How the construction industry benefits from GPS tracking

How the construction industry benefits from GPS tracking

  • GPS technology can ease asset tracking and reporting.
  • Asset tracking devices can help locate missing and stolen equipment.
  • GPS tracking can help you streamline asset allocation and maximize efficiency.

Most industries can benefit from GPS tracking, and that’s especially true for the construction industry. Positive results and ROI can be very quickly apparent.

Here are some of the most important ways GPS tracking technology might help your construction company run more efficiently and improve profitability.

Locate missing or stolen equipment

Nearly 1,000 pieces of commercial construction equipment are reported stolen each month to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Thieves target construction equipment such as backhoes, loaders, bulldozers, forklifts, generators and other valuable assets because of their very high resale value.

Expensive equipment and other assets are delivered to job sites on a regular basis. The theft of vehicles, property, and materials is an all-too-frequent occurrence in construction. If the site is not guarded around the clock, thieves can enter and take vehicles, tools, trailers and other valuable materials.

Theft is costly. Not only does the company face the hard cost of replacing the stolen equipment, but insurance costs can go up, too. In addition, theft can cause serious delays to the completion of the construction project, which could mean missed deadlines and even the loss of a customer.

Asset tracking solutions can help construction superintendents to monitor assets in real-time. And a GPS tracker may discourage bad behavior. Warning signs alerting would-be thieves that the equipment is equipped with GPS tracking devices may be a great deterrent. Tracking devices may help lead to equipment recovery in the event of theft.

Streamline workflow and allocation

Downtime costs money. In the days of paper-based records, an asset inevitably sat idle in between assignments. Even if we’re only talking about an hour, multiply that amount of time by the number of pieces of equipment your business owns. Then add the number of jobs you take on over the course of a year, and you’ll start seeing potentially large financial losses.

Equipment also experiences costly downtime when sent to the wrong job, or to a job where it isn’t needed. Whether an asset is simply waiting for its turn to be sent on a job, or your staff is losing valuable time looking for it, when it’s not on the job, it’s not making you money.

GPS tracking allows your fleet to know an asset is becoming available before it happens, so you can make the best use of it with the shortest amount of transition time. At the same time, since you can track all of your assets in real-time, you always have a complete picture of what your needs are on every job site.

Prevent misuse of vehicles and equipment

Sometimes employees use work trucks or other company vehicles for personal reasons. Personal use of company equipment increases your liability and can result in increased insurance premiums if an incident should occur.

If personal use is against company policy, a GPS tracking device on the vehicle will tell you where and when unauthorized use is happening.

Tracking your crews and billing assistance

While it may not happen often, there are instances when crews aren’t on the job site when they should be. GPS tracking can give you a real-time map of your vehicles, drivers and all of the assets related to that specific job. This lets you know exactly where they are at any given time.

GPS tracking can also assist you in tracking the hours worked for your crew, which in turn helps when billing customers. You can use the GPS system to track your crew’s labor hours based on their arrival time on site.

Improve safety at the job site and on the road

GPS tracking devices can play a large role in helping companies monitor the driving habits of their workers. Devices can provide reports and notifications chronicling the speed at which the vehicle is moving. This includes whether it has accelerated beyond the posted limit. It also includes if the vehicle has been subjected to aggressive driving like hard turns or stops. These can be indicators of close calls.

A good overall fleet management solution can tell you when to coach your drivers and help them improve their skills.

Safety depends just as much on vehicle health as on driver skill. Overusing assets and falling behind on regular maintenance are two risk factors for maintenance issues.

Equipment can break down after sustained use, especially if the contractor has a full schedule and backlog of projects. If breakdowns occur and repairs cannot be made on-site, new equipment is brought in as a replacement.

Disclaimer: The information being presented in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal or other professional advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.


Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is an award-winning writer in the energy and transportation industries, a playwright and actor/director, and the author of an Amazon Top 100 book. He is certified by the Department of Homeland Security and Michigan State University in Incident Management and Crisis Communications. He and his wife Beth (also a writer) live in Texas.

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