How GPS Tracking Can Prevent Equipment Theft

April 30, 2021

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Key Takeaways

Learn how a GPS Tracking solution can help prevent equipment theft and track down stolen equipment so your fleet can reduce equipment replacement costs.

According to the National Equipment Register, equipment theft is on the rise. To avoid stolen equipment replacement costs, it’s important to have a way to locate and recover your construction equipment and valuable assets. But without GPS tracking devices (or anti-theft devices), this can be a challenge.

Read on to learn three ways a real-time GPS tracking system can help prevent equipment theft, minimize insurance claims, and help you improve equipment recovery rates. 

LEARN MORE: Anti-Theft Tips from Samsara 

Public agencies such as governments and schools, have a wide variety of equipment that is needed at peak community times, like snowstorms, community events. Tracking vehicle location, ensuring they aren’t stolen, knowing in what condition they are are key to delivering efficient citizen services. Protecting public assets from theft is critical. Examples include but are not limited to; generators, speed signs, dumpsters etc.

What is GPS tracking?

GPS tracking devices are one of the more popular types of tracking systems available to organizations and consumers today. A GPS tracker is a device that uses the Global Positioning System to determine and track locations.This enables location data to be collected and displayed on a map which can then be used to locate something, such as construction equipment or vehicles. 

LEARN MORE: Your Guide to GPS Tracking for Equipment 

3 ways GPS tracking can prevent equipment theft 

1. Track the locations of your high-value mobile equipment in real time 

The first step to preventing equipment theft is knowing where all of your equipment is located. At their core, GPS tracking devices help you keep track of your equipment’s locations. GPS trackers such as Samsara Gateways provide customizable real-time GPS tracking so that you can keep track of your powered, unpowered, and heavy equipment. 

Depending on the type of equipment, you can customize the ping rate to satisfy your organization’s needs. For example, heavy equipment such as loaders may require real-time tracking whereas an unpowered asset may only require twice-a-day check ins. In the event of equipment theft, GPS tracking devices will help you track down the exact location of your equipment so you can recover it or provide information to law enforcement. With Samsara, you can view your equipment’s locations through one centralized and secure dashboard, regardless of how many job sites or pieces of equipment you have.  

2. Track suspicious equipment movement with customizable geofence alerts

GPS tracking can also help prevent equipment theft through geofence alerts. Geofence alerts help notify you when a piece of equipment leaves a predetermined location, which can be an indication of theft. 

With these alerts set up, you will be notified on your cell phone or via email of unscheduled movement from a worksite, construction site, or equipment yard. Geofence alerts allow you to act fast so you can immediately investigate suspicious activity, such as a stolen vehicle or stolen piece of equipment. This way, you can quickly track down equipment and improve your organization’s recovery rates. 

LEARN FROM A CUSTOMER: How Ghilotti Bros. uses Samsara Geofence Alerts to track down stolen equipment 

3. Gain insight into equipment inventory 

Oftentimes, organizations don’t notice a piece of equipment is missing until they need to use it. Without a way to automatically track inventory, noticing equipment theft can be incredibly challenging. 

With the Inventory Report in Samsara, your organization can automatically keep track of all equipment locations in real time. By gaining insight into your equipment inventory, you can notice missing or stolen equipment faster, which will help aid asset recovery down the line. 

How to choose the right GPS tracking solution for equipment 

The best way to select a GPS tracking solution for your organization is to determine what level of visibility your business needs and choose an equipment tracking device accordingly. Here’s a checklist of important questions to consider when evaluating a tracking technology system:

  • Quality of location data: Would your organization benefit from real-time tracking, or is a single location ping every five to ten minutes sufficient? Additionally, would it be helpful to have the option to switch between real-time or interval alerts? 

  • Ease of use: How straightforward is the equipment tracking dashboard? Will it require a heavy-lift to onboard and train employees to use it? Does it have a mobile dashboard? 

  • Ease of install: How seamless will the install process be for your fleet? Will it require hiring additional people or new resources? 

  • Power: How are the equipment trackers powered? Is the battery lifespan inline with your organization’s needs? 

  • Customer support: What level of customer service will your team require? Is it important for your team to have access to support via phone, a mobile app, or digital help desk?

The different types of Samsara asset tracking devices

Whether you need GPS tracking for your unpowered equipment or you’re also looking for a solution to track heavy equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, and more—Samsara has you covered. Samsara offers a variety of unpowered and powered asset gateways, so you can keep all your GPS tracking data consolidated on one platform.

Below is an overview of the different types of Samsara asset tracking devices. For more information, learn more about our asset tracking solutions or reach out to our team for a free trial.





Unpowered asset tracker

Powered asset tracker

Advanced powered asset tracker

Common use cases

Shipping containers, rental trailers

Dry van and flatbed trailers

Reefer and specialty trailers

Check-in rate

Customizable, default is 2x per day

Real-time or customizable

Real-time or customizable


Replaceable long-lasting lithium battery

Powered via cable and rechargeable battery

Powered via cable and rechargeable battery

Industry-leading IP69K weatherproofing


Reporting and alerts

Reefer temperature alerts

Two-way reefer control

Compatible with wireless door, cargo, temperature, and humidity sensors

Protect your equipment from theft with Samsara asset tracking devices

Samsara Gateways are GPS equipment tracking devices that transmit data to the Samsara Connected Operations Platform to combine fleet management, site visibility, and advanced equipment monitoring solutions. 

With the option of live tracking, your organization has flexibility and can adjust the connection rate for your equipment to the interval that's appropriate for your business, all the way up to to-the-second tracking.

Whether you’re looking for ways to collect equipment data or need a tracking platform to keep an eye on equipment locations, Samsara’s Asset Gateways can provide valuable information for both your powered and unpowered equipment. And with their compact size, Samsara Asset Gateways can attach to almost any piece of equipment. 

To learn more about how Samsara asset tracking can help you successfully protect your equipment from theft, reach out for a free trial or learn more about the technology today.