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What is trailer tracking?

Trailer tracking is an essential aspect of modern logistics and transportation, playing a crucial role in asset utilization and security. Utilizing trailer tracking GPS, trailer tracking devices, and comprehensive trailer tracking systems, it allows companies to monitor their trailers in real-time. 

This technology provides invaluable insights into location, status, and performance, contributing to efficiency, theft prevention, and cargo security. In this article, we’ll explore what trailer tracking is, how it works, and why it’s becoming a standard in the industry.

How does trailer tracking work?

Trailer tracking works by utilizing trailer tracking GPS and trailer tracking devices, allowing for real-time fleet visibility. 

The data can be integrated into a fleet management system, enhancing asset utilization, cargo security, and theft prevention. It also supports load tracking, trailer management, and other aspects of trailer fleet tracking. These provide benefits like improved efficiency and control.

Trailers and freight are essential for trucking companies, and trailer tracking helps you monitor their movements. It gives you peace of mind and lets you detect problems.

Is it legal for a company to track trailers?

Yes, it is generally legal for a company to track trailers using semi trailer GPS tracking. Companies typically use tracking for legitimate business purposes, including employee location tracking and calculating trailer utilization rates. Laws may vary by jurisdiction, so compliance with local regulations is essential.

How much does a tracking system cost?

The cost of trailer tracking can vary widely based on the trailer tracking system. The level of theft prevention, and specific functionalities can influence the price. There’s no standard cost, as it depends on individual needs, the number of trailers, and the chosen tracking device for trailers.

Although tracking system costs vary by vehicle and GPS device, most cost between $25 to $45 per month. 

What’s the purpose behind tracking trailers?

GPS tracking is a staple for many trucking companies. Trailer tracking provides many benefits, which we will discuss below.

Reduce theft 

Trucks are valuable assets, but not only for your company. Some thieves steal trucks and cargo because of the potential payoff. Having more trucks on the road increases the risk of theft. A driver may forget to lock the door or decide to steal your truck. 

A trailer tracking system lets you find and recover stolen vehicles. Thieves won’t go anywhere near a truck with GPS tracking since the system tracks their location at all times.

Increase asset utilization

Truckers traverse many states to deliver freight, but their vehicles eventually become idle. Some truckers need to pull over for a nap, while logistics teams at other companies can hold up drivers. 

You can review a truck’s idle time and look for opportunities to improve asset utilization. You can’t do much about a driver needing a nap since we all need sleep. However, if you work with a 3PL that makes your drivers wait longer than average, you can complain to the 3PL’s logistics manager or find an alternative.

Prevent and identify trailer misdirection

Misdirections are logistical nightmares. A trailer goes to the wrong destination due to human error. A driver may make the wrong turn and end up on a road that doesn’t allow trucks or the driver may hook up to the wrong trailer. Hooking up to the wrong trailer can be the difference between cargo arriving in California or Florida. 

A tracking system sends you real-time notifications if your trailer goes off course. You can quickly respond to the misdirection and call the driver to avoid worsening the misdirection. 

Searching for trailer misdirections can also help you spot stolen trailers. You can respond to these developments quicker and contact the appropriate authorities with tracking info.

Meet customers’ expectations

A tracking system lets you provide a reliable ETA to your customers. You can update them on the shipment’s progress and answer their questions with real-time information. FedEx, UPS, and USPS provide tracking details on their orders. 

This widespread adoption of order tracking has turned it into an expectation rather than a luxury. A trailer tracking system helps you meet customers’ expectations and provide pertinent information.

What to consider before implementing trailer tracking

Trailer tracking provides many advantages, but you have to decide on the right software for your company. Some trailer tracking software will fall short of your expectations, while others may provide too many details. We’ll share some factors to consider before implementing trailer tracking for your fleet.

Tracking type

Trucking companies can choose between RFID and GPS tracking. GPS tracking relies on satellite signals to track trucks and freight, while RFID uses radio frequency transmissions. 

GPS tracking uses more energy than RFID tracking and costs more money. Paying a higher price for GPS software lets you track trucks and cargo across greater ranges. RFID tracking is better for nearby items in the same warehouse. GPS tracking is the better choice if you want to track trailers as they move across various routes.

Power source

Trailer trackers can tap into various power sources. You can use a battery system, solar energy, or hook it up to the power on the trailer. 

Solar power sources are quieter than battery systems, resulting in a more enjoyable ride. However, solar power requires a larger investment than a battery system.


A truck tracking system can get costly for large fleets. Before investing in tracking, you should establish a budget to avoid going overboard. You can use less advanced GPS tracking software to save money or install tracking on your newer vehicles. 

Tracking frequency 

Some tracking software updates at quicker intervals than others. You can save money by opting for software that provides location updates every 30 to 60 minutes. 

Real-time tracking costs more money, but real-time information can help you address misdirections, thefts, and other time-sensitive matters quicker. Consider how often you would review your tracking system. Logistics managers who closely monitor tracking and make calls based on incoming information would benefit from real-time monitoring.

After hours security 

Unauthorized trucks present a danger, and managers can mistake a truck as unauthorized if it enters after hours. Some software sends notifications if a trailer enters or exits your yard after hours. 

You can verify that a truck arriving after hours is authorized. After hours security can also detect thieves trying to leave your yard after hours and unauthorized exits. If you need after hours security tracking, make sure you use software with this feature.

Texts or emails

Email and text notifications relay pivotal information about each trailer’s movements. Some people prefer to get email notifications, while others respond quicker to texts. 

You can get both communication formats, but some software forces you to choose between one or the other. Decide if you can settle with one of these solutions or need text and email notifications. 

Trailer tracking protects your assets

Trailer tracking can become a significant investment depending on how many trucks you have in your fleet. The advantages often outweigh the investment, enabling logistics managers to make real-time decisions and spot mistakes before they become major. With a tracking system, your company’s security and productivity will be naturally enhanced, thereby helping you make more revenue while reducing thefts.

How does trailer tracking work?

Trailer tracking works by using trailer tracking GPS and trailer tracking devices that send location data to a monitoring system, aiding in asset utilization and management. These technologies enable real-time tracking and integration with fleet management system benefits for comprehensive oversight.

How can I tell if my truck has a tracking device?

You can tell if your truck has a tracking device for trailers by physically inspecting hidden areas or using specialized equipment that detects GPS tracking devices for trailers. Consult the vehicle’s documentation or contact the manufacturer to ascertain if a tracking system was installed.

Can you track a stolen trailer?

Yes, you can track a stolen trailer if it’s equipped with trailer tracking systems or GPS tracking device for trailer. Utilizing trailer tracking and GPS asset tracking, the trailer’s location can be monitored and potentially recovered with the assistance of law enforcement.

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