A Guide to Asset Tracking for Construction Fleets

Construction companies utilize an array of heavy equipment at job sites, and they need visibility into the location, status, and health of everything from larger assets such as dozers and wheel loaders to compact equipment such as mini excavators. In addition to the powered equipment, contractors often need to keep track of generators, waste bins, and other non-powered assets. 

Asset tracking technology has become a game-changer, especially for larger contractors, by harnessing the power of real-time data and intelligent monitoring to improve productivity, safety, and security. 

As a product category, asset tracking brings the highest benefits to companies in certain verticals such as construction or mining. As with vehicle tracking, it uses a GPS tracking device and dashboard that visualizes data on a map and provides custom reporting and alerts to help locate, maintain and secure equipment. 

The tracking devices can be self-powered or hardwired into the asset’s power source, with reporting rates set from every two minutes to hourly, daily, or less frequent check-ins. 

Here are four benefit of asset tracking: 

  • Reduce theft: Create geofence zones with alerts for when equipment moves in or out. 
  • Improve maintenance schedules: Alerts let you know when equipment is in need of routine maintenance. 
  • Minimize downtime: Understand if your equipment is sitting idle while on the worksite. 
  • Advanced data: Pull your asset data onto a single dashboard. 

It’s important to note that there are several different kinds of trackers available. First, you need to decide which assets you’ll monitor and what kind of data you need. Then you’ll pick which kind of tracker to use. 

Powered assets, like bulldozers, work on engines while non-powered assets, such as a waste receptacle, are more static. The trackers typically draw power either from the machine (hardwired), an onboard battery, or the sun (in the case of solar-based trackers). 

Then, there’s the way the trackers provide data. Hardwired trackers often provide more robust data about operating conditions and maintenance needs, because they’re connected to pull engine data. The family of “slap and track” devices usually offer a more affordable price point and are used for non-powered assets where engine data isn’t needed. 

For example: 

  • Heavy equipment: Select a durable, IP67-rated, hard-wired asset tracker tailored for heavy-duty machinery. Beyond pinpointing location, this device gathers comprehensive asset diagnostics such as engine runtime, fuel consumption, idle durations, and more. 
  • Small assets: Select a battery-operated GPS tracking device offering location and motion insights for smaller powered and non-powered equipment like generators, portable toilets, trailers, and similar items. 

Ruggedized asset trackers like the Geotab GO Rugged continue to work in harsh environmental conditions with snow, rain, mud, and sand. This device is built to withstand ice, heat, and dust. It can also survive grease, dirt, or high-pressure washing. 

Another way to help streamline your fleet management effort is through data and reporting provided by telematics companies. Using a telematics service provider’s system may be the best way to manage data, especially if you (like many construction companies) manage a mixed fleet and need to have data from assets made by various manufacturers.  

Having data from your assets helps fleet managers save time and eliminate errors. Here are some ways reporting can help: 

  • Calculating real-time utilization: Use tags to designate different asset types and compare utilization across different subsets of your fleet.  
  • Allocate assets more efficiently: By actively reporting and monitoring utilization, fleet managers can improve operations by allocating assets more effectively.  
  • Right-size with confidence: Utilization surveys underpinned by quantitative data helps a company eliminate less-used equipment that may be costly to keep in the fleet. This can help asset managers make informed decisions about future asset inventory. 

EnVue Telematics provides innovative, reliable, and user-friendly telematics solutions that drive success in the construction industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you increase productivity and reduce costs in your construction operations. 

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