New digital tools to increase rental efficiencies

Construction equipment fleet owners are faced with various challenges, from transportation logistics, risk of theft, equipment downtime, compliance and maintenance.

The good news is that we are in an era in which digital tools aimed at tackling these issues are available in abundance, enabling fleet owners to mitigate the risk of theft, accurately calculate emissions and track the lifespan of equipment.

An example of this is TouchPoint, a driver app from UK-based Spartan Solutions designed in collaboration with rental drivers to deliver a safe and efficient transport workflow that improves the customer experience.​

TouchPoint combines vehicle checks, work execution and truck navigation into one app, meaning drivers only need one mobile device for efficient, paperless equipment transport.

TouchPoint is a driver app from UK-based Spartan Solutions designed in collaboration with rental drivers to deliver a safe and efficient transport workflow.

Data capture forms are customizable to specific equipment types, divisions or user roles, which Spartan says “saves driver time by only gathering the necessary drop-off and pick-up information such as picture evidence, fuel and meter readings.”

It also enables transport planners to batch multiple work orders into one transport job, integrates with specialist truck navigation apps and updates the truck dimensions as loads change, helping drivers avoid accidents and bridge strikes by tailoring routes to the truck’s dimensions.

TouchPoint also integrates with navigation tool “what3words” so that the driver can quickly navigate to the exact customer location.

The app also features live Estimated Time of Arrival, meaning Hire Control can update customers when unforeseen delays occur, the company says. Drivers can also add unexpected return items during pick-up.

Spartan Solutions’ Chief Operating Officer, John Glen, says, “When we spent time in the truck cab, we realized why drivers were frustrated with the technology they rely on to deliver and return equipment.

“Issues with badly designed mobile apps and fiddling between multiple devices to do their jobs can slow them down. Direct driver feedback inspired us to launch TouchPoint, a one-stop solution for transport planners and rental drivers.”

Integration to drive efficiency 

After emerging from the lockdowns of Covid, the Wynne Systems team made several client site visits resulting in its largest product development initiative to date, according to the company. The strategy goes beyond individual features by developing a fully integrated suite with their RentalMan, RentalResult, and EquipFlows platforms.   

Wynne Systems recently launched IntelliSource for RentalMan, a smart equipment-sourcing solution that simplifies the process of finding rental equipment for upcoming orders. This reduces the manual, time-intensive search that experienced rental coordinators often go through when equipment isn’t readily available at the branch, and makes sourcing easy for even the newest coordinator. 

Another key area of focus is improving dispatcher efficiency through the Logistics Solutions

Beyond the rental branch, Wynne Systems improved field services tools by deepening the integration between their Service Solution and Logistics Solution products.

product. New features include Auto-Routing, which automatically generates optimized routes for drivers or field technicians, reducing mileage between stops, fuel costs, and travel times.

Additionally, a subhauler integration cuts down back-and-forth communication by empowering outside carriers to update delivery statuses directly from their mobile devices, streamlining operations and saving time for all parties involved. 

Wynne Systems also prioritized improving the RentalMan user experience through a new system interface. With an increase in employee turnover across the industry, this enhancement significantly reduces the training time for new employees. 

Beyond the rental branch, Wynne Systems improved field services tools by deepening the integration between their Service Solution and Logistics Solution products. This enhancement between products is designed to improve communication, automate invoicing, and accelerate the field service process between field technicians, service managers and customers. Launched for RentalMan earlier this year, it will be available in Q4 for RentalResult and EquipFlows. 

Simplified service

In the case of Inauro, an Australia-based software company, they have focused their attention on improving safety, efficiency and environmental performance of fleets with its Perspio platform.

One of the newest additions to the platform is a Servicing Module which enables users to manage both preventive and predictive servicing rules for mixed fleet operations managing any number of assets.

Through the Servicing Module, operational teams can schedule planning and execution of

One of the newest additions to the Inauro platform is a Servicing Module which enables users to manage both preventive and predictive servicing rules for mixed fleet operations

servicing to work with processes that they require.

The module supports equipment from all off-road and on-road equipment manufacturers, while schedules support any combination of available intervals - time, distance, usage, custom metrics and properties.

Programs also support any combination of configured schedules.

Inauro says the system can act as a complete servicing solution or enhance ERP systems already in place.

The module can also calculates service reminders and direct them to the right person or system. Customizable reporting and dashboards are also available for a quick view of fleet maintenance health and to ensure customers don’t hire assets needing attention.

Mitch Hirsch, CTO, Inauro, says, “The Perspio Servicing Module is the natural evolution of our mixed fleet management platform built to truly operationalize the use of real-time data in the equipment hire and rental space.

“There is so much siloed data that is relevant to assets in a rental fleet, Perspio is positioned to create efficiencies for all stakeholders across all aspects of the rental operation - bringing the workshop into the picture is immediately useful to all other stakeholders.”

Asset tracking abilities

Software specialist MCS Rental Software has expanded its telematics portfolio with the addition of asset tracking and fleet management solutions.

Software specialist MCS Rental Software has expanded its telematics portfolio with the addition of asset tracking and fleet management solutions.

The company has added asset tracking capabilities from US-based Geoforce, a company that combines a cloud-based software platform with GPS tracking devices and global satellite and cellular networks to monitor the location, condition, and utilization of assets.

Also based in the US, Samsara is a platform that provides fleet management, equipment monitoring, maintenance and reporting, as well as a range of other features.

It utilizes real-time GPS data, full vehicle tracking, integrated route optimization and custom route analysis to provide fleet owners with “top-tier visibility,” MCS says.

Nick Thomson, sales director, says, “The integration of Geoforce and Samsara into our telematics offering represents a strategic leap forward in our commitment to providing state-of-the-art rental solutions.

“We are allowing MCS users to track more of their equipment, while expanding the software’s accessibility to rental businesses worldwide. By incorporating Geoforce and Samsara into our portfolio, MCS reinforces its position as a trailblazer in comprehensive fleet and rental management.”

Carbon calculations

With global regulations pushing rental companies to reduce their emissions, there lies a significant task ahead not only to embrace alternative-power, but to also accurately account for the emissions of equipment.

In this space, UK-based company inspHire has added emissions reporting to the latest update of its inspHire Office Edition, with users now able to display the CO2 carbon footprint of their hire equipment and sales items on their inspHire quotations and invoices.

inspHire can also schedule EDI (electronic data interchange) information on emissions to the rental company’s customers to incorporate into their own systems.

Mark Taylor, product strategist, inspHire, says, “In terms of digitization, we have never before seen the level of evolution within the rental industry until recent years. Our customers are now

UK-based company inspHire has added emissions reporting to the latest update of its inspHire Office Edition.

able to get ahead of the curve to serve the next generation who expect digital services access.

“With the drive towards net zero, customers will need to adapt to sustainable processes and its own responsibility to give them the tools to do this.”

In 2023 Denmark-based Trackunit also launched its new emissions reporting software for fleet owners, which it says offers fleet owners the tools to track C02 emissions, monitor and take near real-time action on emissions, enabling them to meet CO2 targets and secure contracts with demanding sustainability criteria. 

The software works by utilizing synthesized machine metadata and individual equipment profiling to enable total fleet emissions reporting for off-highway machines and equipment.

It can be used on any type of off-highway machine and provides users a display of emissions from all connected equipment enabling easy tracking and, where necessary, almost instantaneous action to reduce emissions through the value chain.

Laerke Ullerup, chief product and marketing officer, Trackunit, says, “This capability helps rental companies provide the essential data that allows construction companies to bid for the big, strict-environment driven, government-led projects and have a better chance of winning contracts.”

Machine maintenance
The Trackunit Raw TU700 IoT tracking device will provide equipment OEMs and owners with more machine data when used alongside its K300 access control system.

The company has also taken a step to help prolong the lifetime of machines with its new Trackunit Raw TU700 IoT tracking device.

According to Trackunit, the device will provide equipment OEMs and owners with more machine data when used alongside its K300 access control system.

The control system also enables equipment sharing on sites, Trackunit says.

The device, which Trackunit says is compatible with current and future platform services, offers 10 times the embedded product capability, allowing rental operators to see immediate impact on fleet performance.

Other features include global roaming, long-range Bluetooth support and Wi-Fi ready capabilities with new self-service CAN configuration for equipment manufacturers that collects advanced machine data and translates them into insights on Iris.

Users will be able to establish two-way communications with machines on site, enabling operating characteristics to be defined remotely to maximize productivity. It will also allow for over-the-air updates for OEM ECU software.

Ullerop says, “With TU700, we’re bringing new machine data to the forefront, enhancing machine integration, and layering in insights through advanced Edge onboard processing.

“Customers are asking for more data and this is an incredibly powerful, IoT-led dynamic that will help off-highway companies make better, multi-million dollar design decisions.”

Hitachi partners for fleet telematics in France
HCME equipment will now come equipped with factory-integrated telematics from ShareMat.

Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) and ShareMat have announced a collaboration aimed at transforming construction equipment management in France.

The new partnership began on April 1, 2024 and will introduce telematics services for HCME equipment.

HCME equipment will now come equipped with factory-integrated telematics that will transmit operational data at intervals ranging from every 24 hours to as frequently as every 10 minutes for machines weighing three tons and above.

The platform delivers data in real-time, which is said to help users to better manage their equipment by providing accurate insights and eliminates inaccuracies that are often associated with recalculated information.

The partnership is customizing ShareMat systems to meet specific user requirements and integrating Hitachi equipment into the ShareMat platform through direct API services.

In addition to this, ShareMat will also provide technical support whilst HCME will offer auxiliary assistance in resolving technical queries.

The collaboration is said to emphasize the neutrality of the ShareMat brand and spotlights the contractual relationship between HCME and ShareMat in France.

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