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A fleet solution for construction fleet management

By Verizon Connect December 27, 2023

Today, construction companies face multiple challenges. Deadlines are tighter than ever, and completing projects on time within specifications requires the efficient use of employees, fleet vehicles and assets. Construction companies must also work within strict budgets, prioritizing productivity and vehicle maintenance, while additionally avoiding unexpected downtime— all while increasing visibility and safety for field workers. 

In the face of all these challenges, construction companies must closely monitor asset utilization and keep an eye on daily operations. Embracing a fleet solution for construction fleet management allows you to keep track of vehicles and assets across multiple construction sites to help prevent equipment theft, proactively maintain your fleet and enable you to focus on fleet safety. Let’s take a closer look at the ways construction fleet management tools can help promote safety and address issues that cause project delays and lost productivity.

Amplify heavy equipment tracking and asset security

Visibility is critical for a construction business. You invest significant dollars to purchase or lease a range of heavy equipment, vehicles and other assets. One stolen loader can set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars, with only a marginal chance of it being recovered.

With telematics solutions in place, you can help to mitigate theft and boost the chances for recovery with notifications when a piece of equipment is operated during an unauthorized time period, activated off-hours or moved when it’s not on. You can also get near real-time notifications if assets are taken outside of a specified geofenced area. This enables you to locate assets and assist in theft recovery using breadcrumb tracking.

Combating equipment theft and prioritizing stolen equipment recovery helps to manage total loss claims, saving both you and your insurance company money. Additionally, dashcams and GPS fleet tracking solutions installed on the dash may act as a deterrent for potential thieves when assessing an opportunity. 

GPS trackers for equipment help asset utilization

Construction companies can have hundreds to thousands of resources to track, and a good number are likely being used for multiple jobs at the same time. How can you get a better sense of which assets are being used, at what location and in what way? And how can you see whether they’re operating efficiently or whether your team is overlooking available owned assets in favor of rentals? Idle or underutilized crews and assets can cost you money

Combat the waste of your assets with resources such as a utilization report. This report provides core utilization metrics such as movement duration, idle time, and who used a vehicle or asset. With this knowledge, you can plan for preventative maintenance, review the operational health of your vehicle and understand usage with distance and engine-on time metrics.

Construction fleet management technology with robust reporting can help you:

  • View specific assets in use and determine how they’re being utilized.
  • Gain a comprehensive view of all data to help improve equipment utilization.
  • Learn which resources are being used, and how often, across various geographic locations.
  • Make more-informed decisions around whether to rent additional resources or simply retrieve underutilized existing resources from another job site for redeployment.

How construction fleet management tools support driver safety

Fleet vehicles and some assets become dangerous when driven or utilized over a certain speed. Fleet managers must be alerted to unsafe driver behavior so workers can be given appropriate training to support the company's safety record and liability. A fleet management solution can go a long way to prioritize safety by providing opportunities to monitor driver behavior and encourage safe driving practices.

Events such as hard braking, harsh cornering, quick starts and speeding are indicators that your drivers may be more likely to be in an accident. And, when aggressive driving happens, your vehicles often take the brunt of it, spending more time in the garage for extensive (and expensive) repairs.

With GPS fleet tracking, you can receive alerts any time a driver has a speeding or harsh driving event that exceeds a specific threshold you’ve set for your fleet. For fleet managers on the move, these messages can be sent to a mobile phone or other connected device. Plus, with the option to see vehicle location, you can prioritize field worker safety—alerting them to unsafe areas or knowing their last location should you need to connect with them in the field. 

Customizable, user-friendly reports and dashboards allow you to easily see summarized safety-related data, including a near real-time view of the location and activities of all vehicles and assets and the people operating them. 

Video footage from onboard dashcams offers an impartial record of unsafe driving behaviors like tailgating, disregarding stop signs, near misses, distracted driving, and speeding. This valuable resource empowers both managers and drivers with clear insights, highlighting areas that require improvement. Additionally, coming in Q1 2024, fleet managers using Verizon Connect video technology will be able to mark videos as coachable, add notes and see a driver's safety profile. 

Construction equipment telematics keep track of vehicle maintenance needs

Fleet management systems can also help prioritize oversight of construction-vehicle and heavy-equipment maintenance by tracking, alerting and reporting on maintenance schedules. By enabling scheduled preventative maintenance to be performed on time, you can help mitigate the risk of breakdowns or mechanical failures that can endanger workers, while potentially extending the life of your fleet vehicles and boosting operational efficiency.

You can also take advantage of verified paperless inspections using Whip Around integration to help keep all your assets maintained, prioritize safety and mitigate downtime, which in turn helps keep your fleet productive.

Need more information before installing GPS trackers for equipment in your fleet? Read our buyer's guide for construction fleet management. 

Streamline bidding and get the job done under budget

Completing jobs on time and under budget is critical for any construction company. By monitoring asset information such as engine hours, idling, employee usage and maintenance schedules, construction fleet management makes it possible to mitigate unnecessary labor and fuel costs that eat away at margins. 

Likewise, construction equipment telematics tracking and performance data can be pulled from the asset tracking system into your bidding system to build more accurate budgets and realistic bids. You can:

  • Get a more accurate view of rental usage during work hours and overtime.
  • Track actual asset usage by project to improve job-site cost analysis and create more competitive bids for future projects.
  • Support the accuracy and efficiency of customer billing if you rent out equipment.

See asset management in action: J&M Contracting

J&M Contracting, based in Huntsville, TX, works on construction projects across the state, servicing sites hundreds of miles away—meaning equipment can be left unmanned and unguarded during off hours. They needed a way to monitor this equipment, and that need was brought to life when a $50,000 backhoe went missing.

Overly complex insurance claims and many hours spent with law enforcement fully convinced Safety and Fleet Manager Garland Spivey that the company needed an asset monitoring solution to deter and mitigate theft and loss. After installing Verizon Connect Reveal in 26 trucks and asset tracking in nearly 40 pieces of heavy equipment, J&M now benefits from GPS tracking, fleet management and accurate data reporting.

Then, in February 2021, another expensive backhoe was stolen from a construction site—but this time, Spivey was able to track what had happened with Verizon Connect Reveal.  "Someone drove the backhoe 17.23 miles down the street, over a lonely service road, and they must have seen law enforcement there because then they drove into the woods," said Spivey.

"Our insurance agent is so happy that we have this telematics system because we haven't had to report a theft since we got into the Verizon program," Spivey said. "We get the backhoe back and don't have to transfer another one to the job, and we don't have to take the time to file an insurance claim, so it's a win-win situation for us.”

Want helpful tips on purchasing a heavy equipment monitoring solution? Download our Buyer’s Guide for Fleet Management and Asset Tracking Solutions.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Cost control, Customer Service, Field management, Fleet utilization, Performance & Coaching, Safety, Vehicle Maintenance, Data & Analytics, Dispatching & Scheduling, Fuel cost management, Vehicle & asset security, Team Management

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