Boost ROI with Telematics


By Willy Schlacks

It’s no secret the cost of ownership for construction equipment is steep. And as today’s contractors are well aware, any piece of heavy equipment costs more than its initial price tag. After factoring in everything from maintenance and repairs to insurance and depreciation, it’s clear that mixed-fleet ownership is a delicate balance between budget and books.

The main issue in construction equipment management is the disconnect between contractors and their equipment data. Previously, contractors haven’t been able to see all of the information they need about their entire equipment fleet all in one place. And that lack of visibility means they’re leaving money on the table through poor productivity, reactive maintenance and underutilized assets.


To maximize ROI for each piece of equipment, as well as across their entire fleet, contractors have begun to turn to telematics. Aggregating real-time data from engine info to oil levels, tire pressure and battery life, telematics systems are a contractor’s gateway into fleet-wide data and automated analysis. Above all, telematics solutions provide contractors with insight into asset utilization, health and usage rates so they can start making smarter decisions about how they manage their equipment.

Telematics data has become a vital resource for contractors looking to more effectively, and more profitably, manage their equipment. Here’s a look at some of the many ways telematics is giving contractors the equipment data they needed to boost the ROI of their entire fleet.

Increasing Asset Utilization

One of the greatest costs of ownership for contractors comes with underutilizing the assets in their fleet. Often contactors own too many different pieces of equipment, which means some don’t get used for extended periods of time. For others, the problem is that they bought too many of the same piece of equipment, which results in those machines sitting around, collecting dust. Between maintenance costs and depreciation, those unused assets end up costing contractors in the long run.

With telematics, contractors and fleet managers can see just how often (or not) their equipment is being used. By centralizing this data all in one place, contractors can get a clear picture of their asset utilization and thereby make informed decisions on whether they can potentially rent or sell those unused assets. For many contractors focused on the bottom line, it’s often a delicate balance between buying and renting equipment. Luckily, telematics solutions can provide the insights needed to help contractors understand where they’re losing money and how to get the greatest ROI on those assets.

Efficient Fleet Management

Not only can telematics help you identify (and solve for) underutilized assets, but this data can also help you with the overall management of your fleet. From maintenance to security, telematics systems give you a real-time look at your equipment and how it’s being used, allowing you to spot and prevent costly problems before they start.

One area telematics has a great impact is in equipment maintenance. Specifically, telematics allow contractors to take a proactive approach to equipment maintenance and repairs, instead of reacting to breakdowns as they happen without notice. With telematics, contractors are not only able to maintain equipment at precisely the number of hours recommended by the manufacturer, but will know exactly when their equipment is due for maintenance before a problem occurs. Not to mention, telematics provides insights in real-time to help spot any potential issues, such as low coolant, low tire pressure or an overworked engine. Telematics data lets contractors to save money by better planning for repairs and eliminating costs associated with unexpected downtime or damage from a functional failure.

Telematics systems also provide location data for each piece of equipment, and significantly reducing the risk of theft or vandalism. By keeping a birds-eye view over the whereabouts of their entire fleet, contractors can avoid immediate costs associated with stolen or damaged equipment.

Automated Reporting

Another opportunity for contractors to maximize ROI of their equipment is by minimizing costs associated with inaccurate jobsite reporting. Paper reports and spreadsheets are outdated processes, which require unnecessary time and leave too much room for error – especially when it comes the analysis of equipment health and usage.

Telematics systems, however, can aggregate large amounts of equipment data into a single online dashboard, and organize the information in an easy-to-understand, useful way. Contractors can easily track equipment data across their entire fleet all in one place. Advanced telematics systems harness predictive analytics and can help contractors make intelligent, cost-saving management suggestions specific to individual fleets.

Contractors can also leverage telematics data across their fleet to determine more accurate hours, billing and operating costs, as well as increase specificity on bids for future projects by looking back at past records and jobsite data.

Telematics solutions are changing the way contractors manage their equipment and staff. Without having to rely on human inputs, contractors can collect a wealth of information to manage their equipment more accurately and efficiently. With increased visibility into their fleets, contractors can maximize the ROI of their equipment. From more efficient management with real-time data to making profitable decisions based on utilization insights, telematics is a key solution for contractors who are looking to become more profitable.

Willy Schlacks is president and co-founder of EquipmentShare, a construction technology company dedicated to helping contractors and heavy equipment owners increase the utilization of their assets. 


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