In 2022, over 2,000 pieces of heavy equipment were stolen from dealerships, job sites and storage facilities. It’s not just heavy equipment being stolen – power tools are easy targets when left unsecured and hard to trace; tool boxes; raw materials; and more disappear from job sites every day.
Stolen equipment impacts a business beyond the lost value of the equipment. It can delay projects, increase costs due to unforeseen and last minute equipment rentals, or negatively impact cash flows with insurance premium payments and replacement purchases.
Police departments are short staffed to address property crimes, including equipment theft. By leveraging GPS trackers for equipment tracking, you not only increase your chances of recovery, you get additional insights that help you manage your equipment inventory more efficiently.
GPS uses a series of satellites that relay location information to a GPS device, a tracker. When that tracker is combined with GPX Intelligence’s software platform, you are able to see where your equipment and tools are. With GPX’s geofencing and alerting, you can also see and get email or text alerts when a tool or piece of equipment is in an approved location and when it moves away from an approved jobsite, storage area, and more.
When a GPS tracker receives location information from the satellite, it sends that information over a cellular network, like a text message, to the GPX Intelligence platform. Combined with custom geofences, text and email based alerting, and the ability to increase reporting frequency, users are able to find the location and receive immediate alerting if a piece of equipment or tool is somewhere it should not be.
The size of GPS trackers often impacts the battery size, which determines how many location reports a device can send daily and how long the device will live in the field. Our recommended trackers, the AssetTrack and AssetTrack Mini are well suited for construction equipment like heavy equipment, trailers, and tool chests. They come with a 10 year or 5 year battery life when they report 1x per day. This gives you Peace of Mind that the equipment is where it should be but, in the event that they are stolen or misplaced, you are able to increase the reporting frequency to every five minutes to support recovery efforts with the proper authorities. The AssetTrack also offers additional tracking capabilities with BLE functionality. With the ability to read up to 20 BLE AssetTag’s, combining AssetTrack with AssetTags lets you track up to 21 pieces of tools and equipment from a single tracker.
Picking the right GPS tracker for tools and equipment comes down to size, battery life and reporting frequency of the GPS tracker, three items which are closely related. From an operational standpoint, you may prefer the ability to recharge a tracker instead of purchasing a replacement battery. BLE AssetTags are great for tracking small equipment but without an AssetTrack only report their location when near an AssetTrack GPS tracker.
The AssetTrack is a larger GPS tracker that has a ten year battery life when it reports one time per day. Standard reporting frequencies are up to every six hours with a recovery mode of every five minutes. With a full battery, recovery mode would only last 10-14 days, however, in our experience, it is rare that a battery is fully charged when an asset needs to be recovered. It also supports BLE letting you track tools or equipment that are too small for a GPS equipment tracker. The AssetTrack can be installed via an internal magnet, adhesive tape, or screwed onto an asset. Its battery offering comes in rechargeable or a non-rechargeable option with the AssetTrack Charge.
The AssetTrack Mini is a smaller, five year battery life with one location report per day. It has similar reporting frequency options and recovery modes as the AssetTrack. It does come in two form factors, one with a flange for screwing it into place and one without a flange if a smaller size is needed. It can be adhered via an internal magnet, adhesive tape, or for the flanged version, screwed onto an asset. The AssetTrack Mini only comes with a replaceable battery.
AssetTags are BLE tags that have a three year battery life and are constantly reporting. They are great for tracking smaller tools or equipment in a cost effective way. Unlike GPS equipment trackers, they do not have the ability to report their position to the GPX platform. Rather, they rely on an AssetTrack or AssetTrack charge to relay their position. This works by the AssetTrack and AssetTrack Charge reading the signal sent out by the BLE AssetTag and getting its location report via GPS and sending a message to the GPX platform with its location and the BLE AssetTags in its vicinity. AssetTags are readable up to a maximum of 100 meters.
In the event the AssetTrack or AssetTrack Mini can’t get a GPS report, both have alternate means of reporting their location through WiFi or cell towers. In a test of a GPS only equipment tracker, we found it reported approximately only 30% of the time. While this will vary depending on usage conditions, it’s critical that a GPS equipment or tool tracker provide location data regardless of its intended use case in the event they need to be recovered. With location data from 3rd party sources and our own proprietary location data, our GPS trackers with WiFi + Cellular backups report a location 98% of the time.
When equipment is tracked, not only do you get Peace of Mind from being able to track and monitor its location, you can also generate improved operational efficiencies for your equipment and tools. Some examples of how GPS Equipment Tracking with GPX has helped improve operational efficiencies for our customers:
With the AssetTrack and AssetTrack Charge, you are able to track the BLE AssetTag. AssetTags are smaller and can be affixed to smaller equipment. Some use cases for equipment tracking include: