How Does A GPS Tracker Work?

You might have one on your car already, or you may be looking at purchasing GPS trackers for vehicles in a fleet you manage. Either way, while you’re aware of the fact that trackers give vehicle owners and operators the ability to see exactly where their vehicle is, you may have questions about just how they work. Here, Trackershop take a look through some of the questions that you may have from the basics such as recharging through to insurance approval and where a tracker will work, to help you understand beyond the fitting and location service they offer.


Where will my tracker work?

Trackers work best outside, with some buildings causing restricted signal. However, you will be able to obtain a tracking report arriving at the building and again if the vehicle leaves.

Tracking devices are generally compatible with most countries’ cellular networks, with the exception of Japan. You can double-check with your provider if you know for certain you will need coverage in a specific country. 


How do I charge my tracker?

Trackers have fully rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, and each GPS tracker is supplied with a battery charger that you plug into a wall socket, much like a mobile phone. Your mapping panel will keep you updated on how much power is left and you can receive a text message or email to warn you when it needs charging.


Are GPS trackers waterproof?

Car trackers are water-resistant to IPX6 standard, meaning they will withstand being hosed and any rain/spray that they will encounter under a vehicle.  You can also purchase pouches that are completely waterproof and will withstand total submersion. 


Are all trackers insurance approved?

Not all trackers are insurance approved, however, if you have been told by your insurance company that you should or must install a GPS tracker, you will require one that is Thatcham approved and fitted by a Thatcham approved installer.  You will then receive a certificate of authenticity which you can supply to your insurance company.  For your insurance to be valid your device must be fitted by a Thatcham approved engineer. However, you will find most suppliers include fitting costs within the device price.


Does it cost me to use my GPS tracker?

Real-time GPS trackers use multi-roaming SIM cards pre-installed onto your device which will access the strongest mobile network to provide you with information. You require credits to receive this information. Real-time live tracking requires position credits. Position credits can often be purchased with no need for a monthly fee or contract. Yu will use one position credit for every location report and you can set your desired reporting frequency.

SMS credits allow you to send a command to your device from your mapping panel, such as changing reporting frequency or receive SMS alerts from your tracker to your phone. 

Credits can be purchased and topped up easily through a button on the device mapping panel.


Can I track multiple devices?

Yes, through your mapping panel you can track as many devices as you want at any time and you can also view from multiple computers simultaneously.


Will my magnetic device fall off?

No, as long as you place your device on a flat metal surface to make full contact, it will stay there until you decide to move it again.  The magnets have a minimum of 35kg pull on them meaning they will not simply drop off no matter the speed or terrain you travel on. 


Do I need to download any software?

No, you do not need additional software. Your device provider will give you access to their dedicated mapping panel software. You will have your own private mapping panel which can be accessed from a laptop, desktop or tablet by visiting their website and logging in or you may prefer to download an app to your Apple or Android phone.