Telematics Guides | Trackers For Plant Equipment

Trackers For Plant Equipment

No matter how good your insurance is, getting something like an excavator, dumper or an attachment stolen always ends up costing you money.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to find out exactly where it was and get it back? This is exactly what trackers for plant equipment and vehicles can do.

Without asset trackers, only 5% of most types of stolen plant equipment is ever recovered. The highest recovery rate for any type of vehicle in the UK is 10%. Yet there are some asset tracking companies whose recovery service, working with the police, is as high as 95%.

If you want to protect your plant equipment with trackers, read on to learn how they work and how to choose the best type for your business.

Plant Equipment

What can plant equipment trackers be used for?

Trackers can be put on any moving or stationary asset you don’t want stolen.

This includes any type of powered or non-powered plant equipment from ride-on rollers to overhead gantry cranes, along with trailers, caravans, agricultural equipment, generators and any non-moving equipment or asset. We have spoken to some companies that have even supplied asset trackers for valuable statues and beehives!

The trackers send a signal with their precise location once a day to the tracking software so you can find out exactly where they are, whether they’re stolen or just mislaid.

They typically cost just a few pounds a month for absolute peace of mind.

How do asset trackers for plant equipment work?

Trackers look like a black plastic box from the outside, and they are installed into the asset using a magnet or a sticky pad. The idea is to place them where thieves are least likely to see them. Inside they contain a SIM card, a battery, radio signalling equipment, and may also contain a movement sensor and a GPS.

Asset trackers include their own battery which usually comes with a guarantee lasting several years. The software lets you know how much battery is left and the system will warn you if the battery indicator is low.

There are two basic categories of plant equipment trackers.

Stationary assets: Stolen Asset Recovery trackers fitted to stationary assets have a movement sensor which triggers an alert if the asset moves and will continue to alert on its location at regular intervals. Obviously this type of security is not suitable for a vehicle or other asset which you will move when you use it!

Moving assets: Most asset trackers “ping” a server every 24 hours to show the asset location. These asset trackers for moving plant equipment work by sending three different kinds of signal:

  1. The Mobile Phone Network. A mobile phone network signal, finding the location using the cell masts. This has no range limit, but when the asset moves from one mast to the next there can be a time delay of several minutes. This signal is sent once a day using the asset tracker’s SIM card. This form of tracking uses less power than traditional GPS tracking and may extend the battery life of a battery powered tracking device.
  2. A GPS Tracking signal, which relies on satellite location. This also has no range limit, and sends a single daily signal using the SIM. The highly sensitive GPS receiver within in the device will calculate its location within a few meters, and send this information via the mobile network. GPS Tracking is less effective if the satellite signal is blocked, this may happen if the asset is inside a building, barn, garage or underground car park.
  3. Homing Beacon – Radio Frequency (RF) Tracking. A radio signal on a specific frequency, which is emitted non-stop. This is the signal the recovery services tend to rely on when going with the police to physically recover assets, because it can confirm where something is even if it’s hidden inside a shed or under a haystack! Specialist hand-held equipment and vehicle mounted aerials are used to track the specific radio frequency that the device emits, and can work from up to 10 kilometres away. It can indicate the location very precisely to a matter of inches rather than feet. Radio frequency works indoors and is key in identifying the building or lock up that houses the stolen equipment. This information is essential when working with the police to obtain a warrant or make an arrest.

The frequency of  communications from the device can be increased to multiple communications per day with some trackers. Doing this will shorten the battery life.

What is the difference between asset trackers and GPS trackers or vehicle tracking?

Asset trackers for plant do have GPS trackers included in them. However there are various differences in their use and features.

Asset trackers are for security and recovery after theft, whereas GPS trackers are used to manage employees and track vehicles. GPS vehicle tracking shows continuously where your vehicle is, whereas asset trackers tell you their location just once a day. Asset trackers are useful for non-moving assets whereas GPS trackers are not.

Asset trackers can give more precise location than vehicle tracking or telematics systems because of their continuous radio frequency signal. They are frequently both used together.

Asset trackers are not hardwired to the asset battery, so thieves do not know where to find them. GPS trackers do not normally have their own independent power source. Asset trackers can be used on items that have no battery at all, whereas you would not use a GPS tracker on assets that do not have batteries or do not move.

Get quotes for plant equipment asset trackers

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

For quotes on trackers for plant equipment, send us a few details and we’ll do the rest.

Plant Equipment secured

What are the benefits and uses of plant equipment trackers?

Improve security and save money

Asset tracking devices greatly improve the security of your plant equipment and save you money.

Thieves usually remove telematics or vehicle tracking devices, which are easy to find as they are wired to the vehicle battery. This makes them think they are untraceable, because they fail to find the asset tracker which doesn’t have a specific position within the plant equipment or other asset.

With a recovery service, your stolen plant is much more likely to be recovered. Their cost is normally a fraction of the usual losses suffered when plant equipment is stolen, even if it’s covered by insurance.

You do not have to make an insurance claim, so your premiums won’t increase at renewal.

Avoid losing company equipment

Plant equipment trackers are sometimes used by companies that have a problem with staff losing things. This may happen on very large sites or with equipment that is often moved around from one site to another.

Protect assets that you offer for hire

If you offer plant equipment for hire or lease, you cannot use regular vehicle tracking for legal reasons without getting a written acceptance by the driver. Asset trackers do not have legal restrictions, making them ideal to keep rental plant and equipment safe.

Protect any asset at all

Asset trackers don’t drain the vehicle or asset battery because they have their own. This also makes them suitable for assets without a battery.

How to choose the right asset tracker from all the options available

You can get asset trackers with or without a recovery service included in the price. Recovery teams will work with the police to get your property back, wherever it’s gone.

iCompario tip:

We strongly recommend you opt for the recovery service. A few companies have a recovery rate as high as 95% and others achieve close to 90%. Make sure you ask their recovery rate with picking your asset tracking provider.

Some asset trackers don’t have a customer-facing platform, meaning you do not have an app to check where your asset is. if you choose this cheaper option, you simply phone the provider if your asset is stolen, and they do the rest. There are also some options to have the location sent to your vehicle tracking or telematics software instead.

iCompario tip:

Think about whether you really need to pay more for an app to track your asset each day. Many users can save a bit each month, as they don’t need this option.

Asset trackers for vehicles including moving plant and equipment should be Thatcham approved. The Thatcham security assessment (NVSA) for new vehicles feeds into the cost of insuring that model of vehicle against theft, and adding Thatcham-approved security devices like trackers can reduce the cost of insuring your asset.

You should also double-check the Ingress Protection (IP) rating of any asset tracker you plan to buy. IP codes tell you how well the metal casing resists rain getting inside and potentially damaging the working parts.

Important tips to follow with plant equipment asset trackers

One very important tip is that you absolutely must remember to change the battery immediately when a notification comes. An asset tracker is useless with a flat battery, or if the battery goes flat after your asset has been stolen.

It’s also important to remember that while an asset tracker has a great chance of helping you recover a stolen asset, it will not prevent theft from happening. You still need to take all the normal precautions to protect your assets, remembering to lock them and never leave them in unsafe places.

Get quotes for plant equipment asset trackers

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

For quotes on trackers for plant equipment, send us a few details and we’ll do the rest.

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