Construction industry expands use of telematics in equipment

The construction industry is increasingly adding telematics systems to equipment, notes ABI Research.

Telematics can be used to track vehicles, improve machine utilization, reduce fuel consumption and improve the efficiency of maintenance and repair schedules.

Telematics can also be used to reduce vehicles theft and misuse, thereby reducing insurance premiums, and to ensure compliance with safety regulations through controlling site access and observing noise limits using geo-fencing and time-fencing features.

In fact, ABI forecasts that telematics penetration in the global construction equipment sector will reach 30 percent by 2019.

However, standardization of telematics systems is a pressing need because equipment is made by a number of different manufacturers who often use systems that are incompatible with each other.

"As construction fleets adopt telematics, fleet operators are increasingly demanding more standardization, easier interfacing and a single-source site for all OEM API [application programming interface] data," comments Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Owens adds that some progress has been made with standardization. Equipment makers such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Volvo and John Deere have been working with aftermarket telematics suppliers such as Navman Wireless and industry bodies to develop standard APIs for such things as vehicle identification, location and hours of use.

ABI relates that construction equipment maker Caterpillar and telematics firm Trimble have developed a brand-agnostic fleet management and site productivity platform designed for contractors with mixed equipment fleets.

"Some operators, such as rental fleet companies, are also calling for standardization of more advanced data feeds such as geo-fencing, immobilization, safety devices and alerts, and no doubt this will follow," says Owen.

For more:
- see the ABI release

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