Using Telematics to Manage Your Fleet
By Christine Zeznick, Genie Director of Product and Business Development — Telematics, Terex30 August 2019
No matter what size of aerial equipment fleet you have — from 1 to 100 machines — equipment management is something you do every day. From knowing how your equipment is performing or how often a piece is being utilized to where each unit is or when it is ready for maintenance, machine data can provide a lot of insight to your business. Today’s technology can help you gather, read and understand the information your machine is providing.
Telematics is a tool that you can use to manage your equipment fleet, from basic location tracking to more sophisticated equipment monitoring. For example, telematics can help you recover a stolen machine by identifying the unit’s location. It can also help with remote troubleshooting equipment issues in the field. What this means is if your customer has a problem with one of your aerial rentals in the field, you can potentially identify the issue before sending a technician out, which saves time and money. Telematics can also help you schedule preventive maintenance needs, based on tracking engine hours remotely, which can translate to big savings because you can proactively perform these tasks, even during a long-term rental.
Utilizing telematics benefits your rental return on invested capital (rROIC) by giving you information to assist with:
- Inventory control
- Where is your equipment?
- Is it operating, or is it sitting idle?
- What position is the key switch in?
- Is the parking brake engaged?
- How many hours are on the machine?
- How often is the machine being used per week/month?
- How long is the machine being used for per day?
- When was the last scheduled maintenance? Is it due for another?
- How many hours are on the engine?
- How many hours has the engine run on this particular rental?
As Genie telematics technology continues to evolve in the future, more data will become available, including:
- How much battery charge is left?
- How much fuel is in the tank?
With telematics, it’s really just “listening” to what your machines want to tell you, and then it’s up to you what to do with that information. Genie believes each rental company is different and gives customers the option to choose their telematics hardware and software solutions. The Genie telematics ready connector provides a standard gateway for many different telematics solutions and allows for a “plug and play” installation. As long as your machine is wired to be telematics-ready, which all Genie units manufactured in 2015 and beyond are, a monthly telematics subscription service and telematics hardware of a customer’s choosing provides the ability to listen to a machine, utilize mobile apps to see the information anywhere, and compile dashboards and reports to help analyze the information and optimize your business. The Genie telematics-ready solution includes a standard connector and provides basic information. Additional machine data will be available through the connector in the future.
The key to being successful with telematics is that, before you start listening to your machine, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want to track (location, fuel consumption, engine hours, etc.), how you want to track it (cellular or satellite) and what you will do with the data once its collected (schedule maintenance, determine rental rates, adjust rental contracts and so on). The opportunities for using this data to monitor and manage your aerial equipment are limitless.