How Accurate are GPS Systems Used on Construction  Equipment?

October 14, 2020 Published by

How do GPS Systems Work?

GPS is short for Global Positioning System. It is a system used to figure out the exact location of an object on the globe. In ancient times, people relied on constellations in the night sky for navigation purposes. Similarly, GPS relies on a network of satellites to pinpoint the coordinates of the location.

GPS consists of satellites, ground stations, and receivers. The ground stations use radar technology to confirm the location provided by the satellites. This can be vital in the construction industry, when equipment needs to be quickly moved within a state, or even nationwide.

The receivers can be any GPS device such as your phone, smartwatch, or car navigation. The receiver confirms the location from a few different satellites to calculate the distance from a location. Typically, only three satellites are needed to produce a location, but a fourth satellite is used to validate the location.

This allows the GPS to have a high level of accuracy and reliability. A positioning system does not require the user to transmit any data. It also does not require any internet or telephonic reception, but most GPS devices have these features to enhance the capabilities of the device.

How Precise is GPS?

The precision, accuracy, and reliability of GPS will depend on several factors including signal strength, atmospheric conditions, type of equipment, satellite position, and much more. A typical smartphone can be accurate up to 5 m radius. With high-end user equipment, GPS precision can be enhanced. If the user equipment has dual frequency it can provide precision within a few millimeters.

Any obstruction such as mountains, buildings, trees, etc. can reduce the precision of the GPS. Indoor or underground use, weather conditions, or radio interference can also reduce the precision of the GPS. GPS tracking has improved in recent years due to the increased number of satellites and advanced technology.

How Precise is GPS

Do Different GPS Systems have Different Levels of Accuracy?

Yes, different GPS is going to have different levels of accuracy. The major difference in the accuracy level depends on the processing techniques of the user equipment. For example, there is a difference in accuracy between the Standard Positioning Service used by civilians and the Precise Positioning Service used by the military.

There is also a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) which provides positional corrections to standard signals. It uses a known fixed position to adjust real-time data from GPS. This helps eliminate pseudo-range errors and improve accuracy.

What to Look for When Choosing an Accurate GPS for Fleet Tracking in the Construction Industry?

One of the benefits of GPS is that it allows businesses to track and manage their assets. For a fleet of construction equipment, tracking can show how fast a vehicle is traveling or traveling. It can also show the routes taken by the vehicle and if the vehicle took any detours or stops. The objective of fleet tracking in the construction industry is to improve the efficiency of the fleet, increase safety, and enhance customer service.

It allows you to understand driver behavior and manage their workload. It also helps businesses stay compliant with government policies and laws such as the International Fuel Tax Agreement or the Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR). This can be a major help for tracking the efficiency of your construction equipment, as it is deployed and used in the field.

When choosing a device for fleet tracking, one of the first things you should do is to analyze your requirements and prioritize according to need. Fleet tracking software offers a variety of features and your requirements will determine the features you need the most. Regardless of requirements, there are some basic features that you must consider when choosing a fleet tracking system.

You should look for a solution that provides training and on-going customer support. The application will only be beneficial if your team is using it according to how it was designed to be used. You should also consider electronic data logs (EDL) with at least 6 months of stored history. This will help analyze the data gathered by the tracking system.

You will want to look for a solution that offers email or phone notifications along with geo-fencing and landmarking features. Budget is an important factor, but you should try not to get stuck on a number. The long-term benefit of an accurate and reliable fleet tracking system provides great value for your money. If the budget is tight, look for a solution that offers flexible financial plans such as monthly fees with low upfront costs.

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