Telematics is a relatively new branch of information technology that focuses on collecting data and transmitting it over long distances for best effect. It’s basic used for fleet management and monitoring, collecting data on the use and health of each vehicle and sending it to a central database.
How can construction companies make the most of construction fleet telematics to increase revenue going forward?
Vehicle theft prevention
Investing in new construction equipment always represents a significant expense. Arriving on the job site only to find that someone has made off with part of your fleet in the night is every contractor’s worst nightmare.
Theft from construction sites – including fleet vehicles – is costing the industry more than $1 billion annually. Other security measures, including video surveillance, can help reduce the likelihood of vehicle theft, but do not improve the chances of getting the stolen equipment back.
Using construction fleet telematics involves equipping each vehicle with a GPS tracker. Under normal circumstances, you can use these trackers to monitor locations or monitor driver behavior. If the vehicle is ever stolen, this tracker becomes a tool to ensure that your equipment is returned to your fleet.
While this may not directly increase revenue, it does reduce costs by eliminating the need to buy new or used.
Reducing fuel waste
Idle time can be costly, especially for construction equipment. The exact details will vary depending on the age and specification of each vehicle, as well as how well it has been maintained, but a vehicle can wasting up to a gallon of fuel for every hour it is idle.
A fleet can go through hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel daily this way, which can cost a fortune when prices are over $5 a gallon.
Using telematics allows fleet owners to reduce or eliminate downtime by monitoring vehicle usage in real time. Telematics-equipped vehicles monitor every aspect of vehicle usage, from active hours to time spent idling, and report this information to a central database.
From there, fleet owners can act on the information or let a machine learning program provide actionable insights they can use to get the most out of their vehicles’ uptime.
Improving driver behavior
Vehicles themselves aren’t the only things that can benefit from the strategic application of telematics data. Incorporating this technology can reduce costs and increase revenue by working to improve driver safety and behavior.
Telematics technology provides the tools for fleet owners to track speeding, sudden braking or other unsafe or unnecessary behavior. From there, managers or supervisors can take action to reduce these instances.
Monitoring driver behavior may seem a little draconian, but it can increase safety and prevent accidents. This is another workaround to reduce costs to increase revenue, but it also protects your drivers and operators while on the job.
Reduction of insurance costs
Driver behavior is not the only thing that could potentially benefit from the introduction of telematics. Insurance companies often offer lower premiums for companies that use construction fleet telematics. Real-time monitored equipment represents a lower investment risk for these companies for many of the reasons we have already mentioned.
Drivers work more safely. There is a better chance of recovery if the vehicle is stolen. It is in perfect condition and well maintained. All of these things and more reduce the risk an insurance company may face so they can pass the savings on to you. It increases revenue by saving money or – in this case – reducing upfront costs and makes it easier for fleet owners to protect their investment without emptying their wallets.
Diagnose problems remotely
Manufacturers ensure that modern construction fleets are equipped with first-class sensors to monitor vehicle health. Even without telematics, these sensors can offer a wealth of information. The inclusion of telematics technology makes it easy to access the information generated by these sensors without spending time manually downloading from each vehicle.
Telematics also allows fleet owners to remotely diagnose problems, report fault codes and decide when a piece of equipment needs to come out of the rotation for maintenance or repair, without ever having to leave the comfort of their office or home base .
Scheduling regular maintenance
Speaking of diagnosing problems, telematics is also a valuable resource for establishing and maintaining regular maintenance schedules.
Combining the collected telematics data with a machine learning algorithm can allow fleet owners to begin predicting when their equipment might fail. Instead of trying to fix a damaged vehicle on the spot, these systems can identify when problems might occur and when it might be the best time for maintenance to avoid that outcome.
The most significant benefit of this use of telematics is scheduling. Construction downtime can cost the company hundreds or thousands of dollars a day. Using telematics as part of a maintenance schedule can save companies money and increase revenue.
Using the information generated by this system, it is easier for fleet owners to decide when to send a piece of equipment for maintenance when it is least likely to affect the flow of the project.
Protecting your investment
Construction fleet telematics is a technology designed to help protect your fleet and the many thousands of dollars you spent building it. It doesn’t have much direct impact on revenue growth. Yet, by making changes that help reduce costs and save money, this technology can help increase overall revenue and improve your bottom line.