GPS Tracking

What is Trailer Tracking?

Trailer tracking refers to the process of tracking a vehicle’s trailer with the help of a tracking device. Tracking can be done via Fleet Dashboard or a mobile application, among other ways.

Trailer tracking can help with vehicle maintenance, cargo safety, on-time deliveries, route optimization, and increasing productivity and trailer utilization.

What is a trailer tracking system?

A trailer tracking system comprises automatic tracking hardware and data collecting software (including data transmission, if needed). 

The hardware can be battery-operated, solar-powered, or activated by the in-vehicle 12v DC power system. Trailer tracking devices are attached to your trailers and send out GPS tracking signals communicating with the backend systems.  

On the other hand, the software serves as the data receiving end. It graphically converts the signal from the trailer tracker and shows your vehicles’ exact location (through GPS coordinates), whether or not it’s in motion.

Benefits of trailer tracking

Below are some of the ways trailer tracking benefits your business:

  • Increased asset security. Trailer tracking can give you real-time, 24/7 visibility over your vehicles’ location, including where they were last detected if they get stolen. This helps you and the authorities find the trailer and the hijackers faster. Real-time visibility also helps prevent unauthorized use of vehicles.
  • Reduced detention time. Trailer tracking technology helps you lessen detention time (the amount of time drivers spend beyond what is typically and justifiably needed for loading and unloading at shipping and receiving centers). With the trailer tracking technology, you can pull detention time reports, identify unproductive shippers and receivers, and find ways to handle dwell times more efficiently.
  • Streamlined operations. Trailer tracking helps you optimize your logistics and similar activities. For example, you can arrange vehicles assigned for pickups and deliveries at specific locations.
  • Quicker trailer rescue. Trailer tracking helps send rescues faster during truck breakdowns. Relay your vehicle’s location, as shown in the trailer tracking software, to your truck rescue service provider, and they’ll get there using the quickest route.
  • Increase trailer utilization. Trailer tracking allows you to improve overall fleet utilization. Identify trailers that are unused for a long duration and put them back into rotation quickly. Identify trailers that are used often and schedule preventive maintenance work to avoid costly repairs and downtime.

How to find the best trailer tracking solution?

Consider the following qualities and factors when choosing a reliable and suitable trailer tracking system for your fleet:

  • Customer support. Ask if they have a dedicated team or account manager to help onboard your personnel. The trailer tracking solution provider should offer sufficient training during and after onboarding. 24/7 assistance via phone call, chat, or email in cases of technical glitches can be very important for most fleets.
  • Single dashboard for all assets. Consider how your potential trailer tracking solution will integrate with your existing software and internal tools. How will tracking your assets work within your dashcams, current workflow?
  • Excellent reviews and track record. Research on what other clients have to say about your potential vendors’ trailer trackers and associated services. Explore different software review platforms and opt for what the majority consistently rates and recommends highly.
  • Product demos. Request your potential supplier to provide product demos before purchasing. This lets you evaluate their services, the quality of the device and software, and its suitability to your needs.

Vendors of commercial trailer tracking systems should demonstrate essential hardware and software deliverables, such as:

Expected hardware outcomes:

  • Notifications for power disconnection or when the unit is offline;
  • Data storage and transmission for 20 minutes for areas with no cellular connectivity;
  • Over-the-air programmable capabilities to ensure any issues arising in the tracker could be fixed via over-the-air updates and does not require the trailer tracking unit to be sent back for repair.
  • Display of the tracker’s over-the-air programmable capabilities;
  • Switch to cable-powered or solar-powered battery without restarting the tracker;
  • Uses 4G LTE or better cellular connectivity to provide the best coverage

Software or application deliverables:

  • SMS or email alerts on route stops
  • Location information capture every 1 to 5 minutes;
  • Integration of multiple geofence locations to provide more context and streamline operations;
  • Auto-refreshing of pages at pre-set periods;
  • Viewable real-time trip status, route, and closing details;
  • Shows application response time (maximum of 10 seconds for default pages and 5 seconds at most for subsequent pages);
  • Trailer health checkup for scheduled preventive maintenance;
  • Location updates on desktop and mobile applications

Features of the best trailer tracking devices

The best tracker for trailers should possess these features:

  • 24/7, real-time trailer location tracking and monitoring;
  • Long battery life;
  • Instant reporting abilities;
  • Seamless installation;
  • Detection of theft, removal, and other unauthorized activities;
  • Interface with mapping systems (e.g. Google Maps);
  • Historical data views;
  • Over-the-air serviceability;
  • Cloud-based data systems;
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless carrier certification

Another thing to check out is the scalability of the trailer tracking solution. As your fleet grows, so will your requirements.

A trailer tracking solution that is easily scalable in terms of features and functionalities will be crucial as you grow your business.

Check out the KeepTruckin trailer tracking solution for more information. Request a demo or get in touch with our support team if you have any questions.