Advances in telematics systems are making it possible to not only monitor equipment operation but also increase revenue, decrease costs and improve service. With a telematics package, machine performance can be monitored remotely through customizable data feeds that can be viewed on laptops or mobile devices. Available data varies by telematics system but ranges from general operating status to alerts and warnings, as well as service reminders. While the monthly fee associated with telematics is based on the volume of data requested and the frequency of communication, the overall cost of adding a telematics system should be weighed against the potential value to business operations. Here are a few benefits of telematics data from a rental business perspective.
Telematics makes it possible to know almost instantly if a machine stops operating. But perhaps more importantly, it can communicate the potential for a shutdown that can then be averted. Downtime is minimized with fast response times, and in some instances a replacement machine may be provided to avoid downtime altogether.
Telematics data makes it possible to more effectively manage fuel services by providing an accurate status of a machine’s current fuel level. Having a precise understanding of the fuel consumption of a machine cuts the operational cost of sending a refueling truck to a machine that has not been in operation, saving time and costs.
Some rental companies are utilizing geofencing to track machines as they return from rent. The geofence feature sends an alert when the machine returns to the rental yard and generates a work order for maintenance and initiates invoicing of the rental customer. The approach adds speed and accuracy to machine processing. Telematics can also report the location of all machines. This is particularly valuable from a fleet management standpoint in transporting machines from one rental location to another.
Telematics can also provide significant cost reductions in terms of service efficiency. A technician deployed to a jobsite to service a machine with no idea what may be causing the malfunction often leads to repeat trips for necessary tools or parts, delaying repairs further.
With telematics data, a technician can check alerts, warnings and codes to gain diagnostic insight and arrive on site with the appropriate tools and parts to get the machine back up and operating as quickly as possible.
Technicians may also uncover trends in machine operations through telematics data. If a technician is noticing recurring issues or alerts, a review of historical data may show a generator is consistently operating under load. In some instances, a smaller generator will provide the necessary power with better fuel economy for the customer, and in turn, fewer service issues for the rental provider.