Utilizing Technology for Compact Machines on Construction Jobsites

Running a successful construction business takes strategic vision, and advances in technology give machine owners and operators the ability to manage each aspect of the company more effectively. Everything from fleet management and preventative maintenance to jobsite productivity and sustainability standards can be implemented through specialized technology systems.

The biggest advantage to technology use on a construction jobsite is visibility—and not in the traditional sense. Project managers now have access to detailed reports on a number of features, including machine health, productivity levels, fuel usage, maintenance schedules, remote tracking, working time, data history and machine location, which provides a bird’s eye view of the operation. These reports can be used proactively in jobsite strategy to help reduce downtime and improve margins.

Utilizing Single-Machine Technology
New advances in technology are constantly being applied to machine designs for continuous improvement. In fact, we can see the evolution in today’s machines as many of them are already equipped with technology systems that improve productivity. Other technologies can be added or integrated into existing solutions for additional improvements. Here are a few examples:

  • Operating with a payload system on an excavator or a wheel loader can help ensure the right amount of material is being moved to reduce the chance of over-excavating and overloading. The payload system helps track the earthmoving project accurately, so factors like speed and material retention can be applied to similar projects more efficiently in the future.
  • Work tool design and selection technologies greatly affect machine efficiency in specific applications. To get the most from the equipment, work tool attachments should be paired with machines accurately. Buying machines and attachments from the same manufacturer provides a higher likelihood that both are engineered to perform in tandem for increased productivity.
  • Mobile technologies can help machine owners and operators manage equipment in a convenient manner. Some suppliers offer mobile apps to order parts, set up alerts for scheduled maintenance, and even monitor fleet utilization remotely.

Technology Solutions for Fleets
Data from technology-equipped machines can be used across the board to improve overall jobsite efficiency. Whether the goal is to maximize production, reduce costs or improve safety, fleet technology solutions provide the resources needed to build successful, sustainable businesses. At Caterpillar, we’re focused on the following the four categories:

  1. Equipment management solutions include products and dealer services that are designed to help machine owners and operators work efficiently by doing more with less resources. Each package is customized to fit each company’s technology needs.
  2. Productivity is important in managing machine maintenance, preventing unexpected downtime and keeping machines in production to minimize the effects of delay caused by uncontrollable events. For example, in load and haul applications, the cycle of load/haul/dump/return can be segmented, and grade control systems can make grading operations more agile.
  3. Safety solutions are implemented to improve jobsite visibility for operators. Visual or audible alerts are activated in blind spots and areas around the machine and work tools when something or someone is near, reducing the chance of accidents.
  4. Sustainability reports provide information for analyzing the amount of work being accomplished per gallon of fuel to identify areas for improvement. Making fuel use adjustments can result in increased fuel efficiency, reduced fuel burn and decreased emissions.

Technology can be applied to a single machine, an entire fleet or a mix of the two; it all depends on individual business goals. Details provided by technology solutions can be used to tailor business strategies and operator practices for improved overall efficiency. The key to success is effectively applying the technology to each machine, jobsite and application as needed.