In this article I will explain 3 types of fleet tracking systems. Cellular, wireless passive and satellite.

Some of the main features that the modern Fleet Manager is taking advantage of by utilizing a fleet tracking system are: route optimization, increased productivity, driver and vehicle safety and time management.


Cellular and hand-held tracking devices utilize cellular networks to transmit fleet location and other information to cell towers. Fleets can install an in-vehicle tracking devise or use cellphones simply by installing an app.

Cell Phone GPS: When using an app installed on a cell phone you are tracking the cell phone. This is fine if you are just tracking an employee, contractor or looking for an inexpensive way to track a load using an outside carrier and you don’t mind the occasional outage or the possibility of the phone being turned off or a dead battery.

In-vehicle GPS: If you are interested in the actual physical location of your assets, fuel usage and driver behaviors, then a vehicle-installed GPS system would be the better choice.

Wireless Passive

Basic wireless passive tracking systems record data during the work day and is retrieved once the vehicle is returned to its home base. More advanced models have incorporated modems so real time data such as vehicle speed and stops can be available.

Wireless passive systems require hardware and software installations as well as the creation of a database. The benefits of the wireless passive system is once its installed, their is no monthly fees. The downside is the upfront costs and installation.

Satellitepicture of satellite for GPS tracking

Satellites orbiting the earth, amazing. Using the advanced satellite system will give you the exact location of your assets all at the same time, all on one computer screen, all in real-time.

When comparing systems keep in mind that satellite is more up-to-the-minute location tracking and may not provide as much detailed information as the wireless or cellular systems.

Also, monthly satellite-based tracking fees may increase based on the amount of data you transmit, more data equals higher operating expense.


As a Fleet Manager you will want to know what type of information and data that is most important to your operation and the system that will deliver this to you.

For a free consultation, please reach out to our experienced team at impac Fleet. We offer unmatched customer service and robust and individualized fleet management solutions.