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Matt Brett

5 Common Misconceptions About Construction Fleet Telematics

When it comes to telematics, data is king. But when it comes to telematics as it applies to the construction industry, one could argue that misconceptions rule.

Many construction companies, having been incorrectly informed or fed false pitches by salespeople, miss out on getting the right platform for their mixed fleet because they either lean into false promises or simply lack the right information to identify what’s best for their business.

When they make these investments, they often don’t end up with the outcomes they were expecting. They may end up with equipment they don’t need or have trouble accessing the data they want or integrating it into a single view. Instead of getting actionable data and insights, they just end up frustrated. Then there are the considerable out-of-pocket costs associated with investing in a telematics solution that isn’t the right fit.

These unfortunate buying decisions often result from one or more of the following misconceptions about construction telematics.

Misconception #1: A telematics solution designed for the service industry will also be a good fit for a construction company. Different industries will have different telematics data needs. It’s important to keep in mind that not all systems are the same. While a streamlined tracking system might be just right for a service company managing an identical fleet of vans, this solution won’t be the smart buy for a construction company. Construction fleet management needs a telematics and data solution that can accommodate a complex mixed fleet that includes various assets. Not all systems can do this.

woman in hat and orange service vest at truck steering wheel using phone appMisconception #2: You need to have two or more platforms, as opposed to one.Related to the above point, some companies, hedging against buying the wrong system, will instead buy multiple systems. They might purchase an ELD system for their large trucks and a second tracking system for their other assets. The multiple systems don’t always work well together to provide a single view for a mixed fleet. Fortunately, there are solutions available that, in a single fleet management solution, accomplish everything these multiple systems can. Instead of multiple systems, what you really need is the right system for your business.

Misconception #3: All telematics data on vehicles is created equal.The telematics data gathered on one type of vehicle, like large trucks, vans, pickup trucks, that are used for the same purpose will typically be the same. But beyond that, there are differences in terms of the type of vehicles and, more importantly, your objectives for collecting the data. For example, the information you’ll want to know about a large truck that must be ELD compliant will differ from the information you’ll want to know about a fleet of pickups or dump trucks.

Misconception #4: Customization for maintenance and inspection monitoring is too difficult and expensive.With some systems, customization – if it is available at all – can be both challenging and costly. But it doesn’t have to be. A telematics technology provider with the right knowledge and capability to integrate different types of telematics hardware into a cohesive system can provide a single view of your data can make fleet maintenance tracking and monitoring across your entire fleet an affordable reality.

Misconception #5: To get digital inspection capability, you must equip all your vehicles with ELDs. While ELDs are required for large trucks, equipping all your vehicles with ELDs is a wasteful and unnecessary step. With the right telematics platform and data platform, you can conduct digital inspections on all your vehicles and assets without having to install ELDs on vehicles that don’t require them.

The More You Know... Knowledge is power. That’s the key reason why tapping into your fleet’s “big data” makes so much sense. The more you know, the better you can manage your fleet operations.