How Telematics Help Kentucky's Largest Heavy Highway Contractor Better Utilize Equipment

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If you've ever felt like you're juggling too many projects at once, you're not alone. Chris Higgins, the Vice President of Engineering and Construction at Scotty's Contracting & Stone can emphasize. He wakes up every day with 400 pieces of heavy equipment to allocate across projects throughout Kentucky. On a good day it's a challenge. On a rainy day it's fire drill. But Higgins is prepared, thanks to a telematics tool that collects and displays data across his entire fleet, bridging the gaps between a dozen different equipment manufacturers. 

Getting over growing pains 

Scotty's Contracting & Stone is a heavy civil and paving contractor that has served a geographic footprint that ranges from Louisville to Nashville for 50 years. In that time the company has grown from 10 employees to over 600, dispatching more than 100 trucks a day through their 14 asphalt plants and 5 stone quarries. Third party trucks are supplied with FleetWatcher as well, so that all haul trucks have the same visibility. Visibility into the entire haul fleet allows Scotty's to see bottlenecks in real time and re-route trucks around them to shorten cycle times.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management

FleetWatcher Telematics Platform Monitors Four Key Safe Driver Metrics

Earthwave Technologies, Indianapolis, offers the FleetWatcher telematics platform to monitor four key safe driver metrics, allowing companies to track and amend driver behavior. This GPS-based platform captures vehicle data from either the FleetWatcher App or from an in-vehicle device. It simplifies safe driver programs by focusing on four key metrics: 

  • vehicle speed relative to posted speed limits; 
  • fast starts;
  • hard breaking; and
  • hard turns.

This data is reported continuously and can be used to assign a numeric or letter grade to drivers, who can then be commended or counseled for their performance. Whether required by insurance carriers or as company policy, FleetWatcher customers using this feature have reported significantly improved driver grades when this is added to their safe driver programming.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management

How to Manage Unproductive Fuel Burn

In the last year, fuel prices have skyrocketed by more than 50%. We’ve seen many contractors struggle with the sudden and unexpected rise in costs and the effect it has had on job profitability. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you that although you can’t control the rise in fuel prices, you can control unproductive fuel burn. 

Topics: heavy equipment maintenance Construction telematics Fleetwatcher Construction Management Solution

Earthwave FleetWatcher Executive Scoreboard Feature

 

The FleetWatcher Real-Time Executive Scoreboard feature serves as a scorecard for the Materials Management System (MMS), allowing users to see key performance indicators (KPI's) in an easy to understand format on their phone, tablet or computer. 

  • Provides real-time view of tons per hour by crew or truck, feet per minute, cycle time, trucking cost per ton and more
  • Color coding shows at a glance which metrics need corrective action 
  • Total tons loaded automatically compared to shift times to show users if they are ahead of schedule or behind 
  • Metrics can be graphed to quickly show performance over time 
  • Users can select KPIs to display and change them as desired
Topics: Construction telematics Load Cycle Analysis Fleetwatcher

FleetWatcher Captures OEM Machine Data with No Hardware

Onboarding of Earthwave Technologies popular FleetWatcher telematics platform is fast and easy since it captures data from OEM telematics systems with no additional hardware required.

Data from each piece of equipment within the fleet, regardless of manufacturer, class, or size, is seamlessly integrated into the FleetWatcher platform, with no labor costs.  With a clear view of all fleetwide assets, managers can better allocate equipment to enhance utilization, slash idle times to save fuel and equipment value, streamline maintenance, and more.

Earthwave’s Construction Management Solution was developed specifically for the “yellow iron” heavy construction industry and is ideal for off-road construction projects of all sizes and types.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleet Management Fleetwatcher

Telematics Tackles Details to Enhance Efficiency for Atlanta Asphalt Contractor

They say that the devil is in the details. For a company that has been around since 1923 and employs more than 700 employees, E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. has a lot of details to deal with every day.

The family-operated company based in Atlanta, Ga., performs a variety of transportation construction jobs from Augusta to Macon and northern Georgia including roadway work, structural bridge work and asphalt paving and sales. On any given summer day, E.R. Snell is dispatching 150 to 200 asphalt trucks, a vast majority of which are third party truckers.

In handling their daily trucking, Executive Vice President Jared Snell knew there had to be a better way to manage the mountain of details that impact his company’s operations. Thankfully, he was right, and in an innovative telematics platform, they found a way to handle the details and exorcise their demons.

Topics: Construction telematics Fleetwatcher E-Ticketing

Earthwave Technologies shows Construction Management System features at World of Concrete

Earthwave Technologies has featured a pair of fleet maintenance tools in its FleetWatcher portfolio during World of Concrete 2022: Construction Management Solution (CMS) and Escalating Idle Alert. These features aid in improving efficiency through data collection and analysis.

Construction Management Solution

FleetWatcher's popular Construction Management Solution (CMS) collects data from all construction equipment assets, regardless of class or manufacturer, and presents the maintenance due report with color coded entries providing "at a glance" status. Built specifically for the heavy equipment industry, this unique telematics platform shows equipment that is within 36 hours of its required maintenance in yellow, and any equipment at or past its maintenance due date in red. This allows fleet maintenance managers to better schedule in-shop personnel and service trucks in the field. Unlike OEM telematics which require separate logins for each brand, and present information differently, FleetWatcher works across all fleet equipment with a single login and presents the data in an easily understood format which can be shared with all applicable personnel via cell phone, tablet, or computer. FleetWatcher CMS is ideal for heavy construction contractors of all types and sizes.

Topics: Construction telematics Idle time reduction Fleetwatcher Construction Management Solution

Earthwave FleetWatcher Construction Management Solution (CMS)

 

The FleetWatcher Construction Management Solution (CMS) collects data from all equipment assets regardless of class or manufacturer, and presents the maintenance due report with color-coded entries for "at glance" status. 

  • Shows equipment within 36 hours of required maintenance in yellow and any at or past due date in red
  • Works across entire fleet with a single login and data can be shared via cell phone, tablet or computer
  • Escalating Idle Alert proactively informs managers when equipment has been idling for too long
  • Suitable for heavy construction contractors of all types and sizes 
  • Collects specific and customized data delivered through a Daily Snapshot in the specific format users select
  • Reports available online or in MS Excel format with over 20 reports and hundreds of filtering options available 
  • Also tracks multiple data points including cycle times, productivity and downtimes, equipment utilization and under utilization, project status, budgets, shop costs, rental expenses, trends and behaviors and more 
  • Integrates with all major management programs including accounting, estimating, invoicing and more
Topics: Construction telematics Fleetwatcher Devices

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