GPS Devices: ODB Vs. Wired

The use of GPS tracking devices has grown drastically over the years, and it has helped a number of industrial sectors and businesses to amass favorable outcomes regarding their businesses. However, if a business is considering the integration of GPS tracking devices into its vehicles or fleet system; it requires a business owner to familiarize itself with the types of GPS tracking devices found in a market.

When searching for vehicle tracking devices, you will often come across two categories of devices, and each type of the device is considered useful and effective on its own. You will find a wired or hardwired tracking devices, which generally requires a three-wired connection along with plug-n-play (PNP) devices, and it could be connected to OBD port in a vehicle for its activation. You will also come across wired tracking devices, which involves a connection of wire to the fuse box, which is generally hidden inside cab of the vehicle.

When selecting a GPS tracking device, you should take business challenges and vehicle types into your consideration for making a better decision. You should also take the training level of a driver into your account prior to finalizing a decision. Alternatively, you can reach out to your GPS services provider, and you can ask it to help you select a GPS device, which would work the best in your favor. The following section discusses about the pros and cons of the GPS tracking devices in detail, and the information should help a business to make a decision regarding the selection of the tracking devices.

OBD tracking devices:

OBD tracking devices or, plug-and-play GPS tracking devices are widely praised for their self-installation feature. A majority of the companies prefer installing OBD tracking devices for acquiring favorable outcomes. However, similar to its counterpart, the ODB tracking devices come with a set of pros and cons, which of which are listed below: 

Pros of OBD tracking devices:

The pros of OBD devices are given as follows:

Easily installed and uninstalled:

The OBD tracking devices are considerably easy to install and configure, as it does not require any sort of hardwired connection for its calibration. It could be installed into any vehicle that is equipped with an OBD-II port. Similarly, a user can detach the GPS tracking device from the port effectively, and it will disconnect the assumed connection without any hassle.

If you are not familiar with the positioning of the OBD-II port in your vehicle—you can typically find it installed under the dashboard installed to the cab. However, the position and location of the OBD-II port is more likely to differ according to the type and model of the vehicle. You are simply required to insert the tracking device into the ODB-II port, and it will start the facilitation of data from your vehicle.

Portable to use: 

As mentioned previously, the use of such tracking devices is exclusive to the installation and uninstallation of the tracking devices into the OBD-II port, and it allows the tracking devices portable to use between the vehicles. Considering the easy installation of the tracking devices in mind, it allows a fleet owner to uninstall the tracking device from one vehicle, and install it to the other one. It eliminates the requirement of planning the downtime of a vehicle for removing the tracking device from one vehicle, and installing it to another vehicle.Receive engine diagnostics automatically:

The OBD or PNP tracking devices are calibrated to retrieve the diagnostic information relevant to the engine of the vehicle automatically, as it is installed to the OBD-II port. It receives the required statistics of the engine or fuel tank within minutes, and it allows a driver to short the shortest route for reaching a destination. It does not require him to indulge in additional installation accessories, which may be required for calibrating the device.Built-in in-cab driver coaching:

Such type of GPS tracking device is equipped with a pre-installed buzzer, which is triggered to emit an audible sound to the vehicle driver. The buzzer plays a role in coaching a driver regarding correcting its driving behavior, and it also informs a driver on lowering the speed of the vehicle, slow down the harsh braking, or refrain from accelerating the vehicle rapidly.

Cons of the OBD tracking device:

While OBD tracking device is a modern and innovative approach to GPS tracking devices; however, it has its own cons, which are listed as follows:

Easily removable and stolen:

The plug and play ability of the tracking device makes it easy to install to a port; however, it does not guarantee its permanent installation to the port. A majority of the OBD-II ports are not concealed by a hardcover, which allows the driver to uninstall the tracking device from its port. On the contrary, the tracking device is also susceptible to a quick uninstallation if it is hit by a leg or an accidental bump. It results in the device becomes jarred, which disables its function to track the vehicle. However, it requires fleet managers to use additional accessories for strengthening the installation of the device, which makes its positioning intact in the port.

Vehicle and Engine data only

The PNP device comes in a hard box, which does not allow a technician to repair the faulty wires of the GPS. It means that it deprives a technician or fleet manager from the opportunity of monitoring the input monitoring, which allows a company to execute the best uses of GPS tracking devices.

Hardwired vehicle tracking devices:

On the contrary, the hardwired vehicle tracking devices make an excellent alternative to the OBD-II tracking devices, and it has the following set of advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of the hardwired tracking devices:

Safe and easy to install:

Hardwired vehicle tracking devices often require a three-wired system for its installation. The objective of three wires are exclusive to ground, power, and ignition. It enables the vehicle tracking devices to position itself under the hood of a car, and it is usually not perceptible by a driver. It requires the use of a tamper seal for making its installation secure.

Far beyond vehicle and engine data:

The wired tracking devices come with a wired harness, which enables the tracking devices to employ a handful of add-on data recordings used for electronic logging devices, Garmin integration, input monitoring, and so much more.

Cons of the hardwired tracking device:

Installation downtime:

When it comes to the installation of tracking devices to a vehicle, companies usually have to rely on the services of professional installer. The installers are more likely to take 30-40 minutes for the installation of the devices, which could be time-consuming. If you are more likely to take the initiative for installing the hardwired tracking device to your vehicle, it could consume additional time.

Hard to calibrate

As these devices are attached to a vehicle, it requires them to take 30-40 minutes of installation. It is only limited to one vehicle only, and it cannot be moved or calibrated just like its counterpart.

Making a correct choice for your vehicle

If you are considering the installation of GPS tracking devices into a vehicle, you should compare and contrast the pros and cons of two of the tracking devices before you finalize your decision.

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