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Archive for category: GPS Trailer Tracking

If I Stole Your Truck or Trailer
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If I Stole Your Truck or Trailer

If I stole your truck and trailer, here’s how I would do it.

by Michael VonWald

I loved the first Fast and Furious movie. I have to admit though; these guys went through a lot of ridiculous work to steal a semi truck full of goods. Being in this industry, I could have given them a lesson or two that didn’t include jumping out of moving cars and using grappling hooks. I know that drivers and companies leave these trucks and trailers out for the taking with little security. I guess my movie on stealing rigs would be pretty boring.

I am not trying to convince you to start stealing cargo. However, the average bank robbery nets about $4,330 (US News & World Report) compared to the average cargo theft which nets $232,924 as reported by Freight Watch International (FWI). That’s a difference of $228,594 without a nasty shootout at the end. FWI also recorded an average of 66 cargo thefts occur per month or 2.2 per day. Those are just the thefts that were reported. Cargo theft is a $30 billion dollar industry annually in the US and is growing (Inbound Logistics).

DISCLAIMER: You may be wondering how I came up with the following method to rob your stuff. I have always been and will always be a law-abiding citizen; I just make a living from protecting assets so I need to think about these things to help our clients.

Lets get started. While contacting organizations to help with asset tracking, I have found that many companies avoid investing in asset security. My first order of business would be to call you representing an asset security company and hope that you would tell me you have never had an asset stolen and have no need for such a device or service (I am pretty sure this idea is original). If you did use a security service, I would likely put you at the bottom of my hit list, but at least I have a heads up.

Then I would start watching your vehicles, where you park them, and what kind of products you haul. One guy last year stole a semi-truck of 200,000 eggs, talk about a disappointing robbery. If they don’t visually locate the truck, the smell of rotten eggs should give your location away.

Next, if I want the truck, the locks are not that difficult to break through on most semi’s (so I hear), so I get in the cab and drive off while you or your driver is at a rest stop and not paying attention or the truck/trailer is parked over night. Your yard camera’s or local truck stop caught me on a video feed, but I was wearing all black, so good luck identifying me. Or, maybe I will wear all white because I was feeling extra confident that evening. If I were just taking a trailer, I would just back up my own tractor and take off.

Ok, but what if you have GPS on your trailers? Most likely your device is run on the vehicle’s power and is secured to the outside of the chassis. Cut the power line and cut the devices ability to send tracking information. Or, I can buy a GPS jamming case on ebay and cover your device. If I am not sure where the device is located, I can buy a frequency based jammer for around $50 on jammer-store.com. All orders shipped via DHL are free, I told you this was easy (and quite cost effective).

So how do you defend against cargo theft?

Using a GPS device is an obvious way to start. But you have to think about how your device is powered and how to protect against the smarter criminals who are jamming the devices. This is the reason our devices give alerts the moment someone tries to use jamming methods. When someone uses jamming methods our devices have the ability to connect via cell, satellite, or wireless Internet.

The devices also report on the moment someone opens a trailer door to remove goods from a trailer or locate a device. They are powered by a battery that lasts 6 – 12 months without an outside power source, allowing them to be hidden in goods or anywhere on a trailer. And did I say they are smaller than an iPhone? Good luck finding one of these things hidden in a trailer full of goods.

At Position Intel, we provide this security for $99.95 a year with no monthly fees and no contract. Call us before someone calls you pretending to be us at (651)-337-9033 and we would be happy to talk about the security you are looking for.

Monitoring Employees Result in Improvement
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Monitoring Employees Result in Improvement

Whether you are tracking your assets via asset tracking or using fleet tracking services, we know it is a proven fact that what gets measured will get improved in our organizations. If you have a fleet of trucks or just a team of field service staff, using GPS asset tracking technology is critical in providing transparency, efficiency and productivity.

Many trucking organizations, construction companies and government entities will track just their vehicles and leave their trailers as well as other assets out of their strategy. GPS trailer tracking, construction GPS tracking and government vehicle GPS tracking solutions offered by Position Intel make it very economical for you to track these assets with our real time fleet tracking solutions.

EOBR mandates can only be pushed back awhile longer before we all know they will go into effect. That said, it is important we work together to get ahead of these requirements and slowly implement our way there.

Monitoring your employees through GPS asset tracking does not have to be a negative transition, we find many team members find the increase in productivity and optimization of their days or routes to be a benefit as well. Often times, they appreciate the improvement of their logistics and operations because technology can eliminate a lot of unnecessary phone calls and disorganization.

Is Your Fleet Ready for EOBR Mandates?
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Is Your Fleet Ready for EOBR Mandates?

If you have a fleet of vehicles than surely you are aware of the ongoing ELD and EOBR mandates requiring you to monitor your drivers’ hours of service along with other safety components.

In my opinion, this sets up organizations with fleets to embrace technology, improve their quality metrics and promote a safe driving environment for all drivers on the road today. Though I understand their are drawbacks and many opponents of this bill, I believe this will improve efficiency for logistics.

EOBR

Why Asset Tracking Is Important
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Why Asset Tracking Is Important

As companies grow and more assets are added, it is an easy way to quickly lose track of what you have and where they are. I’ve worked with clients in the past who attempted to keep track of these assets via a chalkboard, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and filing systems. Unfortunately, these methods do not provide an accurate and real-time depiction of what actually happens in the real world. In fact, without true visibility you are not able to make sound business decisions. As a company continues to add more assets, unfortunately the amount those assets which are at risk also follow.

I heard a story from a friend of mine about how one of their drivers was upset (not sure why) and decided to just pull over to the side of the road somewhere and drop their load. So there it sat, on the side of the freeway somewhere in the middle of nowhere and they had no idea where it was. It was only when the Highway Patrol contacted the company indicating they had located the trailer that they found out where their assets were. This causes critical delays and concerns for the company and it’s customers as you can probably imagine. If a customer was expecting a goods to be delivered, how on earth do you explain to them this issue when their expected delivery doesn’t arrive when you committed it would? Imagine that trailer along with it’s contents just disappearing, thousands of dollars lost. You’d be surprised how often this actually happens, it’s not unheard of. Luckily, most companies insure for this type of incident and are able to make a claim. At the same time, insurance companies continuously reevaluate rates. Guess who’s policy changes with a higher expense?

When a company has hundreds or thousands of assets, it’s important to know their operating condition and where they are located, especially with expensive vehicles. Tracking assets and collecting data real-time has been proven to be faster, most cost effective and much more accurate than any manual process. It’s also a critical part of addressing employee behaviors that in the past were missed such as driving behaviors, quality standards and other important aspects of a job. Increasing efficiency and reliability for a business is also a crucial component that asset tracking can provide. A tracking software saves time and makes many processes streamlined enabling employees to focus on the customer. Reliability and quality of information for the company and the customer then goes up as they have true insights at their fingertips versus trying to gather that information from multiple sources.

The more I talk to business owners and clients, the more I am realizing the importance of keeping track of assets. Far too many times we find assets just “disappear” or as many like to call it are “misplaced.” And, most of the time we as business owners don’t even realize they are missing until it is too late. There are countless testimonials and case studies I found online that prove tracking your assets as a business is critical, they also make justifying the expense easy with an ROI being accomplished nearly right away after implementation.

asset tracking

How to Find Your Carrier Safety Measurements Score
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How to Find Your Carrier Safety Measurements Score

The US Department of Transportation tracks and measures what is known as a CSA score. CSA is an acronym short for Compliance, Safety and Accountability and they use another acronym called SMS to ensure safer roads for everyone. SMS stands for Safety Measurement System and is used to assess compliance by analyzing safety data from roadside inspections and crash reports. This allows them to identify and intervene with motor carriers that pose safety risks.

A carrier’s measurement is based upon 7 basics:
1. Unsafe Driving (speeding, reckless driving, inattention, etc.)
2. HOS Compliance (hours of service and/or operating a CMV while ill or fatigued)
3. Driver Fitness (proper credentials and/or medically unqualified)
4. Controlled Substances (use or possession of controlled substance/alcohol)
5. Vehicle Maintenance ( brakes, lights, mechanical defects, improper load, etc.)
6. HM Compliance (hazardous materials, no shipping papers, etc.)
7. Crash Indicator (history or pattern of high crash involvement)

You would be surprised at how many companies don’t check this until after they receive a warning letter or intervention. You may want to consider checking this not only for yourself but also if you are considering a potential carrier or partner to do business with. How do you easily access your score along with others? I will share with you below.

1. Go to the A&I Online Safety Measurement System portal at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/Data/Search.aspx.
2. You can do a standard search by the carrier name or using their USDOT#.
3. If you search by carrier name, click on their USDOT# to find their results.
4. You can then drill down to each measurement function by clicking on it.

CSA