Covert Tracker Placement

Covert Tracker Placement

Covert Tracking Device Placement

 

It is important to think through where you place a GPS tracker on a vehicle or asset for covert tracking. The location may vary depending on the goal being

GO Rugged Asset Tracker by Geotab

GO Rugged Asset Tracker by Geotab

vehicle recovery due to theft or cover tracking for investigative reasons. Covert tracking may be tracking the vehicle or tracking a package in a law enforcement scenario. Covert vehicle tracking is likely focused on recovering an expensive piece of equipment such as a bulldozer.

Covert tracker placement for tailing a vehicle or determining movements generally means accessing a vehicle very quickly in a public place. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a vehicle for a longer period of time in a private setting, you have a lot of options for GPS tracker placement. Since this is the exception, this post will focus on the covert tracker placement in a public setting. Learn more about covert tracking devices here.

All vehicles are made differently but most newer vehicles contain a lot of plastic which allows for good GPS reception. Metal will block a GPS signal from getting to a GPS tracker but with a little thought, this is not an issue. Modern GPS antennas work significantly better than antennas 10 years ago. Testing placement on your car(s) is the best way to get a good idea of what works and what does not. Since you have a limited time to place a device covertly, consider these variables.

  1. Place the unit where the driver or maintenance people are not likely to go. If the car is a piece of junk with bad tires, place the GPS unit near the spare tire may result in discovery.
  2. Do not place it where a mechanic may easily see it. If you place it near the oil drain plug, a technician may find it when doing an oil change.
  3. If the vehicle is low to the ground, do not place it on the bottom of the frame or a surface where it may be scrapped off going over a speed  bump.

One of the best places to locate a covert GPS tracker is on the vertical edge of the frame about mid vehicle. There are not any parts in this area that would prompt the driver to look in this area or go to this area for a maintenance issue. Another place is on the inside lip of a plastic bumper. An all metal bumper may cause issues because it is metal on three sides. You should be ready to place the device in a location that may not work with a magnet. This means a strap of some type to hold it in place. Do not count on wedging in place and it staying put. With a vehicle vibrating thousands of times per mile, the GPS tracker will always come loose.

If you have more time to install a tracker for vehicle theft recovery you have a few more options but challenges still persist. The good part is you can test the tracking performance before the equipment or asset leaves the shop. “Yellow iron” is called such because of the general steel and durable construction. This construction means there are fewer locations to place the GPS unit. In general look for soft spots or plastic to hide the GPS device. The drivers cab is a common place to start. The cab may offer a soft seat or plastic instrument panel where the tracker can be hidden. The goal is to make it hard enough to find that a thief cannot find it easily at the job site and remove it before leaving. Once the vehicle is off the site, the clock is ticketing to recover the equipment. A lot of equipment ends up at a chop shop where it is disassembled quickly, put into cargo containers and sold for parts in other countries.

To learn more about covert vehicle tracking click here.

 

Covert Tracker for Assets

Creating A Support Case

Creating A Support Case

Initiating a Support Request

Fleetistics has been hard at work looking for ways to improve customer service. To improve communication and reduce customer time reporting an issue, Fleetistics has developed a custom and fully integrated case management system. The goal is for customers to report and issue online and then walk away knowing Fleetistics will research the issue and get back to you with more answers than questions. 

The case management system is not just for GPS device. You can request billing help, training, make portal recommendations and a lot more. 

*Note – anytime a GPS device fails the fastest way to determine if it is a device issue or a vehicle issue is to install it in a vehicle that is working correctly. If the unit reports, the vehicle has an issue. If the device does not report, it is a GPS device issue.

Opening a Support Case

  1. Click the flag shortcut from any location in the MyFleetistics portal
  2. Go to the Device Status Table under the Analytics>Device Status menu
  3. Click the Create Case icon on the Device Status Table

 

Click image to enlarge

Select The Issue

Case Details

Manage Cases

Covert Vehicle Tracking

Covert Vehicle Tracking

Covert Vehicle Tracking

Fleetistics is now offering a rechargeable battery powered covert vehicle tracking solution. This new asset tracker can be recharged in a few hours and tracks for days. The update frequency can be selected to 10 seconds for law enforcement or specialty applications or every 120 seconds for less sensitive situations with a longer battery life.

To learn more about covert vehicle tracking click here.

 

Mobile App Access

Conveniently follow your GPS tracker from the mobile application. From the mobile app you can see the battery status and GPS signal quality of the covert GPS tracker.

 

Covert Vehicle Tracking Solutions

 

 

Covert Vehicle Tracker Placement

Every car, asset or package is different so it takes some testing. In general, putting the GPS tracker under the car where it cannot be seen will provide track data as shown in the image above. The higher under the car you place it, the lower the reception quality. The higher the vehicle and less metal in the vehicle, the better the overall performance. Do some testing to see what works before deploying covertly.

 

Fleet Tracking

If you are a small fleet with a very limited budget, moving one GPS tracker among vehicles is a way to get started. As your fleet grows you can move from a covert tracking scenario to a more permanent installation of a fleet management system such as the Geotab platform.

Sherp ATV Sales – USA

Sherp ATV Sales – USA

Special Application Vehicle

Fleetistics works with city, county, and state government agencies which often have unique needs. The core business of Fleetistics has not shifted from GPS tracking and telematics for fleet management but we have added Sherp ATV sales to the list of available services. The Sherp ATV represents the never-ending drive to be the best we can be for our customers; hence the name Persistence was given to the vehicle. 

The Sherp ATV sales program was implemented because Fleetistics is already talking to organizations that will have an interest and need in Sherp ATV sales due to extreme operating conditions. Also, let’s just face the truth that the Sherp is one cool vehicle and if you are into vehicles, mechanical items, automotive engineering and trucks in general, the Sherp ATV is something to see, ride in and experience. 

 

Sherp ATV Sales Across America

Fleetistics is officially the Sherp ATV dealer for Georgia but Fleetistics can sell a Sherp ATV anywhere in the United States. Fleetistics has access to 44,000 acres in central Florida at a place called River Ranch, south or Orlando. We are also securing access to a smaller but equally tough and muddy location on the west coast close to Tampa. Customers will be able to fly into either location and go for a test ride to see how the Sherp ATV performs under the various conditions of swampy and wet Florida.

CLICK HERE for Sherp sales or call 813.699.9062.

 

Sherp ATV Test Ride

To fully appreciate the Sherp, one must go for a ride in extreme conditions. When you first encounter a mud bog or obstacle you think there is just no way. Then you start to recall some of the specifications such as 63″ tires that can deflate for more traction or inflate for more floatation, the super low gear ratio, the harden steel bottom and lightweight and you start to think just maybe we are going to make it. The first gush of water on the windshield as you hit the hole which is deeper than expected, you take a breath and look for the lifejacket. As the front end bobs up and you hear the paddles on the tires taking over you realize the rugged capable nature of a Sherp ATV. 

 

Sherp ATV Sales

 

We’ve Got Persistence!

Fleetistics is busy preparing Persistence for its debut at the Build Expo #416 in Tampa Oct 24th & 25th. Persistence is a Sherp ATV designed to operate in the extreme conditions of Siberia. With 63” wheels, the name Persistence represents the rugged go anywhere nature of the vehicle. Persistence is also the mantra of Fleetistics’ relentless pursuit of world-class service and GPS based solutions for our fleet management customers. It is also just cool if you are into transportation. Read more about Persistence Sherp ATV here.

 

Fleetistics also chose the Sherp ATV because many Fleetistics’ customers are in the utility, law enforcement, land management, mining, water management, and government sectors and have a practical application for a Sherp ATV. Recent hurricanes have highlighted the need to have amphibious vehicles in the inventory to respond to unique but critical emergencies and disasters. Accessing swampy, wet, deep snow, deep sand or entangled areas quickly can improve response time in an emergency but also be far more cost-effective than a helicopter or other form of transportation. With a payload of about 2,000 lbs, the Sherp ATV brings a “ton” to the table. Add a Sherp trailer which also floats, and you can do even more.

 

Fleetistics is a nationwide Sherp ATV dealer based in the Southeast. If your organization is interested in the Sherp ATV please click here to learn more about scheduling a demonstration. We have options to come to your location or you can come to Tampa and spend some time at the Fleetistics test track to see the Sherp in action and discuss your needs. Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina are logical choices for a Sherp inventory based on hurricane damage experienced this year.

 

Persistence will also be a platform for demonstrating some of the technology sold and supported by Fleetistics. Geotab is a key partner in normal fleet operations but they also provide asset tracking and satellite tracking solutions for remote operations or in areas without cellular service. In-cab video systems from Rosco Vision Systems can provide a real-time video feedback to the EOC. Information and file access is available through Microsoft Office 365 and supported by IGTech365. Online and offline mapping can facilitate navigation in remote areas without cellular network connectivity on rugged tablets. All this technology results in a capable platform with many applications.

 

Persistence is available for an appearance at various events throughout the SE USA. If you would like Persistence at your event click here to learn more. With Persistence being a new marketing campaign now is the time to get your Persistence appearance on our schedule. To view our event calendar, click here. If your organization has a practical application on a Sherp ATV, you can learn more about our sponsorship program here.

 

Stay tuned to see Persistence in action at various events in the near future. For information on GPS tracking, telematics, Sherp ATV or other fleet management technology click here.

Convenient Products & Services Catalog

Convenient Products & Services Catalog

Fleet Services

Fleet-Services-by-Fleetistics

Services offered by Fleetistics as well as key partners.

Fleet Products & Services

Easy Online Ordering

 

Time is money and customers do not want to spend their time placing orders over the phone or playing phone tag. Fleetistics has made the process of browsing the most popular fleet products and services easy and convenient with our Products & Services catalog in the MyFleetistics fleet management portal.

When an order is placed through the portal for fleet products the account manager receives the order for review. Since parts change and it may be confusing, Fleetistics built in a process of checks and balances to reduce the time spent redoing orders or asking questions.

 

Fleet-Products-Expanded-View

Each product or services can be expanded to view more information (left). Features, documents, videos and web pages may be listed with more information.

 

When you select an item it moves to the cart (right) where you can review before placing your order. Your order is not actually being place so there is no obligation by using the cart. If you change your mind or want to update the list, just contact your account manager.

Fleet-Products-Shopping-Cart

Add new services such as cameras or learn more about things such as National Safety Council training.

In-Cab Video by Rosco Vision Systems

In-Cab Video by Rosco Vision Systems

Rosco-Dual-Vision-Camera

Snapshots by Exception

The Rosco Vision System Dual Vision video camera can be operated as a fully integrated solution with the Geotab GPS tracking device or as a standalone system. The integrated solution utilizes the Geotab rules engine to trigger snapshots which are automatically uploaded to the cloud. Fleet managers have a variety of options from this commercial grade video safety system. 

 

  1. Up to 3,000 hours of rolling video
  2. Forward and interior facing camera on the Dual-Vision camera
  3. Add an interior dome camera to monitor cargo
  4. Backup camera to reduce collisions
  5. Up to 8 exterior cameras
  6. Audio recording option
  7. Utilize with or without Geotab

Geotab Privacy Mode

Geotab has created a privacy mode that will allow drivers and fleet managers to temporarily hide their vehicle tracking in the Geotab application. When privacy mode is used, location, speed, and engine data will not be visible. The driving data will still be collected while in privacy mode, however, it will be stored as private.

The purpose of privacy mode is for companies to temporarily not track drivers that take their vehicles home after working hours. This feature can be set to automatically turn on when work hours are finished (for example 5 pm to 8 am) or when a vehicle enters a specific zone. This is a great feature for companies that will let their employees use company-owned vehicles for personal use. Privacy mode can also be used when operating in sensitive areas to hide vehicle movement.

The privacy mode feature is downloaded through the Marketplace inside of the Geotab application. Once it is downloaded, it can be configured so that privacy mode will turn on automatically or it can be left alone so that drivers can turn it on and off themselves. For a driver to enable privacy mode, they will need to install the Geotab Drive app on their phone or smart device. A member of the admin team will also need to create the driver in the database and set them up with a password so that they can log into the Drive app. If your company is using E-Logs/HOS, you do not want to download the Privacy Mode Add-In as it will affect your duty status logs and you may no longer be in compliance per the FMCSA.

 

Learn more and join our: Introduction To Privacy Mode Webinar

In-Cab Video Data Management

Data File Size

Be careful what you change to avoid expensive data overage fees

Controlling Costs

Understanding how camera settings impact your video quality and monthly cost will ensure you find a balance between the two. In general, the default settings have been found to be the best for the average customer. Changing these can increase your cost exponentially so be careful. In-cab video (ICV) is all about data transfer cost. The smaller the video files and the fewer you transmit, the less chance there is for expensive overage fees. These variables also determine how much data can be stored on the SD card in a looping memory. If you normally get 300 hours of recordings, you would only get 150 if you double the size of the data files. Learn more

File Sizes

There are 3 primary variables that impact the data volume used from the monthly data plan. Testing should be done on 1 camera before making changes to all to avoid expensive overage fees.

 

  1. Frame-rate-per second (fps) – The number of images that are captured per second. 7 fps is about what the eye can see. Moving this to 14 fps will double the data being transmitted and consume more of your data plan.
  2. Resolution – The quality of the images captured can make a big difference in the file size. This impacts the data transmitted as well. A standard resolution image is often good enough and produces a file of 2 megs. Going to HD might make the same file 8 megs or 400% more data.
  3. Exception settings – Video exceptions should be for the most important exceptions only. Exceptions such as accident detection or movement after-hours should produce video clips. Creating video exceptions for speeding events could create an excessive amount of exception videos that have no real value. Each in-cab video deducts from your data bucket so choose wisely. If you opted for the live streaming service, leave some data available to stream a few times per month without going over your data plan.

 

Live Video

Live video is an option for some in-cab camera systems. This enables a user online to “see” through the camera and view in the cab or outside the vehicle. This can be handy in specific applications but it consumes a lot of data. Live streaming should be limited to special situations or spot checking. Live streaming cannot be run continuously due to the cost so most cameras timeout after 60 seconds. You can then enable it over and over if needed.

SD Cards

The in-cab video cameras contain an SD card to store video continuously. The number of hours that can be recorded depends on the above variables as well as the size of the SD card itself. 64 gig cards hold a lot of data. If you use a slow or smaller SD card you can run into issues. If an event is not captured as an exception video clip, the SD card can be inserted into a computer and the looping video reviewed to find a particular date and time.

Learn More

Dashcam Catches Flying Car

Dashcam Catches Flying Car

Upper Deck Parking

Dashcam Catches Vehicle Crash
Car jumps median, caught on dashcam
“Recreational marijuana slows response time and will lead to increased accidents.”

A Car Somehow Crashed Into the Second Story of a California Building

Source: Time.com

A dash camera caught a car traveling at a high rate of speed crashing into the second story of a dental office. The car hit the median at a which acted as a ramp, launching the car into the second story office. The passengers were relatively unharmed and one person was able to escape from the vehicle before fire rescue arrived. The passengers admitted to being literally high on narcotics.

Dash cameras are about the only defense a fleet operator has to combat a wild story such as this. The Fleetistics GPS tracking system, includes telematics and HOS but can also be integrated with in vehicle camera systems to capture exact information during an accident. GPS tracking is great but there are behaviors and situations that a dash camera can prove invaluable. When it comes to proving your innocence, there is nothing like having dash camera video. The flip side it, dash camera video can be subpoenaed and quickly be used against you. If your company is focused on fleet safety, a dash camera system is a good investment.