Telem­at­ics, train­ing and to­tal cost of own­er­ship should be the top con­cerns of fleet man­agers in the busi­ness of mov­ing peo­ple and goods


Fleet man­agers are spoilt for choice when it comes to in­vest­ing in medium and heavy-duty ve­hi­cles. De­sign and tech­nol­ogy ad­vance­ments, fuel ef­fi­ciency and safety im­prove­ments have a big im­pact on com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions. The chal­lenge is en­sur­ing a pre­dictable cost of own­er­ship through­out the ve­hi­cle life­cy­cle.

This ex­pands the scope of fleet man­age­ment from ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tions to load mon­i­tor­ing, driver man­age­ment, preven­tion against theft, and driver and road safety.

This month’s cover story fea­tures Uae-based telem­at­ics ser­vice provider Lo­ca­tion So­lu­tions. Telem­at­ics is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with a black box com­pris­ing a GPS an­tenna, SIM card, and in­te­grated with soft­ware to mea­sure ve­hi­cle lo­ca­tion and other pa­ram­e­ters as well as driver be­hav­iour in or­der to en­sure un­in­ter­rupted move­ment of peo­ple and ma­te­rial. Ac­cord­ing to Lo­ca­tion So­lu­tions, there’s a lot more po­ten­tial in these sys­tems that haven’t been ex­plored by fleet own­ers. Lo­ca­tion track­ing is only a part of what telem­at­ics can of­fer to op­er­a­tors of con­struc­tion equip­ment and ve­hi­cle fleets. There’s a lot more data that can be ac­quired to man­age the en­tire op­er­a­tional costs of ve­hi­cle or equip­ment fleets used in con­struc­tion or lo­gis­tics, pro­vided they are mea­sured ac­cu­rately with the ap­pro­pri­ate sen­sors and vi­su­alised on a cen­tralised plat­form to en­able faster de­ci­sion-mak­ing. The com­pany is driv­ing its prod­uct and mar­ket de­vel­op­ment by fo­cus­ing on its core com­pe­tency of soft­ware de­vel­op­ment, to of­fer so­lu­tions cus­tomised for mar­kets such as con­struc­tion.

Dubai’s Roads and Trans­port Author­ity (RTA) has launched the sec­ond phase of in­stal­la­tion of re­mote mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems on heavy ve­hi­cles to de­tects and track the con­duct of driv­ers on roads. The new phase, which started this Septem­ber will see the in­stal­la­tion of re­mote mon­i­tor­ing de­vices on trucks ex­ceed­ing 15 years in ser­vice. It aims to im­prove traf­fic safety and road se­cu­rity by curb­ing po­ten­tial traf­fic ac­ci­dents of trucks. Such ini­tia­tives are nec­es­sary with in­crease in the num­ber of heavy ve­hi­cles on roads, to avoid ve­hi­cle dam­age, road ac­ci­dents and hu­man ca­su­al­ties.

The spe­cial re­port in this is­sue ex­plores the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle fleet man­age­ment trends in the Mid­dle East. Tech­nol­ogy is help­ing fleet man­agers de­tect risks and in­ef­fi­cien­cies in real time to im­prove fleet safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity. Smart driv­ing with on board com­put­ers, in-ve­hi­cle mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems (IVMS), and telem­at­ics, all of which can be re­ferred to as fleet man­age­ment tech­nol­ogy, has come a long way from sim­ply know­ing the lo­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles. Fur­ther­more, ad­vance­ments in smart­phone and GPS tech­nolo­gies along with high speed in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity have changed the telem­at­ics busi­ness rapidly. How­ever, tech­nol­ogy only forms a part of the over­all fleet man­age­ment strat­egy. Fleet man­age­ment is also about pre­ven­tive main­te­nance of parts to re­duce fric­tion and han­dle stress, which leads to more mileage from the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle and in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity.

We also ex­plore the util­i­sa­tion of mor­tar ma­chines, which are among the most ver­sa­tile equip­ment on a con­struc­tion site, spring­ing into ac­tion af­ter build­ing struc­tures are com­pleted. These in­dis­pens­able work­horses per­form the on­site op­er­a­tions of mix­ing, con­vey­ing and plac­ing mor­tar for fin­ish­ing ap­pli­ca­tions on walls and floors, and they have the porta­bil­ity and in­stal­la­tion con­ve­nience to be op­er­ated from any­where on a con­struc­tion site. We talk to Putzmeis­ter to find out how the com­pany is ex­pand­ing the ap­pli­ca­tions of these ma­chines for con­struc­tion.

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