Growing Fleet Management Tool Market

When contractors review the many technologies designed to deliver greater efficiencies and productivity to the jobsite, fleet management is likely one of the first solutions they consider.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Fleet-management tools have become a key component in the operation of a well-functioning jobsite. Contractors big and small understand the technology offers a host of benefits related to safety, asset management, maintenance, security and live-vehicle tracking.

They recognize avoiding accidents, preventing equipment breakdowns, averting theft and receiving reports about a driver’s performance are invaluable.

“All of these features lead to benefits that lend directly to the bottom line, and along with that a great deal of peace of mind for company owners, large and small,” says Jerry Hunter, founder and CEO, US Fleet Tracking, manufacturer of fleet tracking devices.

There’s little question the right fleet-management tools can help construction professionals breathe a little easier. But they also play a role in a company’s capacity for long-term growth. After all, a contractor who minimizes accidents and equipment breakdowns typically can dedicate more effort to nurturing the organization.

There are many fleet-management solutions available, so contractors must determine which features they most require before adding or upgrading the technology. Key factors to consider are company size, number of projects and employees, fleet size and types of equipment. Construction professionals also should take into consideration the amount of equipment they rent rather than purchase.

Growing Market

There are currently about eight million GPS (global positioning system) and wireless devices in use to manage fleet vehicles, trailers, construction equipment and mobile workers, according to C.J Driscoll and Associates.

By 2019, the market will expand to more than 14 million units, and annual hardware and service revenues will grow to nearly $4.7 billion, the research shows.

Clearly, the benefits of fleet-management tools are not lost on the construction community.

“In today’s environment, each and every company that operates trucks on the road works hard to keep their workers, equipment and others out of harm’s way,” says Mark Walton, co-founder of Gorilla Safety, developer of fleet management solutions.

More than one in five trucks are put out of service for safety defects, Walton points out. In the construction industry, that translates to numerous problems including lost productivity, damage to a project’s bottom line and, potentially, a company’s reputation.

Adoption of the latest fleet-management tools can avert these problems, Walton says.

In fact, Gorilla Safety recognized the needs of the construction community when it released its cloud-based mobile app for fleet management.

The app, as well as other fleet-management technology tools, offers numerous benefits to contractors including tracking vehicle inspections, repairs and maintenance; automated accident/incident investigation; document management; fuel management; logging work hours; and GPS.

“All of these features are critical to efficiently managing fleets of any size,” says Walton, who adds that each of the components play a role in enhancing safety.

Convenience a Factor

Convenience is yet another benefit of the latest fleet management technologies.

Gorilla Safety’s solution, for example, allows a driver who identifies an equipment safety defect to submit it for repair from his app. A mechanic automatically receives a work order on his app. When the work is complete, the driver is notified, confirms the repair, and can resume use of the truck or heavy equipment. The app eliminates the significant amount of paperwork that previously was linked to repairs, Walton says.

Yet another benefit of the latest fleet-management solutions is the increased amount of useful information coupled with ease of access.

For instance, US Fleet Tracking recently added a new function to its GPS tracker. The solution lets users schedule reports—a significant benefit for fleet managers too busy to run them daily.

Basic information is entered into the system only once. Then, reports can be generated for any particular time frame without requiring start-up information again.

GPS tracking offers other advantages to contractors including the ability to do work faster and more efficiently.

“Whether the contracting crew is a few or a few dozen, monitoring those vehicles and equipment is important if the contracting company is ever expected to grow,” Hunter says. “By using live GPS tracking devices, owners can make sure their team is getting to work faster and being more efficient while doing it. The bonus is that by being able to manage the team better, it will, inevitably, cut down on business expenses and increase your bottom line.”

Additional features that live GPS tracking provides are reports and historical playback.

“Reports are contoured to provide exactly the information you want, and can be downloaded or emailed to those who need them,” says Sam Sims, director of public relations and marketing, US Fleet Tracking.

Historical playback is valuable, especially when it comes to issues of liability and responsibility.

“The historical playback feature provides a visual ‘color commentary’ of exactly where a vehicle went at precisely what time,” Sims notes.

US Fleet Tracking’s live GPS tracking, for example, offers 90-day history of exactly what transpired with that device, which provides accountability should a driver be accused of something while in a vehicle. Live tracking can prove that the vehicle was not in particular vicinity at the time of the incident.

Walton stresses the benefits of fleet-management solutions extend beyond the jobsite and equipment operators.

“It’s designed to help any fleet operate more safely, and will be embraced by fleet managers, office staff, drivers, mechanics, and owner-operators alike,” he says.

Fleet Management Tips

Pay close attention to the market: The fleet-management space is growing, which means more companies will enter the space offering new and varied solutions. Know which ones will best serve your organization.

Take full advantage of GPS: GPS tracking plays a key role in safety, liability, accountability, and a host of other factors relied on to operate an efficient business. Don’t overlook its benefits.

Peace of mind: Above all else, contractors want assurances that their business is running smoothly. They don’t want to be caught off guard by unexpected surprises. Fleet-management tools help avoid those surprises by helping a construction professional be proactive.

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