What is GPS?

GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation system that provides location and time data in any weather condition utilizing four or more satellites for the aim of detecting position of the GPS receiver in any accessible line of vision around the globe. The GPS system, which was first introduced for military purposes, was made available to civil use following downing of a passenger airplane having veered far from its normal course with 269 people on board in 1983. GPS systems are currently used in many fields ranging from airplanes to mobile phones, from vehicle tracking systems to navigation systems and to mapping.

What is GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)

GPRS is a technology that allows you to go online via your mobile phone. GPRS connection technology (packet base services) provides a faster and more economical data transfer compared to conventional connection modes (circuit-switched services). Unlike the conventional connection technologies, the GPRS technology would charge you according to the amount of transferred data rather than the connection time. This technology allowed for data transfer from one mobile phone to another laying the ground for today’s smart phones. Since data transfer has speeded up and costs have dropped thanks to the GPRS technology, vehicle tracking systems as well as all other mobile applications and systems can be executed much faster and economically. In time, with the evolving technology, data transmission speed has improved. The terms GPRS, E, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G are abbreviations used to classify signal power corresponding to the following data transmission values (See the image on the left)

What is Vehicle Tracking System?

With its simplest definition, a vehicle tracking system is the system that allows tracking and controlling of vehicles via an online computer, smart phone, tablet, etc. on a  24/7 basis thanks to GPS satellites. Vehicle tracking systems make it possible to have an instantaneous and history tracking of vehicle speeds, the routes they followed, stopping points, idling times on maps providing a registry and check point with past and present reports.e vehicle tracking systems.

How does the Vehicle Tracking System work?

Basically, the vehicle tracking systems work in a loop of GPS, GSM/GPRS, digital maps and special software. Mobile data devices mounted on vehicles transmit two pieces of information they get from satellites – real-time when the satellite information was transmitted and position of the satellite in orbit at the time of transmission – and transmit telemetric information such as temperature to control and communication centers via the GSM/GPRS network. Information received as such are then compiled thanks to special software and recorded in a databank on servers. On the user side, vehicles can be tracked on their instantaneous and history records via a computer or a smartphone/tablet by using special software making it possible to visualize all information from vehicles, and to modify alarms and program statuses of vehicles. This structure forms the basis for functioning of the vehicle tracking systems.

How does the Vehicle Tracking System work?

Trailer tracking is quite similar to vehicle tracking in terms of principle and technology but they present their own unique challenges. Trailers are not self-powered and do not have batteries to power up tracking devices. Unlike vehicle tracking where focus is placed on fuel usage and timesheet, trailers are about load visibility. Vehicle tracking devices are often installed inside the vehicle and protected from the elements whereas trailer trackers are often installed outside and exposed to the environment.

Trailers are often coupled and uncoupled to different tractor (head) units for a varied number of reasons, eg it might be necessary to deploy more tanker bulks than flatbed trailers or vice versa to meet the business needs or a trailer could be out for repairs or maintenance or could be a loading/unloading job that is taking longer than expected. As this practice goes on it becomes more complex to keep tracks.

At present most operators/businesses spend a considerable amount of time in making series of phone calls to locate their trailers but implementing supraTrack Trailer Tracking, the result is instant thereby increasing efficiency.

The business returns achieved by having supraTrack Trailer Tracking is easy to calculate, it is often difficult for the fleet manger to know the location of its trailers once they leave the depot. With trailer tracking, a fleet manager has immediate visibility of the location of all his trailers without having to call anyone. This allows the trailers get recycled back into operation quickly, making them more productive, ensuring that business opportunities are not missed to generate revenue and the risk of fraudulent use of these trailers are minimised

It should be noted that having a GPS tracking device installed in the cab of the tractor (head) unit alone cannot monitor the movement of a trailer

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