Construction equipment is an expensive part of doing business. And if you are the owner of a couple of machines or a fleet of them, you’re often looking for ways to track and monitor your construction equipment usage and productivity. Thankfully, there are many GPS and software companies that have taken the guesswork out of tracking and monitoring your fleet of construction equipment.
Tracking equipment hours, battery life, and equipment health has become a simple task as opposed to how this equipment wellness was once monitored. Now, it can be as easy as pulling up your GPS dashboard to check your machine health instead of the hours of driving around performing yard checks that it once entailed to keep an eye on the state of your machinery. Here are 5 tips for tracking and monitoring construction equipment usage and productivity, regardless of the size of your construction equipment fleet:
Get It All on One Dashboard
Getting all of your equipment onto a single dashboard for monitoring enables you to find all of your answers in one place. You no longer need to hunt through multiple tagging software, spreadsheets, sticky notes, and wherever else you may have been keeping up with the equipment information over time. Having a single dashboard to keep an eye on your machinery is the best way to save time and effort in tracking your equipment, and you can monitor your machine health from that very same dashboard in most cases.
Once you find the right CMMS or GPS tagging system for your size fleet, the task becomes very manageable. It is as easy as pulling reports on the state of your equipment and ensuring that you have the maintenance of the machinery set up on a schedule per the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Do Your CMMS Homework
With all of the options in CMMS systems, you will find that not every CMMS will have all of the features that you are looking for. However, if you do your due diligence and research the features that matter the most to you, your CMMS can handle all of the aspects of owning and maintaining your fleet of heavy equipment, and any multitude of other tasks that you need it to handle for you.
Use Reports to Your Advantage
One of the best ways to track your construction equipment is to make use of the reports in your dashboard. A great example of this is location tracking by running the location reports at both the beginning and end of the work day. This will help you to know where key pieces of equipment are located, and also help in the job planning and equipment routing for the following workday.
The quickest way to lose revenue when it comes to heavy equipment scheduling is to lose the piece of machinery that is necessary to perform the job. By having every piece of equipment exactly where it should be, you’re ensuring that when you go to move that front end loader to the job site its’ needed this morning, it is exactly where you parked it last night.
Also, remember that with many of the software outfits, there are job scheduling tools to allow you to show the equipment as available or in use. Don’t forget to use these tools to ensure you’re not losing out on revenue by overbooking or underbooking your heavy equipment.
Health Reports, Too
Imagine not having the need to drive around the facility performing battery and machine health checks every morning and afternoon. What could you be free to do instead of manually checking battery hours and other vital information on your heavy equipment?
The beauty of the CMMS or GPS powered dashboards, outside of the fact that you can check on your equipment from virtually anywhere in the world, is that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your office or the cab of your work truck in order to ensure that every piece of equipment in your fleet is ready to fire up and move to the job site.
In addition, it can also help to pinpoint inefficiency in your preventative maintenance program by showing you exactly which pieces of equipment won’t make it until the next preventative maintenance cycle without having maintenance performed. This can help you to tackle any areas in your PM program that may be outdated or in need of an equipment specific revision. Not all equipment is going to behave in the same manner and the equipment preceding it, and you often need to make adjustments accordingly to a preventative maintenance program.
Allow the Information to Guide You
Again, the use of health reports from your CMMS or GPS dashboard can and does assist in tweaking PM strategies and procedures. By using the information provided by the health reports in your dashboard, you can compare information, and update your PM program accordingly. In a CMMS, as it is typically all-encompassing, you can use these health report readings to ensure that any updates to the preventative maintenance program are being made by the CMMS administrator. The diagnostic tools that your CMMS or GPS has are all there to help you make smart decisions about your equipment.
By utilizing both the dashboard tools and the tracking and reporting features as they were intended, you can not only job schedule your heavy equipment with no downtime issues, you can also ensure that your preventative maintenance and major machine maintenance programs are working as they were intended, ensuring the longevity of equipment and avoiding catastrophic breakdowns that cost you in both time and money.
This is a guets post from Talmage Wagstaff, co-founder and CEO of REDLIST. Raised in a construction environment, Talmage has been involved in heavy equipment since he was a toddler. He has degrees and extensive experience in civil, mechanical and industrial engineering. Talmage worked for several years as a field engineer with ExxonMobil servicing many of the largest industrial production facilities in the Country.