Stay on Track

Dec. 1, 2004
Qualcomm recently announced the commercial release of its GlobalTRACS Web 2.1 solution. Building upon the existing GlobalTRACS Web management application

Qualcomm recently announced the commercial release of its GlobalTRACS Web 2.1 solution. Building upon the existing GlobalTRACS Web management application system, the newest version provides added functionality by allowing customers to track maintenance by machine.

The system tracks an equipment's hours of operation, enabling customers to service their machines in a timely manner, which allows rental companies to increase equipment productivity as well as reduce maintenance and administrative costs. The GlobalTRACS Web 2.1 solution is a complete equipment management solution, offering ruggedized hardware, state-of-the-art network services and extensive data integration capabilities.

The ruggedized unit was designed with input from equipment manufacturers to ensure that it meets the vibration requirements and environmental operating conditions it would face in day-to-day applications. Qualcomm tested GlobalTRACS in extreme temperatures, from minus 50 C to 110 C (pictured). The unit is small — only 8 inches long, 7.7 inches wide and 2.2 inches tall and weighs only 3 pounds.

Key enhancements include redesigned user interface screens, maintenance module and utilization summaries, cross-street proximity on demand and search capabilities, Mozilla browser support and enhanced mapping features.

“We talked to customers to make it easier to use and to match it to their business better,” says Dudley Fetzer, director of business development for Qualcomm Wireless Business Solutions. “It's very user friendly.”

The GlobalTRACS solution collects, manages and transmits equipment operating status and location data, all easily accessible through the Web-based application or integrated into existing back-end business software systems.

“There are two primary methods for access to the information,” Fetzer says. “One is the Web option — you can access information anywhere at any time. But the real power comes when it's integrated into the backend rental system.” The ability to integrate data from the equipment fleet into the back office system reduces manual entry errors and allows timely insight into business operations.

Equipment operational information is presented in a format designed to help managers gather engine hour information for accurate billing and scheduled maintenance, according to the Qualcomm Web site, The application also allows users to set and administer geo-fences and monitor equipment locations on a street-level map. The geo-fence is a virtual boundary that can be a square or rectangle on a map.

“The geo-fence alerts the owner when valuable equipment exits the fence, a predetermined boundary,” Fetzer says. “It could be good news — equipment is out on rent. But it could be bad news — a theft violation.”

Good news or bad, the geo-fence feature lets the equipment owner know when equipment is moving.

Visit the Qualcomm Web site at for more information about GlobalTRACS. The site features a wealth of information about GlobalTRACS, including interactive Flash Demos that allow the visitor to view the program's capabilities. The various demonstrations include one for equipment rental companies, one for equipment distributors and one for contractors. Clicking on the pictures in the Resources column bring up enlarged images of the program screens when in use.

Does your rental company have an interesting Web site? Contact Erin Chapman at [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future Bricks & Clicks.