Urban location tracking

I'm trying to track the location of a large metal compactor to determine when it's picked up by the hauling truck and when it's expected to be returned. Usually compactor pickups go as follow:

(1) Hauler truck loads up the compactor
(2) Hauler truck drives the compactor to the other side of the city to empty
(3) Hauler truck returns to place the empty compactor back

Usually all of this takes up to 2 hours. They're often used by manufacturing companies, hotels, etc. and in lieu of their compactor they're stuck with small containers and bins which are a bit of a walk away, fill up quick and can't actually compact the material. Therefore, my idea is to develop a device that will send out a notification when the compactor is picked up, and give an expected return time based on the location.

The only part I struggle with is actually obtaining the coordinates of the device. I tried using the Adafruit Ultimate GPS (Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout - 66 channel w/10 Hz updates [Version 3] : ID 746 : $39.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits) but found that it often takes 10+ minutes to get a fix, which I usually lose again within a minute. The cause for this is that the devices need to be 'hidden away' from sight (to avoid damaging, theft, etc.) and therefore end up not having a sufficient 'view of sky'.

My location tracking doesn't need to be precise at all -An accuracy of only a few 100m is fine. Is there any other method I can use here to track location, other than to move my devices in plain sight?

Vitesze:
(1) Hauler truck loads up the compactor
(3) Hauler truck drives the compactor to the other side of the city to empty
(4) Hauler truck returns to place the empty compactor back

Did you forget something?

Vitesze:
Is there any other method I can use here to track location, other than to move my devices in plain sight?

Why not add a small and discrete external antenna? Something like this, but there may be smaller, cheaper, more discrete ones if you look.
I would bond it to the top of the compactor somewhere where you can run the wire into a suitable cavity. If necessary you could disguise it further by putting a sticker over it or something.
You would have to do a trial to see how it copes with the weather etc. If it is well stuck theft is not a problem, though vandalism could still be - nothing's perfect.

Vitesze:
My location tracking doesn't need to be precise at all -An accuracy of only a few 100m is fine. Is there any other method I can use here to track location, other than to move my devices in plain sight?

So a hidden device, with no access to GPS reliable reception or by implication an abiltity to transmit its location ?

Interesting concept.

Long cable maybe ?

Google Earth equivalent in real time ?

arduarn:
Did you forget something?
Why not add a small and discrete external antenna? Something like this, but there may be smaller, cheaper, more discrete ones if you look.
I would bond it to the top of the compactor somewhere where you can run the wire into a suitable cavity. If necessary you could disguise it further by putting a sticker over it or something.
You would have to do a trial to see how it copes with the weather etc. If it is well stuck theft is not a problem, though vandalism could still be - nothing's perfect.

Just wrong numbering, lol.

Since they need to be fully weatherproof (rain, snow, hail, etc.) I can't run an external antenna, but I can just move the entire device on top of the compactor, which isn't something I had considered before. I would just have to grab a ladder to climb on top one for it, and find a way to mount it.

srnet:
So a hidden device, with no access to GPS reliable reception or by implication an abiltity to transmit its location ?

Interesting concept.

Long cable maybe ?

Google Earth equivalent in real time ?

Transmitting data should be fine. It connects to the 850/1900MHz bands, and does so even when in underground areas. But the GPS part is much more sensitive to reception obstructions. I can use the Google Maps API to retrieve the lat/lng of the cell tower it's connecting to, which is a last resort as it of course isn't actually based on the device location and has pretty limited accuracy.