Do smaller tracking devices offer more protection?

Ask any business that has been the victim of lost or stolen assets how it has affected their operation and you will hear accounts of lost revenue, reputational damage, increased insurance premiums and of course unexpected costs for replacements. So, for businesses that rely on their valuable assets, such as vehicles, tools and plant, installing tracking devices is a sensible option.

The installation of tracking equipment for construction is not a new concept, but in recent years, with the development of new and innovative technology, small tracking devices are becoming more widely used.

Asset tracking equipment, that once relied on large battery technology, can now be replaced with mini tracking devices, smaller than a box of matches. And it is this advancement in technology that’s driven the adoption of tracking equipment for smaller, and often unpowered assets such as power tools, construction site equipment and plant.

tool tracking recovery

A recent study by leading insurer Allianz Cornhill found that over £70 million of construction plant assets, including excavators, compressors and cranes are stolen annually in the UK and less than 10 per cent are successfully recovered. A lack of identifying marks on the equipment, along with a lack of registration documentation often makes the police’s job of reuniting the equipment with its owner difficult. However, assets that are fitted with small tracking devices can be easily identified and located in a timely manner, often without even being detected by the thief.

Do tracking devices deter thieves? 

The presence of a GPS tracking device can often help to deter thieves, but experienced criminals may know what to look for. If they can visually locate a device, which is often the case with OEM trackers, thieves will remove the device to avoid detection.

Small tracking devices are often less detectable and although they may not deter thieves, will help locate the asset if it is stolen.

This was certainly the case for a company who decided to equip their containers with GPS trackers from ABAX. Thieves had not predicted that the containers were equipped with the small tracking devices and thanks to the ability to monitor the assets, the containers were found very quickly.

Do mini tracking devices offer the same amount of protection? 

Often using alternative technology to traditional GSM cellular network connectivity, mini tracking devices are not only discreet and difficult for thieves to visually detect but are often immune to “jammers” reportedly used by criminals.

The ABAX MINI2 is a small and lightweight BLE tracker that communicates with the all IoT gateways in the ABAX global network as well with the ABAX mobile apps for drivers and administrators. The size of these small tracking devices makes them perfect to be fitted on expensive small equipment such as power tools.

On a construction site, at any one time, there can be hundreds of assets of this type. The time and cost associated with searching for a lost or stolen tool without a tracking device fitted can quickly add up.  A study by Simply Business reports that one in three tradespeople have fallen victim to tool theft and they suggest that on average, this results in £3,005 in lost earnings and replacement tools alone. Using a mini tracking device, such as the ABAX MINI2 can help those affected by loss or theft quickly recover their assets and reduce the potential impacts to their business.

Construction site plant tracking devices

With an ABAX asset tracking solution, you’ll have 24/7 control over your plant machinery, equipment and tools, with accurate GPS tracking. This affords peace of mind, that in case of lost, misplaced or stolen equipment, you have an additional layer of protection to help you recover your valuable assets in a timely manner.

Where should tracking devices be placed? 

The placement of a tracking device depends on the assets to be protected.

For vehicles and large plant or equipment, there are often many options. In the case of trackers that use GSM network connectivity, the signal strength is impaired by metal, therefore these units should not be installed in a position where the metallic body of a vehicle current affair with signal strength. In fact, incorrect placement of devices accounts for approximately 95% of all customer service enquiries regarding poor signal, received by ABAX.

In addition to this, if the device is a GPS tracker, to operate effectively, the unit requires a constant line of sight to connect to GPS satellites. Although the device will work effectively when concealed under non-metallic materials, such as plastic or glass, efforts should be made to ensure metallic surfaces do not cover or interfere with the unit and the affect its signal strength.

On a vehicle, a tracking device could be fitted on the windscreen, on top of the dashboard, inside the a-pillar, or inside the dashboard, for a discrete installation.

On a power tool, the options are more limited, due to the size of the asset, but using an ABAX MINI2 tool tracking device, which does not rely on traditional GPS and GSM connectivity, removes the limitations regarding placement for optimum signal. The mini tracking device is perfect for equipment such as cordless tools, measuring tools, hammers, saws and grinders. It’s not dependent on a wired power source and is discreet and less likely to be detected by thieves.

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