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Using gps auto tracker technology to manage equipment rentals

Using GPS Auto Tracker Technology To Manage Equipment Rentals

A local equipment rental company that specializes in building and construction rental decided to use GPS auto tracker technology to help manage their business. It seemed that due to the down turn in the home construction industry they were seeing an increase in equipment losses and fraud. Small backhoes and excavating equipment were especially subject to being rented and not returned. In one case 6 rentals were made to an individual that used someone else’s identity to secure the transaction. The loss of equipment equaled almost $200,000.00. The rental companies insurance covered some of the loss but a large part had to be absorbed by the business. In addition many pieces of equipment were being used inappropriately or abused. This abuse led to the early depreciation and value of the equipment by reducing its expected operational life.

Real Time GPS auto tracking technology can be a great way to keep track of vehicles, equipment and labor resources. New technology now allows small GPS tracking devices to be placed or hidden on just about any valuable resource. These devices provide not only the location of the device but also its route of travel, time that the unit is at rest, its speed, and in many some cases provide valuable information on critical mechanical functions such as engine temperature, hours of operation and even fluid levels.

GPS tracking devices are designed to use the GPS portion of the unit to record and store geo physical data and in some case vehicle mechanical information. This information then is uploaded to a GPS service provider via existing cell phone or satellite phone technology. These uploads are timed according to the needs of the business. Data uploading can be programmed by the service provider to range from 1 minute to once a week. In general the more frequently the data is uploaded the more the tracking service company will charge the customer. A business such as an equipment rental business may only need to upload its data once a day thereby saving money.

Our local rental business contracted with a nationally known GPS tracking service provider. They also opted to have the service company provide and install the tracking devices in the rental equipment. You can often purchase your own tracking devices but you then will be responsible for the maintenance and replacement of any faulty tracking units. Generally when you contract for the tracking service company’s equipment they will do the maintenance and repair of broken tracking devices as part of the contract.

A business can as our local equipment rental company has done contract for what is called geo fencing. Basically this feature is used to assure that equipment and vehicles remain in the area they are assigned to. Recently the rental company was notified that piece of equipment was beyond the area that the company allows its equipment to be used. The rental agreement clearly stated that the trenching machine was only to be used with in a 4 county area. The GPS tracking Service Company notified the rental company that their equipment was out of bounds. The rental company tried to contact the renter but after repeated calls and no response they notified local law enforcement agencies. The renter was stopped on the interstate more than 160 miles away. After a short investigation it was determined that the renter had used false identification to rent the trencher and he also was wanted on a felony warrant. The rental company recovered their equipment undamaged due to the GPS auto tracking technology.

In many cases insurance companies will give businesses that use GPS tracking technology a discount on vehicle and equipment insurance. As you can clearly see the use of this technology may save you money and help you manage your valuable business resources. It does pay to carefully research each GPS service company to assure that they meet your individual company needs. This technology will not only save money but give you piece of mind knowing where your valuable equipment is at all times.

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