Track What You Pave
Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) offer telematics and tracking systems to assist with everything from fleet management to material delivery. The article “Asphalt Industry OEMs Target What Each Operator Needs” is a touch dated but contains a baseline for you to check out at theasphaltpro.com. Definitely peruse any of the more recent New Tech department articles that dive into predictive maintenance technologies for a litany of options available these days. Most recently, freelance writer Del Williams, Torrance, California, submitted the following piece on how real-time, 24/7 tracking helps to optimize turnaround of your rented equipment, and how that continuous tracking can deter theft and reckless use by encouraging user accountability. He used Advanced Tracking Technologies, Houston, Texas, to illustrate his points.
Construction contractors frequently rent heavy equipment for big jobs, Williams wrote. When renting equipment, job profitability depends on efficiently renting out equipment, keeping it in good working order and returning it on time, whether that involves lowboys, cranes or scissor lifts, haul trucks, and so on.
To maximize profitability, contractors need to keep track of the equipment to ensure timely return when the job is complete especially when multiple equipment is being leased with multiple jobs occurring in a variety of locations.
To protect and preserve these rented assets, contractors also must deter theft and reckless use as ultimately the responsibility for the equipment rests on their shoulders. On top of this, if the contractor’s name or logo is emblazoned on vehicles for the public to see, it is vital to prevent any dangerous actions, such as speeding, that could hurt their brand or even invite liability in the case of serious accidents.
As a proactive response, a growing number of contractors are turning to real-time, 24/7 GPS tracking of their heavy equipment rentals to ensure better fleet management and faster rental turnaround. In addition, the same approach provides clear driver and operator accountability, which helps to reduce asset damage and prolong its usable life.
“Continuous GPS tracking enables contractors to instantly see where all of their heavy equipment assets are at any given moment, so they can know as soon as possible which will be ready to return with minimal downtime,” said Ben VanAvery, director of sales and marketing at Advanced Tracking Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of GPS tracking products.
Compared with typical GPS tracking devices that may only update every few minutes, a system like ATTI’s Shadow Tracker provides real-time location updates every 10 seconds, as well as location, speed and idle time alerts if something is amiss. This data is transmitted via satellite and cellular networks to a smartphone or PC on a 24/7 basis. The system has access to nationwide speed limits in its database.
According to VanAvery, via a PC or smartphone app dealers can display the real-time location of the entire fleet on a map and zoom in on any specific vehicle. At a glance, they can see if a vehicle is moving (displays green) or stopped (displays red). If they touch a vehicle icon, the app will display where the vehicle has been, where it stopped, and how long it has idled.
Such GPS tracking helps not only to prevent the theft of heavy vehicles and equipment, but also aids in its swift recovery, if it is ever necessary. Law enforcement, for instance, could be provided a relatively precise location of anything stolen.
Because supervisors can be notified when posted speed limits are exceeded, this capability can also serve as deterrent to speeding and help to minimize the risk of accidents, damage, and excess wear and tear. This facilitates extending the equipment’s usable life, while minimizing pre-mature repair and maintenance.
With better renter driving encouraged by active monitoring, this approach could also reduce tickets and potential liability, and may even help to lower the cost of insurance.
Advanced GPS tracking dramatically streamlines the process of returning rental equipment. It does so by making the entire fleet’s location and availability instantly visible, so no equipment is sitting idle and not in use. This, in conjunction with the ability to encourage greater user accountability, can significantly enhance profitability, while prolonging the usable life of the fleet.
For more information, contact Advanced Tracking Technologies at (800) 279-0035.
Additional OEMs who offer data tracking and monitoring services alongside their proven iron can be found on the next few pages. These companies have shared their newest offerings to enhance your bottom line. Let them know you saw them in AsphaltPro magazine.