Heavy Civil Construction Equipment Tracking with GPS and Software Automation
29 September 2023
One of the very first times GPS tracking for construction industry heavy equipment was mentioned was on January 24, 2001, in a publication called Global Positioning & Navigation News. Before we even go into that article, we find it amazing that 22 years later, there are still unmet needs in equipment tracking.
In fact, a search of this topic on Amazon brings up old-school equipment maintenance logbooks… likely printed in 2001.
Unlike our article from last week on construction project scheduling, which had possibly 100s of textbooks on the topic, the tracking of that equipment has been left to sales and advertising materials.
The article from 22 years ago was only 168 words long with a then spokesperson for Qualcomm refusing to give any specific details other than the system would also include GPS.
Fast-forward to 2023 and we see a greater complexity and scale of heavy civil construction projects that often involve various stakeholders, including engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and government agencies. The coordination between these entities is crucial for the successful completion of the project. In addition, the use of advanced technology and equipment is essential to ensure that the projects are completed efficiently and effectively.
However, managing the equipment in heavy civil construction is no easy task. It involves tracking and monitoring several pieces of equipment simultaneously and ensuring that each piece is in the right place at the right time. But why is this so important? Let's delve deeper into the role of equipment in heavy civil construction.
The Importance of Equipment in Heavy Civil Construction
In heavy civil construction, equipment is more than just a tool; it’s the lifeblood of the project. Without it, the construction process grinds to a halt, causing delays and increased costs. Therefore, managing and tracking construction equipment is a critical aspect of project management.
The importance of equipment in heavy civil construction cannot be overstated. It plays a vital role in ensuring the quality of the construction work. The efficiency and functionality of the equipment directly impact the project's timeline and the overall cost. Furthermore, the maintenance and repair of the equipment also play a significant role in the smooth operation of the project.
However, the sheer size and scale of these projects pose numerous challenges in tracking construction equipment. And this is where technology comes to the rescue.
The Challenges of Tracking Construction Equipment
Tracking construction equipment in heavy civil construction is a core function of the dispatcher and site superintendent. The equipment used in these projects is often bulky and expensive, making it a prime target for theft. Furthermore, equipment is often spread across various job sites, making it difficult to keep track of each piece.
In addition to the logistical challenges, there are also operational challenges. The equipment needs to be maintained and repaired regularly to ensure it remains in optimal condition. Therefore, tracking the equipment's usage and maintenance schedule is critical.
The coordination between various stakeholders in the project adds another layer of complexity. Each stakeholder needs access to accurate and timely information about the equipment's location and status. Without efficient tracking, this can lead to miscommunication and delays in the project.
The Role of Tracking in Maximizing Efficiency
Efficient tracking of construction equipment in heavy civil construction projects plays a vital role in maximizing efficiency. It ensures that the equipment is in the right place at the right time, thereby minimizing delays and reducing costs. In addition, it also aids in the prevention of equipment theft, which can lead to significant financial losses.
Tracking also plays a crucial role in equipment maintenance. By monitoring the usage of equipment, contractors can schedule timely maintenance and repairs, ensuring the equipment’s longevity and optimal operation.
Efficient tracking also aids in better resource allocation. By knowing the exact location and status of each piece of equipment, project managers can allocate resources more effectively, thereby improving the overall efficiency of the project.
Introduction to GPS and Mobile Devices in Tracking Construction Equipment
One of the most significant advancements in construction technology in recent years is the use of GPS and mobile devices for tracking construction equipment. GPS, or Global Positioning System, allows for real-time tracking of equipment, giving contractors and project managers an accurate picture of the equipment's location at any given time.
In addition to GPS, mobile devices have also become a common tool in tracking construction equipment. Through mobile applications, contractors and project managers can monitor and manage the equipment from anywhere, at any time. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances communication and coordination between various stakeholders.
By using mobile tracking, the user avoids monthly charges for GPS equipment and has a guarantee of where the equipment is located based on the last location it was placed. By using software to track mobile activity allows the user to know the who, what, when and where of an equipment move.
The Benefits of Using Mobile Devices for Tracking Construction Equipment
The use of mobile dispatching software for tracking construction equipment in heavy civil construction projects offers numerous benefits. First, it provides real-time location data, helping contractors and project managers keep track of each piece of equipment. This reduces the chances of equipment theft and ensures that the equipment is where it needs to be at any given time.
Second, mobile tracking also aids in efficient resource allocation. By knowing the exact location of the equipment, resources can be allocated more effectively, thereby reducing waste and improving the overall efficiency of the project.
Mobile devices also offer the benefit of portability. Contractors and project managers can carry these devices anywhere, allowing them to manage and track the equipment even when they are not on the job site.
Finally, mobile tracking also aids in equipment maintenance. By tracking the usage of the equipment, contractors can schedule timely maintenance and repairs, thereby ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of the equipment.
The Practicality of Dispatch in Heavy Civil Construction Equipment Tracking
Dispatching is an essential component of tracking construction equipment. It involves coordinating the movement of equipment from one job site to another. Efficient dispatching ensures that the equipment is in the right place at the right time, thereby improving the overall efficiency of the project.
The use of technology, such as GPS and mobile devices, has made dispatching more efficient and accurate. Through real-time location data, dispatchers can plan the movement of equipment more effectively, reducing delays and minimizing idle time.
Dispatching also aids in equipment maintenance. By coordinating the movement of equipment, dispatchers can ensure that the equipment is available for scheduled maintenance and repairs, thereby ensuring the equipment's longevity and optimal performance.
The Future of Tracking in Heavy Civil Construction
The future of tracking in heavy civil construction looks promising. With advancements in technology, the process of tracking construction equipment is becoming more efficient and accurate. The use of GPS and mobile devices has already revolutionized the way we track construction equipment, and more advancements are on the horizon.
One such advancement is the use of IoT, or Internet of Things, in construction. IoT devices can be attached to the equipment, providing real-time data on the equipment's location, status, and usage. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances the accuracy of tracking.
Recently, the use of AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is also on the rise. AI can analyze the data collected from the equipment, providing insights and predictions that can aid in better decision-making and resource allocation.
How Vizzn can Help Your Business
Vizzn is a leader in mobile tracking software that allows companies to dispatch, track and monitor all construction equipment deliveries and maintenance orders, while at the same time communicating these events to all parties interested in the activity of various equipment moves. Vizzn not only tracks the equipment but provides real-time data on the location, arrival time and necessary documentation of the equipment move. Vizzn also tracks the equipment attachments and connects attachments to the appropriate equipment.