Inventory managers for asphalt contractors can use telematics to keep track of equipment and vehicles, no matter where they are — potentially driving down operating costs. Data from these systems can make it much easier for a business to manage assets, schedule work, and optimize maintenance schedules.

These four applications show how asphalt contractors can use telematics to save time and money.

1. Improving Fleet Visibility

Without telematics, a piece of equipment or vehicle becomes effectively invisible to asset managers the second it is dispatched. They need to continuously communicate with employees who may not always be able to respond to questions about a machine’s location or status promptly.

This asset invisibility can make dispatching and scheduling much more challenging. It will also make certain strategies, like just-in-time, impossible to put into practice.

Most telematics systems offer some kind of GPS or RFID-based tracking. These features will provide managers, drivers and other employees with real-time information on the location of essential assets. Asset managers, dispatchers, and other workers can use this data to have complete visibility of the business’s fleet, allowing them to make more informed scheduling and dispatching decisions.

Better scheduling and dispatching can lead directly to cost reductions. Suppose the management team can more efficiently dispatch vehicles to paving jobs. In that case, they can save time, speed up project completion and improve the business’s relationship with its customers — potentially leading to future work.

2. Gathering Data on Fleet Operations

Some modern telematics systems can go beyond just capturing information on asset location.

For example, a system may be able to gather and provide extensive information on almost every aspect of current fleet operations. This includes quantities, temperatures, number of trucks loaded, screed width, paver speed, and amount of roadway that has been laid.

These systems allow managers to track fleet assets and jobs continuously, even when workers are too busy to provide status updates. This information can make it easier to reach informed decisions and give customers better updates or estimates on project completion time.

Managers can also use these reports to ensure compliance with business standards and best working practices. If temperatures or paver speed exceeds acceptable levels, the system can automatically alert team members, allowing them to take quick corrective action.

This data can help managers and workers make better decisions. It can also prevent costly mistakes that may require revisions or rework.

3. Creating Better Records

Businesses can also store the information that their systems capture, allowing them to create more accurate records or databases they can analyze later.

Asphalt contractors know that wind, ground, and ambient temperature can significantly impact asphalt curing. Every region has a distinct season that provides the best conditions for asphalt projects like driveway and road paving. Telematics systems can provide a platform for temperature, humidity and wind sensors that may capture information from the jobsite about local real-time paving conditions.

In addition to providing workers with information they can use to make better decisions, telematics systems can also store this data automatically using cloud-based or local storage. In the long term, information from previous projects can help the company identify process mistakes, optimize scheduling and determine fault when errors occur.

Managers can review documents and data related to important jobs to better understand how to dispatch employees or schedule work in the future. Workers and engineers can use these records in the same way to identify ways to improve construction quality on new work or avoid mistakes that the business has dealt with before.

4. Streamlining Maintenance and Repairs

Well-maintained fleet vehicles are typically reliable, productive, and less expensive to own. However, implementing an effective preventive maintenance plan can be challenging, especially if managers aren’t sure how frequently vehicles need to be serviced.

Many modern telematics systems can provide managers with performance information from internal vehicle diagnostics and additional sensors. Telematics can use these systems to track various performance parameters and indicators — everything from engine temperature to tire pressure.

Many of these systems can also send ECU information like diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) to data dashboards, notifying managers immediately when a vehicle’s engine detects something has gone wrong. They can use this information to schedule maintenance as soon as the ECU throws a code, helping guarantee timely inspection and repair of the problem.

Something as simple as tire inflation significantly impact vehicle performance and fuel economy, so data-driven maintenance can help asphalt contractors keep fleet costs low.

Save Money on a Road Construction Budget With Telematics

Fleet management can be challenging, especially for asphalt contractors with large fleets. Telematics can provide asset managers and other staff with essential visibility information and better records that can make operations simpler and cheaper.

The right data allows managers to more effectively dispatch or schedule fleet vehicles, learn from previous jobs and create good maintenance schedules. These benefits can make owning and maintaining a fleet much less expensive in the long term.

about the author

Emily Newton is an industrial writer who specializes in covering how technology is disrupting industrial sectors. She’s also the editor-in-chief of Revolutionized where she covers innovations in industry, construction, and more.