Leveraging Telematics Improve Jobsite Productivity

Telematics is a combination of diagnostic technology, monitoring sensors, and GPS tracking. While the idea may not be something everyone is familiar with, telematics can be leveraged by builders and trade companies to save money and simplify tasks.

Improve Repair and Maintenance, Decrease Idling
By watching the data that comes in, you can determine when your equipment is simply idling and when it’s actually being used. By decreasing idling times, you’ll reduce the amount of fuel used and reduce the wear and tear on your machinery. This often increases the amount of time you can go without having the vehicle undergo maintenance or replacing filters and other parts. In some cases, it may also extend the equipment’s warranty.
Telematics also gives you an idea of what errors your equipment has generated, letting you know when it needs repairs. You can set up alerts to let you know when a piece of equipment has been in use for a specific amount of time as well, so you can rotate it out for maintenance. This way, you’re performing the preventative maintenance needed at the right time rather than doing it too early or too late. Overall, telematics helps you see when your equipment needs repairs while also helping reduce idle time, extending the overall life of your machinery and vehicles.
Find Stolen Equipment
Geo-fencing is a GPS based telematics strategy to set a perimeter of acceptable operating use for your equipment. This will alert your project manager the instant one of your vehicles or high-priced tools/equipment moves outside of the indicated zone. You can even use this to tell when your equipment is being operated outside of the normal work day. Some telematics systems will even let you remotely turn off the vehicle’s engine or set it so that it will not start when used outside of set work hours. This additional security can be incredibly valuable if you often work in an area with a high crime rate. The cost of replacing vehicles and other large machinery is quite high, so you’ll save a great amount by protecting your assets.
Receive Discounts and Refunds
Another way you can save money is by taking advantage of government tax refunds and other discounts. There is a federal program for companies that use vehicles in an off-road capacity that refunds the excise tax collected on fuel since that tax is designed to pay for road construction and maintenance. By using telematics, you can show that your vehicles were not operating on a road of any sort, making you eligible for a refund of the fuel excise tax you paid. In addition to a  federal refund, some states also offer a similar refund. Be sure to take advantage of this if it’s offered in your area.
You may also be able to use telematics to reduce your insurance premiums. While this isn’t something every insurance provider offers, it’s worth checking to see if yours does. If you can show that your vehicles include GPS tracking to reduce loss from theft and monitoring to show when the vehicles are being operated in an unsafe means, your insurance company may give you a discount. By doing both of these and following up with those who operated the vehicle unsafely, you are reducing the risk your insurance company takes because it reduces the chance you will need to make a claim.
Track Your Operating Costs
If you don’t know how your vehicles are being used, when they’re being used, and where they’re being used, it’s hard to see where you can decrease your overall costs. By tracking all of these statistics, you can look at your overall operating costs for a week, month, quarter, or entire year and use that data to make decisions. You can see when your operating costs of a single vehicle have exceeded the cost of owning it, indicating when it needs to be replaced. You can also see and change things such as idle time, maintenance time, and more information. Even if you don’t see a use for some of this data right away, you may be able to use it later.
Improve Your Overall Productivity
Finally, telematics makes it easier to improve your overall productivity. You can train your employees in ways of reducing idling time. You can make better use out of equipment that is being underused while rotating out overused machinery for maintenance more often. Overall, telematics allows you to simply use your equipment better, a great way of reducing costs and improving productivity.