In construction space, infrastructure projects are big capital-intensive projects owned by the government and built for public use. These projects consist of roads, highways, bridges, water lines and general properties like stations or ports, among others. Like any other structures in the construction sector, the execution of these projects relies on heavy-duty equipment like pick-up trucks, excavators, backhoe loaders, earth moving machines, dumpers, concrete mixers, etc.
As these projects are far apart, they are typically executed by private fleet owners. Lucrative as it may be, managing these projects across various sites and delivering them within budget and schedule has become a challenge.
With the advent of IoT, it has become easier for contractors to manage and maintain their assets remotely. Construction projects must be delivered on time, or else heavy demurrage charges on per day basis will be levied on the contracting company. To prevent this, the project must be appropriately managed. IoT integration into heavy equipment and their functions can help improve common issues faced by the infrastructure sector for more efficient working.
Here are some of the top trends in IoT integration for the heavy equipment management in the infrastructure sector:
1) Maintenance of the machinery
Asset maintenance and management are essential aspects of any industry, including construction. Heavy-duty construction equipment requires regular maintenance and management to avoid potential breakdowns. IoT comes into play by offering total visibility into the functional status of the equipment. With on-site IoT services like sensors and trackers attached to the assets and a relevant application, the asset managers can conveniently monitor heavy machines’ overall and specific conditions like their run hours, fuel consumption, distance traveled (Kms ran), etc. This helps to schedule maintenance and take quick action in case of sudden breakdowns. Such insights directly into the ongoing function of the equipment save time, energy, and unnecessary expenses.
2) Fuel management
Accurate reporting of fuel consumption as well as fuel theft is a point of struggle for many site in-charges. As fuel costs continue to increase, it is necessary to keep thorough tabs on each asset’s fuel levels and the total usage across the fleet. IoT can help set up devices and sensors for the fuel-consuming assets, which can help collect data concerning the real-time situation regarding fuel. Trackers can trail real-time fuel use, including the moment of fuel refills, gathering data on fuel levels between travel and after reaching the endpoint (destination), and alerting in case of possible fuel theft.
3) Remote Operation Management
Heavy construction machines are operated in situations and circumstances that are not easily accessible. This makes monitoring the assets regarding their real-time whereabouts, working conditions, fuel consumption, and operator situation challenging. IoT integration at both the equipment and managerial level grants granular visibility that can help the managers keep a real-time record of currently on-field equipment or keep an inventory of the assets for future projects. It also helps to avoid manual logging errors for machine data. An additional advantage of remote supervision is that it allows all stakeholders involved to check the progress at any given time, which helps in the timely delivery of the project.
4) Operator management
The equipment operator is the driving force, literally and figuratively, behind the nitty-gritty of the construction sector. Hence, it is essential to have a proper management system for the equipment operators. Monitoring work hours, attendance, driving behavior, etc., are all included in operator management. With IoT integration, the fleet manager can monitor the driver behavior like idle times, impact calculation, working hours, rash driving, etc. Along with handling operator behavior, IoT systems can assist in running the managerial aspects of the workers on the project site like attendance, salary, safety and security, providing emergency responses, etc.
Construction industries need to change how they handle their assets and work if they want to manage the fuel, time, and capital required for these machines on the field. IoT assimilation with these assets and their management points helps smoothen functions across multiple levels. This requires finding a trusted source to provide a thorough consultation regarding which type of IoT systems are suitable for particular requirements.
There are IoT devices in the market that cater to assist the needs of heavy equipment management. Kloudq’s state-of-the-art asset management suite, Tor Loco, can assist with issues at the equipment level and help at managerial points with its end-to-end solutioning. Introducing IoT into the construction sector is a reality now.