Globalstar Data Processing Services

Globalstar – The Company

Globalstar data from GPS and other devices is harvested and transmitted by their network of LEO (low earth orbit) satellites. This network provides coverage for 80% of the earth’s surface. They are the premier low-cost satellite communications provider for our industry. When cellular services simply do not provide enough coverage and two-way communication is not needed, Globalstar is the recognized cost-effective leader.

The Globalstar vision statement clearly communicates that connectivity is one of the great commodities in people’s lives today and they are committed to sustainment of the most reliable communication services.

 

 

 

Raw Globalstar Data Processing for Custom Solutions

Fleet managers face significant programming challenges and expense when planning to implement Globalstar data. First of all, developers must decode the data from the device. The data from Globalstar devices is delivered in a complex code string. Each number in the code string means something, similar to a VIN code on a vehicle.

 

Auto Zone VIN breakdown

 

 

 

In contrast, Globalstar code strings are not straightforward like a VIN. The code string must be translated into a usable format before being processed. Only then can you direct the data to the correct destination and insert it into a database. This requires infrastructure and extensive development.

Fortunately, Fleetistics offers a service that covers these steps. The processed data is provided to clients via API. Clients use the API to insert the data into their database, and it is available for use as needed by the customer.

The Fleetistics data service enables customers to implement Globalstar technology significantly faster, and moves the maintenance of the APIs and processing service to Fleetistics. As new Globalstar devices, protocols and services are updated, Fleetistics updates the web service to support all Fleetistics customers.

 

 

Small and Medium Size Business Challenges

 

 

AT-5500C Asset Tracker

This technology is readily available for use, but Globalstar products provide raw data. They do not provide a one size fits all user interface that allows you to consume Globalstar data and integrate it into your daily business operations.

Fleetistics has the back end for Globalstar data products in place and ready for you to use. GPS location reporting is integrated into the MyFleetistics portal, complete with monitoring and event alerts for your mobile assets almost anywhere. You can have all the advantages without taking on a costly and complicated development project.

 

 

Integrated Solutions

MyFleetistics existing Asset Tracker integration provides a user-friendly interface to view Globalstar tracking updates. We also provide a variety of premium services in addition to standard GPS asset tracking. After hours Priority Notification Service, Globalstar data displayed on road, satellite, or weather maps, and forecast weather overlays are just a few of the choices. We also have a device health view connected to our tech-support services that allows you to quickly identify devices displaying low battery voltage, and devices that have not reported.

Fleetistics turns that raw Globalstar data into valuable and easily consumable business intelligence, without the hassle of developing in house. Call us today for a live demo or to discuss your custom integration needs.

Trailer Load Balancing

Trailer Load Balancing For Safety

Trailer load balancing is important to understand because it is crucial to achieving a properly loaded trailer. We have all seen an overloaded trailer rolling down the highway at some point. Tree trucks, roofing materials, carpets, rock or tile and large boats all come to mind for unsafe trailer loading. Always remember, balance will make a huge difference in vehicle safety and stability and the end result is a safer, more comfortable ride.

 

Be safer by training employees to ensure properly loaded trailers.

Unbalanced loads are listed as the #3 towing risk according to the popular website How Stuff Works. The #1 towing risk cited is swaying. Sway primarily happens because of poor trailer load balance, so if you plan to tow, learn what you need to know about trailer load balance before you load.

 

Trailer load balance with Sherp

Fleetistics Sherp Properly Loaded on Trailer

 

This dramatic video shows the importance of properly trailer load balancing. The effect of placing the majority of the load behind the trailer axle can dramatically impact handling. One might think that putting the load forward of the trailer tires would spread the load between the trailer and the truck but the impact on steering handling is a dangerous consequence.

 

The video is great continuing education content and is only a few minutes long. It is a real eye opener to the impact of improper loading. At the same time you can review trailer inspections, tongue weight, DOT regulations and maintenance.

 

Learn more about GPS trailer tracking

Choosing an Asset Tracker

Choosing an Asset Tracker

Understanding the features, cost and communication method is essential to selecting an asset tracker. Asset trackers vary features and one key feature might dramatically improve your ROI. The first step to getting it right is to make a list of the features you must have and the features you would like to have. Find asset trackers that have the “must have” features and work from there. Getting everything in writing and demonstrated is also important. Your concept of a feature might very different from that of the sales rep.

 

Getting What You Need, Will Save You Money

There are several things to consider when investing in a GPS system to track assets. Thinking through these factors will ensure you make the right choice. You will notice that price is not a consideration listed. When dealing with $250,000+ equipment or $10,000 utility carts, the price difference between a $200 asset tracker and a $400 asset tracker is irrelevant if you get what you need.

 

Rugged Construction

Obviously, the environment for tracking heavy equipment is quite harsh on electronics. At a minimum, you want an IP-67 rating. Asset trackers should least be weatherproof, dust proof and designed to handle the high vibration found on equipment. Few units are designed to withstand pressure washing from less than 3 feet. When selecting an asset tracker get the technical specification sheet available for all devices. View GO Rugged

 

Backup Battery

A common feature requested is a backup battery. A backup battery can play a key role but batteries have limitations ranging from a last gasp transmission to a reduced reporting profile so the battery can last longer if the main power is disconnected. Get a clear understanding of the battery size and expected performance so you can make a good decision. Selecting an asset tracker without a backup battery means the device must always have power to function. If constant power is an issue, focus on the size of the battery and how the device performs when running on battery power. View System

 

Right Data

Ultimately the selecting an asset tracker means getting the data YOU need, not what the sales rep wants to sell you. Having a clear understanding of what is required from the data and what data you would like to have before you shop for an equipment tracking system will make your buying process more efficient.

It is important to keep the list of required data as short as possible. The more required data, the fewer your choices. If engine hours are required, almost any equipment tracker will work. If you need engine diagnostics codes from a CAT, Komatsu, Case, John Deere or Bobcat, the choices are very limited and often expensive relative to less capable asset tracking systems.

Equipment tracking might be part of a bigger fleet management program. Therefore, the data provided by the equipment tracker may need to look like vehicle tracking data and be in the same interface. A system like the GO System enables fleet managers to see similar data, in the same interface and set the same alerts and reports. This convenience saves time in more complex fleet environments. If the requirements are simple and static, an independent system which is lower in cost might do the trick.

 

GO RUGGED WORKS WITH GO SYSTEM AS AN INTEGRATED FLEET MANAGEMENT PLATFORM – READ MORE

 

Sample Asset Tracker Requirements:

  1. IP67 rated for durability
  2. Backup battery to aid in theft recovery
  3. Location data to indicated productivity and aid in theft recovery
  4. GPS position every 10 minutes when in motion to indicate productivity
  5. GPS position every 24 hours when ignition is off for inventory & field service
  6. Tow alert movement without ignition, indicating theft
  7. Zone violation alert between 8 pm and 6 am Monday Sunday
  8. Engine hours for routine maintenance and tracking billable hours

 

Installing Asset Trackers

Installing an asset tracker or equipment tracker can be a challenge or as simple as slapping it on the top, depending on your intended use. The type of material and angle have a lot to do with getting good GPS location information. GPS trackers have a directional antenna and facing the antenna toward the ground or putting up against the metal frame will degrade the GPS signal. For instance, putting the GPS unit in the engine compartment is often not going to work.

As an anti-theft device you would want to place it in a location that is not obvious. The challenge is that where you want to hide it, it may not get a GPS signal. GPS signals are blocked by metal so be sure to test the location before putting everything back together. One idea is to put the GPS device in the light housing. Customers have purchase amber light housings on eBay for $20 and hid the GPS inside.

Put the GPS system in a location where it is not likely to get pressure washed. The driver is not going to know or pay attention to the IP67 limitation (debris and moisture rating) of not pressure washing from less than 3 feet. The driver might accidentally wash it from 1 foot forcing water into the unit which will not be covered by warranty.

Protect the connections by soldering the connections and then putting heat shrink tubing over the connections. Ideally the connections are out of the line of fire of pressure washing. You may need to build a shield or put the unit and connections behind something to protect it.

If have a need to track heavy equipment (yellow iron), skid steers, ATV, utility carts, trailers, train cars, cargo containers, generators, boats, motorcycles or just about anything, contact Fleetistics. With 16+ years of asset and vehicle tracking experience, Fleetistics provides a complete line of solutions to meet your needs. 855-300-0527 or www.fleetistics.com.