Tracking: Vehicle tracking system installation: as easy as 123?
Tracking devices have become so ubiquitous that vehicle tracking system installation is seldom seen as a factor when considering the choice of the right equipment. However, prospective buyers should know that if the system is not installed as it should be, it can perform poorly, or even worse, cause other devices to malfunction, as electronic and radio interferences might cause real issues not only for the device itself, but also for other vehicle equipment.
Exactly where the device should be installed is the first question that one needs to ask oneself. Depending on the complexity of the equipment, installation can be done by a layman, or better be left to a professional.
Where to install the device?
Depending on the size and type of the device, it can be installed in several places in the vehicle.
GPS devices are usually pretty straightforward: there’s just one device, you know how big it is, and therefore can find out easily where it will fit and where it won’t.
There is a few places where these are usually installed:
- in the boot,
- under a seat
- behind the radiator,
- in one of the glove boxes.
Covert devices should not easily be found, and therefore installed in more obscure places, like underneath the floor, behind unmovable parts or within the bodywork, or inside a wheel wall.
The advantage of RFID devices is that they are very small in size and can be attached everywhere, like stickers. More complex devices can be fixed using built-in magnet rails. In fact, it will be more complicated to install the tag scanners where they need to be, in the warehouse or in the scanning area, than it is to install the RFID trackers.
Vehicle tracking system installation: DIY or a professional’s affair?
Installing a vehicle tracking system is not always as easy as it seems: depending on the tracker type, the user may very easily do it himself, or should call a professional.
When vehicle tracking system installation is as easy as 123...
Most systems are easy to install - but that’s when you only need traffic information and directions.
These devices do not need to be connected to anything using wires, unless you need temporary power supply using the cigarette lighter in the car, which is pretty straightforward to hook up. These GPS tracking systems can therefore be installed basically anywhere, although there are some preferred locations as discussed above.
Concerning so-called “covert devices”, vehicle tracking system installation is made much easier with magnetized trackers. The magnets are safe enough to place the tracker behind any metal part.
... and when you’d better call the pros
Problems come when hard-wired GPS tracking systems need to be installed. These systems provide much more information, such as engine diagnostics, fuel consumption data and driver behaviour information - but in order to collect and retrieve all this precious data, they must be connected internally. As this requires great technical skills and intricate knowledge of the device and vehicle, installation is better left to a professional. Three options can be considered:
- The manufacturer’s agent sends over a technician,
- There is an independent professional in your area who can connect most devices,
- The tracker is leased - the lease provider will then usually provide a vehicle tracking system installation services as part of the plan.
Discover the buying guide for Tracking
Transportation management systems: linking your commercial fleet to your warehouse
A guide to using your car tracking system
How does a vehicle tracking device work?
Pros and cons of passive vehicle tracking devices
Pros and cons of active vehicle tracking devices
Fleet management solutions to empower efficient field service and monitor sensitive freight in real time
Vehicle tracking law: do’s and don’ts