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How to Use Data to Improve Machine Health and Productivity

by: Logan Little, Senior Marketing Specialist, Doosan Bobcat
Managing a fleet of equipment presents unique challenges that range from monitoring maintenance schedules and operation hours to keeping track of fuel efficiency and exact locations of your machines. All of this can be simplified by embracing advanced technology options like telematics that allow you to remotely monitor the health of your equipment and track information that enhances maintenance, security, and performance.

Today’s compact equipment is designed to capture and share vital data that helps fleet managers and operators manage their equipment and business more efficiently and avoid downtime. This type of connectivity and innovative software has proven to be a game-changer, bringing new capabilities to the job site.

So how does this technology work? Is it that advantageous?

Productivity and Uptime
Your fleet of excavators, compact loaders, and other equipment is most productive when operating optimally. But how do you know if your machines are?

Telematic services work wirelessly to connect fleet managers, operators, and customers to a machine’s information from a mobile device or desktop. With easy access to critical information like fault code notifications, utilization reports about performance, and fleet-level reporting, you can holistically monitor and anticipate issues to mitigate potential downtime and lost opportunity. Thanks to the wireless connectivity, this enhanced level of engagement and monitoring is possible without the need for manual, onsite assessments or disruptions to work time.

One telematics option, Bobcat’s Machine IQ, is a subscription-based service that provides 24/7 access to machine information from the owner portal or mobile app on any internet-connected computer, smartphone, or tablet. Operators and fleet managers can review engine hours, fuel levels, maintenance intervals, and location history for each connected machine. Through the enhanced health and security package, users can also leverage features like geofence, curfew creation, and breach notifications to know if their equipment is being improperly used, decreasing potential response and recovery times.

Maintenance and Machine Health
The importance of maintenance interval tracking cannot be understated. Staying on top of regularly planned maintenance can significantly improve the longevity of your machines, which results in cost savings for your business.
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This type of data can be used to detect machine issues early and reduce repair costs. You can also compare operation and productivity of equipment and fleets day-to-day, which allows you to see idle times, track potential operator misuse, or identify a service or parts issue before it becomes a larger problem.

Users can set up notifications for regular maintenance reminders or access the maintenance interval page to see upcoming planned maintenance. This allows you to proactively plan for maintenance in a way that minimizes impact on the productivity of your fleet and job sites.

Other popular assets from telematics technology are fault code notifications and troubleshooting. These alerts push clear descriptions and troubleshooting steps to the operator when a fault code appears. Being able to immediately understand and assess maintenance issues on the job site can minimize more serious issues with the machine.

Minimizing Security Risks
Telematics software can also provide peace of mind when it comes to the security of your equipment.

Owning an excavator, skid-steer loader, or compact track loader — and especially a fleet of them — can be a significant investment, so it’s important to safeguard your equipment from unfortunate and unforeseen risks. Operators with technology like Machine IQ can track their machine’s GPS location and history, which is important if the machine is unknowingly removed from a job site.

In addition, Machine IQ’s health and security package offers geo-fencing. This allows you to draw a border on a map and assign a machine to operate within or outside of that border. The technology then notifies the owner if the machine breaches the geofence.

Another key security feature is curfew creation. If a machine starts operating past the established curfew, the owner or fleet manager will receive a notification.

Finally, Bobcat recently launched a new feature which allows customers to remotely disable their machine’s engine through the app or desktop owner portal if they suspect unauthorized use.

Telematics features like these use a GPS tracking system that wirelessly feeds location data to the owner portal or mobile application. Notifications about the whereabouts and operation of your equipment can limit the negative impact of unnecessary machine movement or theft.

Data for Decision-Making
In many ways, telematics act as a trusted teammate that can provide helpful data to support you in making the right decisions when it comes to your fleet, keeping your equipment productive and secure.

Through the variety of features and benefits offered by telematics, you can focus your time and attention on other areas of your business to drive revenue growth.

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