While costs are on the rise in the construction sector, the rate of productivity in the industry is steadily declining. Tackling this issue is complex--but the efficiency of your fleet will play a big role in the overall efficiency of every project. Another complex question involves metrics. Reliable measurement is fundamental to success, but getting a full picture of how every machine, vehicle and driver is operating can be difficult, especially when you’re using multiple systems. Integrating these different systems and assets is crucial to boost productivity.
Here are five custom GPS integrations that will help consolidate your data and allow every asset to be put to good use:
You’re likely managing every construction project via an enterprise resource planning or project management system. Trying to monitor all the moving parts can be challenging, as you have to keep track of the machinery being used, your workforce, deadlines, compliance requirements and costs. By integrating telematics with your project management system you can record and measure these metrics automatically. For example, say you have five excavators on a job. You can track the number of hours each of these was used per day, add that to your system and automatically calculate the cost of the project so far. This real-time data will help you control costs without relying on logbooks or site inspections that require manual input.
Every one of your vehicles will generate fault codes that highlight potential problems. Although these might become apparent to drivers over the course of a day, they are often ignored if they’re not critical and aren’t looked at until your next service. This means you have to go through all of them at a later date to decide which ones to act on. With a fleet of 1,000 or 10,000 vehicles generating three or more fault codes a day, this is a lot of information to sift through, and there’s a chance you’ll miss critical issues. Integrating fault codes with your telematics system will provide an easy dashboard to help you prioritize them. At a glance, you’ll be able to see which ones you need to work on straightaway and which ones you need to keep track of before they become more serious. This will go a long way to improving lifecycle management.
You can also use fault code integration to manage your machinery and assets, particularly those based in remote areas. With fault code alerts, you won’t have to send someone out to diagnose the fault, order the right parts and wait for them to be delivered. Instead you can inform operators to stop using the faulty machine and send a technician and the correct parts immediately, to fix the machine before it becomes a safety risk.
By integrating telematics with different parts of your machinery, you can better monitor idle and working time to increase productivity. Given that machines typically idle for 30 per cent of their lifetime, your assets are probably wasting a considerable amount of money rather than generating it. For example, Gore Earthmoving integrated telematics with the parking brake, hydraulic lockout and transmission, to show exactly when the machines were working. This has improved workflow and reduced downtime, without relying on reports from machine operators.
Integrating with machine parts will give you a full picture of how your assets are being used. You can integrate this technology with the components of a scraper and the results will help you calculate cycle times, how many load counts in a day and how far it’s travelling on each cycle. This will allow you to track every aspect of operation to maximize efficiency.
Integration applied to remote assets such as lighting towers will allow you to control and monitor them even when you’re not on site. Employing someone to turn them on and off each day is a waste of time when the alternative is to shut them off remotely, while also monitoring fuel levels. This way you can send out a fuel truck only when necessary instead of following a schedule and refueling when the equipment’s tank is still three quarters full. This will significantly reduce costs and allow you to redeploy resources.
Construction theft is a serious issue in this industry and it’s not going away any time soon. One way of tackling this challenge is to integrate with camera systems that trigger when a machine or vehicle is used out of hours or moved offsite. For example, if a vehicle door is opened at a certain time, or a machine is restarted after it’s been shut down for the night, the camera starts to record and triggers an alert. This will help you quickly determine whether equipment has been tampered with, who was responsible and exactly what happened.
To increase the productivity of your fleet, you need fast access to data on every machine, vehicle and driver working on a site. Accurately measuring the loads, distances and idle times of your assets will significantly reduce costs and allow you to identify areas where you could improve efficiency. Integrating with remote systems and security cameras will also help you to keep track of equipment and protect your fleet.
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