If you are a small independent plumbing contractor, chances are your livelihood is dependent on having a good utility van with tools and supplies stored in the back. Many small contractors don't work out of large buildings where they can safely park their vehicle in at night, and most simply park their vehicles in areas where thieves can easily steal the van and all the equipment inside of it. Here is how you can monitor and track your utility van if it gets stolen by using a smartphone.
Telematics capture information about your vehicle's usage. You can track if someone steals your utility van and where they have taken it with your smartphone. You can purchase an app from a security company or online that you download on your phone. The app connects directly to the GPS unit in the van so you can monitor its movement.
If you don't have a GPS system in your vehicle, you'll need to install one to make this system work.
Installing a GPS System
The first thing to do is remove the screws holding the upper and lower portions of the dash board around the steering wheel in place. Remove the dash board.
The second thing you want to do is remove the screw holding the onboard diagnostic (OBD) tool to the bottom of the dashboard frame - you can just let the OBD tool hang freely.
Put some heavy-duty double-sided tape on the top of the GPS unit and look for a good place to put it as close to the top of the dashboard as you can. The antenna for the unit is at the top of the device, and you want to place the monitor horizontally along the dashboard for the unit to properly send signals to the satellites monitoring the GPS unit.
You should also make sure there aren't any metal obstructions between the GPS unit and the top of the dashboard. Metal will deflect the signal and make it harder for the satellite monitoring system to receive the unit's signal.
Run the wires for the GPS until down through the inside of the dash until they reach the OBD tool. The most important thing is that you keep the wires hidden as much as possible to prevent a thief from noticing them and pulling them out – which would disarm the GPS unit.
You need to connect the ground wires together first to prevent damaging the GPS unit. To find the ground wire on an OBD tool, count from the slot directly above the power supply wire (the power supply wire is always the wire connected to the bottom right hand electrical slot on the OBD tool) until you go four slots to the left. The wire going to this fourth slot is the ground wire. Connect the ground wires of the GPS unit and OBD tool together.
The next step is to connect the power supply wires together. Connect the red wire from the GPS unit to the wire supplying power to the OBD tool.
Put the dash back together, and download the telemetric app monitoring your GPS unit to your phone. You will now know if someone takes your van and where they have taken it. Click here for more information on commercial security systems.