Tech Advice: Who You Gonna Call

Technology advice

Technology Advice: Who you gonna call?

If you’re like most equipment owners, your go-to source for advice on machines, parts and service has always been a local dealer. But these days you’re apt to have questions about GPS tracking, data analytics, site connectivity and more. So who are you going to call? An IT squad? A data wrangler? Someone from the telecom industry? Before you go looking for outside tech support, find out what’s available through your equipment dealer.


Not your grandad’s dealership

Yes, dealers are still selling iron and turning wrenches. But in the past few years, many have acquired the kind of IT expertise you’re seeking. This new knowledge, combined with decades of experience in construction, landscaping and earthmoving, can make them especially effective advisors. And since they’re often collaborating with the OEMs they represent, they’re bringing even more brainpower to your business.

Consider some of the problems Cat® dealers can help you solve using data from today’s construction technologies.


“It’s costing me too much money to keep track of service hours. And when we go looking for a machine, it’s not always where we thought it would be.”

Your dealer can arrange for you to use asset tracking technology to monitor equipment location, hours, and operator performance remotely. Using any mobile device with an internet connection, you can see what’s happening on your job sites without physically being on site. No matter how much equipment you have, the manufacturer of that equipment or how many sites you’re working on, you’ll have a quick, accurate way to determine machine usability and cost per hour. With more precise information for job scheduling and maintenance planning, you’ll save time and money.


“I got underbid again.”  

Do you know where you stand relative to your competitors when it comes to key performance indicators like utilization or fuel efficiency? Your dealer can set you up to receive a monthly benchmarking report that quantifies your equipment’s performance relative to others in the region. This kind of information can help you identify strengths and weaknesses, create improvement plans and sharpen your competitiveness.


“Downtime is killing me and repair costs are way over budget.”

You know you save time, money and headaches when you schedule maintenance and fix problems before failure. But before you take a machine out of service, it would be nice to have some evidence that it actually needs work. Your dealer can deliver that evidence, using data from onboard systems, inspections, fluid analysis and more. Condition-monitoring experts aggregate and analyze the data, then make fact-based recommendations that maximize uptime and reduce repair costs.


“I like to keep an extra loader on hand—just in case.”

It’s tough to right-size equipment across operations. Too small can mean lost business; too big, higher costs. Although these decisions are never easy, it helps to have good data about how and when your assets are being used—or sitting idle. Your dealer can arrange for you to receive utilization reports that let you compare run time and idle time by machine, shift, workday, location or for the entire fleet. You’ll have the facts you need to optimize your operation based on your production and cost goals.


“Our site map is way out of date, but the surveyor takes too long and can’t cover the whole area.”

An unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) can map your site faster and more thoroughly than a manual surveyor—with less risk of a safety issue. Your dealer can get a reputable drone pilot to fly your site, capture high-resolution images and transform them into highly accurate geospatial maps. Then you can use the models for things like measuring productivity, optimizing site efficiency, preventing theft and identifying safety hazards.


“We had a couple of near-misses last month. It’s time for more operator training.”

Tired or distracted operators put everyone in jeopardy, but now there are tools to identify at-risk individuals and correct behaviors. Solutions range from simple wrist bands that measure the quality and quantity of an individual’s sleep to in-cab systems that detect tired or distracted operators and alert them (and company managers) to danger. Caterpillar Safety Services experts can also provide comprehensive fatigue risk assessment and safety culture services, designed to quantify hidden risks and lay the foundation for changes in processes and culture.


Meanwhile, back in the shop

Although many equipment dealers are morphing into technology advisors, they’re still hard at work spec’ing machines, fulfilling parts orders, executing maintenance and repairing iron. They’re construction experts, operating where Silicon Valley meets grease-under-the-fingernails. And that’s what makes them exactly who you want to call for advice that helps you enhance safety, increase efficiency and build the bottom line.

Fleet Benchmarking

Fleet Benchmarking

Review fault codes, run time, fuel burn and idle time and compare your averages to similar assets in the region.

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Geospatial Mapping

Geospatial Mapping

Map your jobsites using an aerial drone that takes high-resolution photos of the site and topography.

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Fatigue Risk Assessment

Fatigue Risk Assessment

Take a data-driven approach to reduce fatigue- and distraction-related accidents and lost-time injuries.

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