ConstrucTech - Managing Fleets in Construction
02/22/2012 - Managing construction equipment, including fleet vehicles, is important to maintaining the bottomline. In the case of company vehicles, the ability to not only keep track of GPS location, but employee hours, fuel consumption, and even maintenance needs can save companies substantially in the long run.
According to analyst firm Berg Insight, www.berginsight.com, Gothenburg, Sweden, fleet-management systems for commercial vehicles in North America is growing across the board—including in heavy-industry sectors such as construction. In fact, the firm expects the overall fleet-management market to reach 3.8 million by 2015.
Industries like construction will likely contribute to these numbers, especially if the benefits of adopting fleet-management technology continue to gain notice. One company, inthinc Technology Solutions, www.inthinc.com, Salt Lake City, Utah, continues to develop industry-specific telematics solutions that offer realtime insight into a company’s vehicles and other jobsite equipment.
From mining to utilities, oil and gas, and construction, there are quantifiable benefits of adopting a technology solution that can provide global satellite communications coverage to remote and rugged work areas. These quantifiable benefits may include reduced equipment loss, due to theft or misuse; increased employee efficiency; fuel savings; and cost savings related to increased vehicle uptime due to proactive maintenance.
In some cases, benefits are not quantifiable—such as the increased level of safety GPS tracking lends employees as they travel to and from remote, isolated, or dangerous jobsites. In many cases, fleet-management technology solutions also employ sensors that monitor driver behavior such as speeding, idling, seatbelt use, and aggressive driving, therefore discouraging these behaviors.
Another company, GPS Insight, www.gpsinsight.com, Scottsdale, Ariz., also offers GPS-enabled fleet-management solutions. The company’s GPS Vehicle Tracking Solution allows you to map, manage, and monitor fleets in realtime via a Web interface or mobile device. GPS Insight also offers geofencing technology that allows construction owners to set up and receive alerts and reports on a vehicle’s activities.
Imagine the time and cost savings if a piece of equipment could call for help by itself, or give up its location to owners without human intervention. The solution would not only create tangible benefits to the bottomline, it would provide an increased peace of mind for construction professionals.
In the construction industry in particular, it’s impossible to keep an eye on all of a company’s assets—humans, vehicles, etc.—at the same time. But with innovative fleet-management technologies, construction owners can have a greater level of visibility into its operations at any time and from anywhere.