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5 Ways the Construction Industry Can Cut Costs with Telematics

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

A new report by PwC predicts the volume of construction output will grow by 85 percent to $15.5 trillion worldwide by 2030 – presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry. Construction companies and fleet owners face increasing pressures to meet this demand, and are investing in new technologies to do so. In addition to autonomous vehicle technology, carriers are looking to telematics – fleet tracking solutions that can help these businesses produce more for less.

At a high level, telematics collects the necessary data to analyze fleet workflow and find efficiencies. If fleet owners understand how materials are going into the haul truck, the speed at which those trucks are traveling, how much fuel they are burning, and how exactly each vehicle is being used and maintained, they can put together a system that reduces costs and produces more for less.

Tracking Assets – No Matter How Small

What keeps fleet owners up at night? Most would say the stress of knowing where each piece of equipment is at any given time. Telematics and GPS fleet tracking software offers peace of mind by giving managers a single interface to track every piece of equipment in real time. And it’s not just the largest assets that can affect a company’s profits. It’s those smaller attachments and components that so often get lost. An advanced telematics solution that utilizes QR codes labels and tracks every hammer and screwdriver – tools that together, add up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Reducing Fuel Consumption

Outside of payroll, fuel is the second largest cost for a construction fleet. While these vehicles don’t travel far, they do make frequent trips back and forth, and fuel is burned inefficiently with all the stop and go and the sheer amount of mass they must carry back and forth. With telematics, managers can track every single movement and optimize the process so they can do more with less. It brings efficiency and real-time data to their cycles, helping them understand how their machines are being used and where there’s excess use or idling. Not only does this help drivers perform the same number of trips with less fuel, it also minimizes the wear and tear of the vehicles.

Connecting the Entire Workflow

Before the introduction of the mixed-fleet telematics standard, it was near impossible to consolidate data from multiple makes and models of equipment, complicating the job of managing and analyzing information across fleets. From Caterpillar to Komatsu, many major OEMs had their own proprietary telematics system with no option to share information between applications.

Now, it’s no longer about sharing data between OEMs, thanks to the new global standard, but is a matter of broader connectivity to analyze the entire workflow. Fleet managers can invest in telematics solutions that offer a single pane of glass for their various applications, especially fuel dispenser technologies, given fuel is the second largest cost they incur. With these advanced integrations, managers can project fuel purchases, monitor inventory levels, measure exact delivery from the nozzle and track fuel usage throughout their fleet – from a single screen. And they can invest in technologies that allow them to do so on the go – right from their mobile device. That’s where fleets will see major cost savings.

Improving Safety

The cost of vehicle crashes has increased 20 percent in the past three years, according to the Insurance Services Office. Medical expenses and higher bodily injury and property damage payments drive the majority of these costs and limit the profits companies take home. Telematics helps create a culture of safety – when used effectively, insights from this data protect not only employees, but also the bottom line.

Users set parameters on how to score driver behavior, whether it’s driver speed or harsh breaking, and use the telematics system to record and report the events that deviate from these standards. Instead of looking at each individual event in isolation, telematics analyzes overall patterns, and offers the necessary data to reward those drivers for safe behavior. Some managers may even create a bonus structure for safe driving, as they realize the costs they’ll recoup later on will be well worth it.

Creating a Culture of Preventative Maintenance

There’s nothing worse than hauling a huge piece of equipment to a job site, only to find it’s in need of repair. To prevent these unproductive surprises, it’s important to develop a culture of prevention, and telematics can help. With the right technology, managers can develop a schedule of regular inspections and services, relying on the software to alert them when a vehicle is not performing at 100 percent. It can provide drivers with an easy pre-trip checklist, which then sends this information to the back office so they have advance notice when a vehicle needs maintenance and can act accordingly. In addition to the cost savings, regular inspections also improve safety for drivers and the public – providing peace of mind for all parties involved.

To learn more about monitoring vehicles and tracking off-road assets, visit: Vehicle Tracking System

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