How can you keep track of your earthmovers if they beyond the range of the nearest mobile phone tower?
Here's an interestign product - a Navman Wireless Qube 4 which automatically switches from Telstra's Next G terrestrial service to Iridium satellite to report back the location of earthmovers when they're out of mobile phone range.
One of the problems is that while GPS can be used anywhere in the country to keep track of vehicles and equipment such as excavators and earthmovers, when it comes to actually sending back a message to report the location, it might be impossible beyond the range of the nearest mobile phone tower.
Interestingly, workplace health and safety is as much a driver for this type of device as the desire to track the location of the vehicle for security purposes.
Features include eight external connections that can be used to report the wearing of seatbelts, doors being left open, the selection of four-wheel drive, and the use of a backhoe's power take-off.
These connections can also be used in conjunction with external force gyros to report heavy acceleration and breaking, or excessive speed while cornering.
The Qube 4 has enough memory to set up to 600 geofences (geographical regions) with the ability to generate a notification when the vehicle exceeds a customer-set speed limit for that region or when it leaves a designated area.
The sales pitch from Michael Carter, regional manager at Navman Wireless, is that this type of device is better than a tachograph as it provides easier access to the data with better reporting.
The Qube 4 has been tested by a number of Australian organisations, including some in the mining, construction, local government and tourism industries.
Another advantage of Navman Wireless's tracking systems is that they are available through Telstra with the payments being added to the phone bill.