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Should I Hardwire GPS Trackers That Are Going On My Equipment?



GPS devices can either be powered by an internal source (think batteries or solar panels) or via the equipment they are tracking. In order for the asset to power the tracker, they have to be connected to the same power system. 

This is where hardwired trackers come in, as they are physically wired into the equipment’s power source. These trackers will have a wiring harness with a positive and ground cable, and they may have additional cables for other elements of data as well. 

Spytec’s Hardwired Tracker

Our hardwired tracker has a wiring harness with several unused connections, simply because we want to reserve the chance to increase the capability of the tracker. 

To keep installation as easy as possible and retain the primary benefits of hardwiring, we currently only use the positive and ground wire. 

See all of our GPS tracking devices here

Benefits of Hardwiring GPS Trackers To Your Equipment 

  • Eliminate battery maintenance –With proper installation, and functioning equipment to connect to, you will not need to charge batteries, clean solar panels, or do any other power-related maintenance. If you are installing trackers for the long term, i.e., on long-term equipment rentals, then this means you will get tracking on your equipment no matter how long the deployment time is. 
  • Hands-off customers –Another benefit is you do not have to rely on your customers to play any part in the GPS tracking. If you do use battery-powered units, especially those with shorter-duration batteries, your customers may have to be trained on how to recharge them and maintain them. This adds a layer of complexity to your process and potentially exposes data that you may want to keep closer to home. With trackers hardwired to your equipment, you don’t have to worry about that. 
  • Quick install time –The great advantage of a battery device is it is simply a case of attaching the magnetic case to the asset, and boom you are done. With hard-wired units, there will be more upfront time spent getting them running. So, length of deployment comes into play, the longer a hard-wired tracker is in the field, the more likely you are to recover that install time. 

Something to Consider With Hardwired GPS Trackers

With hardwired units, you do lose a bit of flexibility. Battery devices can be swapped between assets easier, and they give you the ability to track assets with no power source at all, which the hardwired device simply cannot do. Whether you should use battery-powered or hired trackers will be unique to the user and what they are tracking. 

Our Recommendation To You

My personal recommendation is to use hardwired trackers for powered assets and equipment. Given the physical connection to the power source, I typically like to recommend this for closed cab equipment, something that allows for a “protected” installation–both from the elements and from prying eyes.

You can also opt for a weatherproof hardwired unit for equipment that does not have a closed cab. This, to me, is a no-brainer, because you don’t have to worry about the battery life of the GPS devices, and it is well worth the time spent installing the units. The gain is worth the effort if you have the team to do the job and the right type of assets. 

There will always be a need to have battery-powered trackers on hand as well. There are simply too many assets that do not have the power system needed to run a hardwired tracker to rely on them exclusively.

That fact is why I recommend using hardwired trackers when you can because the fewer batteries to manage the better. That will lead to less error, less needed labor to maintain the GPS solution, and less complexity/involvement from your customers. These are all pretty big wins. 

Interested in learning more about which GPS tracking device would work best for you? Reach out to us today. 

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