If you are in the construction industry, you have probably heard of telematics before, as telematic technology has become widely popular in recent years. But what is it used for, and how can you benefit from implementing it into your daily operations?
Well, telematics is an incredibly useful tool if you would like to track and monitor essential assets within your operation effectively. Telematics can be used for vehicle tracking, though, depending on the scale and type of your operation, you may rely on it more for tracking heavy equipment. There are many different telematics systems to choose from, so you can surely find one that perfectly suits your needs.
Telematics systems have GPS units and a “telematics box,” which functions as a signal retrieval system. These two components work together in conjunction.
The telematics box collects data from the GPS unit, which allows it to report grade, level, machine position and speed, time intervals and lapses, and pressure just as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system would.
As all of this data is tracked and monitored, it can allow you to improve productivity during your day-to-day operations and manage your operating expenses more effectively. It can also give you a better idea of when your heavy equipment needs to be repaired or replaced so that you never wind up doing that too soon or too late, both of which can be costly mistakes. Of course, telematics can also help you and your crew to optimize operator performance, especially by reducing idle time wherever and whenever possible.
Telematics software comes with a multitude of benefits that can make a significantly positive change in your construction operation. But, as mentioned earlier, there are many different telematics options out there these days. So, what should you consider to ensure you are buying the right telematics system for your needs?
Every operation is slightly different in terms of assets. You may have a range of heavy equipment from various manufacturers. You may also have a mixture of company-owned equipment and rented equipment. The equipment that is part of your operation may change daily or weekly.
Thus, it will be necessary for your telematics system to be able to help you actively track and monitor many different types of equipment. You may want to check with a telematics provider to see whether their system can track equipment location, engine hours and running status, movement and operator history, and inspection and maintenance history. Accessing this information easily will minimize unexpected problems with your equipment on a job site.
Of course, you will want to select the telematics solution that provides you with data that will be most useful for impacting your business. Since telematics systems can vary, some of them may be able to track data about your equipment’s fuel and fluid levels & utilization, idle time and run time, health and fault warnings, and geofence entry/exit times. In contrast, others may only have some of these features.
You should decide which elements will be essential in helping you make improvements within the projects you are working on and ensure that the telematics system you select has you covered in that regard.
The data provided by telematics systems must be complete, accurate, and insightful, especially when making informed and timely decisions. Always consider how the data provided by a specific telematics system can provide insight into process improvements through proactive fleet management planning, optimized equipment allocation, advanced warning of possible equipment failure, remote diagnosis, and minimized downtime.
Are you completely satisfied with the current state of your operations, or would you like to scale up and expand at some point in the future? If you foresee your processes changing, your equipment usage may also change down the line. For instance, the percentage of rental versus company-owned equipment could shift, or the number of your overall assets could increase.
To ramp up your operation, you may consider whether a specific telematics system can scale with your business and project. Adding more users and assets to your business should be relatively easy if you have an easily scalable telematics system. Your telematics system could probably make that whole process much simpler for you.
If you have heavy-duty machines in British Columbia, Great West Equipment has the perfect solution to help you optimize your construction operation. Our telematics system, Volvo ActiveCare Direct (ACD), is industry-leading in heavy equipment monitoring. Our 24/7/365 machine monitoring and fleet utilization reporting service will monitor your machines in real-time and alert you when corrective action is necessary.
Unlike most telematics systems, ACD does not require that you sort through alarms and error codes after receiving data. Rather, Volvo analyzes the data collected from your telematics system for you and organizes it by prioritizing case reports that need immediate attention. That way, you can save valuable time and ensure that pressing situations are handled promptly. ACD will also automatically send you an email with the details of the issue, potential causes, and suggested actions right after an actionable case is generated so that you can come up with a solution quickly and efficiently.
You will also be directly sent monthly fleet reports from Volvo. These reports will include work versus idle percentages by machine type, the week, and the month as well as model stats that will help you see which of your machines are burning more fuel, which ones are being underused, which ones are nearing service intervals, etc. That way, you can consistently monitor the condition and performance of all your equipment.
Through ACD, your business can benefit from a significant profit potential. On average, our customers enrolled in ACD have experienced a reduction of 10-15% in fuel costs, a reduction of 7% in idle times, and a 5-10% improvement in overall machine utilization. Thanks to ACD, they have also learned how to save money on costly equipment repairs by reducing common machine misuse problems.
For more information about how to use ACD to optimize your construction operation or to request a tutorial from one of our dedicated telematics specialists, call Great West Equipment at 1-833-730-0613 or contact us here.