Telematics Part 1

Telematics Part 1
Telematics Part 1

What Is Telematics and Why Is It Important for Construction Businesses?

Learn how equipment technology can help improve business operations

Telematics has the power to significantly improve operations for any business that uses vehicles. Telematics has a wide range of applications, from businesses that offer bicycle and scooter rentals in major cities to construction companies with all types of heavy equipment on the jobsite.

Let's look at a brief history of telematics, how it's used in the construction industry and why it can add value to your business.


What is telematics, exactly?

In the broadest sense, telematics refers to sending information through telecommunication tools. It has decades of history as an academic concept using this expansive definition.

In a more practical sense, and in business, telematics means the use of this technology within vehicles and heavy equipment. Telematics allows companies to gather relevant information about their equipment, exporting it directly from the machinery itself to a computer situated in a more convenient location or smart device that can be used anywhere there's an internet connection. Instead of having to invest time and effort to physically gather information from machines or estimate metrics like hours of operation, telematics can provide reliable, consistent information that enables strong decision-making about everything from heavy equipment repair to more carefully controlling engine runtime.

Here are a few examples of how data transmission to and from vehicles and equipment can benefit businesses:

  • GPS tools that share information about equipment location to site managers and office locations. This can make it significantly easier to keep track of heavy machinery. Even for small businesses with modestly sized fleets, this type of telematics can provide company leaders with increased peace of mind by actively recording the location of all such assets.
  • Equipment information that is already generated by the machinery can be relayed to a central location in an on-site trailer, permanent headquarters or other location. Potential applications include tracking short and long term usage time, and identifying maintenance issues before they become more costly problems.
  • Safety information relayed via telematics keeps businesses informed, allowing them to make necessary adjustments and avoid exposing workers to possible danger.


What does telematics mean for my business?

While not a mandatory component of new construction equipment, telematics is increasingly common across a wide range of machinery used in the industry. With continuing improvement focused on making telematics more useful for business owners, there are growing opportunities to leverage this technology. Equipment World discussed how telematics could help company leaders predict and respond to a wide range of events, from personnel issues to an early delivery of materials that could complicate work at a cramped jobsite.

While telematics still has to develop and improve - and combine with other advanced technologies, like machine learning - to reach a point where it can seamlessly integrate into a larger business management strategy, current tools can provide plenty of relevant and useful information. Caterpillar offers Product Link™, a telematics solution that helps you reliably manage your fleet and enjoy the benefits that come along with it. And Cat Financial is here to help you finance and secure the equipment that connects to this solution.

Check back for our next article in the telematics series, which will offer more insight into how telematics can help your company operate more efficiently and effectively.


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