K-Five Construction’s Plans for Improvement in 2022

K-Five Construction has been a long-time customer of FleetWatcher. The Illinois-based paving company decided to integrate with software back in 2015 when they were looking for an efficient way to manage their fleet in real-time. The K-five team has since been able to easily monitor the delivery of materials to and from job sites and ensure that the company’s production runs as smoothly as possible.

Topics: E-Ticketing

IDOT Uses E-Ticketing

Electronic Ticketing (e-Ticketing) adoption is rapidly expanding among transportation agencies nationwide. This paperless process for creating, sharing, tracking, documenting, and storing materials provides agencies and contractors with an electronic means to verify materials deliveries while enhancing safety, streamlining inspections, and improving contract administration procedures. E-Ticketing also provides consistent and efficient project documentation and standardized data across projects.

Topics: IDOT

No More Idling

When Robert Turner, fleet operations manager at RIPA & Associates, started using a telematics system in 2012, Caterpillar told him their tracks would last 4,000 hours. Apparently, that was total machine hours, running and idle—because the system quickly revealed that the average track was lasting 2,300 to 2,800 hours of run time.

Although some of that differential can be attributed to the sandier, abrasive soil in Florida, the biggest reason was their elimination of idle time. The stark difference showed Turner the need to plan as a fleet department to keep the tracks running, so that idle time wouldn’t eat away the service life.

A breadcrumb trail shows Turner detailed location information for all machines in the field. Each time the unit updates (variable from 1- to 5-minute intervals), the packet shows the location of the machine and the reason for the packet (engine on, engine running, engine off, etc.). A GeoZone is provided to automatically track the machine’s activity within that GeoZone as well as when it arrives and leaves the GeoZone.

Now, Turner can plan out where machines go, what sites will need them next, and which machines can be leased out to keep their tracks moving and maximize their lifespan. The first year they used this telematics system, Turner estimates the company saved $1.3 million in preventative maintenance, resale value and fuel usage. Decreasing idle time for RIPA’s loaders alone saved them an estimated $400,000 for the year. The company achieved a radical reduction of idle time and a significant increase in overall productivity.

The RIPA team has become proficient in knowing how much gear is needed based on the size of the project, the distance and the type of project. Turner can now see what’s sitting on a jobsite that he knows should be moving and call up the foreman to see what’s going on. Turner put that savings into expanding the fleet, from 150 to over 1,000 transponder-enabled units in the field.

With so much equipment in the field working on projects across the region, Turner needs to be sure that he is giving accurate information to foremen and other contractors. His telematics system matches the machine number to information about that machine, keeping everything accurate and communicating that information to necessary parties.

Operators in the field can track equipment via mobile app, and Turner keeps an eye on things from his office. Checking in on equipment is simple, and Turner can rest easy knowing accurate information is accessible across all of the company’s jobsites. With easy-to-read, accessible information available at the touch of a screen, Turner can tell where every piece of RIPA equipment is in the field, what it’s doing and when it next needs maintenance. Rather than tracking that himself—a menial and laborious task that is prone to error—telematics tracks it all for him, allowing him to do the more advanced job of sending equipment where it’s needed next, and lining up contracts for the next project down the line. That allows Turner to manage his fleet more efficiently, preventing idle time, thwarting thieves and saving costly mistakes.

If you are interested is gaining visibility over your fleet and increasing productivity, schedule a demo with us today!

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management

Theft Prevention

With expensive equipment in the field, it doesn’t always make sense to bring it back to the shop every night. Sometimes, Robert Turner, fleet operations manager at RIPA & Associates, has to lock up gear and equipment on-site. Previously, he would lock what he could in a warehouse or shed, then move a bulldozer or heavy equipment in front of the door. The procedure didn’t always deter thieves from walking or driving off with expensive gear.

Now, Turner stores his equipment inside a secure Conex container, along with a police siren, strobe light and the telematic system transponders, all connected to solar power. If the door opens, the siren and strobe go off and the system sends emails to Turner and his staff, immediately alerting them to what is happening and on which jobsite.

Turner recalls receiving an alert at 1 a.m. A dozer was starting up at a jobsite. Then, a door to a Conex container was opening. Turner quickly realized this was not a maintenance team that forgot to notify him they were there, but a theft in progress. He immediately notified the local police, who responded in time to foil the robbery attempt. When Turner arrived on the scene, roughly $200,000 worth of electronics and equipment were staged for pickup by the would-be thieves. The jobsite was secured and no property was lost.

Since the addition of the extra security from the telematics system to the Conex containers, Turner has only lost a few, smaller items due to theft. “Thieves might still grab something within arm’s reach and run away, knowing their presence has been given away, but the item is usually small and way less expensive than other equipment,” Turner said.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management

Maintaining the Fleet

As a fleet management device, the telematics system manages the equipment so Turner doesn’t have to. A “Maintenance Due” report shows the number of run-time hours before maintenance is due for all equipment. Areas shaded in red indicate that service is past due, while areas shaded in yellow indicate that equipment is within 36 hours of its next preventive maintenance. Services can be tracked by hours and/or miles. Maintenance hours are tracked directly on the program, attaching data to specific pieces of equipment, which allows Turner to efficiently time maintenance, rather than wait for something to break down.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management

Why Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are Important in Paving

How long are your trucks waiting at the paver? How many tons per hour are you really putting down? Does your estimate have too high of a cycle time? 

Topics: Paving Contractor Fleet Management

Barrett Paving Manages Trucking Efficiently with VSTs

Barrett Paving is an established paving contractor that specializes in roadway repairs, asphalt paving, and excavating and grading. As a company that has been in the industry for over 150 years, Barrett understands the importance of coming up with new solutions to evolve with the times. After beginning its partnership with FleetWatcher a few years ago, Barrett Paving has made big strides in its paving operations. One feature that has been the most useful for the team is the VST (virtual shift ticketing) feature. VSTs are designed to help project managers know when drivers are on the clock, what kind of loads they are hauling, and how many tons per truck there are. The team at Barrett spoke about their experience with VST’s during one of our previous webinars in December.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management VSTs

How E.R. Snell has Managed Third-Party Trucking with FleetWatcher

Topics: Paving Contractor Fleet Management Paving Operations Testimonials & Quotes Fleetwatcher

Rules for Reliable Data

If I were to implement a telematics system, what would I be measuring? How would it give me the visibility and results that I desire? 

Topics: Construction telematics

How Improving Driver Performance has Helped Reeves Construction Cut Trucking Costs

Topics: Paving Contractor Earthwave Technologies Fleetwatcher