Your Yellow Iron Fleet Data is Valuable — How Well Are You Tracking It?

By David Macfarlan - July 02, 2020


For companies that rely on heavy equipment and machinery, keeping track of where gear is and how well it’s performing is essential. But in the era of Big Data, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to telematics and cloud computing, it’s now possible to gather wide-ranging and detailed data on machinery, sites and shops, and other assets. But for many firms, an operational lag still exists.

From paper forms and handwritten notes to text messages and Excel spreadsheets, record-keeping and data-gathering is too often scattered, disparate and impossible to aggregate. The result is a scattered, disparate and partial view of your fleet and its possibilities. Don’t stay mired across mediums, software, paperwork and spreadsheets. Here’s some of what you stand to gain by wholly transitioning to a telematics-driven, cloud-based data gathering and record-keeping system.

Better, Faster, Cheaper Maintenance

Good, routine preventative maintenance is the gold standard of fleet management for construction vehicles, mining equipment, farming machinery and municipalities. However, too few companies take the time to make sure they always follow through on their PM schedule. Why? Because they haven’t automated it.

Sure the operator of that large, pneumatic forklift knows to get an oil change every 200 pedal hours, but if he isn’t getting a reminder on his phone, those 200 hours can stretch into 250 without anyone being the wiser. With a digital tool that links telematics data to your operators’ smartphones and tablets, however, that two-hundredth pedal hour can signal an alarm and automatic task creation. The result? On-time oil changes, better operating gear, less downtime and fewer expensive repairs.

Repair Tracking

Even with the best preventive maintenance schedule in place, repairs happen. If you aren’t keeping track of each repair, its reason, its cost — in terms of labor and parts and downtime — and its effects, then you’re losing valuable gear-specific data.

With a robust fleet management tool, fleet managers and equipment supervisors can easily access historical repair data for every piece of machinery in the fleet and every asset in the firm. See how vendor, mechanic, and OEM-replacement parts prices compare over time. Note the effects of similar repairs on similar pieces of gear on fuel consumption. Calculate what repairs keep equipment up and running and what repairs seem to have little effect on long-term gear health. Knowing, in granular detail, what has happened with your fleet can go a long way in informing wise business decisions today and down the road.

Improved Regulatory Compliance

For industries that rely on heavy equipment, regulations change as often as the weather. As a result, staying compliant is reminiscent of a game of Whack-A-Mole. As soon as you comply with one rule, another pops up. Depending on the digital tool you use, a fleet management app can help with the ever-shifting regulatory landscape.

A custom form-building tool can make it easy to create new forms when new regulations emerge. An automated scheduler can alert you and your team to upcoming inspections and compliance deadlines. Keeping easy-to-find and detailed digital maintenance and inspection records in one cloud-based app can ease concerns around safety audits. Basically, the tools exist to keep you compliant. All you have to do is use them.


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