WHICH GPS tracker for my bakkie?

well the subject says it all, just spoke to outsurance. i have a isuzu dmax 1.9. extended cab blah blah blah … if i install a tracker which they refer me to , matrix or tracker, my premium drops by R30pm and the cheapest option for a tracker is R90 pm… R1080 per year - minimum contract 3 years, i.e. R3240 vs premium saving over that time of R1080 - net cost to client, me over 3 years - R2160.
the most expensive tracker on takelot [uninstalled] is the EziTrack GPS Tracker for Vehicles 4G LTE at R2195 [very good reviews!], though the small print states “No Contracts Required - First 12 Months Subscription Included - Subscription thereafter R800 for 12 months”… any ideas?

Let me think of this guy at the office who had a spam call from on of these companies.

The sales guy really tried, and did not understand that the guy had a john deer tracker, not a gps tracker!!

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If it’s cheaper without a tracker, why would you want one?

true @_a_a_a … ‘not need to have’ [maybe the control freak in me :thinking:]- the reports of found stolen cars all indicate that you don’t actually want them back, rather take whatever the insurance will offer - as for the arguments, on another forum, re your loved ones being hijacked, rather get the free location app from google and make sure their life premiums are up to date - either way whatever happens is not in our hands

if you are really paranoid - in the old days just remove the rotor from the distributor, or put a small valve in the fuel line and shut it off…

The technology also matters a bit. The cheaper trackers you get from Netstar (for example) uses a radio signal, while the one on Takealot uses the mobile network.

In theory, the 4G LTE one works anywhere where there is mobile phone reception. The Netstar tracker (just using them as example, I once had such a tracker) works anywhere where a radio antenna is installed.

Netstar has such base stations in a few places, but they can also send out a vehicle or even a helicopter (in extreme cases) to look for the vehicle, and then they will pick up the signal as long as you are within a few km of the vehicle. It is a bit like the RF trackers they put on animals, which allows you to find the animal with a directional antenna.

Conversely, your 4G LTE tracker works anywhere, and you can track the vehicle yourself even if not stolen, but if outside mobile phone range (unlikely these days), you have no tracking. It has to be said though, that vehicles tend to “pass through” areas with reception.

4G LTE tracker is probably quite a bit more power hungry. Netstar units are in low power mode until they are woken up by the tracking signal, so long battery life.

If the vehicle is stolen, then with Netstar you make a phone call, and they look for it. With the 4G tracker, you track it yourself and hope to convince the police (or your slightly millitant ex-SADF buddy) to go there and get it.

Both kinds can be fairly easily jammed with the right radio signal. With the mobile kind, you can probably buy commodity hardware off the internet to jam the signal, so you can move the vehicle without the tracker working.

Neither kind work really well inside a Faraday cage, ie a shipping container.

So… kinda depends what you want to do with it.

For myself, I know that the built-in 3G tracker in our i3 is extremely useful to check why the wife is a bit late getting back from work… oh… she stopped at the supermarket… I can relax.

Many people are of the opinion / belief if insurance doesn’t require a tracker, then they don’t install one because they don’t want the vehicle back after it has been stolen and the inside destroyed.

Last year a colleague’s Prado got stolen and the tracking company found it 25 minutes later. In that 25 minutes they managed to gut all the seats even the fold up ones right at the back, they gutted the entire dash board top and bottom, around the cubbyhole and under the steering wheel, they even sliced open the roof liner, floor carpeting and head rests in search of the tracking unit. Eventually the insurance wrote off the vehicle, there was no way you could simply fix even one of those seats or patch the dashboard.

You can be glad you don’t have a Toyota, if you had a Hilux, Fortuner, Prado or Cruiser the majority of insurance companies would have required you to install 2 from different providers.

As for just quickly checking on the wife, a Apple Airtag or similar, you can even properly hide it somewhere in the car if you want to.

If you feel you actually want to do something to try prevent your bakkie from been stolen, look at the Ghost, it’s all the rage these days and apparently work very well.

On the subject of jamming of GPS signals you might need to be aware of conflict zones in Europe:

All the mobile-phone carrying people in our household now use Life 360 (free app with a paid tier that has more features).

The story behind that is somewhat entertaining. My eldest takes the bus to school in the neighbouring town, an arrangement that started this year. There are multiple buses servicing multiple schools, so you take one bus up to a common point, and then another bus from there for the last 2km or so.

Somehow, the information that a second bus is involved, was lost or not properly communicated. So on the first day, he got off the bus, didn’t know what to do, sent his parents a Whatsapp stating this fact, and then put the phone away and started walking, not answering the phone or any messages, to the complete bewilderment of his parents.

I called the school, to find out if he arrived, only to discover that the phone lines were down. So I had to get in my car, and drive to school, to check if he had made it okay, which he did. We thought that he had figured out what bus to take and simply forgotten to let us know… but we heard later that he had walked the entire last 2km to school. He also thought this was what he was supposed to do from now on.

The admin lady at the school recommended the app. It is extremely useful. Your kids knows when you are at the gate to pick them up (on days they are not taking the bus). When I get to school, I can see whether he is at the main gate, or on the other side at the tuck shop. Saves a lot of time.

The app sends notifications when people arrive at places, such as school or work.

This may be enough, if your concern is simply the safety of the people and you can’t care less about the vehicle (in that context).

No, you don’t jam the GPS signal. You jam the 4G/LTE outgoing signal (or whatever spectrum the tracking company uses). GPS is a receiver. It tells you where you are. In order for other people to know where you are, you need a second outgoing comms channel. You jam this second channel.

The Netstar-type trackers also don’t use GPS (not the cheaper ones). It uses a directional RF signal that can be picked up with the right kind of antenna. You would jam this signal.

*now who on planet earth would be so nasty… we’ll have to send someone to stop this!.. ‘miss moneypenny, get james on the phone,…’ *

Been using this for a very long long time and it works great. Have my home, my office and wife’s office location so that we know when some gets to work and leaves work and also when some leaves / arrives home.

Prior to the app, we used to message each other and sometimes when someone forgets, it’s a lot of stress.

The circle for any particular place is about as big as a street block, so I get a notification sound when my wife is about 200 meter from home. Good for quickly shoving some things into the dishwasher, or on a security level, it allows you to watch the street to check safety as she enters the gate, which is traditionally a bit of a security hotspot.

i try to get the free version of LIFE360 but can’t enter our ZA contry code, USA only… any suggestions?

this is on pc, i have managed to install app on mobile…

I’ve been using Traccar for years. It’s free and you can run it on your own server. I have cells and vehicles on the system. Recurring cost is about R10.00 / month per dedicated tracker. Cells use data when out of wifi range.

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