Utilizing Telematics to Maintain a MEWP Fleet
By Christine Zeznick, Genie Director of Product and Business Development30 August 2019
Controlling the cost of a MEWP rental fleet is important to be a profitable rental company, but where to begin? A majority of fleet management decisions are dictated by recommended maintenance scheduling or responding to equipment that had been taken out of service due to damage or breakdown. These scenarios represent an expense to the business which have an impact on overall profitability and return-on-investment of the machine.
One of the best ways to control costs is to look for ways to reduce the time and effort it takes to perform service and repair work. To do this, rental store owners need to have greater transparency into proactively managing a MEWP fleet to minimize downtime and maximize uptime.
Understanding service and repair costs
Whether in the shop or the field, when a MEWP is being serviced or repaired it costs an equipment owner money in two areas — labor expenses and lost rental revenue. Service and repair labor is one of the highest fleet expenses for rental companies behind initial equipment acquisition costs.
Today, understanding a basic equipment issue can often take hours because the machine is located a significant distance from the rental yard. And, every hour a machine is being worked on is the one hour of lost revenue. Improving a service team’s efficiency here can have a dramatic effect on the company’s bottom line.
One way to reduce costs associated with service and repair, and improve a service team’s efficiencies, is to utilize new technologies.
Technology as a solution
Driving today’s machine technology changes is the need to increase productivity, as well as increase fleet utilization and management — from knowing how equipment is performing or how often a machine is being utilized, to where each unit is or when it is ready for maintenance. Machine data can provide a lot of insight to a rental business, enabling fleet owners to gather, read and understand the machine data their MEWPs are providing.
One technology that is opening up new opportunities for rental businesses is the use of telematics.
From basic location tracking to more sophisticated equipment monitoring, telematics is a tool that fleet owners can use to manage their equipment fleet. And, it’s more than just a GPS; the benefits of today’s telematics systems includes machine maintenance implications.
For example, telematics can help with remote troubleshooting equipment issues in the field. What this means is if a MEWP operator has a problem with a machine in the field, rental stores can potentially identify the issue and potentially any parts required, before sending a technician out, which saves time and money.
Utilizing telematics, rental stores can know:
- When was the last scheduled maintenance? Is it due for another?
- How many hours are on the machine?
- How long is the machine being used for per day?
- How many hours has the engine run on this particular rental?
Knowing the answers to these questions means that telematics will change the way the machines are serviced. Telematics can also help rental stores schedule preventive maintenance needs, based on tracking hours remotely, which can translate to big savings because customers can proactively perform these tasks, even during a long-term rental.