how to modernize heavy equipment tracking strategies on-site & beyond
Get Going With GPS

Efficiently tracking heavy equipment assets to ensure proper usage on jobsites, as well as identifying necessary maintenance to keep it all in good, working order, can sometimes be a
difficult challenge.

To get the job done, construction business owners and contractors rely on a wide variety of heavy equipment, such as backhoes, bulldozers, cranes, excavators, scrapers, graders, dump trucks, all-terrain forklifts and moving trailers.

For maximum productivity, this heavy equipment must unfailingly be at each jobsite, properly maintained and ready for use without delay, even when worksites and workloads can quickly change day to day. To protect and preserve their assets for as long as possible, it’s important that contractors must deter theft and reckless use of their expensive heavy equipment.


The Benefits of GPS Tracking

Utilizing 24/7 GPS tracking, as a growing number of contractors are doing, helps to ensure better fleet management and make jobsites more efficient. This approach provides clear operator accountability, helping to reduce asset damage and prolong its usable life — helping you to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your fleet. While contractors already keep tabs on their assets via phone, text and email on an individual basis, advanced GPS trackers dramatically streamline the process of allocating equipment. It does so by making the entire fleet’s location and availability instantly visible.

“Continuous GPS tracking enables contractors to instantly see where all of their heavy equipment assets are at any given moment, so they can know as soon as possible which machines need service, which have completed their projects, and which can be turned back in to the rental company with minimal downtime,” said Ben VanAvery, director of sales and marketing at Advanced Tracking Technologies, Inc. (ATTI), a Houston, Texas-based designer and manufacturer of GPS tracking products.

One example of GPS tracking in use is happening at K&D Construction Services. Robert Hanneman is business development and fleet manager at Chelsea, Oklahoma-based K&D Construction Services, a specialty foundation contractor serving the utilities market in a six-state area with a full suite of construction
foundation services.

“We use GPS tracking to know where our equipment is so we can quickly get it to the next jobsite,” said Hanneman. “We use it when we schedule so that we know which jobs need which pieces
of equipment to ensure that everybody gets what they need and nothing extra. It also helps us keep our drivers safe and accountable for their driving.”


Real-Time Updates

Compared with typical GPS tracking devices that may only update every few minutes, a system like ATTI’s Shadow Tracker provides real-time location updates every 10-seconds, as well as location, speed and idle time alerts if something is amiss. This data is transmitted via satellite and cellular networks to a smartphone or
PC on a 24/7 basis. The system has access to nationwide speed limits in its database.

According to VanAvery, via a PC or smartphone app, contractors can display the real-time location of the entire fleet on a map and zoom in on any specific vehicle. At a glance, they can see if a vehicle is moving (displays green) or stopped (displays red). If they touch a vehicle icon, the app will display where the vehicle has been, where it stopped and how long it has idled.

“By zooming in or out on the map, contractors can see where the heavy equipment assets are, so it is easy to see if the equipment is being used properly,” said VanAvery.

Hanneman turned to a rugged system from ATTI. “The more reliable the GPS tracking system — even in rougher terrain — the better it is for construction, and theirs has been pretty darn reliable,” said Hanneman, who uses the devices on about 45 vehicles
including semitrucks, 1-ton and 3/4-ton trucks, as well as skid steers, mini excavators, etc.


He appreciates that he can use the one system to track all his construction fleet vehicles. “I did not want to look at multiple systems to see different things, with one set of trackers for the trucks and another for the skid steers and mini excavators.”

“We have multiple crews working in multiple states, so being able to track where our vehicle fleet is in real-time 24/7 is a real advantage,” said Hanneman. “It also helps if we need to respond quickly to a need for emergency construction, such as for repair after a storm.”

Such GPS tracking, of course, helps not only to prevent the theft of heavy vehicles and equipment, but also aids in its swift recovery of the equipment if it does happen to be stolen.

Law enforcement, for instance, could be provided a relatively precise location of anything stolen at virtually any moment in time, making it far easier to locate the equipment. Because users can be notified that the system monitors speed, this capability can also serve as deterrent to speeding helping to minimize the risk of accidents, damage and excess equipment wear and tear.

This facilitates extending the equipment’s usable life, while minimizing premature repair and maintenance. With better user driving encouraged by active monitoring, this approach could also reduce tickets and potential liability.

The Price of Performance


GPS tracking can monitor performance and steadily improve the management of your fleet, while also boosting your bottom line. While equipment ownership will always come with a considerable price tag, any solution you can employ to help offset that cost and minimize jobsite risks will help you better gauge your investment(s) and the outcome of every project you tackle.