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What is Equipment Utilization?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Equipment utilization, sometimes referred to as asset utilization, is a measurement of the use and performance of site machinery, which assists businesses to improve jobsite productivity and reduce the cost of equipment rental and project delays.

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With real-time GPS location tracking and collation of machine data, equipment utilization tools give you visibility on the whereabouts and the performance of all heavy equipment, assets and vehicles. In a tough market, greater operational efficiency can be the difference between winning and losing a contract and making construction projects profitable. In this FAQ we explore ways to measure equipment utilization, the benefits of increasing utilization and actions you can take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your fleet.

How should I measure equipment utilization?

The primary metrics that are used include ignition on/off times, engine hours, fuel use, high-definition GPS-based location, sensor data such as weight scales and PTO use, as well as engagement of machine parts for example if a crawler crane’s legs are extended or retracted. Understanding an assets location, how long its engine has been running and whether core machine functions have been used builds a picture of utilization that can be measured.

Teletrac Navman’s equipment utilization solution is built to provide Equipment Managers with visibility of how equipment is being used across all jobsites. Knowing if equipment is being hoarded or whether alternative equipment could be used to complete the work helps ensure that assets are effectively dispersed and projects stay on track without incurring unnecessary equipment rental costs.

What are the benefits of increasing equipment utilization?

By increasing the utilization of equipment you can help prevent jobsite delays and minimize unnecessary equipment rental costs. One of the largest causes of underutilization is equipment hoarding where machines sit unused on sites. Having visibility of assets that are not being used and where these assets are located can a go a long way to improving utilization.

Another cause of low equipment utilization is regular unplanned maintenance, where an asset requires maintenance outside of its set maintenance schedule. When this occurs, it puts pressure on project schedules as well as adding cost through additional maintenance and equipment rental. Building out effective preventative maintenance schedules that include pre/post use inspections can help equipment managers identify potential issues early before they become larger problems. Our solutions provide a platform to streamline inspection processes as well as giving asset manager’s important data on engine health and functionality.

Can I measure proper use of equipment?

Heavy equipment can be dangerous to operate and monitoring proper use of equipment can not only reduce jobsite risk, but can also help increase the lifespan of equipment and reduce maintenance cost. The Teletrac Navman equipment management solution provides access to data that will helps to uncover if equipment is being properly utilized, that it is completing activities that it is designed for and operating within designated areas.

Also, ensuring that equipment is properly used and is only used for authorized projects helps to reduce fuel usage, something that is a rising concern as fuel prices continue to rise across the US. 

How can equipment utilization data help improve customer service?

It’s all about trust, whether you are renting equipment outside of your organization or implementing internal rental costs across jobsites, having reports that show equipment location and usage alongside invoices provides total transparency.  Our equipment management solution automates reports that provide invoicing data whether you run hourly or daily rental models. 

Does equipment utilization work for mixed fleets?

Yes, and Teletrac Navman are specialists in mixed fleet solutions. Our system can capture and utilize data for ‘yellow iron’ heavy equipment, cranes, portable plant equipment such as generators and light towers as well as vehicle fleets including large trucks and light commercial vehicles. You can manage the entire mixed fleet from the dynamic dashboard in our powerful fleet management software. You can also create equipment utilization reports for individual machines and vehicles, as well as overall fleet reports on different metrics.