In trucking, a trailer is an unpowered vehicle that is towed using a powered vehicle. In U.S., trailers are used extensively to haul loads not only intrastate and interstate, but also internationally. These trailers are transporting high-value loads while having to adhere with strict timelines. Trailers come in all different shapes and sizes that are capable of handling specific requirements; for example, reefers that are used for temperature sensitive loads.
Trailer tracker essentially helps in tracking the position and usage of the trailer. This is achieved by using a tracking device that is attached to the trailer. The tracking device captures information and communication network(s) helps in transferring this information to a central point that is accessible to the user or a fleet manager. GPS trackers are a major part of this technology that makes it possible to track unpowered assets. The location data is captured and transferred to a cloud-based system, making the information accessible on a web-based application.
We have curated a list of 5 best trailer GPS trackers below to suit the tracking requirements of your fleet.
ELD Mandate Asset Tracker
Price: $129 and $12 monthly with no long-term contract
ELD Mandate is a California-based company that specializes in providing well rounded and smart fleet management solutions. Along with the highly reliable ELD and dash cam, the company has crafted the best Asset Tracking solution for fleets of any size and any expanse of operation.
The ELD Mandate Asset Tracker is priced reasonably at $129 and offers $12 monthly plans with no long-term contract. ELD Mandate also provides full warranty on the device. The price includes all accessories that one may require for the installation – including a zip tie in its well curated sales package.
The device can be installed in two ways – by drilling holes in the trailer, and another using zip ties and magnets. This provides greater flexibility in cases where the trailer is leased. It is also fairly lightweight, weighing about 650 grams. Irrespective of its compact and sleek design, the device features a powerful 10,000 mAh battery for multi-year deployment. It is ruggedized, RoHS complaint, IP-65 sealed, and features military grade shock and vibration standards 202G & 810G.
ELD Mandate takes work off the fleet manager’s hands by providing over the air updates. It essentially auto distributes the configuration settings to the device using the data by ELD Mandate.
The device uses 3-axis accelerometer that detects orientation, shake, tap, fall, tilt, motion, positioning, shock or vibration and provide the highest amount of accuracy in captured data.
The ELD Mandate Asset Tracker supports communication via 4G, 2G, and LTE-M networks.
The web portal by ELD Mandate is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. The fleet manager can add and track multiple assets simultaneously while also adding and track assets individually. All assets can be tracked on the portal on a map with their individual status and can be filtered as per the parameters set by the fleet manager.
The alerts can be customized – crucial alerts can be found in the ‘Incidents’ tab along with reporting metrics that provide an insight in understanding what may have caused the alert.
The portal also allows the fleet manager to create unlimited geofences of any shape and size to ensure the vehicle/trailer doesn’t go astray or restrict unauthorized entry or exits.
- Powerful battery and ultra-low power consumption.
- Lightweight and ruggedized to withstand pressurized jets.
- Suitable for all kind of assets – trailers, dry vans, reefers, etc.
- The tracker can be used as powered or unpowered.
- Flexibility in installation methods.
- Alerts can be received over email and texts.
- Over the air updates that auto distributes the updates.
- Trip sharing.
- Features a 3-axis accelerometer.
- Highly customizable geofencing.
- Superior GPS capabilities.
- User-friendly portal.
Learn more about ELD Mandate by clicking here.
GPS and Track Trailer GPS Tracking Device
The pricier option from the other options in the list, the $255 is inclusive of 3 years of service. Unlike other tracking providers, GPS and Track does not provide monthly pricing plans; neither does it have any lock-in contracts. It features internal antennas for GPS and cellular. The device offers tracking in the entire USA, Canada, and Mexico.
The device is wire-free. It has high powered built-in magnets that makes the device easy to install.
The tracker is IP667 sealed. This makes it weatherproof, dustproof, and withstands pressurized water jets. The tracker utilizes the 4G network for communication. Over the air configuration is made possible utilizing the 4G network as soon as the device is powered up. The firmware can also be updated using over the air updates. The tracker employs leading on-board alert engine programmable event generator. It monitors environmental conditions and supports the customer’s exception-based rules providing higher flexibility.
In case of an event of theft or if the trailer goes missing, the satellite GPS tracking helps in pinpointing the accurate location of the asset – helping in trailer recovery.
The location and other tracking data captured by the device can be easily accessed on the device’s companion app. The app is available on iOS and Android platforms and do not have any additional charge to use.
The Trailer GPS Tracking Device comes with a long battery life of 5 years.
- No surprise costs.
- Over the air configuration and updates.
- No battery back-up – the device only derives power supply from the internal battery.
Linxup ATSolar Asset GPS Tracker
Price: $199.99 per Solar Tracker on No Contract; or $139.99 per tracker on a 3-year contract
The ATSolar Asset Tracker is custom designed for non-powered asset tracking with a rating of IP67 which makes it weather-proof. The tracker can be deployed in marine or desert environments – the tracker has an operating temperature of 22°F to +158°F. It is lightweight and weighs only 18 ounces. The device has multiple input and output ports. It can be installed using high power magnets or screws. The wired trackers can also be installed with a three-wire connection.
The ATSolar Asset Tracker also offers temperature monitoring – it is the only model offered by the company to do so. The fleet manager has an access to custom configured trigger alerts. The cold chain management feature helps in reducing replacement costs for spoiled loads.
The impressive part of this asset tracker is its ability to self-charge. The batteries in this device are solar-powered and can last up to 10 long years. The company offers a cloud-based dashboard for tracking along with apps that are compatible with both iOS and android platforms. However, it does not support deployment on Windows.
This asset tracker can capture location data in USA, some parts of Canada and Mexico, and USA territories like Puerto Rico.
The location information captured by this tracker is accurate to within 5 meters or 16 feet of the vehicle.
Linxup offers higher flexibility of alerts and recipients’ customization. The fleet manager can get reports once every 3 hours when stationery and reports in every 10 minutes when in motion by default. They can also choose to receive immediate notifications or save the less urgent ones to be reviewed in summary.
The data captured by the tracker is retained for 1 year whereas some selective data can be retained for up to 3 years.
- Multiple input and output ports.
- Reefer control.
- Long battery life.
- Companion apps for iOS and android platforms.
- Customizable alerts and variable alert intervals.
- No battery backup or alternate power source. In an event wherein the internal solar powered battery malfunctions, the lack of wired power source will result in rendering the device useless.
- High cancellation fees – pulling out of a contract has a cancellation fee of $250 for one-year contract, and $350 for two-year contract.
Matrack XT 4569
Price: $125 hardware only; monthly pricing plan at $12.95
The XT 4569 is one of the three asset trackers offered by Matrack. It is claimed to offer added features over the other models. It has a compact design featuring an 8-inch bayone harness connector. It comes with an optional 2 digital inputs and 2 ADC inputs. The device has a tracking sensitivity of -165 dBm. It also has two LED indicators for GPS and cellular status.
The sales package includes a mounting kit that only includes screws for installation. Other accessories have to be bought separately. The device poses some installation restrictions. It has to be installed in a way that it has access to open sky. It also shouldn’t be installed under the hood, or any enclosed space that is surrounded by metals. This trailer tracker might be a great option for trailers that do not have ignition wires. In such cases, the tracker can be powered by battery and updates are made based on vehicle movements.
The trailer tracker features an 1 Ah Li-Ion internal battery. It is connected to a motion sensor that continues capturing and sending the location information to the fleet manager in case of a power failure for up to two weeks.
The XT 4569 offers an anti-theft or recovery feature called the aggressive tracking mode. The fleet manager can activate this mode in event of a theft and the company can track the stolen trailer. This feature is also turned on as soon as a vehicle/trailer violates geofence boundaries.
The real time data and other details can be found on Matrack’s tracking and report system. Details pertaining to the trailer’s location, engine status, speed, etc. can be found here. It also provides convenience of IFTA tax reports. Along with these reports alerts for maintenance can also be set up.
The company’s dispatch manager fleet system is a portal that facilitates the fleet managers in streamlining working operation of the business.
- Long battery backup.
- Suitable for vehicles without ignition wires.
- Additional reports like maintenance and IFTA tax reports.
- Discounted roadside assistance due to partnership with Blink.
- Dispatch manager system aids in prioritizing and delegating tasks in addition to mapping out the most efficient and fuel-saving route for a trip.
- Only 10 geofences can be created from one account.
- Installation restrictions.
- The installation requirement makes the device susceptible to theft.
ORBCOMM GT 1200
ORBCOMM specializes in industrial IoT and machine to machine (M2M) communication solutions for tracking. It operates a global network of 31 low Earth orbit (LEO) communications satellites and accompanying ground infrastructures and is licensed to provide services in more than 130 countries.
This device is meant for dry vans. It comes with a solar panel and rechargeable batteries. It can be connected to the door and cargo sensors. The tracker is available with cellular-only, satellite-only or dual cellular-satellite communication options.
Designed for working efficiently in large scale deployments, the device can be installed within fifteen minutes in any orientation. The company’s Field Support Tool mobile app helps in installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.
The device features a 16-pin connector. It has a built-in tamper detection and does not require any maintenance for up to 10 years. The batteries in this device can charge up to 20 times faster and can last for at least six months.
The tracker offers a two-way communication and supports global LTE and supports global sim cards. In absence of network, the device can continue to track assets 24/7 using the optional dual-mode.
ORBCOMM offers a web-based portal. Reports along with advanced analytics can be found on the portal. Data from third party management system or TMS can be integrated in the portal as well.
- Solar batteries can charge up to 20 times faster than the predecessor models.
- The tracker can be installed in any orientation.
- Battery holds charge for at least 6 months.
- 24/7 tracking owing to dual mode satellite-cellular connectivity.
- Integration with third party management systems.
- Pricing plans are not transparent.
- No power backup in case the solar-powered batteries fail.
- No companion apps
From all the 5 competent trailer trackers mentioned in this article, we found ELD Mandate’s Asset Tracker to be the only device that does not have a con. It has rugged and highly dependable tracker that offers efficient tracking with customizable alerts. It shines in all aspects and is suitable for trailers of any nature and fleets of any size and area of operation