GPS Installation Overview
In situations where customers need assistance with the installation of their GPS vehicle tracking system, Fleetistics can provide installation services through our network of GPS installation providers or by contacting a local qualified vendor. This allows Fleetistics to support customers in almost every part of the United States and Canada.
With stores, affiliates, and contractors across the United States, our GPS installation providers are able to install our GPS vehicle tracking technology at their location or yours. This enables us to support local, regional, or national customer. Most installations receive a limited warranty from the installation provider in conjunction with the manufacturers limited product warranty.
If you don’t know, hire a pro
How many times have you paid more for something because you tried to save money on the first purchase? You then end up paying a professional plus what you paid initially. That being said, if you are going to be installing the OBD type GPS trackers you really cannot mess it up unless you break a piece of plastic on the truck being too rough.
A basic install of an OBD tracker is as simple as inserting it into the OBD port. Obviously anyone can do that if they can find the OBD plug. The OBD plug is almost always found by the left knee or ankle. If you don’t know what an OBD port is or cannot find it, you need to hire a pro. Click here to use an online OBD port locator.
There are pros and cons to simply installation the the GPS device in the OBD port. The most obvious is employee tampering. It is certainly tempting to loosen or bump it just enough that it loses power when wanting to do get “off the grid”. Serial number zip ties can be used to discourage employee tampering but it can become a game of cat an mouse.
Most customers invest in a Y-harness (YH) because it allows the GPS unit to be installed in the dash out of easy reach of the driver and it keeps the OBD port open for maintenance. The YH also means you do not have to cut into any wires on the vehicle. If you have a compatibility issue or a really old vehicle without an OBD port, a 3-wire adaptor is available for most GPS systems.
GPS Install Bracket
The install bracket is a simple, but import component, although it is not required. The GO GPS device snaps into the bracket and can be secured with zip ties as shown. The bracket is mounted to the vehicles frame using more zip ties or automotive tape. The ensures the GPS device moves with the frame of the vehicle. If the GPS device is not firmly mounted to the frame you will get excessive vibrations resulting in bad accelerometer data. When insert the GO device in the bracket be sure the GPS antenna side is facing away from the vehicle frame so it is able to get a good GPS signal. If you miss this step your GPS track data may not be very accurate.
3-wire installations are definitely more challenging and take more skill and experience. These types of installations are most often done by professionals or people with automotive experience. GPS devices are installed in the same general area around the steering column but it requires tapping into the vehicles wiring harness. If you do this wrong, you can damage a vehicle.
3-Wire GPS Installation Tips
Install Tips Part 1
- Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions. These instructions do not supersede the manufacturers’ instructions.
- Inventory all parts on receipt. Check for damage or missing components.
- Always use a 3 to 5-amp in-line fuse to protect the unit from damage and prevent damage not covered by warranty.
- Install real-time units as quickly as possible. Real-time billing starts within 14-days of the units being delivered.
- Use Torque Seal on connections or a serial number zip tie to identify tampering issues.
- Don’t use wire nuts without Torque Seal, they are too easy to disconnect. Instead use the poke and wrap connection method.
- Always use a multi-meter to find your connection wires.
- Make sure wires are not pinched or repeatedly closed in doors.
Install Tips Part 2
- Do not place the antenna in the arc of the wipers or behind tinting that may have metal in it.
- Install GPS unit behind the radio or near the steering column.
- Make sure GPS unit gets constant 12v power even when the ignition is off by testing with a multi-meter. Watch the power when the vehicle is started and shut down. Some power leads can lose all power during starting which will cause problems with the GPS systems. It should not dip below 9 volts.
- Make sure you have a good ground secured with a screw and Torque Seal.
- If using switched power test, test the power as the ignition is turned on and off.
- Do not block or cover the GPS antenna with metal.
- The optimum location for the cellular and GPS antenna is on the windshield of the vehicle.
- Antennas are directional; make sure it is facing up and lying as flat as possible. Secure them in place with 3M automotive tape or zip ties.
- Secure antennas placed inside the dash so they don’t shift at a later time and create a communication issue.
- Make sure the GPS system is operating correctly before closing up the dash. Check lights, tones, on-line display or sample data depending on system.
- Never tap into wires that may impact the safety of the vehicle such as an airbag wire. Steering columns is generally the best option.
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