JLG's telematics for powered accesss

By Maria Hadlow14 January 2009

JLG Industries was the first self-propelled aerial platform manufacturer to offer telematics capability on a wide range of products. Offered most all of its combustion engine-powered models, the company followed several other innovative manufacturers.

Launched at ConExpo in January 2008, the "connected asset system" uses GPS (global positioning system) location determination and mobile phone communication technologies to link equipment control systems to owners. In addition to providing tracking information, the system links a machine's control system in real time to any remote location - including JLG's -- having Internet access.

Capabilities include: on-demand diagnostics and troubleshooting; preventative maintenance alerts based on operating data; remote turn-on and turn-off; theft deterrent and recovery; and geo-fencing and GPS mapping. JLG can initiate a machine condition update at an owner's request.

One example of maintenance benefits, says JLG, is the ability to detect imminent machine failure. The machine could be shut down before a catastrophic failure, or a service technician can be dispatched with the parts required to restore operating capability. The time and money benefits are obvious.

Rental companies can also enjoy the benefit of knowing if a machine has been used outside its contract period, and owners can also be alerted if the machine is being used beyond its safe operating parameters. This could have important safety and training implications.

Additionally, JLG's system could be linked to maintenance support IT systems, such as those from SmartEquip, with whom JLG has partnered. Such a combination would automatically link data on faults and machine-hours from the telematics component to maintenance planning from the equipment manufacturer. Automatic, machine condition or use-based data would then signal corrective action or preventative maintenance.

For manufacturers the attraction is obvious: systems that provide a 'cradle-to-grave' relationship between the equipment, themselves, and owners. For rental fleet managers there is the prospect of reducing maintenance costs and increasing utilisation.

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