Posted April 11, 2023

Rental fleets benefit from integrated digital capabilities

Digital devices and telemetry are bringing safety, productivity, and utilization benefits to rental fleets and changing the industry for the better.

By David Swan

Trackunit works with more than 100 heavy equipment manufacturers and numerous rental operators across the world to expand rental companies’ capabilities to drive up fleet utilization, stop loss and theft of equipment and proactively eliminate misuse and non-contracted use of their fleets.

Technology provides capabilities, connected products and automation that enable positive shifts in rental business models. Rental companies now benefit from data-driving efficiencies in the return and checking of rental equipment, as well as speed of locating equipment, reducing unnecessary service costs and optimizing component replacement.

Trackunit reports that around 30 percent of off-highway machines are digitally connected to the cloud. Within that number, there are 128 different data formats used to report fuel usage, which demonstrates that simply connecting machines does not necessarily drive impact or productivity. Providing a single platform that normalizes data from multiple sources for the common development of construction-focused solutions reduces complexity and speeds deployment.

As the obvious rental cost savings have been catered for by the OEMs and technology providers, now is a time to become more creative in what connectivity offers rental companies. The opportunity to differentiate their services to better meet customers’ requirements is essential to stand out as an equipment service provider. Over the past few months Trackunit has brought to market new initiatives that are central to rental organizations’ capabilities to become more productive. 

Trackunit Product Portal
Trackunit Product Portal is an industry’s first. It is a user-friendly gateway to a scalable forum for customers, partners and the industry at large to collaborate on product updates and future products and service deployments. This opens the door to structured cooperation through direct access to Trackunit’s research and development and customer teams with a transparent view of product roadmaps. Already, more than 1,000 customer conversations have added to the scope of products coming through the process and a larger pool of external inputs illustrates the benefit of real-life experience in creating user-friendly products and services.

Construction businesses can highlight how important a feature is to their needs and provide feedback on its suitability and the problem it solves. Trackunit analyzes this input with other data sources to create solutions that meet customers’ requirements.

Trackunit Spot
Trackunit Spot is a second-generation robust, IoT device that is helping transform the non-powered equipment segment. Spot is a self-contained 5G-ready battery-powered device engineered to survive the rugged construction environment. It is easy to install and immediately connects equipment across the Trackunit system.

Extending connectivity and visibility to the rental company’s full fleet, Spot assists with the implementation of business processes that increase site or depot productivity. Non-powered equipment is now easy to locate using a cellular connection, and users do not have to guess and search for equipment, effectively reducing downtime time.

My Network
Lastly, the My Network app helps users and businesses manage connectivity, configuration and health of telematics devices across their fleet. As fleets become increasingly connected, monitoring and ensuring the health of their connectivity has become critical. When devices or connections fail operators, rental fleet managers and OEMs need usable data quickly to take remedial action.

Trackunit offers an app that provides more than 20 pre-set widgets that give the rental company and users instant access to key insights for telematics connectivity and configuration.  It is an approach that will help eliminate downtime and increase equipment’s billable hours.

My Network app provides data, via Trackunit Manager software, to quickly identify and resolve device-related issues to improve machine up-time and maximize owners ROI. Whether an OEM, telematics program manager, rental fleet manager or a service technician, using a self-service approach, My Network provides the data to reduce time to resolution by up to 75 percent.

The app allows users to drive the usefulness of equipment data and increase the extracted value of their telematics solutions by up to 10 percent. Using real-time actionable insights, depicted on Trackunit Manager, users can drive continuous and proactive resolution of device issues 66 percent faster without the need for OEM or third-party support.

Editor's note: David Swan is senior vice president, products at Trackunit.