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Matt Brett

How Fleet Analytics Improve Equipment Utilization

You’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a large piece of heavy equipment. Not only was it expensive to purchase, but it’s also costly to operate. And to make the investment pay off, the equipment must be kept in service as much as possible, generating revenue for your business.

Unfortunately, for many construction businesses, this is easier said than done. Sometimes they run into problems even knowing where their equipment is, let alone ensuring its being utilized as it should. Then there are inevitable times when equipment is out of service and can’t be used on the job. These problems are amplified when they occur across an entire fleet.

There are multiple ways that telematics-enabled data analytics can help you optimize your fleet equipment utilization to maximize revenues and return on your equipment investment. Let’s look at some of them.

Tracking utilization to improve efficiency. According to a common business dictum, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. The same is true, of course, when it comes to equipment optimization. By capturing data across your entire fleet and tracking and building reports on the various analytics related to optimization – asset utilization by hour, engine hours by asset, engine hours by day, location duration, etc. – you can begin identifying costs and inefficiencies, and come up with ways to make measurable improvements.

woman in hat and orange service vest at truck steering wheel using phone appLocating equipment. TA surprisingly common problem construction companies have with their fleets is knowing the whereabouts of their vehicles or asset at any given time. The cause often is that the equipment is sidelined because it’s been commandeered for future use on a project at another site. Whatever the reason, when equipment is missing, it’s not generating revenue.

Status and location duration reports generated by a telematics data system can show an asset’s location, status, and speed – and make it relatively easy to keep track of where your assets are at all times.

Guarding against unauthorized use. Employees using fleet vehicles for personal use can increase company liability, fuel costs, and wear and tear on the vehicles. Analytics related to odometer readings and current location can help prevent unauthorized use and ensure that vehicles are reserved for activities that make the company money.

Conducting inspections to monitor maintenance needs. For a large, expensive piece of equipment, it can cost a company $10,000 or more per week if the piece is sidelined for any reason. For companies that operate more leanly and have fewer pieces of equipment to draw on, not having a critical piece of equipment can impact the ability to keep projects on schedule.

While maintenance is an inevitable part of owning and operating a fleet of vehicles and assets, being able to manage when maintenance happens is key, whether it is routine preventative maintenance or a major repair. Analytics can help you manage maintenance effectively. The ability to monitor check-engine lights and view an engine’s diagnostic trouble code description will enable you to stay on top of which vehicles or assets need attention, so you can plan – and minimize – the time they will need to be out of commission.

Data as Fuel

Just as your equipment runs on diesel fuel or gasoline, businesses today increasingly run on data.

A powerful telematics data system will allow you to view and report on a long list of analytics, many of which will help you optimize vehicle and asset utilization. With access to these analytics, you can make better decisions to manage your fleet, and positively impact your company’s bottom line.