Moving Forward With 3G Networks

Fleet Tracking 2G to 3G

Changes in wireless technology and the effects on GPS tracking for fleets today and tomorrow

The communications industry is making a big push towards re-purposing older 2G networks to further expand the effectiveness of the growing 3G and 4G spectrums. So big, in fact, some of the biggest telecommunications service providers intend to completely end 2G service within the next year, and have already made strides to integrate the dated technology with the more efficient 3G/4G networks. But what implications will this change have for fleet technologies such as GPS tracking? And what considerations should transportation companies be making to ensure their investment in telematics continues to provide value?

For many years GPS tracking devices have operated on 2G networks to transmit location data, and for simple black box solutions that only need to send small amounts of data this system has worked well. But to understand the necessity of a switch from 2G to 3G, it’s important to understand the major benefits the newer generation networks bring:

Transmission Speed

Perhaps the biggest change 3G brings is the pure bump in data transfer rates. While 2G download and upload speeds capped performance at about 236Kbps, 3G can reach rates as high as 21 Mbps (nearly 90x faster than 2G). This is essential to compensate for the increased amount of data tracking that devices can be programmed to capture and transmit beyond just location, things like: ignition statuses, harsh braking events, vehicle performance information, speed data, odometer data and more.

Coverage Area

When 3G technology first started rolling out in the early 2000s, 2G networks still dominated the majority of the map with wide areas of coverage. Today the 3G spectrum for many service providers now covers roughly 96% of the United States and touches most populated areas. The increased coverage area, and the fact that 3G devices are capable of accessing 2G networks when 3G is not available, means the dots on the map stay on the map.

Tracking Device SIM Card

The SIM cards currently available for GPS devices include:
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and more

Reliability

It’s also worth noting that the transmission of signals can be more dependent on weather conditions for 2G technology, since it operates using a mix of frequencies in both the higher and lower ranges. As the networks improve infrastructure, devices will become more reliable in their data transmission.

Additional Features

The transition from 2G technology to 3G isn’t limited to spectrum tweaks and speed boosts. With 3G comes the ability for devices to adopt entirely new applications that were not possible on 2G’s predominantly voice focused technology, like video transmission which is used by dash cam systems. As telematics devices have advanced to support this new network standard, they’ve also enhanced their support for other technologies such as Bluetooth which can be used by Elog systems and sensors to track harsh braking or turning events.

AK7 and AX7 3G Tracking Devices

Two new tracking devices operating on the 3G network:
AK7 3-wire device and AX7 OBDII device

For fleets that already utilize telematics to track the location and performance of vehicles, the transition to the 3G network standard will bring with it new opportunities to improve the way you gather information about your operations. If you’re still using 2G based devices, now may be the best time to learn what a hardware upgrade could do for you before 2G network services come to a halt.

Click here to learn more about the transition to 3G networks, new features or the promotion we’re offering to help replace older 2G hardware with newer models.

 

Posted in DSi Mobile

Fleet Tech: AX7/AK7 Comparison

AX7 and AK7 GPS Vehicle Trackers

Reviewing the differences between the new devices and where they fit in the world of GPS tracking.

Having recently added the AX7 and AK7 GPS trackers to our line-up of telematics devices, we thought it would be helpful to shed some light on what makes them unique and the role they play in fleets. As the two main solutions that provide in-depth intelligence for fleet vehicles, the AX7 and AK7 have very distinct applications and both fill important roles in any modern day fleet with an eye towards efficiency.

We are going to cover what makes these two devices different from a technical and applications perspective, what kind of similarities exist in their features and uses, their potential limitations, and how they relate to the other types of tracking devices that are available.

Differences

Connection Type

How these devices connect with an asset is the main factor that sets them apart and is the basis for many of the differences that exist between the AX7 and AK7 trackers. The AX7 uses the OBDII connector and a simple plug-and-play design to connect to a vehicle, while the AK7 relies on a 3-wire connection which requires the device to be hardwired into the vehicles power, ground and ignition cables.

Feature Set

While both the AX7 and AK7 are black boxes that provide the ability to send and receive GPS location data, their functionality beyond that differs slightly due primarily to how they interface with a vehicle. Because the AX7 connects with a vehicles OBDII port, which has access to all forms of data being passed around regarding the vehicles performance and status including engine data, odometer readings and ignition status, it can relay a ton of valuable vehicle performance data along with the GPS location. The DSi Mobile application can utilize this information for system alerts and reports. The AX7 also provides Bluetooth functionality which can be used to transfer data to nearby devices. We are currently developing new features to fully utilize this functionality.

Comparatively, since the AK7 only connects to an assets power and ignition wiring, it is capable of relaying a vehicles ignition on/off status but outside of that however, it does not capture any vehicle data or performance information.

OBDII Port

An OBDII port used to connect an AX7 tracking device.

Similarities

Service Providers

Both devices are compatible with a variety of service carriers and networks providing users with the flexibility to equip assets with tracking devices that will work best in their areas of operation. Currently both devices accept SIM cards from the leading coverage networks including: AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Raco Wireless. In addition, the AX7 and AK7 also come in variants which are capable of functioning on the Verizon Wireless network. More importantly, both devices operate on the more modern 3G networks as opposed to the somewhat dated 2G alternatives which are currently in the process of being phased out.

Limitations

While the feature set of these two devices may differ significantly in terms of capabilities, they both share similar limitations in comparison to other types of tracking devices. As suggested by the term “black box”, both the AX7 and AK7 are designed to do one thing: transmit vehicle data, whether that is location, engine or performance data, these black boxes are ultimately designed for the sole purpose of transmitting information.

This may be perfect for fleets just looking for simple information about the comings and goings of their daily operations, but for those looking for additional functionality (driver navigation, load management, electronic logs, etc.) such as that available in an in-cab terminal like the MX7, these black boxes may not work for those applications.

Additionally, the AX7 and AK7 are limited to what they are able to track, in that they have to be connected to a vehicle or some other constant source of power to function. So for those looking to slap a device on to something and track it without the need to plug it in, the GL505 will likely be better suited for your needs.

AX7 and AK7 GPS Black Boxes

The AX7 and AK7 require a constant source of power.

Bottom Line

AX7

The AX7 is quite simply the easiest way to get robust vehicle tracking for anything with an available OBDII port. The OBDII port is mandatory in all cars manufactured since 1996, so the AX7 is likely the best choice for fleets with a lot of cars, vans or pickup trucks. For fleets operating primarily diesel trucks and other pieces of powered equipment or that just need a more discreetly placed tracker, the AX7 may not be the right option. Though, there are more discreet installation methods available that add a level of concealability to these devices if desired.

AX7 GPS Vehicle Tracker
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • OBDII plug-and-play installation
  • Verizon Wireless SIM compatible
  • 3G CDMA and GSM network compatible
  • Vehicle diagnostic and engine data
AK7

The AK7 is the ideal choice for tracking most powered assets, including diesel trucks and even construction equipment. The 3-wire installation makes the AK7 an incredibly versatile device and also perfectly suited for concealment, making it more difficult for device tampering especially in cases involving unauthorized use or equipment theft.

AK7 GPS Vehicle Tracker
  • 3-wire installation (ground/power/ignition)
  • Verizon Wireless SIM compatible
  • 3G CDMA and GSM network compatible
  • Highly discreet and concealable
  • External device antenna
For fleets looking to gain real insight into their daily operations, the AX7 and AK7 play essential roles in gathering the necessary data to understand how assets can be utilized more efficiently and bring even more value to the business. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of how these device technologies compare so you can determine which device is the best fit for your organization.
Click here to learn more about the AX7 and AK7 devices and how they could be implemented in your fleet.
Posted in DSi Mobile

DSI Announces New President

Dispatching Solutions hires new president to manage day to day business operations

Upland, CA – April 14, 2015 – Dispatching Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Souza as President. He will report to the current CEO and founder of Dispatching Solutions, Jim Jackson, and will have oversight of day to day operations at DSi in order to improve the overall efficiency and profitability of the company.

“Ron brings great organizational and management skills to the president position at DSI, and exhaustive experience in our core markets” says CEO Jim Jackson. “Ron will continue and improve DSI’s focus on customer needs while reinvigorating internal staff and streamlining processes to help DSI achieve growth objectives.”

Ron has more than 30 years of experience in the construction service industry and brings a wealth of insight to Dispatching Solutions from his previous roles in executive positions.

Ron has already begun his official duties as president, effective April 1st, 2015.

A letter from Ron to DSi customers

I wanted to put a little note about my background and my coming on board with DSI. I have spent 16 years working for Caterpillar Dealerships, 10 years working for rental companies, 4 years in a manufacturing company and 8 years in construction. I see DSI as a platform to be a consultant and a business partner for our current and potential customers.

My experience in finance, sales, inventory management, rentals, transportation and Six Sigma has taught me to listen to clients and help them with their processes. DSI is a small enough company that allows us to be flexible and address the issues quickly. We have a broad and diverse customer base that helps us bring innovative solutions and provide significant benefits to our customers. We are focused on helping clients improve operational performance and help them grow their business.

The business environment in the US is improving, yet there are still signs of companies being cautious in new investments. As we enter this “new reality” of the business environment and what that means to each of our companies and employees, we need to constantly look for ways to keep it lean. A survey of Harvard business school alumni released in September found that nearly half would rather invest in technology than retain or hire workers.

Our software can give you the tools to help you see the metrics and make the decisions to keep your company profitable and grow. We are very excited about 2015 and the products and improvements we have coming this year. I look forward to meeting a lot of you and listening to how we can improve our services.

Thank you,
Ron Souza, President, Dispatching Solutions, Inc.

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Posted in Press Release

GPS tracking on the best cellular network in your area

DSi Mobile GPS tracking is now on the Verizon Wireless network!

You can order our OBDII Plug and Play GPS tracking device to work with the strongest network signal in your area, whether it is AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon. Consistent cell coverage means that the data you see on your DSi Mobile map is always up-to-date. You can also mix and match carriers on your device if your territory has varied coverage. Just let your account manager know what network you prefer and we’ll handle the rest.

What carrier has the best coverage in your area?

Check out opensignal.com. Their database and map of celluar towers and signal reading strengths can help you determine which carrier is the best for you.

Open Signal Coverage map of Upland

To get an accurate representation of coverage for DSi GPS devices, uncheck the 4G box because our devices run on 2G and 3G networks.

Open Signal - Uncheck 4G

Have questions? Want to Learn more about our new Verizon GPS tracking device?

Dispatching Solutions - Contact Us

Top-selling form factor

The device is easy-to-install and works with our low-profile cable for discreet installations. Check out our video demo to see how simple it is to install GPS tracking in your fleet!

No wonder it is the best-selling device among equipment dealers and transportation companies!

Posted in DSi Mobile

DSi Mobile Manager Available for iOS

DSi MOBILE MANAGER APP FOR iOS DEVICES

We’re excited to announce the release of the DSi Mobile Manager application on the iOS App Store. Our Android version was released early this year and users have found it to be an indispensable productivity tool for drivers to stay in sync with dispatchers.

Devices such as smartphones have been adapted by fleets and put in the hands of fleet managers and drivers alike to stay on top of day-to-day operations. Smartphone apps are by far the most cost effective productivity tools. They’re becoming more common in the workplace and it is important for us to provide you with apps to help you be productive and competitive.

Our release of the DSi Mobile Manager application to the iOS store provides fleets the convenience of choice when choosing the tools that best fit their needs. With DSi Mobile Manager on Android & iOS, we now have solutions available for the 95% of mobile devices on the market. This will make it even easier for DSi services to integrate with existing systems as well as future solutions.

THE POWER OF DSi MOBILE MANAGER

DSi Mobile Manager is an application for mobile devices that helps drivers manage their work. With built in tools for things like load management and electronic logs, drivers can more easily manage their day to day assignments. In addition, DSi Mobile Manager automatically syncs with the transportation software used by dispatchers in order to keep drivers and dispatchers on the same page throughout the process of a delivery.

Access Load Data

Load information can be sent to a driver’s device wirelessly by dispatchers. Drivers no longer have to wait for a dispatch to be processed and printed, but instead can keep moving and receive all the load details while on the go without it impacting their schedule.

Set Driver Status

As drivers complete steps on a job, they can change their status on their mobile device. These changes are transmitted back to the dispatcher’s screen so they can stay in sync with driver’s activities. Timestamps of each action are marked and can be used for payroll and billing.

Attach Photos, Signatures & Notes

Device cameras can be used to capture photos and associate them with loads for future reference by dispatchers and managers. Drivers can also use the device’s touch screen to capture signatures for specific jobs.

Smartphone GPS tracking

With the built in GPS capabilities of mobile devices, smartphones can easily be used as a basic, low-cost alternative to standard vehicle GPS tracking. Though they do not offer the same level of detail and connectivity as a tracker that taps directly into a vehicle, they can still provide dispatchers with many of the key benefits of GPS tracking.

Map-view Of Stops

As drivers make stops to pick-up and drop off loads, DSi Mobile Manager automatically records their location and makes it available to dispatchers back at the office. This keeps dispatchers aware of a driver’s daily progress, and provides them with valuable knowledge when dealing with customers.

Posted in DSi Mobile

Equipment Tracking now available!

Want to track a light tower? Water tank?
Track anything with a battery operated GPS device

Introducing the latest addition to our GPS device lineup – GL505

GL505 - Battery Operated GPS tracking device

The GL505 brings the many advantages of GPS tracking to all of your assets. Powered by two user-replaceable CR123A batteries, it is easily installed without the need for wiring or external antennas.

Once the device is installed, it can be configured to send critical information, such as location, based upon user-defined schedules. With optimal configuration, it can operate for up to 1,000 days without user interference. It can even detect asset movement and send you an alert.

With its durable waterproof shell and internal GPS antenna design, the GL505 GPS asset tracking device is the perfect way to keep an eye on your trailers, generators, dumpsters, pumps and other fixed assets.

  • Waterproof, IPX7 compliant
  • No Wiring Required
  • Long Battery Life – More than 1,000 day standby time
  • User-replaceable CR123A batteries
  • Internal 3-axis accelerometer for motion detection
  • Flexible Ping Rate (8, 12, or 24 hrs.)
  • Internal GPS antenna
  • Quad-band GSM operation

Request to speak with our sales team.

Posted in DSi Mobile

Show Special for GPS Tracking at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2014

You don’t want to miss this awesome opportunity at CONEXPO/CON-AGG this year.

We will have AX5, AT1 and MX7 touchscreen devices at our booth for you to get started on your path to maximized fleet efficiency and lower fuel costs.

Devices are fully activated and ready to go. All you need to do is plug them into your vehicles when you get back from Vegas.

Come by booth# 65532 for special show-only prices and zero activation fees.

See what we’re showing this year!

Cool NEW features on DSi Mobile

DSi Mobile - GPS Tracking - View Multiple Vehicles at a Time

Watch

Keep an eye on multiple vehicles at a time in their own window. Set them on LIVE mode for a virtual drive-along. Or set them on REPLAY mode for flexible comparison between vehicles or date ranges. A super useful analysis tool!

HOS Compliance - Elogs - EOBR device

HOS Compliance

Get your fleet fitted with eLog software that is easy for drivers to keep track of their hours and their loads on the road. Fleet managers can quickly access remaining drive-time hours to help make critical dispatching decisions.

DSi Mobile - GPS Tracking - Geofences

Geofence Alerts

Set virtual perimeters around locations of interest and receive alerts when vehicles cross in or out of boundaries.

We will have live demos all day long, every day of the show so come by and we will show you how DSi Mobile will help your business thrive.

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Posted in DSi Mobile, Events

Mandated eLogs ruling – delayed again

The rule was expected to be published in September of last year. Then it moved to November, then December, then Jan. Now the February 27 date has come and gone without a rule clearing the White Houses’ Office of Management and Budget, it seems like we will wait at least another month.

Or it could be tomorrow. Or next week.

We’ll keep you guys posted.

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Posted in Business, DSi Mobile

See you at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014! We’ll be showing…

We are exhibitors at CONEXPO CON AGG 2014

This is when we show the industry why equipment dealerships chose DSi to be their technology partners! See what CAT dealerships across the nation are saying about DSi and read about our partnership with John Deere.

Here’s what we do for equipment dealerships:

For HOS Compliance and GPS tracking

The newest addition to DSi product is DSi Mobile, our web-based platform to keep your fleet in compliance and always performing at their best. We will have our hardware devices at our booth so you can see with your own eyes the small but powerful AX5 GPS Tracking device. Also, you can touch around on the touchscreen MX7 in-cab terminal and see that we have designed it with the drivers in mind.

Cesar Zepeda, our HOS compliance specialist will be on hand to answer questions so that you come away knowing what you need to do to ensure your fleet is in line with the law.

For your transport department

Controlling costs of transportation is more challenging every day with rising fuel costs, more complicated compliance rules and aging fleets. DSi Transport Manager helps you excel in today’s fast-paced world by streamlining your dispatch process from quote to invoice. We know where the common leaks are happening in your process and can help you plug them up.

We will have a 12-point check list at the booth so you can see all the places where your transport department can improve.

For your service department

The ultimate measurement for a great service department is customer satisfaction. This means fast response times, accurate service work and no-mistakes billing. DSi Service Manager provides your service writer, field technicians and managers with the tools they need to create orders, manage preventative maintenance work, schedule efficiently and measure progress.

Look for Vic Tohak at the booth and he will show you how to turn your service department into a well-oiled profit machine.

We’re in South Hall 2 in booth 65532 in the Technology and Construction Solutions Pavilion. Check it out on the Show Map.

CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2014 - Dispatching Solutions booth

Look for our booth!

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Posted in Events

Celebrating 15 years of DSi Transport Manager

Dispatching Solutions started in a garage. Let me tell you, the American dream is alive and well.

DSi Transport Manager - software for equipment dealerships and trucking

The first version of the software was written in 1991, nearly 23 years ago, in DOS using Borland’s PARADOX database . Then, 9 years later, Jim rewrote the product and moved it to Windows and Access 2.0 because of Y2K concerns.

The original product features included Dispatch, a Quickbooks interface and basic management for drivers, trucks, trailers and customers. This is the foundation that today’s Transport Manager is built on.

By December of 1999, 3 copies were sold and Jim was ready to take the company to the next level. To dedicate his full-time focus to developing and supporting his software product, and the growing number of customers, he left his job at Boeing where he had worked for 13 years, starting as a parts coordinator and ending as a world-travelling subcontract negotiator.

Yes, that brick is as heavy as it looks.

Starting 2000, Jim moved the Transport Manager back-end architecture from MSACCESS to SQLSERVER and GPS was launched within the year. The very first GPS device was about the size of a brick.

From then and on, time flew and the employee count grew to the 40 employees in 2 countries of today. At DSi HQ in Upland, CA, we have a helluva executive team, sharp developers and analysts, and the friendliest, most knowledgeable support staff you will ever come across.

We have grown to more than 2,500 users in construction equipment dealerships across the US and Canada. To each executive, transport/service/IT manager, dispatcher, driver, technician and coordinator that supports us, we say a big THANK YOU.

And that, guys, is the American dream.

Posted in DSi Transport Manager, Office News