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Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023
Embark on a journey to ensure the safety and security of your prized trailers with cutting-edge GPS trailer tracking technology. Imagine purchasing your dream trailer only to realize it lacks the crucial component of a pre-installed GPS tracker. This revelation might leave you pondering your next steps. Fear not, as the world of aftermarket trailer tracking systems opens a realm of possibilities, offering peace of mind and unparalleled oversight for your valuable asset.
Whether your trailer is a colossal industrial behemoth with multiple axles or a modest utility carrier for your gardening essentials, equipping it with a GPS-tracking device isn’t just a luxury—it’s a smart move. The decision to choose a trailer tracking system shouldn’t be taken lightly, and you certainly don’t want to settle for just any device.
You’ve landed in the perfect spot for expert guidance on selecting the most fitting GPS tracking system tailored to your specific needs, regardless of your budget. Our comprehensive research peels back the layers of the market, spotlighting the top-rated, versatile options that cater to a wide spectrum of needs and financial plans.
Discover our top five picks, meticulously curated to seamlessly integrate with any trailer type, from the largest haulers to the smallest utility vehicles. Let’s dive into the world of advanced trailer tracking, where safety meets innovation.
The Perfect Match for Every Trailer
Utility trailers are a great option when you need to transport large items that won’t fit in other vehicles. Whether you’re towing ATVs, gardening/landscaping or farm equipment, or motorcycles, a utility trailer can handle the load for your business, personal, or recreational needs.
But, no matter what you’re hauling, it’s always a good idea to have a GPS tracking device on your utility trailer to prevent theft. Check out our article for a reliable GPS tracker designed specifically for farm equipment.
GPS trackers offer numerous benefits for dump trailers, including theft prevention and the ability to predict arrival times and duration at customer locations. This level of accountability not only safeguards against theft but also ensures customer satisfaction.
RV travel trailers share similarities with camping trailers, but they are more closely associated with mobile homes and RVs. In fact, some people use the term “travel trailer” as a general term for any trailer used for mobile living.
If these trailers are equipped with batteries, you can directly connect the tracker to the travel trailer battery.
On the other hand, campers are a generic term that typically refers to mobile living “trailers” that are either mounted on trucks or towed by them.
Whether it’s attached to your truck or towed behind it, it’s important to have a reliable RV trailer tracking device to ensure you can track and recover your trailer if it’s stolen. Check out the best battery for travel trailers to enhance your trailer’s performance.
An enclosed trailer is a versatile flatbed trailer, similar to a utility trailer, with a roof and walls that fully contain its contents. They serve various purposes, such as bike trailers, car haulers, equipment trailers, motorcycle trailers, and utility trailers.
Larger enclosed trailers typically have a rear gate or door, as well as a side door, providing easy access to the stored items. It is crucial to protect not only the trailer but also its contents from theft.
This is where a reliable GPS trailer tracking device becomes essential.
Fleet Trailers – Reefer and Dry Van
Effective fleet trailer tracking is vital for your company’s dry van or refrigerated trailers. While it can be challenging to monitor mileage and other important factors when they are on the road, installing a trailer GPS tracker can provide immediate and comprehensive monitoring. From driver activity to distance, speed, and precise mileage, you can keep a close eye on your trailers’ movements.
Some trackers even offer reefer temperature monitoring, in addition to GPS tracking, enabling you to optimize fuel conservation, reduce costs, minimize labor, and prevent load spoilage.
Remember, it is crucial to choose a tracking device that can be discreetly hidden to prevent easy removal or damage.
Predictability for your Customers
Reefers and other containers safeguard your cargo, but what safeguards your container itself? GPS trailer tracking devices are indispensable for monitoring location usage and ensuring timely deliveries. Whether your reefer trailers are on the road or not, having complete visibility to track them is crucial.
By equipping your company’s fleet vehicles and tractor/trailers with GPS tracking devices, you can unlock a plethora of benefits, including:
- Fostering business growth.
- Enhancing driver retention.
- Extending the lifespan of your trailers.
- Efficiently managing your capital.
- Maximizing trailer utilization.
- Safeguarding your valuable cargo.
- Reducing your CSA score.
Additionally, having a GPS tracker on your trailer enables you to provide accurate arrival times for your customers. It answers questions like:
- When did it depart?
- How long was it at a specific location?
- Did it arrive at the intended destination?
Investing in GPS tracking devices not only ensures security and efficiency but also empowers you to optimize your operations and elevate customer satisfaction.
Best Locations on each Trailer to install a GPS Tracker
When it comes to installing a trailer tracking device, the ideal mounting locations depend on the type of trailer. For most trailers, the best spot is inside the frame rail and near the battery or power source. This placement ensures that the device remains hidden while still having easy access to the power it requires and a clear view of the sky.
If your GPS tracking device is not magnetic, you can use a strong Velcro adhesive that sticks to the inside walls of the trailer. One side attaches to the device, while the other adheres to the chosen location. Depending on the type of trailer, there may be several suitable areas for concealing the device.
Most trailer tracking systems are waterproof and can withstand even severe storms. However, it’s always wise to check the packaging and instructions to ensure that your device can handle any weather conditions. If it’s not waterproof, there are effective methods to make it water-resistant while still utilizing its special features.
Convenient accessories for transforming your tracking device into a waterproof GPS tracker include but are not limited to, waterproof boxes and magnetic cases. These accessories provide an added layer of protection for your device while maintaining its functionality.
You can install the Trakkit Mobile tracker either in the registration box of a reefer trailer or inside the 7-way electric box of dry van trailers. Take a look at the image below to see a Trakkit Mobile tracker already installed inside a dry van, with a simple power connection.
- Mount the air conditioner in the roof or vent enclosure of air-conditioned trailers.
- Install in the tongue crank housing near the hitch (refer to the above pictures).
- Position the unit in the cowling near the top of the refrigeration system for reefer trailers and connect the power directly to the battery.
Boost Performance: Opt for 12-Volt Hardwiring, If Feasible
The duration between charges for GPS trackers is dependent on the trailer’s movement. If the trailer is frequently in motion, such as during loading/unloading or experiencing vibrations, the battery will discharge at a faster rate.
If your trailer has its own battery, it is advisable to directly connect the tracker to either the trailer’s battery, Aux, or 12v power source (refer to the diagram below). This way, even if the tracker loses power, it will automatically regain power and resume tracking once connected again.
For trailers equipped with a 6 or 7-way plug, which includes the necessary +12 volt power pin, it is recommended to use an ohm meter for testing purposes to ensure proper functionality.
Before permanently installing the GPS tracker on your trailer, it’s important to test it in multiple locations to determine the optimal performance. This will help ensure that you choose the best spot for accurate and reliable tracking.
Best Trailer Tracking Devices Tested:
LandAirSea-54 GPS Tracker (Made in the USA)
This tracker comes with a magnet-mount that is completely waterproof and provides global coverage. It is a real-time tracking device (4G LTE) that offers geofencing, location reporting, and historical playback features.
Inside the box, you will find the tracker, charging accessories, and an on/off pin. The most affordable subscription plan (as of 12/13/23) is $19.95 per month for 3-minute updates, unless you opt for prepayment on a 6 or 12-month plan. Both plans offer significant savings.
- Compatible with Android, iPhone, and MAC devices as well as PCs;
- Is one of the top GPS tracking devices on the market when it comes to versatility;
- Made of weatherproof materials, ultra-durable for standing up to tough weather conditions;
- Has LED lights that you can disable (via the app) so your device won’t give away the location;
- Includes a built-in high-powered magnet that makes it simple to install the device on your trailer;
- Includes a SIM card and there are no other accessories needed;
- Subscription is required;
This GPS tracker offers more than just easy-to-use tracking. It allows you to customize your settings so you receive important updates like movement notifications and proximity alerts via emails, text messages, or push notifications. With these incredible features, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that if anything happens to your trailer, you’ll have a much higher chance of recovering it and its contents.
- Reliable tracking of assets, people, or vehicles with this personal GPS.
- Offers an ultra-compact design with a built-in magnet that’s super-strong.
- 100% waterproof.
- Attaches easily to the trailer frame.
- Tracking and mapping in real-time with Google Maps on the SilverCloud App or web-based software.
- Provides both email and text alerts.
|2.25 x 2.25 x 0.8 inches
|1 Lithium-ion battery required.
Trak-4 GPS Tracker for Equipment Trailers, and Vehicles (complete w/ 12v wiring harness)
The internal battery of the Trak-4 12V is high-capacity, allowing it to continue operating even when disconnected from the 12-volt power system or in the event of a power failure. Furthermore, this device has the remarkable capability to report for over 12 months without the need for recharging.
- You can use this device with your computer, tablet, or phone;
- You get unlimited cell data;
- No contract is required;
- No activation or cancellation fees;
- SIM card built-in;
- Only costs $6.99 a month (prepaid annually) or $12.99 per month (paid monthly);
- Subscription required;
- Only works in the U.S.
To charge the device, simply connect it to the 12-volt power source on your trailer for continuous trickle charging. It’s incredibly user-friendly as well. Anyone can sign in and start using this device within minutes.
In essence, it’s a “just attach and go” process. Once connected, you’ll start receiving text or email alerts whenever your device and trailer enter or exit a designated area. You’ll also be notified when the battery level is low. The device itself is weatherproof and designed for both indoor and outdoor use, with a robust commercial housing that doesn’t compromise its compactness.
- You can choose between Elite or Battery-Saver reporting frequencies.
- Your Trak-4 checks in once a day even when your trailer isn’t moving.
- You can track multiple units using the same map with Expert Mapping.
- Map history includes animated trails for indicating your device’s direction of travel over time.
- Sharing your device location with business associates, family, and friends in real-time is easy with Unlimited Sharing.
- Trak-4’s cell-trilateration gives you an approximate location (if there’s no GPS signal available like inside your garages).
|4.25 x 2.25 x 1.1 inches
|1 Lithium-ion battery (included)
Spytec GPS Tracker (GL300) with App and Real-Time Tracking
The Android and iOS apps of this service employ 4G satellite technology to receive location alerts. Its user-friendly software allows you to track your trailer in real-time on a map. Customizing boundaries and alerts is a breeze, as is accessing speed, distance, and other past data.
- Very easy to set up and track;
- Extremely reliable;
- Rechargeable battery lasts up to two weeks;
- The automatic low-battery alert helps you with planning ahead and tracking longer;
- Customer support is only available via online chat;
- Requires monthly subscription;
Looking for reliable service? Look no further! The Spytec GPS Tracker not only boasts a remarkable 99.99 percent uptime, but also processes data in a mere .256 milliseconds. In simple terms, this cloud-based tracker utilizes cutting-edge technology to provide you with the precise data you need, exactly when you need it.
When it comes to choosing a GPS tracker, size and versatility matter. The Spytec GPS Tracker is a sleek one-inch thick device that offers an impressive two-week battery life. Simply activate and use this tracker to ensure the security of your trailer. And let’s not forget the affordable subscription that comes with it.
Spytec offers subscription prices starting at $19.95 per month if paid annually, or $24.95 per month if paid monthly. With your subscription, you’ll enjoy free 24/7 support and a lifetime warranty on your GPS trailer tracking device.
- Get flexible measurements (either imperial or metric units).
- Use follow mode for watching your tracker moving across the map in real-time.
- Track your team, users, and/or tiered permissions.
- Use group monitoring on the same account.
- Get help from the Help Center and Webinars to get up and track with no unanswered questions.
- Create custom boundaries.
- Get detailed tracking information.
- Receive customized alerts.
- Get changeable maps.
- View your tracking activity in light mode, dark mode, or satellite view.
|1 x 1.5 x 3 inches
Spark Nano 7 GPS Tracker by Brickhouse Security
The incredible Spark Nano 7 operates on lightning-fast 4G networks in Canada, Mexico, and the US, offering future-proof coverage. Its unparalleled speed and expansive coverage make it the ultimate choice for seamless connectivity.
- On standby, the battery lasts up to 15 days;
- While active, the battery lasts 8 days;
- You can track it on your cell phone with any provider;
- The magnet is quite strong;
- The tracker is both small and sleek;
- Only programmed for use in Canada, Mexico, and the US;
- Subscription required;
Brickhouse Security offers affordable subscription plans with three options to fit your needs: annual, quarterly, and monthly.
The most cost-efficient choice is the annual subscription plan, priced at $17.99 per month ($215.88 per year).
The quarterly plan is priced at $22.99 per month ($275.88 per year, or $68.97 every three months),
The monthly plan is priced at $29.99 per month ($359.88 per year).
Importantly, there are no contracts required for any of the subscription plans and you have the flexibility to cancel hassle-free at any time.
- Smallest GPS Tracker with coverage (4G) all over North America.
- Waterproof magnetic case.
- View your GPS trailer tracker’s location in real-time.
- No long-term contract is required.
|5.5 x 5 x 4.1 inches
|1 Lithium Polymer battery (included)
Tracki – 4G GPS Hidden Tracker/Locator
With its cutting-edge 4G LTE Technology, this device offers enhanced network coverage and a stable high-speed connection, making it the perfect choice for tracking devices. As 2G and 3G coverage gradually fades away, it’s time to upgrade to 4G LTE to ensure seamless connectivity. Additionally, this tracker comes with a reliable 12v power adapter cord for hassle-free hardwiring.
- This 4G hidden magnetic GPS tracker has a strong magnet and high-gain GPS module;
- Activation only requires a simple email to the company’s support line;
- Comes with a Sim card already installed;
- Doesn’t require a clear view of the sky;
- Three working modes, including normal, intelligent, and power-saving;
- Various Smart Alerts range from a vibration alert to a geofence alert, low-battery alert, and more;
- Can be difficult to update the time;
- Some units would only display kilometers per hour and meters;
This discreet GPS tracker offers a comprehensive 180-day tracking history, along with convenient features like historical track playback and multi-smart alerts. Crafted with durable materials and housed in an IP65 water-resistant casing, this tracker is built to withstand the elements. Plus, it boasts an extended battery life of up to 20 days or more on a full charge, thanks to its high-capacity 10000mah battery.
With 30-second updates and three working modes for efficient power saving, this tracker allows you to customize settings according to your specific needs. Powered by Google Maps, it provides accurate mapping and tracking. If you’re involved in fleet management, this device is a convenient tool to keep you informed of your trailers’ real-time locations.
One notable and appreciated feature of this tracker is that it comes with a complimentary one-year subscription included. Furthermore, renewal for the second year is available at an affordable price of only $69.00. This means that your company can easily equip each trailer with a tracker and effortlessly monitor their whereabouts via the Android, iPhone, or Web app.
- SIM card included.
- Supports a 3G/4G network.
- Is an innovative GPS+LBS type of tracker/locator that’s well-designed for keeping assets safe.
- Delivers high-quality and very powerful software functions.
- IP65 waterproof.
- Provides a history playback, tamper alarm, geofence, and more.
| 2.91 x 2.72 x 1.38 inches
|One Lithium Polymer battery (included)
Trailer Tracking Software & App
Each of these trackers comes with an app that allows you to track the location of your trailers. Most also include a desktop software app that makes it easier to monitor from the commercial dispatch centers and terminals.
They may have an API that can tie the trailer tracking data into your backend systems.
Cheaper Way to GPS Track Your Trailer
Did you know all GPS trackers need to receive signals from the sky in order to work? However, the Trakkit Super GPS does not need this.
It can be hardwired into your trailer just like a standard GPS tracker and can be hidden in places other trackers can’t because of the GPS receiver sensitivity and cellular coverage.
It’s able to track in parking garages, tunnels, etc. When other trackers lose GPS signal, they won’t update.
Above is a screenshot of the map of a Trakkit Super GPS Tracker kit pictured below hidden in a dry van trailer.
And the most important part is the monthly cost.
Just about all GPS trackers and the ones mentioned above have about $20 / month costs, but there are plans that are under $10 per month and are perfect for use as a GPS tracker because the data used is so small.
Total Cost of each GPS Tracker (Yearly)
Since most people will want a permanent GPS tracking solution for their trailer(s), it is important to know the yearly costs of each GPS tracker. (see graph and data table below)
*the table price is calculated by taking the monthly subscription fee of each tracker divided by 12 months for each year plus the initial device cost.
It’s quite clear that GPS trailer tracking devices are a good option for adding safety and security to your already busy life. They can definitely help you with keeping track of your trailer (or even a fleet of trailers) as well as any contents involved if theft occurs.
Your tracker accomplishes this by allowing you to be aware of its whereabouts at all times. No need to worry constantly about your trailer. Yes, many require a subscription but it’s minimal when you compare it to the cost you could incur if thieves target your trailer.
Hopefully, the above info about our choice of the five best GPS trailer tracking devices will be of some help to you in choosing the best device for your needs.