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Unplugged devices FAQs

Updated: May 17, 2022

by Kyla Dewar

Find out everything you need to know about unplugged devices with insights from the Geotab Community.

The Geotab GO device is a powerful tool for fleet managers around the world. When plugged in, this small telematics device works to collect data from a vehicle and relay it back to a database to provide actionable insights into fleet operations. But what happens when a GO device is unplugged? Using insights from the Geotab Community, we’ll help you answer this question and more.

What happens when a Geotab GO device is unplugged? When a GO device is unplugged, the device no longer communicates its data back to the database. This means it will no longer capture fresh data. However, when a GO device is unplugged, the device will keep the data for at least a month. Vehicle and driver data is stored in the internal memory, which does not require power to preserve records. Unless the data is purposefully erased, any information provided to the database by the device will be stored there.

How do I know if drivers are unplugging devices? Though there is no way to tell if a driver intentionally unplugged a GO device, you can look up a fault code in MyGeotab that will tell you exactly when the device was unplugged. To do this, you would need to search for the engine fault code "Telematics device fault: telematics device has been unplugged” in MyGeotab.

For more details on this, visit the Geotab Community article: How to know if a device was unplugged?

However, keep in mind that the results of this report will not be available until the device has been plugged back in. A device loses all power when it is unplugged, so it is unable to communicate with your database as a result. That being said, setting up a watchdog report to refresh on a regular basis is a good way to keep track of any changes in device communication statuses. This can help you better pinpoint when a disconnect occurs and work to correct the issue more quickly.

Why do drivers unplug their devices? There are many vehicle tracking myths that drivers may believe if not properly educated about the benefits of telematics. If a driver is not informed of the intent of the device, they may find it to be an invasion of their privacy. Alternatively, they may object to starting to receive driver feedback when they’ve operated fine without it in the past. In rare cases, drivers may also unplug a device to use a company vehicle for a side job or personal use.

How can I stop drivers from unplugging their devices? The best way to stop drivers from unplugging a Geotab GO device is to include telematics education in your driver training programs. Advise drivers of the benefits of telematics and allow time for gaining driver buy-in before installing devices. Additionally, to prevent purposeful or accidental unplugging, you can install a device in a location of the vehicle that is not easily accessible to the driver. You can do this by using a Geotab harness to better secure the device and move it to an inaccessible location, making it harder for the driver to disconnect it. Another key way to prevent unplugged devices is to have an Authorized Geotab Installer fit the device in your vehicle instead of a driver. If a driver installs a device, they will know how to uninstall it. Keeping the installation process separate from the operation of the vehicle can help prevent unnecessarily unplugged devices.

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