The following is a guest post written by Robert J. Hall, president of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS truck tracking for small and midsized companies.
Construction companies rely on two main assets to get their jobs done every day: their people and their equipment. Without either component, you will not be able to serve your customers well. You wouldn't think of sending your people to a site without proper insurance coverage and safety gear, yet if you are operating your fleet without fleet tracking, then you are putting those valuable vehicles at risk. Here are some ways that fleet management systems protect your assets, and therefore your business, from serious financial loss.
1. Know Vehicle Location at All Times
Fleet tracking systems can be set up to provide real-time GPS tracking of your construction assets. Whether you are trying to figure out why a dump truck is taking so long to bring a load to the site, need to find an end loader somewhere on a large job site or wish to know which job site a particular asset is working, you can log into your interface and see in a moment where all of your equipment is located. This allows you to quickly respond to customer needs and improve the efficiency of your overall operation. Tracking your assets also gives you peace of mind if something takes longer than it should.
2. Reduce Wasted Fuel
Running equipment requires proper fuel, and that fuel is costly. If your assets are not being used efficiently or if they are being used for personal reasons, then you are losing fuel, and therefore income.
Most statistics relating to fuel savings apply to over-the-road vehicles, but the same principles apply to construction equipment. Every 1 mpg that you improve fuel economy for fuel-driven vehicles adds up to significant savings. If the vehicle totals 15,000 miles per year, and you reduce fuel consumption by 1 mpg, then you will save $108 a year if fuel costs $3.65 per gallon.
Now, many pieces of construction equipment do not reach 15,000 per year, but there is still room for savings. Fleet management systems allow you to ensure your operators are driving equipment as efficiently as possible and over the most efficient routes from one location to the next. It can also alert you to unnecessary idling, which wastes up to 0.2 gallons of fuel per hour, and is common on construction sites.
3. Recover Stolen Assets More Quickly
Each year, equipment stolen from construction sites costs an average of $600 million across the country. As little as 6.5 percent of stolen construction equipment is recovered. If you have ever been the victim of equipment theft, then you know how high the cost can be.
GPS fleet tracking systems make it easier to recover stolen assets. These systems provide law enforcement officials with the equipment's last known GPS coordinates, allowing them to more quickly zero in on thieves and recover the equipment. In addition, you can set up your system to provide proximity alerts, sending you an alert if a piece of equipment is driven off the job site unexpectedly. Being proactive about loss prevention will protect your fleet, both by helping to keep your assets where they belong and by recovering them if a problem arises.
4. Avoid Billing Disputes
When you're working in construction, a billing dispute can lead to thousands of dollars of expenses. Avoid this problem with proper fleet management. This can protect not only your income, but also your reputation.
With fleet management, you can document and track work hours accurately using GPS tracking to know where your equipment is and what it is doing. Many systems are set up to integrate into automatic invoicing, providing tangible evidence for customers if there is a dispute over the hours billed. If your customer claims that you are billing for too many hours, you can turn to your fleet tracking system to show that the team was, in fact, on the site and working during the hours you billed.
You may not think of your construction company as a fleet-based company, but it is. If you are not employing fleet management techniques in your day-to-day operations, you are missing out on these key benefits and protections. To make your construction company as efficient as possible, take the time to look a little more closely at fleet management.
Traffic in Atlanta sucks, there’s really no other way to say it. So imagine the tough position commuters and city officials were put in when a bridge of a major highway on the north side of the city caught fire on March 20, 2017 and was damaged beyond repair. 243,000 motorists were forced to find alternate routes to work for the estimated 3 months that it was going to take to rebuild it. Now, imagine how thrilled they were when the highway opened back up one month ahead of schedule.
The worst day on the job is when someone on site gets injured. The 2nd through 500th worst days are the legal battle that follows many of those injuries. Nobody expects accidents to happen, but it’s best to be adequately prepared if one does. That not only includes knowing how to react to injuries with a safety plan, but also making sure your company’s documentation is in order in case lawsuits start flying.
Tracking employees instantaneously is a dream scenario for employers. It gives them tons of data to analyze to determine where money can be saved and where resources can be placed to be most efficient. The struggle is convincing the employees that tracking their every move is not going to get them in trouble or fired. There’s a balance in there somewhere and that’s the challenge facing both employers and tech companies right now.
There’s no doubt that the construction industry is behind when it comes to technology, but things are beginning to change. In the past few years, our industry has seen millions of dollars poured into new technology, including smartphone apps, advanced construction materials, and advanced safety equipment. One of the struggles –and perhaps the main struggle- with introducing new technology to the field staff is that many of them have been managing their jobs the same way for a long time. It can be difficult to convince them to change, especially if they have been successful with their current process.
The following article was written by Miami Construction Lawyer Alex Barthet
In a court of law, a contractor’s daily reports are critical. In many instances, they are considered key evidence showing what actually occurred at specific times on the job. And since people’s memories fade, a court will likely rely heavily on what the daily reports say happened (especially when presented with a corroborating witness).
Many could argue that peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and meat balls go together about as well as cursing and construction job site. Sometimes I find myself surprised that there are more curse words written into construction proposals.
Originally set to be enforced on June 23, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration new rule regarding silica dust exposure limits has been delayed an additional 90 days, to September 23, 2017. Many construction industry groups were upset by the new rule, as they deemed it “technologically and economically infeasible, but also unnecessary.”
Scissor lifts are on most typical construction job sites and they’re an often overlooked hazard. Too often, liberties are taken with the lifts that create unsafe conditions, which can cause injuries and deaths. OSHA recently released the results of their investigation of 10 fatalities and 20 injuries involving scissor lifts and released their findings in what the organization refers to as a “Hazard Alert.”
There’s no doubt that bridge demolitions by implosion are extremely fun to watch, but the fireworks show and big splash into the water below can sometimes overshadow other demolition projects that don’t allow implosion. Priestly Demolition Inc. (PDI) recently won two 2016 World Demolition Awards for one of those projects where implosion was not an option and they have also produced an incredibly detailed video of how they did it.
As of the first quarter of 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are over 768,000 construction companies currently operating in the private industry in America. There are also countless more that have come and gone. According to Statistic Brain, only 47% of construction startup businesses are still operating after year 4. Personally, I've seen many people break off from a construction company and create their own business; some are still in operation, others have failed.