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Wired vs. Battery Powered vs. Solar Powered Trackers: Which Is Right for Your Fleet?

If you are weighing the benefits of hardwired vs. portable asset tracking devices or are wondering how they compare to solar-powered trackers, it is important to understand how these devices operate and what they can offer. Understanding how to choose the best asset tracker can help you track your fleet efficiently.


Wired vs. Battery-Powered vs. Solar-Powered Asset Trackers

Global positioning systems use satellites to determine locations and transmit data regarding positioning and timing. GPS devices have advanced over time, and there are various tracking options fleet managers can choose from.

To weigh the benefits of hardwired vs. portable trailer trackers or solar-powered vs. battery-powered asset tracking devices, it's essential to first understand the basics. The main differences between hard-wired, battery-operated, and solar-powered trackers are their power sources and their tracking capabilities.

Each type of tracking device operates on a different type of power source, determining how long it can operate, how easy it is to install, and whether or not it is portable. Understanding how asset tracking devices differ can help you choose the best tracker for your fleet.

Wired Asset Tracker Overview

A wired asset tracker operates on energy from an asset's power source, and it requires no batteries. This type of tracker has power as long as its asset has power. Wired asset trackers provide constant tracking, allowing you to track where your assets are at all times.

While their installation is slightly more complex than battery or solar-powered trackers, wired trackers are typically safer from theft than other tracker types because they are directly connected to the assets they track.

Battery-Powered Asset Tracker Overview

Battery-powered asset trackers are portable and provide frequent short-term tracking updates. Some battery-powered trackers operate on alkaline batteries, and others operate on rechargeable batteries.

Battery-powered trackers typically send a location ping to users once every 12 hours while an asset is moving. If the tracked asset is not in motion, this type of tracker sends a ping once every 24 hours.

You can customize battery-powered trackers to meet your needs, and some trackers allow you to adjust settings so you receive location updates as frequently as you would like. Adjusting this type of tracker to send less frequent updates can help to conserve battery life.

When considering the benefits of hardwired vs. portable fleet asset trackers, it is important to consider convenience and power supply. Battery-powered asset trackers' portability makes them incredibly convenient if you need to alternate them between different assets, but hard-wired trackers operate on a more reliable power source that does not require recharging.

Battery-powered asset trackers are typically easier to install than hard-wired trackers. They do not require any wired connections, so they are easy to remove and transfer to different assets if needed.


Solar-Powered Asset Tracker Overview

Solar-powered asset trackers operate primarily on solar energy. Solar-powered trackers use efficient solar panels to absorb energy from sunlight, so a user must mount a solar tracker on the top of an asset for the best access to the sun. The sunlight charges the device's battery, allowing it to power the tracker.

You can plug a solar-powered tracker into a power source any time the tracked asset lacks sunlight and uses its stored energy. Solar trackers are similar to battery-operated trackers because they are configurable. You can adjust a solar-powered tracker's settings to deliver less-frequent updates and extend its battery life.

If you want to weigh the benefits of solar-powered versus battery-powered fleet asset trackers, consider longevity and environmental impact. Battery-operated trackers typically offer longer shelf lives, but solar-powered trackers have a more positive environmental impact because they conserve energy.

It is also important to consider a tracker's necessary location when evaluating solar-powered vs. battery-powered trailer trackers. Solar trackers must be in the sun to receive energy, which can make them vulnerable to weather conditions such as rain. If you want to utilize a solar-powered tracker, you can choose a weather-resistant model to withstand the elements.

What Type of Fleet Asset Tracker Do You Need?

If you are wondering how to choose the best GPS asset-tracking device, consider the following factors:

The Type of Assets You Need to Track

To determine the best GPS tracking device for your fleet, you must first consider the type of assets in your fleet. Wired devices are ideal for large trucks carrying long-haul freights, while battery-operated and solar-powered devices are suitable for smaller assets like pieces of machinery.

How Often You Need to Receive Tracking Updates

It is essential to consider how frequently you need to receive tracking updates. Devices with real-time tracking capabilities allow you to track where an asset is at any time.

Constant location tracking lets you know where an asset is on any day and at any time, whether it is moving or sitting in place. This type of tracker also provides intermittent updates. If you need 24/7 tracking, a wired tracking device is the best option because of its consistent power source.

Whether Your Fleet Requires Short-Term or Long-Term Tracking

A wired asset tracker is an ideal option if your fleet requires long-term tracking. If you plan to track assets for years or months at a time, a wired connection can provide the longevity and power supply you need. However, a battery or solar-powered tracker is an excellent choice if you plan to track your fleet for days or weeks at a time.

Where You Are Comfortable Placing a Tracker

Because solar-powered trackers need access to sunlight, they must sit on top of the assets they track. A solar tracker is a great choice if you are comfortable placing the device on top of your asset, but a battery-powered or hard-wired tracker is ideal if you prefer to conceal your tracking device.


Track Your Assets With Ease

A high-quality asset tracker can help you increase your company's productivity and efficiency. With helpful positioning data, you can make changes where needed to reach business goals.

While wired tracking devices, battery-powered trackers, and solar trackers offer significant benefits, you must understand how to choose the best GPS asset tracking device for your fleet. Whether you need a wired tracker to monitor large trailers 24/7, a battery-operated tracking device for short-term tracking, or a solar-powered device for efficient tracking, We can help you track your fleet effectively.

We offer comprehensive asset monitoring solutions for a wide variety of applications. Our tracking devices are durable, consistent, and easy to install. With our wired, battery-operated, and solar-powered tracking devices, you can view asset locations, set geofences, and reduce costs. Contact us to learn more about our asset-tracking solutions or request pricing.

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