It seems that bears in Yosemite are going after more than picnic baskets these days, leaving wildlife management personnel looking for a new tool to help the more than four million park visitors from bear activity throughout the year. This tool is a GPS tracking device.
How big is Yosemite’s bear problem?
As recently as 20 years ago, it was not at all uncommon for bears to damage cars in search of food. As many as 600 cars per year became targets of bears in search of grub.
The new solution they’ve found?
Thanks to advances in GPS tracking technology over the past several years, the park is going to outfit 20 of its bears with shiny new collars complete with GPS trackers to help rangers keep up with what’s going on with bear population.
Specifically, rangers are looking for information concerning where bears are, how often they wander into campground areas, and which bears are the primary offenders.
Park officials have tried tracking bears in the past with radio telemetry, but GPS provides a much more efficient, effective, and complete tracking option as it works in even remote locations.
The president of Yosemite Conservancy, the group that donated nearly $70,000 to make this project happen, was thrilled about the addition, saying, “It’s very exciting to be able to know in real time and track them through a GPS system as they move about the park. To know where they’re spending the spring, to know where they’re spending the fall, to know where they den.”
The benefit for the bears is that rangers can keep them away from the humans camping in the bark so that bears don’t grow dependent upon visitors to provide them with food. Bears need to continue getting food for themselves rather than simply raiding food goods that humans bring with them.
Efforts thus far to manage the bear population at Yosemite have proven quite successful with an overall reduction in damage to personal property by bears of nearly 95 percent since 1998.
The same technology being used in the GPS project for bear management has been used in the past to successfully reestablish and monitor bighorn sheep throughout the park too.
It’s not just the public park officials are hoping to protect, though. The National Park Service is also concerned about bears being hit by cars announcing that 24 had been hit by vehicles with two cubs being killed after being struck by a car.
While not all of the estimated 400 black bears living in Yosemite are being outfitted with these nifty new GPS tracking devices, there is great hope that the information gleaned from the ones that are will make it worth the price paid for these trackers. And we’re only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things we can accomplish with the power tool GPS tracking offers.
HVAC companies are constantly on the move. Fleet vehicles must continuously make service calls, perform installations, and even perform routine maintenance on HVAC systems throughout the cities where you conduct your business. This takes a toll on trucks and drivers — not to mention a huge chunk of change out of the profit category each year.
But, did you know something as simple as a GPS HVAC tracking system can actually save your business money each year? That’s only the tip of the iceberg though. These types of benefits are perfect reasons for HVAC companies to consider GPS fleet tracking services.
More Accurate ETA Reporting
People are either boiling in their homes or turning into ice cubes when their air conditioning units or heaters are out of commission. They only thing they want more than the problem solved is an accurate estimation for when the HVAC technician is going to arrive.
With GPS HVAC fleet tracking, you can accurately estimate the amount of time it will take service personnel to arrive based on their current location and current traffic situations. This makes you a real hero in the eyes of your customers.
Improved Fleet Management Abilities
Keeping track of several trucks can be difficult if you’re left to go by your memory and a vague understanding of the local landscape. Whether you’re planning daily service routes or dispatching emergency repair services, GPS tracking makes your job easier.
It assists you in finding the most efficient and cost-effective routes, identifying route deviations, and helping to navigate tricky traffic or construction situations. As a result, you provide a better overall customer service experience to your customers.
Verification of Service Calls
GPS tracking actually tracks your vehicles. If customers ever insist that service calls weren’t made, you can simply pull up the location of your trucks at the time the call was supposed to have been made to verify that the truck was, in fact, at the proper address at the time. Not only can it help you prove that you were there, but how long you were there is the actual billable hours is what the customer is disputing.
Eliminates Outdated Territories in Favor of More Efficient Routing Methods
Once upon a time, HVAC technicians worked within certain territories. This method, while orderly, is not very efficient. This is especially true when compared to the efficiency of planning daily routes and feeding emergency calls to the nearest technician, rather than a person in the territory who may be further away.
Now you can plan your business according to the route that provides the greatest fuel efficiency. This saves the company a lot of gas money each year, but also cuts down on wasted labor that’s fighting traffic rather than dealing with the business at hand.
The bottom line is that adequate GPS tracking of your fleet can help reduce labor costs, gas costs, overtime calls, and organizational inefficiency. The sooner you adopt this technology for your HVAC business, the faster you can begin reaping its rewards.
See how LiveViewGPS helped HVAC Company One Call Ventilation or, Call us at 1.888.502.3636 to discuss GPS tracking for your HVAC fleet today!
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently rendered a somewhat shocking, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), verdict. It was an eight to five decision in the case U.S. v. Katzin.
The surprising decision is that evidence derived from the warrantless use of GPS tracking is, in fact admissible in court, in some situations. The ruling relies on a massively expanded interpretation of the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule spelled out in the Fourth Amendment.
The majority opinion held that officers acted in good faith based on years of precedence when using tracking technology for beepers in previous cases without a warrant.
In building the case against Katzin, police, who suspected Katzin of a string of Rite-Aid pharmacy robberies, attached a GPS tracker to Katzin’s car and used information discovered as a result of the GPS tracking device to arrest Harry Katzin. They did this in absence of probable cause or a warrant.
The evidence was initially excluded by a federal judge in Pennsylvania as a result of its lack of a warrant. It was then appealed to a three-judge panel who were divided on the issue. The matter then went before the full court who reached an eight to five decision holding that because they were acting in good faith at the time, the search was admissible.
The original arrest and trial occurred during the period of time before the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that attaching a GPS device to a vehicle for the purpose of tracking the movements of the vehicle constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment in the case of U.S. v. Jones and, as a result, requires both probable cause and a warrant.
Since the violation occurred prior to the Supreme Court ruling, there is no evidence that police acted in anything other than good faith. In other words, the police had no idea they could be participating in activity that violated the civil rights of the defendant.
It should be noted that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the U.S. v. Jones case was unanimous that using a GPS device in order to track a person via his or her vehicle is the equivalent of a search and subject to Fourth Amendment protection.
Serious words of caution, however, were given in the majority opinion of U.S. v. Katzin, which stated, “[W]e caution that, after Jones, law enforcement should carefully consider that a warrant may be required when engaging in such installation and surveillance.”
The dissent was far more simplistic stating that the evidence should be surprised because law enforcement had, in fact, violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendant.
There was obvious disappointment by the defendant and ACLU attorney, Nathan Freed Wessler, who represented Mr. Katzin. Wessler said, “The court did a disservice to our system of constitutional rights by letting police make an end run around the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.”