Why You Need Telematics for Fleet Management

Monitoring the health of a machine has evolved since technology was first introduced. Machine monitoring with telematics is the one technology that is gaining traction in many industries including construction. As fleets become connected, the potential for a smarter jobsite grows.

The smart-fleet management market is projected to reach $462.48 billion by 2022. Some of the major factors responsible for the growth of the market are government regulations for safety and an increase in demand for real-time tracking and fleet monitoring by operators to reduce transportation cost and increase operational efficiency.

Getting Exposed to Telematics

This market can benefit the construction industry, but there are some road blocks preventing the technology from fully saturating the industry.

Stan Orr, CEO, Association of Equipment Management Professionals, says manufacturers have been putting telematics on machines for a while now. “The challenge is the adoption rate by owners; are they using it? The savvy companies are getting way ahead of the others because they are using it. The others will be left behind and almost die out,” he adds.

The technology needs to be more beneficial than the issues plaguing adoption in order to get the push from those in the industry.

Tony Nicoletti, VP of business development, DPL Telematics says, “Anytime there is new technology, there is change and not everyone likes change.” The benefits need to outweigh the obstacles in order to get more adoption in the industry.

Being able to track equipment while it’s in use can be a huge advantage to a construction company. Fleet operators can track equipment in real-time to reduce idle time and transportation costs. This provides effective fleet tracking, real-time monitoring, a dedicated remote server for fleet data, and security features in a single system.

With the adoption of technologies, an equipment manager can measure maintenance cost and monitor the driver's behavior. The fleet-management data can also be downloaded to analyze and make a cost effective decision or enhance safety. Managers can additionally get the fuel efficiency data based on the route taken.

Orr explains, “The technology helps keep the equipment healthy, and keeps companies honest about how they use their equipment.” The technology lets the companies have a better bottom line, be better stewards of the environment, perform predictive maintenance, and track their fleet. Companies can also track equipment operator usage. The tech is changing how the technician is handling the equipment and fixing it, he adds.

Telematics on equipment provides a powerful view into the equipment that operators and equipment managers use on the jobsite. Nicoletti says contractors are using it to reduce equipment downtime and increase response time. Contractors can also get an accurate run time of the equipment so they can do superior preventive maintenance on the equipment. The telematics makes it more accurate and efficient and it saves time and money. In the end, it reduces a lot of human error.

Feedback for the Future

Telematics provides much needed data on the equipment—and this will only continue to grow in the future. Orr says, “The data can help predict and tell so many things on the equipment now. Some data can tell almost to the hour when the equipment will fail and needs to be replaced.”

That means telematics solves some issues that have plagued the equipment for years. Nicoletti says one of the bigger issues is the down time on a machine and unplanned malfunctions. “When your machine doesn’t work, you are losing time. The old way of fixing the machine wasn’t time or cost efficient. With telematics, the issues are sent to the manufacturer and technician before it goes bad or with the proper information to go out and repair it,” he adds.

Telematics is not limited only to shiny new equipment on the jobsite. Some companies are looking at older equipment that is lacking the technology to extend its life. There are some devices that can be attached to the older or aged equipment that will provide owners with telematics and data to keep track of these machine. There is no question, eventually contractors will have to replace their equipment, after the equipment has run its course, but this will give them more time to adopt the new technology and equipment.

Explains Orr, being able to leverage technology on an entire fleet will progress construction companies. But he adds it’s knowing when to make the right investment. “The more connected the jobsite, the more efficient they will be. A fleet-intensive company will also be safer,” says Orr.

Companies can make purchasing decisions based on the telematics. The owner of the company may not see the return on investment on the technology. The equipment manager is going to be the most important part of the team in the future, he says.

The market for these technologies is growing rapidly, and regulatory bodies are looking to mandate some of these technologies. Nicoletti says “A lot of regulations in place are also driving the change. It is forcing companies to go greener with their equipment for the environment. With the data provided from the equipment, an important thing is to have a measurable goal—to know what you want to get out of the data. You need to be set up to get the right information off of it. When you have the telematics on the equipment it makes the contractor more competitive in the market.”

Investing in construction equipment with this technology will provide a company with an advantage in the market. Telematics provides valuable insight on not only the equipment, but the operator and the job itself. The surplus of data that can be extracted from the tech offers equipment managers, project managers, and owners enormous insight on a project.

Telematics technology will continue to grow and evolve with many more applications on the jobsite. As the jobsite of the future becomes a reality, those that have embraced the technology will be positioned as the leaders in the industry.

Posted: 8/2/2017 4:00:10 PM



Related Articles