Global Positioning System (GPS) Time Rollover Occurrence

Worksites around the world can generate incredible amounts of data. At Caterpillar, we understand the value of this data and utilize technology in many ways to help customers optimize their businesses every day. For this to occur, we depend on key technologies and satellite systems, including the Global Positioning System (GPS).

In recent news, you may have heard about an issue relating to GPS time rollover occurrences impacting GPS devices. We want to share some key information on this event, how it may impact connected assets and what Caterpillar and our Cat Dealer Network around the world are doing to efficiently resolve this issue for customers with impacted devices.

What is GPS?

As a global navigation satellite system, GPS provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on Earth. GPS operates independently of any telephonic or internet reception and can provide critical positioning capabilities to users around the world. At Caterpillar, we utilize the GPS navigation satellite system with our Cat® Product Link™ devices.

What is the GPS Time Rollover Occurrence?

Generally speaking, the GPS time rollover occurrence relates to the 10-bit field in a GPS time message which will automatically reset back to zero every 1024 weeks. For Product Link devices, there are three instances of time rollover occurrences this year, April, July and November. 

What impact will this have?

This is a potential global and multi-industry issue. We are aware that this GPS time rollover occurrence will impact software in certain Product Link devices. As such, the effects could range from devices sending messages stamped with an incorrect date to not sending a GPS location or other data at all. Product Link devices might also fail to provide geo-fence alerts, appear as non-reporting, show improper asset utilization, or not provide a location. Additionally, no impact to machine operation, grade control, or payload functionality is expected as a result of the GPS time rollover occurrence.

Caterpillar and the Cat Dealer Network around the world are working together to quickly and efficiently resolve this issue for customers with impacted devices.

To better understand the GPS time rollover occurrence and the possible customer impact, here’s a bit more information with some of the most commonly asked questions. Contact your local Cat dealer for additional assistance.


A: Four Product Link families (PL121/321, PL241, PL420/421/522/523, PL641) will be impacted at various times in 2019, with some devices impacted in April and other devices in July or November. 

A: Caterpillar and Cat dealers are fully prepared to resolve this issue for any impacted customer with the goal to minimize customer disruption. Contact your local Cat dealer today to learn more. 

A: Contact your local Cat dealer to determine if your equipment will be impacted and to learn about the resolution options