What if we tell you that you, as a fleet manager, can keep an eye on every piece of equipment on the construction site sitting in your cabin? Or you can get an alert if a piece of equipment is malfunctioning or the driver is being reckless in its use? Sounds amazing, right?
Telematics is the technology that can make this happen through its unique blend of communications and GPS technology.
The technology extends from physical asset trackers and in-vehicle cams to a fleet management and telematics platform like Trackunit. While the former collects data, the latter lets you see it in a centralized platform to make informed decisions and identify performance gaps.
You must be able to maximize fleet efficiency with such vast amounts of information, right? Let’s see how.
Ways to maximize fleet efficiency with telematics
A Nationwide Insurance survey found that most business owners are willing to take up telematics. Approximately 86% of businesses were aware of these solutions; 90% of respondents claimed benefits were worth the cost.
With so many businesses jumping on the bandwagon, it’s obvious that telematics must have some potential. We’re here to assure you that it does.
Better operational and fuel expense management
It’s possibly one of the best ways to maximize fleet efficiency is to reduce costs and streamline operations. One, route optimization comes into play. Telematics can show commercial and delivery drivers alternate or shorter routes to save time and fuel costs.
Construction and off-road vehicles also benefit immensely in this regard. For example, fleet managers can minimize equipment idling using telematics. They can see which machinery is underused or overused.
If a machine is overused, it might be time to bring in a second one and reduce the workload. Otherwise, you might be able to save rental costs by returning it.
Likewise, reducing idling also cuts greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. By lowering the idle time, you can also reduce the equipment maintenance frequency and slow the rate of engine wear.
Construction sites can also ensure smoother operations with telematics, as asset trackers can monitor equipment and materials used. This way, fleet managers would know when to place orders for new equipment or materials.
Periodic maintenance is essential. Skipping maintenance could result in costly repairs. But you can’t always know when it’s time to schedule maintenance. Sure enough, you can follow arbitrary guidelines, but you’d still be guessing.
Telematics takes away the guesswork and ensures timely equipment maintenance. Here’s how.
A telematics system will track everything from engine use and mileage to fuel consumption in a machine or vehicle. It also triggers automatic alerts when something is wrong.
So, if there’s an issue in the engine, like a loose connection, the system will detect it and send the relevant diagnostic fault code to the fleet manager. In response, you can address the issue before it gets out of hand.
Driver behavior monitoring
The way drivers operate a piece of machinery or a vehicle also affects the equipment’s lifespan. Excessive idling and reckless braking take a toll on the engine and other components.
Monitoring driver behavior can help you put a stop to the gradual damage. The dashcams and asset trackers with telematics systems can pick up on these behaviors and notify fleet managers.
Then, the managers can determine if it’s time for a drivers’ training program or if they need to let some drivers go.
Asset tracking and theft prevention
Nothing says inefficient, like your fleet’s assets going rogue on the construction site. Fortunately, telematics can help deal with this problem.
Telematics-based asset trackers installed on vehicles keep track of their location and behavior. You can set a geofence which notifies you when your vehicles enter or leave the designated zone. Besides preventing theft, this will also alert you in case of unauthorized access.
Asset tracking also lets fleet managers see the exact location of the equipment on-site at all times. You can check if the machinery is where it needs to be or whether the driver is idling or going off-track.
Compliance with state regulations
Every region has certain safety requirements, like Hours of Service, determining how long a driver can work in a day. Telematics systems, like ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices), can track the hours spent, help keep track of duty cycles, and generate reports for state inspections.
You can also use this data to ensure equipment operators take their legally mandated breaks. Whichever driver assistance program you devise should also align with these regulations.
Data analysis and reporting
Managing a fleet is quite like running a business — the more data you have, the better decisions you can make. Here’s some data you can collect with a telematics system:
- Equipment usage
- Maintenance history and frequency
- Driver performance and behavior
- Fuel consumption
- Idling time
- Equipment location
As evident, the data is enough to give you a bird’s eye view of the whole job site. Many telematics systems have integrated software that shows you relevant reports. The analytics dashboard contains fleet-wide insights, showing you areas of improvement.
It can also help you identify the top-performing drivers or equipment and the ones that need some additional attention. Based on this information, you can create an action plan for subsequent and existing projects.
We’ve already established that telematics systems could bridge the gap between supervisors and equipment operators on job sites. If used diligently, these systems can help in safety and cost savings.
However, using telematics alone won’t be enough in most instances. You’ll have to integrate telematics with other systems like dispatch software and customer relationship management systems.
In doing so, you’ll create a comprehensive framework where you can connect with all parties in the same space. Plus, you’ll be able to show your clients the kind of service you provide, increasing their satisfaction and trust in your business.