Brickhouse Picks: An Expert Guide To GPS Trackers For Business
Tips on choosing the best device for your business's unique need
There are a number of considerations that have to be made when selecting a GPS tracker: What you're looking to track, for how long you'll need to track it, if the device will be repurposed and moved among multiple targets, etc. At BrickHouse Security, no matter what the application, we offer a tracking solution.
In this guide we'll look at individual trackers and highlight their best applications, so you can rest easy knowing that you've made the right choice for your business.
The Spark Nano 5.0
The Spark Nano is BrickHouse Security's flagship battery-powered GPS tracker. Smaller than a cell phone, the Nano is our go-to choice for tracking people, smaller assets, or vehicles in the short-term. Because the Nano is compact and battery operated, it's not the best choice for long-term covert tracking; its battery typically lasts for around 14 hours of continuous tracking (which translates to roughly two weeks of tracking based on an average of one hour of live tracking per day). So if you're looking to monitor a fleet of vehicles, it is not the best option.
The Spark Nano can be placed in bait boxes and other shipments, which is why it's a go-to solution for many retail loss professionals. The device will spring to life based on motion, so if a baited box is taken off of a loading dock or off of store premises, a security manager or retail loss prevention specialist can receive an instant text or email alert and then track the device live. Geofences enable a manager to set a custom perimeter say, a block radius around a store, which will trigger an alert if the device leaves the predefined zone.
Because of the Nano's small size, it can also be used as a custom tracking solution. Our GPS experts have inserted the hardware of the Nano into jewelry boxes, pill bottles and more, acting as an ideal countermeasure to smash-and-grab operations or thwarting organized retail crime syndicates. Our team is willing to work with anyone to build custom GPS trackers based on whatever housing will be most effective.
Because the Nano houses a unique panic button, it is also a tool of choice for companies with employees out in potentially unsafe situations such as social workers making house calls or travelling salespeople. School bus drivers have also been known to carry the Nano in the event of an emergency. With the push of a button, the Nano will transmit a distress signal and location information to a security manager who can then transmit that information to police.
Overall, because the Nano is battery powered and doesn't need to be tethered to a vehicle's power source, it has a number of versatile applications. Still, it faces some limitations because it needs to be recovered for charging every few days.
For longer-term battery-powered tracking we recommend the Eon 3.0 GPS Tracker. The Eon has similar GPS hardware as the Spark Nano, but also features a built-in magnetic mount as well as an extended battery pack capable of about 100 hours of continuous tracking time (which, again, translates to about three months of tracking based on an average tracking time of an hour per day).
Because of its battery, the Eon is a great solution for monitoring heavy machinery on construction sites and farms. The device can be anchored to large assets and will spring into action based on motion, letting a security manager know that the device is being tampered with.
With its magnetic mount, the Eon is also a go-to solution for law enforcement looking for a slap-and-track monitoring option of a suspect's vehicle. In a matter of seconds the Eon can be placed on the undercarriage of a vehicle, providing weeks of active tracking time. Still, while the Eon is great for vehicle tracking, if you're looking for a dedicated device that doesn't need to be recharged, there are a number of hardwired options available.
The TrackPort 2.0 GPS Vehicle Tracker is an ideal solution for vehicle tracking without the need for installation. While other more advanced hardwired trackers need to be installed to a vehicle's power source like a car stereo, the TrackPort plugs directly into a vehicle's OBD-II port. As a result, it not only provides live tracking whenever a vehicle is running, but it can be easily transferred among multiple vehicles.
This plug-and-play tracker allows for real-time vehicle tracking perfect for managing a small fleet. A fleet manager can use the TrackPort to receive live speed alerts, and run more detailed travel reports to monitor driver efficiency and manage routes. Because of its low cost, the TrackPort is a great option for small business owners monitoring the performance of a few vehicles.
Livewire & Livewire Micro
For professional, scalable fleet management, we recommend the Livewire GPS Vehicle Tracker. The Livewire is installed directly into a vehicle's power source (again, similar to a car stereo), so it never runs out of power as long as a vehicle is running. What's more, the Livewire features a 12-hour backup battery; so even if the vehicle is off, it'll continue to track. This backup battery is an excellent anti-theft mechanism because it will monitor the vehicle if it's loaded onto a car carrier trailer or tow truck.
Because the Livewire is hardwired out of sight, unlike the TrackPort, it can be used for covert tracking without alerting or inconveniencing a driver. As a result, a fleet manager can get an unencumbered view of driver performance. Track speed, route efficiency, idle times and more in order to get the most out of your company vehicles. The Livewire is our recommended choice for large-scale, long-term fleet management because of its durability and versatility. And, with its included external antenna, the reporting results are much more accurate than similar devices.
The Livewire Micro functions like the Livewire, but acts as a lower-cost option because it doesn't feature a backup battery or external antenna. It's still a great option for fleet management, but without the added features doesn't offer the performance level of the Livewire proper.
Sat Track & Sat Track Micro
While the Spark Nano, Eon, TrackPort, LiveWire and LiveWire Micro run on terrestrial cellular networks for their reporting, the Sat Track and Sat Track Micro report location using satellites. By using satellite reporting, these devices can pinpoint the location of whatever they're tracking anywhere in the world.
The Sat Track is our recommended tracker for monitoring assets in remote parts of the world. If you're looking to track shipping containers in the middle of the ocean, or if you're transporting something internationally, the Sat Track will report locations as long as it has a clear line of sight to the sky. Because these trackers are built for long-term remote tracking, they rely on pings for location updates. So, while they're great for making sure vital assets get where they need to, they're not built for real-time tracking. If you're looking to get updates a few times a day to ensure a shipment is on course, the Sat Track is the choice for you.
The Sat Track runs on AA batteries and the Sat Track Micro , the more compact option, runs on AAAs. While other trackers all contain rechargeable batteries or run on a vehicle's power, these devices need to have their batteries replaced. Fortunately, because they don't report real-time location, their battery estimates are pretty staggering: The Sat Track can run for about 2.5 years on its batteries and the Sat Track Micro can manage about a year.
All on One Platform
No matter which device you choose, you're guaranteed the best platform in the business with BrickHouse Security. Featuring live tracking and device breadcrumb trails, you're given a full picture of a device's current location and travel history. Custom geofences, as mentioned above, allow you to create zones that will trigger alerts when your tracker enters or exits a specific area; letting you know the second your employee takes the company delivery vehicle off the lot, for example. Text and email alerts based on speed, motion, or geofence keep you alerted to any suspicious device activity. And, because you can have multiple devices tracking simultaneously, the BrickHouse Security GPS platform is completely scalable to your needs.
All of our devices (with the exception of the Sat Track and Sat Track Micro) run on the Verizon cellular network, providing the best possible reporting coverage in the US. You're also able to check in on and manage multiple device locations using our intuitive Android and iOS apps. And, as always, our lifetime technical support team is here to help you with any questions or concerns you have with your tracker.
Published March 29th, 2017