Telematics systems combines GPS technology, on-board diagnostics and monitoring sensors to track, log and report data via cellular networks on the performance and operation of your construction equipment. Telematics systems are similar to way a black box records flight data on airplanes. Whether you’re using it for your on-road vehicles, off-road heavy equipment or both, and regardless of whether it’s an OEM or aftermarket system, telematics can help you reduce operating costs, improve productivity and extend the life of your construction fleet. Here are seven ways your construction fleet can benefit from using telematics:
1. Reduce Fuel Consumption/Costs
By monitoring idling time versus work time on equipment you can identify which machines are being left on without any work being done and specify which operators are responsible for wasting fuel. Implementing best practices to reduce idling times will result in better fuel efficiency.
2. Improve Asset Allocation
Telematics can help you manage your fleet by determining how much each piece of equipment is being used at the jobsite. Let’s say you are considering renting an excavator for an upcoming job because all of your current equipment is tied up at other jobsites. A quick check of your telematics data reveals that one of your excavators has been sitting at a jobsite unused. Instead of wasting money renting a piece of equipment you don’t need you can use the excavator that otherwise would be sitting idle. By better understanding how much you use your current equipment, you can quickly identify whether you need to add to or liquidate certain vehicles from your construction fleet.
3. Improve Maintenance & Repair Schedules
Sensors can be attached to a number of systems to monitor fluid levels, hours of operation, etc. to better schedule and perform preventative maintenance and repairs. Telematics allows you to accurately track engine hours so you aren’t pulling machines out of service too early or too late when it comes to scheduled maintenance and service of your equipment. Telematics can also be used to alert you when your equipment isn’t operating at peak performance, like an overheating engine, which could be an indication that a component is failing and needs to be replaced.
4. Reduce Theft & Recover Stolen Equipment
With the use of GPS tracking and geo-fencing you can be alerted the moment your equipment leaves the jobsite. You can also use time-fencing to send alerts when equipment is being operated outside of scheduled work hours which could indicate someone is trying to make off with your equipment. With telematics and GPS technology you can track and locate all your equipment from one location so in the event something does go missing you can provide the local authorities with its location so it can be easily recovered.
5. Reduce Insurance Premiums
This one goes along with theft reduction. Some insurance providers will reduce or eliminate deductibles or provide discounts if your equipment has GPS tracking and geo-fencing alerts. Depending on the size of your fleet, this can result in huge savings on your insurance costs.
6. Optimize Operator Performance
By analyzing data on how your equipment is being used for various tasks you can identify areas where your operators can improve their efficiency. With telematics you can track how each operator utilizes equipment and identify behavior that could be improved or corrected with additional training.
7. Provide More Accurate Job Estimates
Using telematics data can lead to more accurate job estimates. By analyzing past data you can know exactly how many hours it takes to perform a specific task or job. This will prevent you from under or over bidding a job which will result in more competitive bids.
Telematics systems are a great way for you to reduce operating costs and get more out of your construction fleet, but only if you are using the data reported correctly. Make sure you use a system that not only will report the data you want to track, but will also deliver it to you in a way that you can easily retrieve and understand it. A telematics system won’t work for you if you can’t work with it.