7 Tips for Better Tracking
GPS tracking has become a foundation of many loss prevention and covert tracing professionals. While nothing short of amazing in its ability to provide instant visibility over a specific target, there are a few critical things to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your tracking devices.
Charge Your Batteries
It’s surprising how many people deploy tracking devices without fully charging them beforehand. Since battery charge level dictates operating time, deploying a partially charged tracking device can result in either a significant drop in the duration of device operations or a reduction in the reporting intervals used in order to compensate for the lower battery charge. If you want to get the most out of your device, charge it between uses!
Look at Where Your Device is Deployed
All tracking devices require good reception in order to operate effectively. Good reception is doubly importation if your device transmits data wirelessly via cellular transmission. When deploying a tracking device, always ensure that the GPS antenna (internal or external) is able to receive a good signal. If possible, test your tracking device with a test vehicle or asset to determine where your device gets the best possible reception. Some device providers will have already done research in order to provide their clients with this information.
Scrap the Pelican Case
This tip comes directly from our 5 Tips for Buying Better Tracking Products Article. While most GPS trackers have entered the 21st century, there are still some trackers out there that require the user to place the device (often touted as being one of the smallest in the world) into a massive case in order to provide weatherproofing, extended battery life, or both. These trackers, while functional, typically cannot boast any of the advantages offered by self-contained trackers. Instead of using a GPS tracker that has been adapted to meet your needs, opt for a device that has been designed and built to meet those exact needs. Micro-trackers (without their pelican cases) make a great tool for tracking your children on their way home from school or en route to their friend’s houses but are not a real option for any serious professional.
Don’t Take Scheduling Lightly
The frequency of location reporting that you choose for a device affects service cost, battery life and information quality. If you require up-to-date and timely information, and your device can handle frequent reporting, shorter reporting intervals may have value. If you only need occasional location updates, don’t hesitate to look at your provider’s reporting options. You may find a small change that saves you money and increases operating time.
Take Advantage of Hard-wiring Kits
If you routinely track the same vehicles, hard-wiring is an effective way to save time by avoiding the need to recharge your device. A hard-wired tracking device can avoid most if not all of the challenges that result from running off of a battery such as duration versus frequency of reporting intervals. Contact the manufacturer or retailer of your tracking product to determine if they sell a hard-wiring kit for your product. Get as much information as you can and if you are unfamiliar with vehicle electronics, take your vehicle in to a professional and have them to do the work!
Know Your Service Provider’s Data Storage Policy
Your tracking service provider stores collected data for a limited amount of time; be sure to find out what the duration of storage is and plan accordingly. While some providers offer six months to a year, there are others that provide as little as three days for you to collect your data. If your data will be used for legal reasons and your provider does not offer sufficient online storage, consider downloading the raw data yourself and storing it in a secured place.