Efficiency has become a very important aspect of doing business, especially in our industry. Equipment owners and operators who can do the job using fewer resources are better off than their counterparts. The key is figuring out the optimal speeds to complete projects specific to your working conditions, applications and equipment.
Fleet management is made easier by a variety of strategies, software services and planning. Today’s blog is dedicated to identifying the most valuable fleet management tactics for equipment owners and operators of small machines and equipment in the building, construction, landscaping and agricultural industries.
Fleet Management Strategies
Unfortunately, there isn’t one right way to efficiently manage a fleet. Everyone’s needs, budgets and experiences are different, which means what may work for one manager may not work for another. The good news is improvements can always be made. Equipment standardization, maintenance schedules and software services are all things that can be modified to help managers boost fleet efficiency.
Standardize Your Equipment
Maintaining an updated fleet of machines and parts is better in the long run. Newer machines are equipped with the most current technologies and components that help increase efficiency. A fleet with similar parts cuts down on spare part costs and helps to reduce downtime. Interchangeable parts give technicians higher proficiency when working on similar machines. Finally, familiarity with the fleet improves production rates and increases efficiency.
Incorporate Maintenance Schedules
Machine wear and tear is inevitable, but there are some precautionary methods that can help extend machine lifecycles and maintenance intervals. Scheduled maintenance planning is a preventative strategy that enables managers to effectively plan for repairs, costs and system downtime. Regular inspection provides early detection of potential problems and mitigates the risk of major failure while optimizing system efficiency.
Technological integration provides managers with detailed production and usage reports for each machine in the fleet. Telematics is an expanding technology that leverages on-board GPS hardware and off-board monitoring software to maximize the value of equipment. Telematics can help boost fleet efficiency by saving time, fuel and machine wear and tear.
Telematics solutions give managers complete access to machine whereabouts, production and usage. Text messages and email alerts can be set up to signal pre-determined limits have been or are close to being reached. For example, alerts can tell managers how long a machine has been in operation, how much fuel was used, and where the machine is located along with a detailed production report. The alerts can be used to keep project specifics focused without relying on operators to provide these details.
Monitoring software programs can accurately calculate job time, plan and track maintenance needs, estimate production rates and analyze fuel usage. These programs help managers maximize equipment utilization and productivity while minimizing cost and waste.
Cat© Product Link is a telematics solution that redefines fleet management effectiveness. Its user-friendly interface, called VisionLink™, provides customized machine status and utilization reports, enhanced mapping and mixed fleet support. Users can easily locate and zoom in on a single machine, tracking the asset over a specified time period. Through monitoring of idle and working time, managers can reallocate equipment to improve utilization, maximizing their return on investment. Here are the top five ways Product Link improves fleet management:
- Gives customers the ability to accurately monitor machine hours and location
- Provides automatic alerts for maintenance and usage that can be sent directly to customers’ phone and/or email accounts
- Geo-fencing options give users immediate awareness of equipment location
- Accurate utilization reports aid the bidding and billing processes
- Provides a direct link to the dealer PartStore for quick and hassle-free ordering
We want to hear from you. Tell us about your telematics solutions, fleet management and equipment monitoring experiences.
- In your experience, what are the best ways to manage your fleet?
- Do you incorporate software programs to help monitor equipment conditions? If so, which one(s)? If not, would you consider it?
- What are the best ways to improve fleet efficiency?