By: Jason Hurdis–Sr. Market Proffessional for Caterpillar Inc.
How many times have you heard the saying, time is money? That old adage has never been truer in the construction industry than it is right now. But today we can update that passage to say, “tech is money.”
Every construction company owner faces pressure to control costs and operate at lower profit margins. As you evaluate your own business operations, technology is something you should consider. By identifying areas where you can become more efficient, you can determine the types of technologies that will bring the biggest benefit to your organization’s bottom line.
Based on customer experiences and data, Caterpillar is constantly developing and refining advanced technologies to help make your equipment more cost-effective and efficient. CAT Connect technologies and services such as, LINK, GRADE, PAYLOAD and EMSolutions all help increase profit margins and worksite productivity. Here are several ways the right technology can help make your company more profitable:
- Control fuel costs
Fuel consumption information is some of the most valuable information you can collect and use as a construction company. Idle time can represent 40-50 percent of a machine’s total running time. Tracking and reducing idle time in your machines with CAT technologies can reduce fuel costs by as much as 50 percent.
Such technologies enable insights that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you. If fuel consumption goes up suddenly during a job, it could signal a bigger issue. Here are just a few problems CAT technologies can flag and help you uncover before it becomes a real problem.
- Dirty fuel injectors
- Plugged/Contaminated air filters
- Defective sensors
- Faulty Engine Control Modules
- Worn piston rings or leaky valves
- Slipping clutch or transmission
- Improper lube oil viscosity
- Undersized machine, bucket or work tool
- Low tire pressure or worn tires
- Aggressive or untrained operators
- Manage maintenance intervals
Analyzing the data our technologies provide can help business owners increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of your maintenance schedules. The longer you can effectively stretch maintenance intervals, the more time and money you can save. The importance of planned maintenance – and the profitability it enables – cannot be overstated. CAT technologies can help you interpret your data, provide monitoring services and help you develop the most profitable maintenance schedules for your fleet.
- Increase machine utilization
It’s hard to see patterns or trends when you have multiple machines working at multiple worksites. With data produced from CAT technologies, business owners can make decisions on machine activation and optimization from one central point. If a truck is sitting at idle too long waiting to be loaded, you may find there is so much idle time between trucks in your fleet that you can park one of them.
The data produced by CAT technologies can identify underutilized assets in your fleet, and can help managers eliminate the need for rental machines while also providing them with the information they need to forecast future equipment needs.
- Increased uptime
CAT technologies can provide companies with fault code alerts, which are messages delivered when a machine is working outside a predetermined set of parameters. These alerts cover machine-specific situations including engine over-speeding, high-speed directional shifts and changes in temperature and pressure. The benefits of receiving alerts like these are that they notify managers when maintenance and repairs are needed, which reduces unscheduled machine downtime and equipment repair costs.
- Improved bidding accuracy and competitiveness
CAT on-board systems allow companies to submit tighter, more competitive bids because of the data they provide. Companies today don’t need to pad their fuel numbers when bidding for a project; they can calculate exactly how many gallons per hour they need to get the job done.
Such technologies also are proven to increase materials savings by up to 10 percent, and decrease rework by as much as 50 percent. Using fewer materials and spending less time on rework allows companies to lower their bid prices, therefore, giving them a leg up on their competition.
CAT technologies are reshaping the process of using, managing and owning construction equipment. Construction companies that want to stay ahead of their competitors for projects both now and in the future must adapt and implement the proper technologies. It’s the best way to become more efficient while maintaining margins, quality and safety. Why give the competition the edge when the technologies present profitable opportunities? Because tech is money, and a more efficient fleet equals a better bottom line.
By Jason Hurdis
Sr. Market Professional