Fleet GPS Tracking

7 Secrets to Selecting Trailer Tracking System

Over the last year and a half if you ever wanted as a trucking company owner buy a trailer or even to lease one you probably faced some of the longest trailer delivery times in the history of USA trucking business.

There have been cases that even up to 15 months waiting list was filled for certain part of new dry van trailers causing some of the companies to switch to buying used trailers.

Increasing number of sold trucks in 2015 of course drives this trailer demand to the maximum levels but today there is some clouds on the sky that used to be perfectly clear and chances are that we can all expect huge number of almost brand new trailers that will flood the market in the next 3 to 12 months.

Even though there is a lot of trailers, and to purchase/lease one, it will take you around $35,000 (in some cases all the way up to $70,000) there is still a lot of trucking companies that are not paying attention to details when it comes to trailer tracking.

What are the features of trailer tracking?

There is a lot of benefits of trailer tracking system or solutions but many trucking companies are not paying attention to this kind of service. Most of the equipment is being tracked and analyzed but trailers somehow step out of the focus.

GPS trailer tracking mobile device

Source: www.london-privatedetectives.co.uk

The list of benefits trailer tracking systems provide is huge, but here I will focus only on some of the most important benefits and maybe some readers will see wider perspective and order some trailer tracking devices:

  • know exact position of each trailer
  • standalone devices with built in battery work without truck power
  • left without any power devices can transmit daily location up to 3 years in a row
  • advanced devices can provide with info when the trailer back door is opened
  • easy to install
  • very durable and good quality materials
  • devices are storing location in memory

As you can see, with the advancement of technology, tracking devices have become lighter, cheaper, more durable and provide better ROI. Trailer tracking technology evolved tremendously over the last 5 to 7 years and now you can have the set of features, which only a few years ago, you were only able to find in truck GPS tracking devices/solutions.

Benefits of Trailer Tracking Devices

The main benefit and the simplest one is to know the location of the trailer. Yeah – I know what you mean: That the description of GPS tracking devices says it all, but seriously guys, it is really important.

Some companies, relying on just the use of tractor GPS tracking devices, are having great issues with finding their trailers. Some of them have even up to 50 trailers lost without having a clue where those trailers are located. Are they lost or has someone just stole them? No one really knows.

GPS trailer tracking

Source: www.gpoausa.com

But of course, that is the main reason and benefit to trucking companies who want to invest addition funds in trailer tracking solution/devices but there are additional benefits to consider. Of course, this set of features depends on the trailer tacking device itself, but if you decide to go after the best ones and buy them, this is a set of features you can expect to have:

  • tracking position of the all company trailers
  • monitoring reefer temperature and automatically create temperature reports
  • get alerted and recorded every time someone opens the trailer door
  • get real time trailer location in intervals of just 30 seconds
  • alarms if reefer trailer runs out of fuel or the fuel level is at minimum
  • alarm if reefer temperature is too low or high

Depending on the trucking company and the type of trailers utilized, the type of trailer tracking units needed can offer possibilities considered important by trucking businesses with changing features going forward. It would be beneficial to learn them and every time you talk with your GPS service provider, ask them if they have a trailer tracking device and what is the set of features their devices provide.

What to have in mind when choosing the trailer tracking devices?

There is a huge difference between various trailer tracking service providers and devices they offer. Over the last few years, there has been a lot of competition in this arena which brought the prices down but in some cases, that is paid on quality side because those devices have questionable durability. Cheaper is not always better – at least in this case.

Desktop GPS system

Source: www.gpspolice.com


So as said there is some things to have in mind so read this part really carefully because it can save you a lot of money, time, truck and trailer downtime:

  1. Are device working on 3G or 2G network – one the best and high end manufacturers all the trailer tracking devices have devices operating on 3G network. The entire telematics industry operates on 2G but there is a huge change to happen over the next 18 month 2G will be shut down causing all 2G device to become dead. So, when considering to buy trailer tracking device, ask your service providers if devices 3G are compatible. They use tricks to offer amazing prices promising national coverage and so on but you could face devices going dead if not 3G compatible.
  2. Are devices battery operated – those kinds of devices are extremely easy to install which saves you a lot of money and reduce trailer downtime. But they have one more amazing feature and that is that they are running even though trailer is not connected to the truck and doesn’t have a power connection.

Some of the best ones you find on the market have a battery installed that ensures 7 years’ life time at the base of sending location once per day. Of course, this feature affects the price too but, do some calculations what your business needs and decide accordingly.

Source: www.psdgraphics.com
  1. How often is trailer tracking device sending location – this is also extremely important because it can affect multiple features such us: battery durability, price, data plan required, data plan price and so on. If the device is programmed to send the location once per day or once per week that is a huge difference. Some companies want devices to report on an hourly base.

When deciding which device to buy, please make some comparisons of devices and service providers because this affects the pricing and can even double the price of the service. There is a small cheat to ask your trailer tracking provider. Ask them if they can offer you on demand trailer location tracking devices. You will get a location every time you click on a button in your dashboard. This way you have a cheap price and 100% control.

ROI of Trailer Tracking Devices

Everyone operating a trucking company has his own way to run it and control it based on experience and type of business run, having in mind what are the client’s needs. Each client can be unique and their demands could also be unique which will affect the ROI as well.

Source: www.eventplanner.tv

If your trucking company is carrying loads for a huge grocery retail chain, you could have far higher ROI compared to a flatbed trailer operating company. With these devices, you can provide your clients with temperature report and all kind of different details that will position your company as a premium carrier.

Not to mention, the chances of losing your trailer or having it stolen, are going to a minimum with this device. In that case, ROI is 100x if you have in mind that you purchased these kinds of solutions for let’s say $300 and the brand-new trailer price is $30,000 along with value of stolen load.

What Is the Cost of Trailer Tracking Devices?

Usually the price is positioned in a similar way to a standard truck GPS service provider. Meaning that you can face maximum of let’s say $300 one time device fee for a premium device and after that maximum of $20 monthly service fee.

In today’s market, you can even find prices that are up to 70% cheaper to the ones mentioned above but, I would suggest to take a really detail look what are you getting for that price. If you are not a huge trucking company, it may be difficult to get reduced pricing unless you are buying/getting devices that are poor quality.

Source: www.integritas360.org

Big trucking companies sometimes can get up to 50% or 60% discounts so they are capable of using high end devices for the price of low end but, if you are not the company of that size, you will pay standard prices.


In today’s challenging economic times, when load prices are going down and up every few times, it is not easy to stay in business and make a profit. Eliminating all possible risks in advance is one of the ways to keep your head above the water. Think in advance plan the problems ahead and create a solution in advance. It is all about that and trailer tracking devices are offering exactly that.

By Sean Kimbrough January 10, 2017

Article originally published by Fueloyal