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Benefits of GPS in the Construction Industry

gps benefits in the construction industryGPS technology is a part of our everyday lives as most of us use it in our vehicles and on our personal devices. You may have a traffic app on your smartphone that uses GPS to give you directions. If you lose your phone or forget where you parked your car, you can find them with GPS tracking. You can get similar benefits when using GPS in the construction industry.

When most people think of GPS, they think of an app on their smartphone or dashboard that gives them turn-by-turn directions to their destination. But navigation is only one aspect of this technology. Construction equipment fleet management software with GPS tracking is a valuable tool for construction companies. It can help you manage expensive machinery, from mobile cranes and towers to service vehicles, moving equipment, and heavy trucks. It can be used for tracking all kinds of assets, such as compressors, and generators.

How GPS Is Used in the Construction Industry

Managing a construction fleet used to involve tons of paperwork and phone calls. In the past, fleet managers had to manually calculate important data such as fuel used, miles driven, and more. As telematics technology has advanced, the duties and role of a fleet manager have dramatically changed. GPS tracking technology for construction companies has streamlined the process of dispatching drivers to jobs, tracking vehicles, and fleet management in general.

How Does This Affect Construction Fleet Management?

When running a construction company, you’ve got a lot of vehicles and assets to manage. Things can get hectic really fast. With GPS tracking software, you can deduce your operating costs while improving the efficiency of your fleet. Using a GPS tracking system can benefit your feet in many ways.

Lower Fuel Cost

A GPS tracking system can help you identify and choose the shortest routes, dispatch drivers based on which one is closest to the site. This helps lower your fuel expenses and overtime costs significantly. You can opt to have your vehicles’ diagnostic data monitored by your GPS tracking system, making it easier to get information to make decisions that could save you money.

Better Visibility

GPS in the construction industry gives you visibility into your fleet’s activity. You can see the real-time location of every vehicle in your fleet with an easy to use interface your computer, laptop, or app on your smartphone. You can monitor important data such as mileage, fuel consumption, speed, engine condition, and more.

Happier Customers

With real-time information about your fleet at your fingertips, you can respond to service calls quickly and reach your customers without delay. You can also provide your clients with accurate arrival times and tracking information, improving your service, and making your customers happy.

Improved Driving Behaviors

Aggressive driving behavior can increase the wear and tear on your trucks, causing more expensive and more frequent maintenance costs. Armed with data from the vehicle’s tracking system, you can review and pinpoint potentially dangerous driving behavior. You can identify weak drivers and help them improve their driving behavior with training and guidance. Improved driving behavior can translate into less fuel usage and less wear and tear on vehicles.

How Asset Tracking Works

Each month, approximately 1,000 pieces of commercial construction equipment are reported as stolen, according to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Thieves generally target equipment, including loaders, backhoes, bulldozers, generators, forklifts, and other valuable assets with high resale value.

Expensive equipment and other assets are delivered to job sites daily. Theft of this equipment is all too common. If the site isn't under around-the-clock guard, thieves can get in and take tools, vehicles, and other valuable assets.

The cost of replacing this stolen equipment will cost your construction company money. Your insurance costs may go up. Delays caused by having to replace stolen equipment and deal with insurance companies can delay your projects, cause you to miss deadlines, and possibly lose business.

GPS asset tracking solutions can help you monitor the location of your assets in real-time. It can also discourage bad behavior. If thieves know your assets are equipped with GPS tracking, it may keep them from trying to steal it. If any of your assets are stolen, a GPS tracking device can help you and the authorities recover them.

GPS tracking can prevent potential theft and misuse of your assets by giving you the technology you need to track and locate them. Whether they are at a job site or not, you’ll know exactly where they are and how they are being utilized. You can use it on all types of assets, mobile or fixed.

But beyond asset recovery, being able to track and manage assets translates into many tangible benefits for your construction company’s operations. Once the asset tracking device is installed, it will collect and transmit valuable asset data. They can use either historical information or the last known position of an asset for reference, depending on the asset. You can then access an asset’s data via an app on your smartphone or from your laptop or tablet and use the information to make informed and timely decisions about your assets.

Benefits of Asset Tracking

  • Asset information—track fuel usage, set up service, licensing and certification reminders.
  • Live tracking—locate and track assets, export a full list of all assets.
  • Historical tracking—review detailed trip replays, previous events, and distances traveled.
  • Trip timeline–review asset utilization, detailed trip information, and events on a timeline.
  • Live information streams—monitor assets and activities in real-time via live information streams.
  • Reporting—generate reports on trips, locations, events, service and fuel usage that you can use to review and analyze the data.

How Construction Fleet Managers Use Tracking Data

As a construction fleet manager, you oversee many assets and keep track of them, knowing where each one is and which ones need service is a large task. With GPS in the construction industry, you can set up customized reports that give you real insight into your fleet and assets. Here are a few examples of how you can use the tracking data.

Monitor Your Employees’ Driving Behavior and Identify Safety Risks

Unsafe and aggressive drivers create a huge liability for your construction business. Just one accident can cost your business a lot of money, whether it causes bodily harm or vehicular damage. Any vehicles your company owns must be operated with strict attention to safety. Even more so when they have your logo on them.

Even the best, most safety-conscious drives are tempted to speed if they are in a hurry or may let their attention wander at times. It only takes one second’s worth of distraction for an accident to happen.

Installing a GPS device on your vehicles can help you create a safety-conscious culture. Your employees will know that their actions are being monitored and recorded. If they drive aggressively or take a longer route to the job site, you’ll know. Often, this is enough to keep promote good practices when behind the wheel of one of the company vehicles.

Data from GPS tracking can show drivers how fast they are going and when they go over the speed limit. You can also set up alerts to give them coaching in real-time and help them learn better habits. You can keep unsafe drivers accountable for their actions and help them improve, rather than relying on complaints from customers, other drivers on the road, or their colleagues.

Reduce Fuel Expenses

There is a lot of driving involved in construction projects. Transporting materials from one job site to another, picking up equipment from warehouses, taking waste to a recycling center or landfill, and even just taking a lunch break all use fuel. Excess driving can add up in wasted time and fuel costs.

GPS tracking can monitor the fuel consumption of your vehicles. This lets you identify which drivers are driving to conserve fuel and which are not. In addition to safety issues, aggressive driving behavior such as speeding and harsh braking can cause your vehicles to use more fuel. And if your drivers idle excessively, that will also increase your fuel costs.

GPS tracking can notify you of these events in real-time as well as keep track of them as events that you can pull into a report and review later. You can study the driving habits of your employees and the routes they take and use this information to help them drive better and take shorter routes, helping to save on fuel costs.

How GPS Tracking Improves Productivity and Efficiency

Any industry that has a fleet can benefit from GPS tracking, and that is certainly true for the construction industry. Below are some key ways GPS tracking fleet management software can help your construction company improve productivity and efficiency.

Streamline Workflow and Allocation

Downtime costs your construction business money. When using paper-based records, assets may sit idle between jobs, even if only for an hour. It may not seem like a lot at first glance, but multiply that hour by all your business’ assets. The think about all the jobs you take on in one year, and you’ll see how much time, and money, you may be losing.

Sitting idle between jobs isn’t the only way your assets experience costly downtime. They may be sent to a job where they aren’t needed. Either way, when your equipment isn’t where it needs to be, it isn’t making your business money.

GPS fleet tracking lets you know when an asset is available so that you can send it to the right job site with the shortest amount of idle time. You can track all your assets in real-time, so you always know which ones are where, and get a complete picture of what assets are needed on all your job sites.

Prevent Misuse of Vehicles and Equipment

The increased visibility that GPS tracking gives you can reduce misuse of your vehicles and other assets. You’ll be able to determine when unauthorized usage has happened by tracking any movement of your assets outside a set location or personal use after hours without permission.

You can also make sure you are fully utilizing your non-vehicle and vehicle assets. This lets you know if you are getting ROI for your assets, and also helps you determine when you need to purchase more of them. Consider what proportion of the available time is a piece of equipment or vehicle in use? Keeping your asset utilization under control will improve the efficiency of your fleet, cut your operating costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

A GPS tracking telematics solution can improve your asset utilization in many ways. You can track asset movement minute by minute, see the routes your divers are taking, get a record of how much time is spent at each location, and figure out actual vehicle usage vs. what is reported. Reviewing this information lets you find out if:

  • Your drivers are taking the most efficient routes
  • The closest driver is sent to the closest job location
  • Your drivers are stopped too long at some locations or taking too long to complete a job
  • Vehicles or equipment are left unused for long periods
  • Determine which assets you should purchase more of and which you should sell because they are not being used

Tracking Your Crews and Billing Assistance

It may not happen often, but there may be times when your crews aren’t where they should be. GPS tracking can let you know where your vehicles, drivers, and the assets related to a specific job are in real-time. You can set up geofencing that lets you know when your crew enters or leaves a specific area. You can use this information to keep track of how many hours they worked in a specific area.

Monitoring electronic time lots and allocating assets and crews based on real-time insights can ensure that driver hours reporting is accurate and can help you control over time. You can use the GPS tracking data to record their hours based on when they arrive at the job site. You can also use it to control timesheet fraud.

Timesheet fraud happens when your crew records more hours than they worked. This not only costs you money but can also cause you to bill your customers incorrectly. This can all be avoided by replacing paper logs with a telematics system that lets you pull reports on start and finish times, hours and days worked, average hours, and more.

Accurate Estimation and Budgeting of Expenses

Using a GPS telematics solution can make your payroll and cost estimates more accurate. You’ll know how much time your crews spent on the road, how much on the job, and how much was on breaks, so your payroll with be more accurate.

You can also keep track of fuel expenses by seeing exactly how much fuel your crews use on each job and overall. Using this and other GPS data lets you estimate future costs based on previous costs. And since all the tracking is done remotely and stored securely, you can do this all on your laptop, tablet, or computer.

Reduced Wear and Tear on Vehicles

Ensuring your vehicles and equipment are maintained and in optimal working condition can save you money, reduce risk, and decrease downtime, especially unexpected downtime. It costs less to maintain a vehicle than it does to repair it. Well maintained vehicles also run better, so your fuel costs may be lower.

Well-maintained vehicles are also less likely to be involved in accidents or breakdown unexpectedly. This is safer for your crew and for other drivers on the roads. And when a vehicle breaks down unexpectedly, your crew is instantly less productive. Scheduling preventive maintenance for your vehicles and equipment keeps your crew productive, your projects on time, and your customers happy. It won’t impact your scheduling because you can either schedule your maintenance during slower times or plan around it.

The benefit of GPS in the construction industry can be seen in a construction fleet of any size. You can manage every stage of projects by monitoring asset utilization and tracking equipment. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your projects and your business are operating as efficiently as possible.

 

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