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Trenton, Safety Manager & Field Accountant

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Choosing the Right Reporting Mode

The most recent update to our applications has introduced Reporting Modes as a user-controlled tool. This is super exciting, as it gives you the power to utilize the device's update frequency to react to changing situations and solve more problems.

What Reporting Mode should you choose?

With great power comes great responsibility; Reporting Modes are a bit like that, except the great power is battery life, and the responsibility is data and visibility. In your business, these are both great and meaningful. 

Each of our trackers has a selection of pre-set modes best used for specific things. I want to go through the modes and discuss when to use each one, including the gains and the trade-offs. Let’s take a look. 


  • Performance Mode - 5 seconds moving, 3 hours stopped
  • Fast Mode - 30 seconds moving, 3 hours stopped
  • Normal Mode - 60 seconds moving, 3 hours stopped
  • Battery Saving Mode - 3-hour, 6-hour, 12-hour, and 24-hour set interval reporting.

Hardwired Tracker

  • Performance Mode - 5 seconds moving, 3 hours stopped
  • Normal Mode - 60 seconds moving, 3 hours stopped
  • Interval Mode - 1-hour, 3-hour, 6-hour, 12-hour, and 24-hour set interval reporting.

Weatherproof Asset Tracker

  • Performance Mode - 1 minute moving, 3 hours stopped
  • Normal Mode - 10 minutes moving, 12 hours stopped
  • Power Saving Mode - 1-hour, 3-hour, 6-hour, and 12-hour set interval reporting.
  • Extreme Power Saving Mode - Every 24 hours at a scheduled time.

Performance Mode

No matter what device you use, Performance mode is the most immediate, urgent mode available. It will provide you with the most data, the fastest updates, and the most accurate picture of where the tracker and equipment are.

However, it will drain the battery much faster if it is on a battery-powered unit. There is no way around that; it is simply a fact of using Performance mode.

This is why (save for hardwired trackers - more on that later) Performance mode is best used as a tactical reaction.

One of the main reasons for this tactical use is theft protection. If you are monitoring a piece of equipment that typically stays on either your headquarters or customers' job site, you may not need Performance mode all of the time. You can set a boundary around those known locations, and then when the asset leaves the area it should be in, you can change to Performance mode, and start the theft recovery process.

Finding a specific piece of equipment needed for an urgent repair or specific job need is another practical, real-world use of Performance mode.

You can also use Performance mode when you simply need more data about a current location. If you have a new employee driving the company truck for the first time, it might be worth looking at their driving behavior and habits in as much detail as possible a few times a day.

These are a few prominent use cases for Performance mode, especially on battery-powered trackers. Now, with the hardwired GPS units that do not have battery limitations or other trackers, you can run them in Performance mode all the time. I advise against that only if you feel some data overload from super-quick updates.

Fast Mode

Fast mode is the balanced mode for those needing a speed bump. If Performance is the supercar of Spytec GPS, then Fast mode is the sports car. Still fast, just not insane. And it has a trunk for carrying things. Small things, but still.

Jokes aside, Fast mode is still an aggressive update frequency, but it trades a little speed for a little more battery life. It is excellent for those urgent moments, that need a bit more attention, but also require the device to make it through a bit more time before being recharged.

Watching your trucks make it to and from job sites is a great use case for Fast mode, especially if you are to recharge the trackers regularly. You can assure yourself that the tracker won’t die over a single shift. It will maintain the battery all day, giving you quick updates and plenty of detail.

Normal Mode

The best balance between battery life and speed is Normal mode. In most cases, it is my recommended mode to use trackers in. You can change between modes almost at will with our reporting modes, so keeping the trackers set to Normal, then using the other modes as reactions to events is the best way to use it.

One-minute updates are still fast, and plenty of data will come in from the trackers. It is perfect for keeping an eye on your business, staff, or anything else. Then when something happens that requires more speed, you switch to Fast or Performance mode.

There is also an information overload aspect that Normal mode helps to prevent. Regular, non-emergency activity can be a hindrance to getting too much data. This is especially true as you start to scale up in asset count. Getting updates every 5 seconds for 125 GPS trackers can be crippling, with too much data to manage. Limiting those updates to every 1 minute prevents that overload.

Remember, I cannot stress this enough; you can change to the faster modes from your apps whenever needed. There is no limit to how many times you can do this. The tracker just needs a connection.

So the best time to use Normal mode is 99% of the time. Then you react and use the other modes to maximize what the platform can do for you.

Power Saving/Extreme Power Saving Mode

This mode is for those moments when saving battery power and extending the tracker's life is the most critical need. This might be a dying tracker in a remote location that you cannot reach for 5 days, or it might be a tracker on your car that your son borrowed and need to make sure he is not driving too poorly at school.

The main thing I want you to be aware of with the Power Saving modes is, motion does not matter to the tracker when in these modes. If the tracker moves, it will not update at a fast frequency. It will update at the set interval, no matter what happens to it, until the mode is switched to one of the three motion-based modes enabled.

As mentioned above, this can be useful for battery life concerns and used as a reaction to the trackers' current battery status. It can also be used as a simple data check mechanism.

Let’s say your rental business depends on daily rentals and returns. You can set the trackers to check in every 12 hours; this way, you will get an update when it is at home base in the morning and evening. This lets you know what is ready to be rented in the morning and assures you it made it home in the evening. All of this with limited noise from regular updates.

This is perfect for folks who need consistent data at predictable times.

Wrapping Up

Reporting modes are a powerful tool to add to your business’ toolbox. You can now react with your GPS to any changing situation you find yourself in, quickly and easily, from any of our apps. Getting familiar with the modes, and utilizing them is a great way to get the most out of Spytec GPS.

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