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3 Equipment Management Tech Trends to Watch for at CONEXPO

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Construction equipment management software is becoming more and more essential as contractors are under pressure to reduce downtime, increase equipment utilization and gain visibility and control over activities in the field.

At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 March 13-17 in Las Vegas, attendees will notice these three trends as they talk to equipment management software vendors and research their options.

Dashcams for Offroad Equipment

Dashcams have become common in over-the-road trucking and in construction vehicles that travel on roads to and from job sites to transport equipment or people. The risk management and mitigation factor here is obvious as management can monitor, track and advise drivers on how to mitigate risk behind the wheel.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and dashcams give management away to measure behavior behind the wheel that impacts risk. A driver’s safety behaviors can be managed using machine vision applications that identify risk behaviors so they can be addressed and managed.

Some vendors, including EquipmentShare (Booth # N11462), have also been able to use dashcam footage to document fault by other motorists in accidents affecting their software users’ vehicles. This makes dashcams a suitable detective control for forensic use after an incident as well as a preventive control that helps modify behavior to prevent incidents in the first place.

What visitors looking at equipment management technology including GPS Enabled Asset Management software at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 March 14-18 in Las Vegas will notice is that software for managing construction equipment in the field are also coming to market with functionality to support these front- and rear-facing dashcams. This is part of an overarching trend IRONPROS predicted—namely that “technologies will see consolidation as their use cases merge. Technologies are emerging to address specific segments of a construction process, and as multiple technologies that address the same use case migrate into single rather than multiple disconnected applications.

Between EquipmentShare T3, Tenna (Booth # N11427) and others seem to be adding this capability to keep pace with vendors like Samsara (Booth # N10677) that have one foot in both over-the-road and another in offroad construction equipment. While Tenna is a couple generations into this technology, and continues to invest to tie it more intimately in with the rest of the solution. This prevents video telematics from dashcams from being kept in a separate silo from telematics data used to support projects in production, driving the value of that dashcam system deeper into the business.

“Video AI is starting to become table stakes,” Tenna Chief Business Development Officer Russ Young said in correspondence with IRONPROS. “We will keep investing in hardware on the front end to serve construction and it will be a bit like an arms race. But the huge value and investment comes from tying it all together on the back end to deliver one elegant and simple platform with trusted live information that each role from CEO/Owner to the skid-steer operator is delighted with. That is where the real work comes in!”

Check Out the IRONPROS Tenna Product Snapshot Video 

EquipmentShare is launching dashcam functionality for its T3 operating system for construction, which combines features of GPS-Enabled Asset Management and Field Productivity Software. The whitelabeled hardware they supply with the system differs from standard over-the-road dashcams primarily in its ruggedized design and construction.

“Outside of what we have on the EquipmentShare fleet, this will be the next best thing you can get for duability,” EquipmentShare Senior Director for T3 Kris Dunn said. “None have failed. We are using units from two separate competitors, and they were really designed to be in an F150 in off-highway applications. We can’t use something where, if you leave your windows down in the middle of winter, it does not work. With the combined solution we have integrated into T3, we have had little to no failures. The solution should perform well in extreme heat or cold.”

But the value of the solution really becomes apparent once we look at how pulling dashcams into software used for construction project management, operations and asset management makes video telematics more valuable than if it is siloed off in a stand-alone solution from a camera hardware OEM or on-road fleet management technology vendor.

When dashcams and video telematics are married up to these other business tools, an event detected in the field, like the jolt that happens when an excavator operator inadvertently runs over a stump, cam become a business event that is actioned in various other parts of the solution. That event can trigger service and maintenance scheduling, spares and repairs ordering or even record the event as a transaction in time keeping software.

“The ultimate benefit here is that you are not just getting a dash cam that is going into a machine,” Dunn said. “What we are positioning is the value this offers through T3 when it comes to providing that end-to-end visibility between your people and your assets and your materials … We are not just giving you a portal where you are looking at video. It is a portal that truly connects you to everything you need to tackle for your job site or your project.”

The use case for extending the value of video telematics from dash cams deeper into the business is strong, but dash cam hardware and application vendors will be at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in force, including Motive at Booth #N10169. Motive, formerly known as Keep Trucking, is focused on over-the-road fleets but may have an interest in expanding into off-road vehicles.

ERP Integration for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

While equipment management solutions like Tenna and T3 collect telematics data from machines and integrate it into business processes for operations and maintenance, Tenna is also now integrating deeply with popular construction accounting software to yield a legitimate enterprise asset management (EAM) solution for construction equipment. Without integrating with financials, the best fleet management software can do when it comes to maximizing return on an investment in construction equipment is function as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for construction equipment. But by tying equipment utilization, maintenance history and technician labor functionality in Tenna with financials in Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Trimble Viewpoint Vista, Viewpoint Spectrum enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

With this integration, a work order, which contains information on maintenance activities and parts and materials consumed against equipment, and associated mechanic labor is created in Tenna. This new unidirectional integration with then passes that information on to the ERP when created in Tenna, automatically creating a record of the work order in that application to record the costs associated with the parts, labor and consumables from the work order in Tenna, enabling full asset life-cycle management cost for construction equipment. Tenna sends an update to Vista when the work order is completed, updating final total notes accordingly.

Without the integration, executing a proper equipment rebuild would require physically going to the machine to collect an in depth history, including researching old invoices from previous repairs. But with machine health, utilization, maintenance history and past and projected cost on a single pane of glass, Tenna customers get a comprehensive tool for equipment life-cycle decision support.

In some contractor organizations, this integration has helped cost justify machine refits that can double the productive life of the asset. The decision to make these investments in parts and labor must be balanced against the current maintenance cost, the productivity the machine can create over its lifecycle, cost of the refit itself, cost of a replacement new machine and current interest rates, among other variables.

Convergence Between Telematics, GPS and Field Productivity

In keeping with the consolidation trend of multiple technologies into broader enterprise solutions, equipment management software like fleet management, telematics, video telematics, maintenance and other tools are expanding into project operations. This makes sense because equipment does not function in an island. Many GPS-Enabled Asset Management technology vendors also enable users to peg equipment to specific projects and track the equipment costs associated with the project. Meanwhile, another product category, Field Productivity Solutions, are extending to overlap with products like Tenna, and EquipmentShare T3 straddles both categories squarely.

But some field productivity software, which manages work packages to be executed on site along with the employees executing the work and relevant business processes and productivity reporting, often includes extensive equipment management functions itself. This is particularly true for software products that target heavy construction, which is by definition more equipment-oriented. Field productivity software vendors with equipment functionality to explore at CONEXPO-CON/AGG include:

  • Assignar, Booth #N12732 has tools embedded for equipment scheduling, management and maintenance
  • Busybusy, Booth #N10855 includes time tracking for heavy equipment
  • Cenpoint Software, Booth #N12934 tracks multiple equipment variables including part usage, service orders and tickets
  • Crew Tracks, Booth #N10863 can track equipment utilization, inspections and location
  • HCSS, Booth #N12125 and Booth #W41566 offers Equipment360 for equipment management and field productivity management within HeavyJob as part of their integrated suite for heavy contractors
  • Raken, Booth #N12276 includes equipment time tracking and capture of productivity through material logs and timecards
  • Intelliwave SiteSense, Booth #N11068 has functionality to maximize equipment utilization,
  • Vizzn Inc., Booth #N11335

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