Using Technology to Properly Maintain Assets for Efficient Operations
In the pipeline and construction maintenance industry, physical assets are vital to company operations and productivity. Multiple facets of the business rely on company equipment and tools running efficiently so that projects can be completed on time. Unfortunately, many project managers feel that unexpected asset breakdowns are the nature of the industry.
However, small steps to properly maintain vehicles and equipment can go a long way to prevent these breakdowns. Not only does this save money on expensive repairs down the road, but can also save businesses on potentially lost productivity while vehicles and assets are out of commission.
Regular maintenance on both equipment and vehicles is key to ensuring assets are running efficiently at all times. But when you operate a business that requires employees to be working at different, often remote jobsites, how can you be sure that equipment and company vehicles are attended to when needed?
Many business managers in the oil and gas pipeline industries find that the remote monitoring and preventative maintenance features provided by a GPS fleet tracking solution are beneficial to keeping assets running at their most efficient levels. Such a solution can help provide managers with automatic maintenance alerts, keep accurate logs of previously performed maintenance and receive accurate status updates on vehicles and equipment in the field.
Automatic Maintenance Alerts
Performing maintenance regularly and on schedule is key to keeping vehicles and equipment available for employee productivity. However, monitoring this data can be a time consuming task. Whether your operation is large or small, it can be a difficult process to accurately track and remember when an asset is due for maintenance.
A GPS fleet tracking solution offers automatic maintenance schedules and alerts to make a fleet manager’s job easier.
Managers can set automatic email alerts based on engine hours or miles driven for assets, so they know when maintenance is due, whether the asset is at the main office or on a jobsite. According to Caterpillar’s SOMA (Site Operation Maintenance Advisor), major component life can be increased by 62 percent simply by improving maintenance practices from average to excellent. By increasing equipment upkeep, businesses can extend the life of assets.
Accurate Asset History
Keeping detailed information of services performed can also help keep maintenance on schedule and ensures that any team member is up to date on what has already been completed. GPS fleet tracking solutions provide a variety of detailed reports on fleet maintenance and status, with the information automatically being pulled in based on activity. Managers can customize and generate the data they need for a complete picture of their fleet. Being able to automate this process makes it easier to monitor and track maintenance, which in turn, leads to healthier vehicles and assets and lower repair costs.
Remote Asset Updates
Fleet and asset tracking technology allows companies that operate on jobsites, no matter the location or frequency of change. Power Take-Off (PTO) sensors are a beneficial feature for pipeline construction and maintenance companies, providing a more detailed picture into asset activity in the field. PTO sensors are used together with reports and alerts to monitor any extension of the vehicle used in the working process, in addition to equipment usage and activity.
Managers can receive instant notification when employees engage the vehicle’s PTO mechanism. In addition to standard vehicle data, reports provide information detailing the time, location and duration of equipment usage. This allows managers to have a complete view into fleet and asset activity, no matter which piece of equipment is being used.
GPS tracking and remote monitoring systems should also offer features that allow employees to update the
office regarding the status of an asset quickly via a mobile application. Such mobile applications allow workers to report maintenance issues through their smartphone or tablet, which ensures issues are handled quickly before any further damage occurs. Employees can also update odometer readings remotely, keeping equipment managers updated for regular oil changes or other routine maintenance.
Using a GPS fleet tracking solution to increase preventative maintenance can help companies operate at their full potential with efficiently running equipment. Regularly maintaining assets saves companies on future expensive repairs and reduces the risk that a necessary piece of equipment will be unavailable, which helps keep project timelines on track.
Wyn Partington is vice president of marketing at NexTraq, which provides applications that deliver real-time data needed to optimize fleet operations.
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