5 more items to consider when choosing a GPS tracking system.

Continuing from the last weeks blog here are 5 more items to consider when choosing a GPS tracking system.   Once you have decided what you need the next step is to look at the quality of the hardware and pricing.  All quality systems will have a monthly fee.  In order to receive live updates, information must be moved from the GPS device to the server.  To do this all devices have sim cards, just like your cell phone.  This enables the information to be transmitted to the server via cell phone technology.  This is why you have a monthly fee.  Without this service it is impossible to have live updates.

  1. Quality Components.  All GPS tracking devices look the same from the outside, what counts is the quality of the components inside.  Cheaper devices will use old versions of chips which are not very accurate.  Cheaper chips can show locations that could be actually 1 mile away. SiRFstarIII and the MTK all in one are the latest most accurate chips, just below military grade.
  2. Warranty.  Is the Warranty for 1 year, maybe 2?  If the device is hardwired who will remove the old and install the new device if it needs to be replaced?  Will there be a charge for this?  The best companies should offer a lifetime warranty as long as you are a customer.  It only makes sense that the company stands behind the product.
  3. Training.  Is there a charge for Training?  Will the company come to you and train you and your staff?  Are you just getting a manual and a thank you, or is the company always going to be there to train new staff?
  4. Length of Contract.  Many companies require long term contracts which are almost impossible to break.  What happens if you decide or need to reduce your fleet?   Are you stuck with a monthly payment?  Deals with contracts may seem a great value but in the long run are they really a value?   Beware of free hardware and no cost installation.  Nothing is ever free and more than likely your monthly fees (and hidden fees) will cost you more in the long run.
  5. Hidden Fees.  Activation fees, internet usage fees, special software fees are all extra fees that can make a great deal not so great.  Always question any of these extra fees.  A good quality system should never have any extra fees.

The 5 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Vehicle Tracking System


While the technology behind all GPS vehicle tracking systems is to gather location-based data is the same, it’s how the tracking data is transmitted, what data is transmitted and how all that data is presented to the user that differentiates quality GPS vehicle tracking from inferior products. Here are the five most important things to consider when choosing a vehicle tracking system:

1. Passive Tracking vs. Live Tracking

For passive tracking, all the GPS tracking data is stored in the receiver and must be downloaded once all the vehicles return for the day.  Avoid systems that give the appearance of 1 or 2 min updates but only move the data every 15 or 30.    What you want is active GPS tracking.  Active tracking means that the data from the GPS receiver is transmitted to a remote user at regular intervals. The best systems transmit data every 2 minutes. This gives you real-time location information.

2. Software

Many vehicle tracking systems utilize proprietary software that requires installation on your computer. These solutions also need frequent manual upgrades and downloads. Another drawback to proprietary software is that the GPS solution can only be used on computers with the proper installation. You want to look for a GPS tracking system that provides the information securely over the Internet. The flexibility and 24/7 accessibility of an Internet-based solution makes is the way to go when deciding on a specific vehicle tracking system.  Freedom to view data from any internet connected device; desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone is ideal.

3. Quality Reporting

A GPS tracking solution should provide you with the data and reporting capabilities necessary to make informed business decisions. One key to reporting is flexibility. If a vehicle tracking system doesn’t allow you to automate reports on a weekly or monthly basis while also giving you the ability to generate reports instantly, cross that one off your list. The reports should be concise and easy to understand.  Reports should be available in your choice of formats:  download to spreadsheet, email or online. Important reports should include vehicle starts and stops, excessive idling times, speed violations and much more.  Information should be archived for at least 1 year and customizable by time and date.

4. Alerting Feature

The GPS tracking solution you choose should include alerting features to notify you of unwanted behavior. Alerts should be flagged in relevant reports and you should also have the ability to be notified of any alerts as soon as a violation occurs via email or mobile device. Alerts can be triggered for excessive speeding  and when a vehicle enters or exits specific geographic areas. The vehicle tracking system should also provide alerts to notify you when vehicles are due for scheduled maintenance. These alerts can be scheduled based on miles driven or engine-on time. If the GPS tracking system you are looking at does not include alerting features, forget about it.

5. Quality Mapping

If the GPS tracking provider isn’t partnered with a well-known mapping provider – like Bing mapping – to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date mapping available, chances are it’d be a big mistake to invest in it. A vehicle tracking system’s mapping features should allow you to zoom all the way down to street level and provide, street map, satellite and birds eye views.

Next Week: 5 more important things to consider when choosing a vehicle tracking system.


GPS Tracking for Theft Recovery

Over the past several months problems with commercial vehicle and equipment theft has been in the news.  It seems to be a growing problem for many commercial businesses with fleets of vehicles and expensive equipment.  Often located in out of the way places thieves find these businesses easy targets.

One of the biggest overlooked advantages to GPS fleet tracking is theft recovery.  GPS tracking can alert authorities to the exact location of the vehicle when stolen.  It’s not just the loss of equipment but loss of income and the inconvenience of having to deal with insurance companies and replacing vehicles and equipment. Below is one of the most recent articles on this problem.

Alerts can also be set to notify by email or text when a vehicle or equipment is moved from a designated area.  Businesses that may need to leave trucks or equipment on a job site can now be notified when the vehicle leaves a designated area.  Alerts can be set by time of day to avoid false alarms.  The advantage is that now a business owner can be confident that there equipment and trucks are safe from theft or unauthorized use.

Many businesses close for the weekend to find equipment gone Monday morning.  It is a known fact the sooner a theft is reported the better chance of recovery and less damage.

Many insurance companies will discount the cost of insurance when GPS tracking is installed, check with your carrier for details.

Call Boston Global Tracking at 508-341-5115 for assistance with GPS Tracking.

July 4 Deadliest Day for Teens and Americans on the Road

As the busy summer driving season is now underway I thought the article below is a great reminder to speak with your young drivers about driving safely.  Whether you are responsible for a teenage driver or a fleet of 100 drivers, talking about safe driving should always be on the top of your list.

At Boston Global Tracking we believe in safety 1st.  That is why our GPS tracking devices are the most accurate and reliable on the market.  Having a GPS tracker installed has shown to change driving behavior, making drivers accountable for their driving.  A safe driver results in fewer accidents and helps to keep your insurance costs down.  Have a great 4th of July and safe summer!


July 4 Deadliest Day for Teens and Americans on the Road

Summer is supposed to be a time of celebration for teens and their families with prom, graduation and college on the horizon. Unfortunately, new analysis of crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that July 4 is the deadliest day for teens on the road and is just as deadly for the motorists that will be driving alongside them.

Nationally, car crashes are the number one cause of death for everyone ages 1-34, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group.

Based on the latest available data, IIHS reports that more than 800 people were killed on July 4 from 2006-2010. And if the projections remain true this year, an average of 140 people will lose their lives on July 4 due to car crashes. California alone lost 241 people during the month of July, 2010, due to fatal car crashes. July trends as one of deadliest months on the road for all drivers.

Teens accounted for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. fatalities that occur on July 4 and are particularly susceptible to fatal distracted driving incidents. Research from The Allstate Foundation found that 49 percent report that texting is their biggest distraction behind the wheel.

“These tragedies are compounded by the fact that many crashes are preventable,” says Phil Telgenhoff, field vice president of Allstate in California. “Driver error, speeding and distractions are the main causes of crashes, and seemingly simple activities such as switching radio stations or interacting with friends can significantly impair a teen’s or adult’s ability to react quickly to changing traffic conditions.”

“Staying focused on the road, wearing seat belts and following the speed limit and other road rules are simple steps we can all take this July 4 to make sure that we return home safely,” he recommends.

Currently, legislation that would encourage the states to enact optimal teen driving laws, or Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, is being considered by Congress as a part of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill. GDL policies have been shown to reduce traffic fatalities by as much as 40 percent in the states where they have been adopted. Additionally, recent research from The Allstate Foundation’s License to save report found that comprehensive GDL laws could save an estimated 2,000 lives and $13.6 billion annually.

Source: Allstate Insurance Company


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