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Hardwired or Plug-in GPS Tracker?

Hardwired or Plug-in GPS Tracker?

Hardwired or Plug-in GPS Tracker?

Considerations for Choosing a Hardwired or Plug-in GPS Tracker

We are often asked what the difference is between hardwired trackers and plug-in trackers. Each type has distinct advantages and disadvantages:

Hardwired GPS Tracker

Advantages:

  • Can be wired to the vehicle’s doors, or lights, or to detect PTO (a power take off unit connects a trucks’ engine to power another device such as a snow plow, a tow, a mixer)
  • Can be easily concealed for discrete purposes
  • Can have multiple inputs and outputs connecting to apparatus powered by the vehicle’s electrical system
  • Can provide alerts for events such as doors open/closed, lights on/off, PTO on/off

Disadvantages:

  • Requires installation, possibly requiring removing part of the dashboard to access
  • Requires some basic electrical expertise
  • May require a mechanic (with the associated cost) to install
  • Is not connected to the vehicle’s electronics system, thus does not read or transmit engine data or vehicle diagnostic data
  • Transferring to another vehicle is a process, requiring removing the tracker from its wired connections and rewiring it to the new vehicle
  • Not easy to tell if the tracker is working, as the tracker’s LED lights are hidden behind dashboard

 

Plug-in GPS Tracker

Advantages:

  • Installs in seconds, plugs directly into the vehicle’s OBD II diagnostics port
  • Provides engine data and vehicle diagnostics from its electronics systems, such as odometer, fuel level, RPM, speed, engine temperature, oil pressure, tire pressure, seatbelts in use/not in use, and more
  • Can provide engine trouble code alerts with DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes)
  • Easily transferred to another vehicle in seconds
  • Easy to tell if the tracker is working as the tracker LED lights are visible (unless it’s hidden with a Y-Cable)

Disadvantages:

  • Tracker is visible (unless it’s hidden behind the dashboard using a Y-Cable)
  • Easy to remove the tracker by a nefarious actor (unless it’s hidden behind the dashboard using a Y-Cable)
  • Can be impacted by a driver’s foot or knee, loosening the tracker, possibly causing it to stop sending location reports, or even bending or breaking the connector pins

So, should you choose a hardwired or plug-in GPS Tracker? Hopefully we’re provided some ideas to ponder. To discuss the requirements of your business, and to learn more about the benefits of installing a GPS tracker in your vehicle, hardwired, plug-in, or another type*, contact us today!

* We’re seeing a number of customer installing a second, battery powered GPS tracker in high value vehicles. Pinging just once a day or so (with the ability to change to a high frequency ping in case of emergency), and well hidden underneath the vehicle or in the engine compartment, the second GPS tracker serve as a backup tracker in cases where nefarious actors remove the tracker. Most thieves don’t look for a second tracker.

If you’re looking for a second tracker for your vehicle, Btracking has the perfect solution.

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