Vehicle Tracking Devices

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  • Upgrading Your Tracking System
  • How Does GPS Vehicle Tracking Work
  • Vehicle Tracking Software
  • Commercial Vehicle Tracking
  • Mobile Worker Applications
  • Vehicle Tracking Devices


  • There are a large number of different vehicle tracking devices to buy through many different suppliers today. The following article aims to give an overview of some of the really popular ones that businesses might want to consider purchasing.

    Standard – 3 Wire

    These are the most widespread examples of vehicle tracking devices and, as the name suggests, use three wires to connect the device to the vehicle (positive, negative and ignition sensed). They are wired directly to the car, van or lorry and will become active as soon as the ignition is turned on, although it will usually also send a location report once every day when the ignition is off as well.

    The 3 wire tracking system will usually report the coordinates, speed and direction of the vehicle once a minute, although this information will be sent to the user every five minutes. They can also incorporate additional equipment so as to add to the information that this device sends back. These can include stats on temperature, driver IDs and even panic buttons.

    Advanced – Canbus

    Most modern vehicles contain a Canbus and it is this already present component of a vehicle that this type of tracking device uses to obtain information. A Canbus is essentially the part of the vehicle that allows the different systems within the vehicle to communicate with each other, therefore meaning that the device is able to obtain lots of this data and relay it back to the user of the tracking software.

    Canbus tracking systems are often used to report a number of different pieces of information, but the most common are engine revs, MPG, acceleration, heavy braking and the speed at which corners are taken at. As such, this means that the Canbus system is an excellent way to monitor the standard of someone’s driving. The downside to Canbus systems though is that they are often quite expensive and therefore only really provide a good return on the investment for vehicles such as HGVs.

    Portable Tracking Devices

    Portable tracking devices are generally 3 wire tracking systems that have an internal battery, therefore meaning that they don’t have to be hardwired into anything. This fact makes them extremely useful for transferring between vehicles and therefore the perfect choice for those that only use one vehicle at a time. Most of them have an inbuilt accelerometer that can detect movement, vibration and shock, which will then start sending reports as soon as movement is detected. They can also be used for tracking things other than cars, such as people, palettes and other high value items.

    Security/Covert Tracking Devices

    There’s a huge variety of different security oriented tracking systems currently available to buy and most of them will require the buyer to make an upfront payment for the product, as well as a payment to cover the monitoring of the system each month.

    These tracking devices are placed into a subtle location within the vehicle and therefore any thief won’t be able to quickly remove them – something that gives the tracking company and the police an excellent chance of recovering the vehicle. They work by contacting the control centre when the vehicle is reported as stolen and the control centre then notifies the correct police department.

    These devices are often required in high value vehicles so that an insurance company will insure them, but the cost of this system has now dropped so much that many people are choosing to install them without direction from an insurance company.

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