Transport companies have been using telematics to gain insights into their operations for some time, but according to one construction technology executive, the construction industry is also beginning to discover the technology's benefits.

“While telematics technology has been around for a while, telematics solutions for the construction industry – specifically mixed-fleet and heavy equipment – are just coming into their own now,” said Willy Schlacks, president and co-founder of construction technology provider EquipmentShare.

“We’ve seen a lot of solutions made for transportation vehicles, but not solutions built for heavy equipment and machinery, and until recently, there was not a way for contractors and fleet managers to pull the comprehensive data from their equipment.

“Now, telematics systems are being built specifically for this group, which is why we’re seeing a rise in interest around telematics.”

Schlacks told IoT Hub that equipment providers have traditionally been forced to manage their equipment manually, often juggling spreadsheets to do so.

This method takes an inordinate amount of time and the margin of error is high, which he says is worse than having no data at all, as it “alters analysis and understanding of the health, utilisation and well-being of the equipment.”

“Telematics provides a greater level of specificity and efficiency by letting contractors know exactly when their equipment is due for maintenance,” he added.

“In the past, you’d maintain your equipment at specific time intervals, or once it’s reached a specific time or distance marker.

“With telematics, contractors are able to track required or upcoming maintenance on a case-by-case basis, instead of over or underserving certain pieces of equipment.”

He also said that telematics insights can also help to minimise idle time and boost security with real-time insight into equipment location.

Evolving technology for evolving requirements

Schlacks said that many telematics solutions on the market are using legacy technologies, which – while proficient at collecting data – are not adequate for the needs of modern organisations.

“Modern telematics solutions should not only aggregate data in real-time, but also provide analytics and recommendations that empower fleet managers to make smarter business decisions,” he explained.

“The best telematics solutions are also turnkey and require little to no work on the management end of the data collection.

“From install to implementation, telematics solutions are meant to do the work for you – tracking, recording and analysing the equipment data you need in real-time.”