Non-Powered Asset Tracking

Track all your valuable assets

Most organisations when they think of GPS tracking, straight away think about their vehicles and trucks. Valuable assets that are often stolen. GPS tracking in vehicles is now commonplace and is supported through the ability to tap into existing power systems to ensure ongoing power and charge is available for any GPS tracking module.

Non-powered assets are limited in this regard.

An asset that doesn’t have its own source of power generation (typically an engine with an alternator) is generally referred to as a non-powered asset. Trailers, commercial generators, shipping containers, water tanks, mobile traffic signs etc.

How Smartrak helps with non-powered asset tracking

What is a non-powered asset?

The catch-all descriptor ‘non-powered asset’ encompasses a wide range of assets, many of them ‘powered’. Non-powered refers to the fact that the tracking devices in this category do not need a power source to operate, such as a vehicle battery. Smartrak’s Remora3 and Oyster2 are such devices and operate with their own batteries.

Smartrak has developed two devices for this category because a non-powered asset can range from a chainsaw to a 30-foot storage container. This means a device that’s small enough to be securely attached to the chainsaw without becoming an encumbrance is essential if the technology is going to be used. The Oyster2 was designed to fulfil this need, while the Remora2 is bigger, and more suitable for larger items.

Whitepaper - Asset Theft on the rise

Across Australia there has been a 45% per annum increase in plant and equipment thefts.

The importance of long-life batteries to non-powered asset tracking

An item of equipment such as a generator that’s left on a worksite for possibly months needs a tracking device with the longevity to operate for extended periods between battery changes. Both of Smartrak’s devices feature long-life, batteries to ensure long periods of use, but there’s also some smart technology to further extend life. The Remora3 features Adaptive Tracking, which switches between stationary and moving modes. When the device is stationary the rate of reporting (signals sent) is automatically reduced to preserve battery life. Both the Remora3 and Oyster2 will also notify the fleet administrator if the battery is running low.

Why you want to track non-powered assets


Theft is a very real issue for many organisations. Whilst tracking of vehicles and assets doesn’t directly limit the level of theft, recovery and identification of stolen assets is far easier and more likely to be successful – saving you costs in downtime, insurance, and replacement.

Non-powered asset tracking is particularly useful in ensuring asset movements that are unauthorised can be quickly identified. The use of geo-fences around areas where these assets are stored or located in the field can be setup to notify your fleet administrator if they are moved beyond these boundaries, ensuring they are both aware of the movement and can double check if the movement has been authorised.

Finally the use of Pool Booking can help ensure that mobile non-powered assets such as trailers that are regularly being taken out into the field can be booked and tracked similar to any vehicle, again taking advantage of Geofences, but also enabling the pre-booking and securing of assets for jobs so that staff don’t go to use them only to find it is already out in the field.

Cost reductions

Tracking non-powered assets doesn’t necessarily suggest a relationship with saving money, but looking into some of the extended benefits you can achieve, there are some notable cost saving measures you should take into consideration.

  • Self-Insuring – Self-insuring is something you can read about in greater detail on our other article. But the premise of self-insuring is to replace traditional insurance through a third party to protect assets in the case of theft and instead offset the risk of theft and improve recovery through tracking of these assets. For mission critical non-powered assets, this can reduce operational costs – especially in times where a specific asset or piece of plant is required that isn’t quickly replaceable (and where traditional insurance can fall-down).
  • Time Costs – Locating non-powered assets can become a time consuming and inefficient process to undertake. If assets aren’t left in the same place regularly, or if they are moved without authorisation time can easily be wasted trying to locate the asset. With tracking, even if an asset is moved, it’s latest position is always known, minimising disruptions to day-to-day operations.


Time and efficiencies in locating assets is costly. Not just from a financial perspective, but also from an operational standpoint. The time taken to locate your non-powered assets can lead to delays in completing projects, lead to the requirement for additional staffing to complete projects and additional administration commitments that could otherwise be avoided.

Non-Powered Asset Tracking FAQ

How does a GPS tracker work without a power source?
Smartrak’s non-powered GPS trackers have self-contained batteries within the units meaning that there is no need for a constant external power source (such as a vehicle’s battery). Depending on the use case and device, these self-contained units can provide extensive battery life, and allow more flexible attachment solutions.
What can you use these devices on?
Non-powered GPS tracking devices such as the Remora2 and Oyster2 provide flexible mounting options that allow you to use them across a myriad of hardware and assets. We’ve seen them used across vehicles, containers, trailers, generators, scientific equipment, and even cattle.
What if someone tampers with the device?
For those worried about tampering of your non-powered GPS tracking devices, the Remora2 offers tamper detection alerting. If the Remora2 is removed from it’s mounting point, a magnetic sensor will be triggered and send alerts within the system, and activate recovery mode on the device.

Find out more about Smartrak's current portfolio of non-powered asset trackers. 

Want to learn more about how we can help ensure your organisation’s lone worker safety?

We’re happy to answer any questions you have and help you find the right resources. Fill out the form and we’ll be in contact shortly.