Construction fleets require a telematics solution that really works with a mixed fleet
Modern telematics have made it possible for companies to tap into a wealth of invaluable data about their fleets – data they can use to grow revenue, monitor and reduce costs, improve efficiency, optimize asset utilization, improve customer service, and increase profitability.
Of course, construction companies, like everyone else, want to realize these benefits. But unfortunately, they face a more challenging road when it comes to finding the right telematics solution that meets all their unique needs of construction fleets.
Many vendors pitch solutions to construction companies that are instead designed for the transportation or service industries. If they take the bait, a construction company can end up with a solution that is a poor fit for their mixed fleet.
Mixed fleets, which include a variety of vehicles and assets – large trucks, truck trailers, semis, pick-up trucks, yellow iron, portable generators, cranes, and more – pose connection challenges that make them different from transportation or service fleets. When a construction company purchases a solution originally designed for use in another industry and that wasn’t designed for use with a mixed fleet, they typically end up disappointed.
The following are some of the things that make fleet management for construction unique – and why construction companies need a telematics system that’s really built specifically for construction fleets.
Ability to connect all vehicles and assets. As mentioned above, construction companies have a variety of vehicles and assets they will want to connect via telematics. The right construction telematics provider will have a full range of hardware to connect an entire mixed fleet to a single pane of glass. These can range from simple location trackers, for assets such as generators or portable lighting units, up to telematics devices that can be wired directly into a vehicle engine bus to provide data on engine status and performance. The right provider will be able to work with you to identify all your vehicles and assets to be connected and match those needs with the right equipment.
Special hardware needs. Part of having the right telematics hardware for a mixed fleet is ensuring the hardware is up to the job. Because construction vehicles and equipment are used in challenging environments, your telematics provider needs to employ an engineered approach to hardware needs during installation, matching each asset to its specific hardware. This is a critical component to a successful program. It is also essential for the hardware to be sufficiently rugged to stand up to tough worksite conditions and remain operational.
Accessing platform data. Not every company with a fleet needs to have access to the same data. Construction companies are no exception. Depending upon the fleet vehicle or asset, they need fleet data such as location data, utilization data, fuel usage data, engine status data, and inspection data – and, ideally, they need to be able to view this data in a single place, without having to toggle back and forth between two or more platforms to get a complete picture of their fleet. If the telematics system is not designed for use with a construction mixed fleet, it will be nearly impossible to combine all these data streams to be viewed on a single pane of glass.
The need for a knowledgeable partner. Not only do construction companies need the right solution, but they also need the right telematics support standing behind that solution. In addition to being able to identify and provide the right hardware, they need the expertise to connect all the hardware to the telematics platform. The right partner will help with providing user onboarding and training, as well as with troubleshooting any issues that arise with the solution.
Cut Through the Hype
Identifying the right construction fleet management solution for a company isn’t an easy process. Many providers looking to gain a foothold in the construction industry will be quick to try to sell their solution as complete and made for the industry when it’s truly not.
The best way to cut through the hype to make the right buying decision for your construction business is to acknowledge that construction fleets really are different from transportation or service fleets. And then, with those differentiators in mind, ask plenty of questions about how the telematics solution addresses your unique needs.
And don’t forget, if the answers sound too good to be true, they probably are.