One of the larger debates recently in our industry in LPR technology has been LPR Cars vs. Wreckers with LPR.
With such a culturally and geographically diverse market each one of us is in, I thought I would ask some other well respected owners and managers in our industry their opinion.
All the people I received feedback from have very successful LPR programs of their own and every one of them is different.
Both sides prove to have interesting arguments regarding which one is more efficient when it comes to gathering data per dollar spent.
LPR Equipped Wreckers
The truck is first, and one of the more lighting rod subjects in the argument.
In my market, my view point is that the trucks were really a waste of dollars to scan with. We have a very large, open scan area with very little urban parking.
Although we have several million people in our market, the distance between them is far and wide. We would lose our trucks running our accounts if we made them target density scan.
The flip side to that is the truck is already out running around so why not let it collect the data? We have seen success in several markets with LPR equipped wreckers, so what gives?
I think that the LPR equipped wrecker is a great idea in the dense city markets. Also, lots of companies seem to use LPR on the wreckers that are picking up live hits for cars.
LPR Equipped Spotter Cars
Cars seem to be more common in the industry today, but are still rivaled by running them on the truck.
The upside for cars is, they can cut through the city fast. They are more maneuverable and have less cost to fix when they go down.
Also, when they get a live hit they can keep moving and scanning. As opposed to the truck, we lose scanning ability once they hook a car and start going back to the lot with the unit.
In a wrecker, you won’t be able to scan again until the driver drops the unit and makes his way back to where he left off.
Speaking of breaking down, when the truck goes down so does your camera car too. While the car is cheaper to fix, it also costs A LOT more in payroll and to keep running around.
The dollars returned needs to be right in order to run a spotter car only. If it’s not getting one live hit a night, the car might not be the best decision.
What’s the right answer?
There really isn’t one. It really depends on your market and how your company runs LPR.
All of the people I surveyed had good results with what they were doing. It’s hard to stop a person who is successful in what they are doing.
My best suggestion is to experiment!
LPR technology is less than a decade old. And, there is a lot more left in the idea tank for how we can use it for our business.
Get out there, try new things and see where the revenue rises.