The Disadvantages of Vehicle Tracking Devices

By Chris Joseph

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In the business world, some companies make use of vehicle tracking devices so that they can track vehicle movement. Applications include being able to find out the location of a shipment so a customer can be informed if necessary, as well as being certain that a driver is following a specified route and is traveling at an appropriate speed. While these applications can benefit a company, there are also disadvantages to using vehicle tracking devices.

Worker Resentment

In situations where companies use the devices to track the movements of their truck or delivery drivers, use of the devices can cause resentment. Drivers may feel that their privacy is being invaded or that their company doesn't trust them. They may also experience more stress because of the feeling of being watched at all times. When employees are also permitted to use the company vehicle for personal use, they can feel even stronger resentment if they believe that their movements are being tracked when not on the job.


Vehicle tracking devices can be expensive to install. A system that uses cellular-based technology, which transmits information about vehicle movements to a landline every five minutes, can cost $500 per unit for installation. A wireless passive tracking device can cost $700 for installation and $800 for software and databases, A satellite system, which is capable of tracking a vehicle all over the United States, can also cost around $700. Additional monthly charges may also apply, which in the case of satellite systems can be as much as $100.


As with any technologies, overdependence on vehicle tracking devices can cause workers to come to rely too heavily on the system. If the system were to break down, this could cause a chaotic situation as the company may have a difficult time tracking deliveries. Workers may be called upon to step out of their "comfort zone" and have to perform tasks manually that the tracking system would normally do for them. This can lead to worker stress as well as a decrease in the efficiency of the operation.