The telematics market is growing at a significant rate. In previous years, much of the industry focused on embedded systems that were pre-installed in vehicles.
Moving forward, we will see telematics in everything from autonomous vehicles to fleet management tools. Trackunit is one such solution, providing telematics-based connectivity, communication, and real-time monitoring to fleet managers.
The benefits of telematics are not merely limited to connectivity, as the guide from this link – https://trackunit.com/articles/what-is-telematics-for-vehicles/ – explains. In this post, we’ll discuss a few other advantages of this technology below too.
A hybrid of information technology and telecommunications, telematics combines the best of both worlds. The technology has the following benefits in off-road and construction fleet management.
Safety is often the number one concern for fleet managers, especially in fields with heavy-duty applications. For example, heavy machinery and aerial access equipment on construction sites need to be safe to avoid legal issues and regulatory non-compliance.
Telematics takes vehicle tracking a step further than conventional approaches. Fleet managers can use telematics tech to monitor equipment operators in real-time, identifying risky behaviors, and in some cases, collecting video evidence against false accident claims.
Telematics also lets fleet managers track driver or operator fatigue with HOS (hours of service) compliance tracking. The data enables managers to optimize rest periods and breaks for higher efficiency and lower accident risk.
Repairs on large earth-moving equipment, off-road vehicles, excavators, and loader trucks can be quite expensive. One way to reduce this cost is to schedule regular maintenance and repair minor issues before they become major ones.
Since telematics systems are connected to vehicle engines, fleet managers can access real-time diagnostics for engine health, allowing them to be proactive in scheduling repairs and preventing costly breakdowns.
Secondly, fleet managers do not have to rely on technicians or drivers for vehicle health updates. Instead, they can monitor everything remotely from a centralized platform on their smart device.
Timely maintenance increases the overall fleet uptime, which eventually results in higher profits and better customer satisfaction.
Most standard telematics systems track the following diagnostics:
- Intake valves
- Battery voltage
- Oxygen sensors
- Coolant temperature
It’s important to maintain these operating conditions before they turn into problems. Telematics can help fleet managers do just that.
The construction industry in the US is already facing a labor shortage of about 650,000 workers. At a critical time like this, fleet managers cannot afford driver or equipment handler dissatisfaction.
Telematics can help prevent this issue. For one, electronic logs save equipment handlers from the manual paperwork they previously had to spend hours on.
Drivers and equipment handlers also have more control over their routines, directly improving their job satisfaction. (They know when their shift will be over, and can log hours to avoid overtime) Plus, they can collaborate with their managers and other drivers in real-time.
Replacing heavy-duty equipment is no joke, considering the price point attached. As telematics systems provide timely engine data, fleet managers can take preventive measures before vehicles need serious repairs.
Besides reducing repair costs, it also lowers vehicle replacement frequency and costs. Also, fleet managers can deal with issues before a project begins to prevent idle time or downtime at critical phases in the project timeline.
Fleet managers are responsible for monitoring all vehicles and equipment on a job site or rental depot. For both construction and rental companies with large complex fleets, it becomes even more important to keep an eye on the location of each vehicle at all times.
Telematics systems often come with GPS trackers to monitor the equipment’s location on the job site. One, it lowers the risk of theft or unauthorized access, as the fleet manager will be informed in real time if the vehicle leaves the job site or rental depot.
Two, fleet managers can reassign tasks and equipment based on their utilization requirements on the site. More importantly, they can set alerts for a vehicle’s movement without authorization.
Fleets in every industry have to comply with certain national and sector-based regulations. A telematics system records everything from engine hours and diagnostics to hours of use. Thus, fleet managers can use this data to prove their compliance.
Telematics also helps fleet managers automate tasks like payroll management. For example, managers can use the data collected by the telematics system to determine a driver’s hours of service.
They can also automate employee records and data analysis. The cloud-based systems allow access to this information whenever and wherever the managers want, keeping them in the loop 24/7.
Similarly, fleet managers can also automate International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) reports to reduce manual administrative work and calculation errors.
Telematics systems will shape the future of fleet management, especially since many manufacturers have started creating vehicles and equipment with pre-installed telematics systems and GPS tracking. Aftermarket solutions are also available for older fleets.
Previously, telematics solutions were based within certain ecosystems. The fleet manager would have to get a proprietary system that only worked with the telematics provider’s software.
Fortunately, the concept has expanded now. Fleet managers can use smartphone apps to connect with drivers and meet other fleet management needs. They can also integrate relevant solutions into the telematics system.
These integrations allow fleet managers to collect data from different sources, such as navigation solutions and vehicle engines. They can then use built-in analytical features of modern fleet management solutions to highlight problems and unusual trends like asset underutilization and driver behavior.
There’s no denying that telematics has changed the game in fleet management. The technology’s benefits include better safety, lower costs, operational efficiency, vehicle maintenance, and improved customer experience.
While telematics is helpful for teams, it all comes down to implementing the right solution in the right way. The first step is to choose a fleet management system that employs telematics. Then, use a comprehensive strategy to benefit from this solution. Also, adopt new trends, like video telematics, to gain an edge over competitors.