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cooltype
12-29-2012, 07:36 PM
Do any of you all have experience installing GPS Tracking systems on your work trucks that will tell you where the truck is, where it has stopped that day, how long they stopped, etc. to help keep up with employees progress and keep everybody honest? If so what system are you using? Pros/Cons? Thanks in advance

acculawnsystems
12-29-2012, 08:02 PM
Yes, we have been using live view GPS. It does keep the workers more honest because they can not trump the GPS. It always tells the truth. We tell the crews that we have GPS on the trucks. Most do not like the fact that we do because they can not get away with much.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-30-2012, 01:49 AM
I've been using Realtrack GPS for several years. The device is hidden up under the dash. The best thing to do is to install it and don't tell your guys about it for a month. This way you can document any issues you see and find out if you've been getting the shaft. If you tell your guys right away it will let them cover their trail.

I don't think anyone can beat RealTrack's GPS price of $18 per month. No contract and you can shut off service if any trucks are parked and not in use for a while. I've had multiple places call me trying to sell me on GPS but when I tell them about RealTrack and my price they don't know what to say.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-30-2012, 01:56 AM
I've heard that works well...device is like 100 bucks...trying to get something to integtate with my clip scheduling program

PlantscapeSolutions
12-30-2012, 01:07 PM
I've heard that works well...device is like 100 bucks...trying to get something to integtate with my clip scheduling program

You may have seen some of my prior posts. The device runs $180. GPS is so cheap now it's really a bad business decision to run your crew or crews blind from the office and assume their doing everything the way you intended.

ELS Landscape
12-30-2012, 01:10 PM
I like to have something that will also push routes to the driver so they get to point a to b in the shortest way possible.

Might sneak one on for a month or two so I can watch them but it is not so much as trust as it is trying to optimize time.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-30-2012, 02:12 PM
I like to have something that will also push routes to the driver so they get to point a to b in the shortest way possible.

Might sneak one on for a month or two so I can watch them but it is not so much as trust as it is trying to optimize time.

Your will find guys taking longer gas stops then noted, taking the long way to a job, guessing on jobsite billing times, and all sorts of thing. I've had a customer or two say we skipped their house and I told them the exact time we were there and offered to send them a GPS report. For mowing crews it's awful easy to do that quick side job when someone throws some cash at your workers. GPS has lots of good uses. You can use it to determine the budgeted time for mowing properties versus the actual times. Lots of good on going uses.

Davids Lawncare
02-01-2013, 04:57 PM
I been searching gps locater all day. Realtrack is the best Ive found so far. The units are 180 a piece and only 17.99 month unlimited tracking, mobile apps, and more. Sounds like a good deal so far. Im planning on installing them on my hustler z and wright stander ,which is my to most expensive pieces of equipment. Dewalt has one for 250 a piece but has lots of limits on tracking .

seabee24
02-04-2013, 04:50 AM
I've been busy with the snow, I have to go back and look as I researched it last year, never got around to buying tho.

Best one, hands down.......made by a company called geotab. They make the unit so you have to find a distributer. I do know a place.

These units, can actually sense g forces. And if the driver is driving aggressively you will know about it. And it can be set to beep and warn him about his driving as well. Tells you if they have a seatbelt on. Gives you engine data. And a ton of other things you can do. Even can get a "key card" for each employee, so you can tell who is driving. Even if your drivers end up in different trucks each time, you can still find the aggressive ones.

Also they interact with lots of other technology's

H & M Yard Improvements
02-04-2013, 08:40 AM
It's just me and my partner and we both have an app on our iPhones called "find friends". We can track where each one of us are. I know not everyone has an iPhone but if you do or one of your employees do, it's worth checking out. The app is free the through the iTunes App Store!
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
02-04-2013, 09:50 AM
As far as bang for the buck you will not beat RealTrack. I've had other companies call me about GPS and when I tell them I use RealTrack they have little more to say. $18 a month is very little to pay and the best thing is there is no contract. If you park a truck in the off season you could stop the service if you wanted.

You can print out history reports months later that show exactly where your truck went. It can tell you the speed of the truck, the address the truck was at, and I think you can even set boundaries where you will be notified if the truck leaves an allowed work area..

The truck functions it will monitor are the key position. It will tell you on, off, or idle. Idle is good because you will know if your guys are enjoying the AC when they should be working.

I hope someday video monitoring becomes cheap. It would be great to have a camera with a wide angle lens to record the work being done at properties from a street perspective. If you suspect waste or inefficiencies it would give you a birds eye view of where you may be losing money. Plus if you get ripped off you might get to see who did it.

Like I've said in the past even if you only run one crew GPS is too cheap not to be using it. You will have records to prove you were at properties and you will know the exact time spent at those properties to know if your on budget. It also works well to keep track of lunch breaks to see if guy are writing precise times or just throwing ink on the time sheet at the end of the day. If GPS shows the truck is in motion during the lunch break you will know something is up.

Even good employees tend to fudge things sometimes. The longer people work for you the greater the chance is they will get complacent and develop time wasting habits that will waste your money. Having blind trust in your employees can be costly. From poorly designed trailer setups to mediocre employees the amount of waste I see when I look at other companies at job sites is just amazing. They are throwing money away hand over fist and have no idea they are doing it. I would dare to say anyone who is not using GPS and can't rationalize it probably has a lot of other issues being over looked as well.

lawntennis
02-04-2013, 04:08 PM
I have fleetmatics and i am committed for another year but I will have to check out real time. I pay $50 per month a unit and I can't turn them off. Paying 250 a month when I only have a couple trucks active in the winter. $18 soounds good.

cps
02-06-2013, 11:33 AM
How is the mobile app for RealTrack? Does anyone use it with an iphone?

PlantscapeSolutions
02-06-2013, 11:42 AM
I've never used the smart phone feature but it does have one. I'm still old school and am avoiding using my smart phone features. I think sometimes it's possible to be too in contact with your clients and email. I hate texting as well. If an issue is super urgent someone can pick up the phone and actually talk to me.

mckservices
02-07-2013, 12:33 AM
The best GPS product by far for any iphone user is pocket finder by location based technologies. Its only $12 per month and they have two different versions that we use. We use the pocket finer vehicle locater on our truck & ZTR's. On the trucks there is a feature where you can even get idle reports to see if while they are plowing snow if they have truck idling for extended periods of time. On the mowers I track the assigned lawn mowers to each crew member to confirm all ares are mowed and what employe mowed what zone on our larger commercial accounts, & to go back to for accountability. Also my Crew leaders can easily look on the pocket finder iphone app to easily find other mowers & whip guys (who are carrying pocket finder battery device) on the larger commercial accounts. Then we also use the pocket finder battery device for sub contractors to temporary hold onto while plowing & billing snow.
Check tem out

ELS Landscape
02-07-2013, 05:18 PM
Mck,
That looks like an interesting product. I would still likely go with a fleet tracking GPS on my trucks for the other features such as engine kill at night, door unlocking. I also like the idea of mounting a GPS on the truck along with a Garmin device to get traffice and routing too.

However, adding the vehicle mount to the mowers is a good idea, not sure I would make the guys carry one of those pocket units.

LawnDeveloper
02-08-2013, 04:52 PM
Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?

PlantscapeSolutions
02-08-2013, 08:01 PM
Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?

RealTrack is a stealth unit you put up under the dashboard.

ELS Landscape
02-08-2013, 08:18 PM
Do any of these GPS units provide the ability to send your crew the next assignment, and maybe the shortest route possible?

My basic understanding is you can do two way communications. You do have to have another level of equipment. IE, you hook up a garmin device and it will show the route to the assigned way point. It also has the traffic and routing feature and you can have them respond to two way SMS.

cps
07-31-2014, 09:22 PM
I'm currently using mComet by Actsoft. It's GPS based app off of a mobile phone. I love everything about it except for the accuracy of the GPS and the fact it kills my phone batt. They say they can only offer GPS accuracy between 50 and 100 feet. Sometimes when I check the location it says they are on one street and I know for a fact that the house is on the next street over.

What is the accuracy range with a real track or some of the other products?
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
07-31-2014, 09:42 PM
I'm currently using mComet by Actsoft. It's GPS based app off of a mobile phone. I love everything about it except for the accuracy of the GPS and the fact it kills my phone batt. They say they can only offer GPS accuracy between 50 and 100 feet. Sometimes when I check the location it says they are on one street and I know for a fact that the house is on the next street over.

What is the accuracy range with a real track or some of the other products?
Posted via Mobile Device

RealTrack has been accurate and dependable. My gripe is they never seen to return phone calls or emails. There is another company out of FL that is just a little more per month that I would recommend trying if I could fine their name. I think this is the link to the company http://www.amsgroupusa.com/products.aspx. They have more then one kind of GPS unit so you can track your mowers or trailer if you want.

I would like to know if multiple mowers are being used on my bigger properties like they should.

Locqus
08-01-2014, 11:17 AM
Our units have been a big help to Shamrock. In addition to giving us real time data and truck health and keeping the guys more honest. It has greatly helped with a few of our customers who say we never showed up. Those few customers who try to pull a fast one with that and I can check and show the truck in front of their house for 25 minutes is crucial. Wins any argument anytime. $10/mo too can't beat that.

The mower tracking is really cool, we are working on tracking other assets like trailers and mowers. Seen a couple systems where you can follow the path of the mower on the lawn with a line to see the pattern he chose. So freaking cool!

PlantscapeSolutions
08-02-2014, 03:06 PM
Our units have been a big help to Shamrock. In addition to giving us real time data and truck health and keeping the guys more honest. It has greatly helped with a few of our customers who say we never showed up. Those few customers who try to pull a fast one with that and I can check and show the truck in front of their house for 25 minutes is crucial. Wins any argument anytime. $10/mo too can't beat that.

The mower tracking is really cool, we are working on tracking other assets like trailers and mowers. Seen a couple systems where you can follow the path of the mower on the lawn with a line to see the pattern he chose. So freaking cool!

Which company are you using

familylawncare
08-03-2014, 07:56 PM
We have used Realtrack for over a year now on all 12 of our vehicles.
I have to admit I was skeptical at first but we had an incident in the first few days after installation of the GPS units that erased any doubts. For the first time we had a vehicle stolen. It was taken around 5am from inside our shop. When crews reported for work around 7am, they noticed it gone. I went to Realtrack site and was able to trace vehicle immediately. It showed exact times and route vehicle was driven. We immediately contacted police with information. We were actually at truck site before the police in the neighboring town. We were able to provide police with printed reports of trucks whereabouts and routes with real time. Sadly enough, theves were never located, but we recovered truck (after police impoundment as evidence and paying all storage fees...another story).
The only complaints I have with Realtrack systems are lack of a phone app for .

cps
08-03-2014, 08:27 PM
Lack of a phone app? But you can still use your phone to opens a browser and track them that way?
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
08-03-2014, 08:33 PM
We have used Realtrack for over a year now on all 12 of our vehicles.
I have to admit I was skeptical at first but we had an incident in the first few days after installation of the GPS units that erased any doubts. For the first time we had a vehicle stolen. It was taken around 5am from inside our shop. When crews reported for work around 7am, they noticed it gone. I went to Realtrack site and was able to trace vehicle immediately. It showed exact times and route vehicle was driven. We immediately contacted police with information. We were actually at truck site before the police in the neighboring town. We were able to provide police with printed reports of trucks whereabouts and routes with real time. Sadly enough, theves were never located, but we recovered truck (after police impoundment as evidence and paying all storage fees...another story).
The only complaints I have with Realtrack systems are lack of a phone app for .

I sent RealTrack a customer of mine with a furniture store chain in CA. They never gave me so much as even a reply to my email when I told them where they got the biz from. Did my posts about RealTrack steer you in their direction or do you find them yourselves?

RealTrack seems to be falling behind the times on the new devices available from other GPS companies. They have just the vehicle device and nothing for trailers or equipment which is what I'm looking to track.

RealTrack should do a story on their website about getting your vehicle back so quickly and comp you something for the advertising they will get from your story.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-03-2014, 08:41 PM
Lack of a phone app? But you can still use your phone to opens a browser and track them that way?
Posted via Mobile Device

On my Android phone I can see the addresses but the maps part doesn't work. I have not tried my tablet to see if it works any better. I think they have a mobile friendly issue.

Locqus
08-04-2014, 11:10 AM
Which company are you using

We are using my own company. Locqus.

grassmonkey0311
08-07-2014, 06:50 PM
Plantscape, you sold me on it! I just ordered 1 unit to see how it works. For the price, you can't beat it.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-07-2014, 07:24 PM
Plantscape, you sold me on it! I just ordered 1 unit to see how it works. For the price, you can't beat it.

The price is so low anyone is crazy not to use it even if you just oversee one crew. I just sold a mower to a guy who just ordered GPS as well for his two crews.

He is something to think about. If my crew wastes one minute at 60 stops per week for an average of 35 mow season every wasted minute cost me about $2000 in overtime. Besides GPS a lot of guys need to look at their trailer setup because their is the potential for a lot of waste.

We use Extreme racks for the string trimmers because they are the fastest rack by far. You can take one step in my enclosed trailer and grab trimmer line, or mix gas. We use the No-Spill cans because they are the fastest at filling small equipment. The mowers use Pro Lockers on the tires so you can secure or unlock the tires in about 2 seconds. The water cooler is mounted on the truck so there is not walking back and forth to the trailer to get water.

What I'm wanting next is security cameras for my trailer. I want to be able to get a peek at what goes on during the day. There are some cameras but the technology still needs to improve. GPS is the current rage and I hope good security cameras will be next.

It would be nice to have a view of your truck going down the road in case there are any issues and then job site recoding in case there are any thieves about. I have been lucky and only lost one two week old $500 blower in 14 years. I would have loved to have got the SOB's license plate on camera.

Weekend cut easymoney
08-07-2014, 11:20 PM
U.S.fleet tracking...integrates with my scheduling program. Clip...30 bucks per gps unit...sounds kinda pricy, though they have a slick app and all stops are able to be seen ...various reports generator works well also...speed alerts etc...
I think all these companies have basically the same stuff, just diff. Prices.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-17-2014, 09:06 PM
Our units have been a big help to Shamrock. In addition to giving us real time data and truck health and keeping the guys more honest. It has greatly helped with a few of our customers who say we never showed up. Those few customers who try to pull a fast one with that and I can check and show the truck in front of their house for 25 minutes is crucial. Wins any argument anytime. $10/mo too can't beat that.

The mower tracking is really cool, we are working on tracking other assets like trailers and mowers. Seen a couple systems where you can follow the path of the mower on the lawn with a line to see the pattern he chose. So freaking cool!

I went to your website but found it kind of hard to navigate. You would think on the main menu there would be a products pull down but there is nothing. I was not able to anything about the GPS trackers you offer for different applications. I've been to a bunch of GPS sites and never seen one where it was difficult to not super easily find the GPS units offered. I gave up pretty quickly and hit the eject button.

Did I miss something? How can the GPS products you offer not be super easy to locate?

PlantscapeSolutions
08-18-2014, 01:02 AM
Our units have been a big help to Shamrock. In addition to giving us real time data and truck health and keeping the guys more honest. It has greatly helped with a few of our customers who say we never showed up. Those few customers who try to pull a fast one with that and I can check and show the truck in front of their house for 25 minutes is crucial. Wins any argument anytime. $10/mo too can't beat that.

The mower tracking is really cool, we are working on tracking other assets like trailers and mowers. Seen a couple systems where you can follow the path of the mower on the lawn with a line to see the pattern he chose. So freaking cool!

My GPS updates are every minute. To see a pattern mowed on a lawn you would probably have to have updates every 5 seconds (or less) or the map will just look like a ball of yarn that was blasted out of a shotgun. More updates usually is reflected in the price so I would think anything capable of showing mowing patterns would get really pricy.

I would like to see you come out with a mower unit. Competition is great for end users.

TPendagast
08-18-2014, 02:17 AM
U.S.fleet tracking...integrates with my scheduling program. Clip...30 bucks per gps unit...sounds kinda pricy, though they have a slick app and all stops are able to be seen ...various reports generator works well also...speed alerts etc...
I think all these companies have basically the same stuff, just diff. Prices.


easymoney, In think I've watched your company in texas on a US Fleet systems demo.

Locqus
08-18-2014, 11:56 AM
My GPS updates are every minute. To see a pattern mowed on a lawn you would probably have to have updates every 5 seconds (or less) or the map will just look like a ball of yarn that was blasted out of a shotgun. More updates usually is reflected in the price so I would think anything capable of showing mowing patterns would get really pricy.

I would like to see you come out with a mower unit. Competition is great for end users.

Oh of course. Yes it would need to have a tracking line to to that. Some companies like that much control, but like you said. The more you pull location, the more data you use, and the higher the cost. We will be playing with the idea over the next year to see if we can make it affordable for those who wish to buy a unit like that.

Locqus
08-18-2014, 12:01 PM
I went to your website but found it kind of hard to navigate. You would think on the main menu there would be a products pull down but there is nothing. I was not able to anything about the GPS trackers you offer for different applications. I've been to a bunch of GPS sites and never seen one where it was difficult to not super easily find the GPS units offered. I gave up pretty quickly and hit the eject button.

Did I miss something? How can the GPS products you offer not be super easy to locate?

The Tracking Units we "offer" are not in production yet, hence the lack of info on the site. We are in beta testing with those until October so we are not advertising units that are still in test stage. I can definitely send you info if you would like, just toss me an email.

Off the cuff, they update every 5 minutes when on, every hour when off. They do a real time diagnostic check through the cars onboard computer. So, any dummy lights or problems are updated in real time. It plugs into the car's OBD2 port on any vehicle 1997 or newer. They pull mileage, speed, hard braking etc. They can pull 30,000 data points on the unit and we are still coding them into something readable, while not giving you data overload.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-18-2014, 12:13 PM
The Tracking Units we "offer" are not in production yet, hence the lack of info on the site. We are in beta testing with those until October so we are not advertising units that are still in test stage. I can definitely send you info if you would like, just toss me an email.

Off the cuff, they update every 5 minutes when on, every hour when off. They do a real time diagnostic check through the cars onboard computer. So, any dummy lights or problems are updated in real time. It plugs into the car's OBD2 port on any vehicle 1997 or newer. They pull mileage, speed, hard braking etc. They can pull 30,000 data points on the unit and we are still coding them into something readable, while not giving you data overload.

I prefer using only one minute updates. This allows me to very accurately tell the length of breaks at gas stations. Five minutes may put you at a outdated disadvantage. I've had one minute updates for several years for only $18 a month.

Locqus
08-18-2014, 12:32 PM
I prefer using only one minute updates. This allows me to very accurately tell the length of breaks at gas stations. Five minutes may put you at a outdated disadvantage. I've had one minute updates for several years for only $18 a month.

True true. Like I said we are still playing with them in beta. We have a few clocking at one minute updates and still being under their data usage. Have one at 30 sec. updates when on and one at ten minutes. We can set ours to a minute update if you would like during testing.

If I could ask what company you are with and what are the protocols if it breaks? Is there a contract? Thanks for the help!

PlantscapeSolutions
08-18-2014, 12:47 PM
This is one unit I'm checking into for use on mowers http://gpsandtrack.com/waterproof-gps-tracker/. I keep harping with my guys I want two mowers going at many properties to cut down on the weedeating time. Instead they weedeat in front of the mowers I'm sure and waste time plus less weedeating equals a better finished product.

Why weedeat the 12" strip you get from being in front of mowers when you can come behind them and rip through a slender strip of grass much more quickly and generate less clippings.

PlantscapeSolutions
08-18-2014, 12:56 PM
True true. Like I said we are still playing with them in beta. We have a few clocking at one minute updates and still being under their data usage. Have one at 30 sec. updates when on and one at ten minutes. We can set ours to a minute update if you would like during testing.

If I could ask what company you are with and what are the protocols if it breaks? Is there a contract? Thanks for the help!

I'm using RealTrackGPS. No contract and $18 per month. I can turn it off any month I want and get no bill. Units are $180 but they have had sales before. They never seem to return calls or emails so I don't push them on others any more. They have been reliable and cheap so I have not dumped them yet but it will happen since they are not very mobile friendly for smart phone tracking.

The problem is RealTrack only has one unit for autos. Today companies want units for wet areas like a mower or tractor that could get rained on. A battery unit to hide on a equipment trailer. Battery units to easily move from one vehicle to another or to track where your kids are seem to becoming popular as well.

Locqus
08-18-2014, 12:56 PM
This is one unit I'm checking into for use on mowers http://gpsandtrack.com/waterproof-gps-tracker/. I keep harping with my guys I want two mowers going at many properties to cut down on the weedeating time. Instead they weedeat in front of the mowers I'm sure and waste time plus less weedeating equals a better finished product.

Why weedeat the 12" strip you get from being in front of mowers when you can come behind them and rip through a slender strip of grass much more quickly and generate less clippings.

So true. Whip after the mowers is alway a must, cuts down on time a bunch. Ah nice, Cal-amp unit, they currently source our trackers. We would use a very similar unit or probably the same one if that is the best option provided by them.

Looks like unit cost of $250, and $175 for a year. I don't see anything about warranties or anything. We would roll the price of the unit into the monthly fee. Different companies price it differently. Working on a warranty package as well. Tech can be tough in the field, even if it is "commercial" grade. I have yet to buy anything at the highest contractor grade that I have not broken in a year lol.

James Vandy Lawn
08-18-2014, 01:35 PM
I hadn't really thought of needing a GPS before. Paul, what else can Locqus do? I went to your site and looked around but i didn't really get a lot out of it.

Locqus
08-18-2014, 01:45 PM
I hadn't really thought of needing a GPS before. Paul, what else can Locqus do? I went to your site and looked around but i didn't really get a lot out of it.

We can do everything! :)

So Locqus was built for the SMB lawn and service industry in general. It is a free application (natively coded, no webpages) and a back office web page solution. It was built and made for the field to keep everyone on track and in the loop with tasks and payments (same rates as square). The app tracks the employees phones for basic GPS and time management as well, including digital time clocks. My two truck crews love it. The free app keeps crews updated with job lists and give them the ability to take payment on site. Great for player coaches with owners in the field as well. Currently on the docket is Quickbooks integration and building out our own accounting sections. We will be pulling out of "Beta" in October, so look for more info on that in the coming weeks. Yes we will still be free when we go live to the world (I get that a lot).

The OBD truck tracking is a tie in service for $10-$15 a month (still playing with pricing, but will be competitive). The unit plugs into the actual trucks themselves and tracks all the trouble code read-outs in realtime (check engine lights, fuel, speed, etc).

I had two rigs stolen in 07 and 08, and asset protection is a big thing for me. Where Locqus was thought of as well. Any other questions or comments fire an email, I am always available. Free app that helps in the field, always worth a look. Built in Detroit, I mean we hustle harder right? :)