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Asset tracking: where’s my stuff?

In a time when we’re all a little more conscious of the value of remote or moveable assets, there’s never been a better time to add tracking or sensors to your valuable equipment.

Here’s what you might need to consider:

  • how long it’s likely to be in the field?
  • how often do you want to know if it’s still where it should be?
  • has it been moved?
  • when did that happen?
  • where is it now?
  • do you need to change reporting rate based on an event?

There are plenty of products out there and all have their place, so you need consider the best fit for your requirements.

The selection falls into four main types, and the choice will be down to what you want to achieve:

Dual Power

Battery and host power, so powered/recharged when attached to the host, e.g. trailer tracking. When the trailer is attached to the tractor unit reporting rate can be as standard trackers, and even include i/o and some driver behaviour, but when the trailer is parked up it goes into a lower power reporting pattern (say once a day) just to be sure it stays where it should.

  • Example use case: Trailer tracking
  • Advantage: Long use life with regular charging cycle
  • Battery life: 3-6 months on a full charge reporting once a day
  • Note: Due to use case the rechargeable battery tends to be smaller than others

Battery Rechargeable

Great for those applications where there’s no power source available BUT there will be a need for periodic visitations to the asset (or return to base) when the tracker can be recharged.

  • Example use case: Lone worker tracking or temporary tracking
  • Advantage: Size and portability
  • Battery life: Anywhere from days/weeks to years depending on the device and configuration
  • Note: As above, generally a short battery life, designed for periodic charging

Single Use Battery Pack

Usually selected for longer term remote assets. With a known serviceable life on the battery as long as battery life/voltage reports are sent with location then replacement can be scheduled.

  • Example use case: Long term daily monitoring
  • Advantage: Long battery life in stand-alone situations
  • Battery life: Measured in years (up to 5 years with the products we can offer)
  • Note: Cost and bespoke nature of replacement battery packs

Standard Battery

The most ‘user’ friendly version as over the counter batteries can be refitted as needed, much like the single use battery above but generally having a slightly shorter life.

  • Example use case: Medium to long term daily monitoring
  • Advantage: Generally lower cost batteries as ‘over the counter’ types
  • Battery life: Depending on battery and number used, 1-2 years from a single set
  • Note: Battery life can vary between styles and manufacturers, so choose carefully

Another point to be aware of, specifically with the Lithium based battery devices, is the additional complication of transportation and deployment. This will be covered in another blog article in the coming months, so watch this space.

We have a wide range of dual or battery powered devices, covering all four types, and we’d be happy to work with you to select the most appropriate device for your application.

Get in touch to find out more.