US-based EquipmentShare, the rental, telematics and equipment robotics company, is using the Bauma show to seek European OEMs, contractors and rental partners to adopt its telematics and Internet of Things (IoT) system, called Track.
It said the technology can help companies manage their fleets, improve the reliability of their equipment, operate more safely and, ultimately, improve productivity in construction.
EquipmentShare - founded five years ago by brothers William and Jabbok Schlacks - is one of the fastest growing rental companies in the US, having expanded its rental network from nine to 25 outlets within the last year.
The brothers ran a contracting business for more than 20 years in the US and grew frustrated with the problems associated with equipment downtime. That gave them the idea to offer contractors a rental service that incorporated advanced telematics and IoT, as well as the possibility to fit these systems to existing fleets. It also markets Track to OEMs and rental companies.
Jabbok Schlacks, EquipmentShare’s CEO, told IRN at Bauma that the aim of the business is to solve problems for contractors and make construction more productive.
In addition to real-time fleet management, Track offers predictive maintenance and safety features such as the monitoring of operator behaviour and certifications. It is also a brand-neutral system, suitable for all makes of equipment.
In tandem with its technology, EquipmentShare is investing heavily in its own rental equipment and network. It has a fleet of 8,500 machines - from small scissor lifts to large excavators - and each of its depots will typically hold between US$30 and $60 million worth of equipment. It has a rapid expansion plan in the US, although Schlacks preferred not to provide details.
In Europe it is focusing initially on identifying customers for Track, but a move into rental - mirroring what it has done in the USA - is a possibility in the future if there is demand from contractors, said Schlacks.
In addition to its advanced telematics, EquipmentShare is developing robotics and autonomous operation technology that will allow contractors to manage and control equipment remotely. Live cameras can show a machine on a site, which, when fitted with an array of sensors, GPS antenna and cameras, can be operated remotely. The company has already developed a robotic tandem compactor.
EquipmentShare, which is backed by venture capital, was initially launched using a business model that saw it sell telematics-enabled machines to contractors which it would then add to its online rental portal. This model created a fleet of around 1,500 machines which are owned by contractors but available to rent on EquipmentShare’s own platform.
The Schlacks saw that a far quicker way of growing the business was to buy the equipment themselves and establish bricks and mortar outlets, which is what is now driving its growth in the USA.