may not get the performance that you’re looking for. Now that’s a really really good spot so you just take the tracker that you have and put in that environment and test it and see what happens but understand that is kind of the worst case scenario for placing a tracker.
The next thing or the next place to take a look would be pretty typically would be like under the seat. So lets go ahead so lets go ahead pop the seat and under the seat we’ve got a few options. The first place to look is directly actually on the bottom of the seat but you need to make sure that when the driver comes down the unit isn’t hitting of some kind of surface down here which the driver would be able to feel through the backside.
So you’ll be smart about where you located there the second challenge in this location is what do you actually attach it to it how are you going to attach it? Are you going to use the 3M tape which is really really good stuff it’s almost you know it’s almost too hard to get it off if you decide you want to move it later. If you put to in two strips of the one inch 3M automotive this tracker is absolutely not going anywhere.
You can also look up underneath the battery plate. So the battery sets on a piece of metal you could look at sticking it up underneath that or down in this area there’s actually a metal structural plate that connects the frame into different areas if you could put it underneath that somebody that. Stealing this mower is not going to be looking at all those particular areas. I mean they’re thieves for a reason right. They’re gonna take a quick look perhaps but after they’ve done a quick look they’re gonna move on so your mower and hopefully at that point you have a GPS coordinate yeah.
Obviously don’t go recover the mole yourself call the police and go get your mower but also with people they don’t do it again the next time that you’re out. So you know you really got to kind of play and do some testing with the placement of the device because these devices all very to you know the quality of the GPS receiver how they transmit that type of thing varies between asset trackers and how they are configured.
You may have the same asset trackers your buddy but this one could be programmed differently from the one that your friend has so that’s something important understand. Now let’s talk a little bit about how these are going to perform as opposed to a vehicle tracking system which might be on a on a vehicle. Anytime that you have a battery solution you’ve got to be aware that you have to control how it the reports. If you don’t it just reports once every minute then what’s gonna happen is this is going to die so fast that you’re gonna get very frustrated going around chasing batteries to replace them all the time.
You could get a unit that wires into the mower with a backup battery which is really kind of the best combination so when the mowers running throughout the course of the day it’s recharging the batteries but when the mowers off the batteries in the unit are now supplying the tracking and the tracking when the when the unit is powered is going to look different than it would when it was using the batteries. So you have to understand that difference now let’s talk about mobile apps.
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We have a mobile app that you can put on your android or iOS and it uses the phone’s GPS and it stores that information on the phone and then you can look at that track information either on a portal or we have a version that is less expensive that will email information in and you can look at it you know essentially from an email report. The portal one is great because you just log into a cloud account and then you look at the you know the the assets you know where they are throughout the course the that’s a little bit more traditional tracking that you probably interested in doing.
If you want to see if the guy’s got the job site then the mobile app would give you that visibility and then you would start to be able to see them go back and forth as they were mowing and cutting and things like that. If they went MIA you’d be able to see you know where they disappeared. But, also in the mobile app the other big advantages but you get an sos button and the sos button has a couple different ways of alerting.
So if there is an emergency somebody back in your office would get notified and then you can call and try to get a hold of somebody or dispatch 911 out to the exact location because you now know that. So it’s a big big safety variable and we all know that with equipment like this it only takes a second for things to go terribly wrong and it could be a widow maker dead tree that drops a limb because you hit the lower branches and all of the sudden it breaks often falls on somebody. You could slide this thing down into a pond. You get stuck in mud. All different kinds of things that happen out there. You guys certainly know all the stories that you’ve encountered over the years.
It is possible that you want a asset tracker for theft and then you would go with the mobile app to monitor the productivity side right? So you can do combinations and we can put all of that data into one GPS account where you can see everything and when I say everything that includes the trailer. So this type of unit is very well suited for mounting underneath the trailer like this and if your trailer gets stolen then you got a chance to get back and then we can also incorporate vehicle tracking.
If you’re looking at vehicles trailers, and equipment, all in the same account all the same screen. One of our systems allows you to change the icons so you could differentiate between those three things and really get a really good picture of what’s going on out in the field.
So if you have any questions about GPS tracking, vehicle tracking, asset tracking, how to do installs, what type of device is going to work best for you, what of mobile apps and asset trackers are gonna work for you, give Fleetistics a call and talk to one of our account managers. We’ve been doing this for over twenty years account managers are very experienced and talking through all different types of scenarios and we have a lot of different technology that we can help you with, not only out of the box, but if you want something custom to we’ve got free API’s that allow you to do integrations and other systems.
So contact Fleetistics.com and let us know and we’re here to help you so thank you and good luck and may you never have a expensive commercial mower stolen again .