Types of Trackers & Telematic Hardware

How to Pick the Right GPS Tracking Device

When its time to implement a tracking solution, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed by the number of GPS Tracking & Telematics units on the market. Let’s do a quick review of the some of the key features you may want to consider:

Power Source: Battery Operated vs. External Power

One of the first things to consider when picking a device is whether the unit is going to be permanently connected to an external power supply, like vehicle power. If not, then a device with a large, internal battery like our SageTracker is going to be a better choice.

Tracking Method: “Real Time” vs. “On Demand”

If you want to have a complete history of where the device has been over the last day, week, or month, then you will want to select hardware that is always reporting, or what we call a Real Time device. Most of our equipment operates in Real Time, with the one exception being our ST Guardian Locator. The Guardian only reports its location when you ask it to, which eliminates the monthly service fee.

Telemetry Suite: Location Only vs. Full Telematics

All of the equipment we offer provides information on where the vehicle is, and where it has been, but these days there is also the option to monitor a wide array of additional data when the device is connected to a vehicle. Our VXT-200 monitors parameters like fuel level, engine RPM, odometer, and even harsh braking incidents.

Location Method: Cellular vs. Satellite

Most tracking devices will use the global GPS satellite network to figure out where it is currently located, but there are a few devices on the market that can get an approximate location by using information from the local cell towers.

Communication Method: Cellular vs. Satellite

Most devices will send their tracking information into our system using a cellular network like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. But there are specific situations where cellular networks are not available, in which case you may have to transmit the data using a satellite service. Satellite service is much more expensive, but there are situations where it is the only option.  Our Sentinel device uses satellite communication services.

Bottom Line

The reason we carry different trackers in our online store is because there is no one device that can meet all situations. Not sure what the best tracker is for your application? Call us and we’ll figure it out together!

About Don Sesler

Don Sesler is the Owner and President of Sageplan Technology Consulting. While being the "company quarterback" does take up some of his time, Don still prefers the role of technologist, helping his customers improve the efficiency, security, and productivity of their business.

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