LoJack or other GPS tracking and Alarm systems

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Driven723, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Driven723

    Driven723 Bobtail Member

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    Good evening everyone,

    as always, thank you in advance for all the great advice on here!

    I wanted to see what tracking systems people use on here and how they like them. Specifically if you had ever been unfortunate enough to have your truck stolen, and if your tracking device was able to help you recover it. Secondly, I wanted to see what alarm systems people use on here to help prevent break ins and theft in the first place.

    Feel free to correct me at any point, as I'm still doing research on these systems and have no personal experience with any of them.

    From my personal research, I really like the LoJack system. The reason I like it is because it uses frequency waves to signal its location once activated. From what I have read, these frequency waves are much stronger than the satellite signal that other GPS systems use. These frequency waves are able to give off their signal through concrete walls, whereas the satellite signal often times cannot. That is what I have read through online research, no real life experience. I also like that the Police can track down your vehicle on their own, if the vehicle is equipped with LoJack.

    What I do not like about LoJack is that it is only supported in 26 states, and I believe that there is no feature for me to track the vehicle on my own. Only the Police can track it through their LoJack equipped computer when they are within the range of the signal.

    I have heard of GPS systems that some drivers use to do real time tracking of all of their trucks. Which do you guys use, and what are the pros and cons to it?

    Lastly, what alarm systems do you guys use to try to deter someone from stealing your truck or breaking in in the first place?



    For those of you that want to keep reading, the reason I am asking all of these questions is because our truck was stolen a little over a month ago. Talk about being unfortunate. Had 4 payments left on the truck, had it since new, extremely well taken care of, and in excellent shape. Came home at 1 am, parked it in the same place where we had been parking for years. Fenced area, cameras... Came back the next morning around 11 am to get some paperwork, and the truck was gone. Can't even explain the emotions at that point! The insurance is obviously just giving me the average price of what the truck sells for. They won't cover any of the extras (chrome) that we had on the truck, or personal belongings that were in the truck, such as a at least $3k worth of tools, chains, straps, TV, etc. And no way was the truck in average condition. It was way above average condition for a 2007, and had only 700k miles! The Police did find the trailer the next day, dropped off at the side of a road about 8 miles away. However, still no signs of the truck. Well, life moves on, and we had to get a new truck, while we wait for the insurance to write us a check for old truck. Just couldn't sit around any longer and not work, while the insurance takes their sweet time...
     
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  3. Pete Moss

    Pete Moss Light Load Member

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    Oct 28, 2011
    Devine,Texas
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    Hey Driven723-How are you?Based on my conversation with a Pima County,AZ Sheriff's deputy I don't like LoJack as much as I did.They only have about 10 % of their cars equipped with a responder to LoJack.He said they find cars though it's more dumb luck than anything else.The cop car has to be in the area the signal is transmitting.Then it's kinda like a chess game or the kid's game "hot/cold" until they find it.It does work.That's all I can help you with.Take care.Brian
     
  4. Driven723

    Driven723 Bobtail Member

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    Thanks Brian!

    That's what I am concerned about with LoJack as well. Only cop cars that are equipped with the tracking system can actually track it, and they have to be within a certain radius of it in order for them to get alerted to it. However, as you said, I have heard plenty of stories of it working.

    Just last week when I went to register the new truck, I met a guy in the waiting room who told me a buddy of his had 2 trucks stolen while they were being serviced at the dealership. He had a GPS tracking system on both trucks, and the cops recovered them just a few hours later. He did not know which tracking system his buddy had though.
     
  5. Blind Driver

    Blind Driver Road Train Member

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    I couldn't own a truck without the best alarm and GPS system.

    Be sure to check your truck policy to make sure everything inside the truck is covered. If not, be sure to amend your next policy to include everything as well as the replacement cost of the truck as opposed to the book value. Always take pics of the truck to prove it is in the condition that you want to claim.
     
  6. Six9GS

    Six9GS Road Train Member

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    Here's the problem with LoJack. For about $20 worth of electronic parts that you can purchase at most Radio Shack stores, you can build a battery powered broad band noise RF Amplifier. Basically, it broadcasts noise on a wide range of RF frequencies, most likely to include the frequency LoJack tries to use to activate the on-board LoJack signal. Now then, when the thief breaks in, he turns it on, tosses it inside and since it is so close to wherever the LoJack antenna is located, it blocks out the signal from the LoJack system telling the On-board system to activate and transmit. Thus, with a bit of cleverness and about $20 you have completely disabled the LoJack. Still want a LoJack?
    When I pointed this weakness out to a snobby neighbor I had who was trying to impress with his fancy new Mercedes with it's LoJack system, he got really pissed and it was so much fun watching him.
    btw, for 15 years I was an electronics technician working in Signal Intelligence analysis and information collection. This manner of disabling a LoJack is completely valid. Unsure how wide-spread that knowledge is, but there's a heck of a lot of thieves more clever than I, so I seriously doubt I'm the only one who ever figured that out.
     
  7. Driven723

    Driven723 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Florida
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    Yeah, unfortunately my policy didn't cover any personal belongings. I was under the impression, from when I had spoken to an agent a few years back, that as long as I keep receipts of everything, it would all be covered. My insurance doesn't go by the book value, they by what the truck sells for at dealerships across the country. They take the average price for a similarly equipped trucked. I did send them pictures and everything, but they don't really care about pictures that much. They say pictures can't prove the mechanical condition of the truck, and hence they give the middle price. I may not agree with them on the pricing, but there's not much I can do about it. I will be adding a personal property insurance on my new truck though. Just don't have any personal property worth insuring at the moment, as everything was in the old truck when it was stolen. Believe me, it sucks having to start from scratch again.


    Wow, I had no idea it would be that simple to disarm a LoJack system. Any idea if its just as easy to disarm other GPS tracking devices?

    Is there any system out there that you recommend?

    Does anyone have any recommendations on other GPS tracking devices and alarm systems?
     
  8. Ezrider_48501

    Ezrider_48501 Road Train Member

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    on my insurance policy i have a dollar amount set by me of what my trucks value is. so if my truck were to be stolen or totaled ect i would get that dollar amount that i declared my truck to be worth.

    now on anti theft devices i worked for a dealership for a while that did some buy here pay here cars. and in the cars we installed gps tracking devices so the car would be easy to locate should it need to be re-possessed. although the signal would not go threw buildings it would still show where its last ping was typically just outside the garage door.
     
  9. Driven723

    Driven723 Bobtail Member

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    Florida
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    Do you remember which GPS tracking devices those were?

    I didn't know that about being able to declare your own truck's value. I'll look into my insurance to see if that's something I can do. However, I would imagine you would have to update the declared value at least once a year, and that there would be a maximum you can declare. Am I correct in assuming that?
     
  10. Starline

    Starline Medium Load Member

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    Why spend all that money for nothing ?
    Seriously...

    Use one or 2 of the switches on your dash in series to shut power off to fuel selinoid and/or ecm.
    You cannot steal a truck if you cannot start it, right ?
     
  11. Al^*

    Al^* Light Load Member

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    Kingsport, TN
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    I have a hidden switch wired in the starter circuit, between the ignition switch and starter relay. You could also just take a relay (or two) of your choice with you when you leave the truck for an extended period, a little less convenient but would thwart most thieves.
     
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