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Market Insights: A Look at Telematics

Blog Posts - Apr 21

Market Insights: A Look at Telematics

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

Fleet management isn’t a one size fits all activity. Fleet management best practices take into account an equipment fleet’s operational efficiency; operational cost effectiveness; operator management; equipment maintenance; and equipment safety and compliance.

Monitoring and tracking these five factors on each machine in a rental fleet may seem like a daunting task, but through the use of telematics, it is easy to gather, read and understand the information machines are providing.

JLG ClearSky Telematics at a Glance

Below are insights from Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Manager, ClearSky Telematics Sales and Business Development, JLG, on today’s telematics market...


Current telematics offerings

Today’s telematics systems typically combine GPS technology, diagnostics and monitoring sensors to track, log and report data on the performance and operation of construction equipment, including aerial access machines like mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and telehandlers. The data can provide high-level, or finite details, on a number of machine systems, including equipment location, fuel consumption, idle times and machine alerts. 

For example, JLG offers ClearSky™ fleet management solutions for its equipment, entailing an easy-to-use telematics platform giving access to actionable data and reports. The system can be used to track fleet productivity and uptime, while proactively monitoring fleet health and security. ClearSky combines multiyear service plans and several hardware options, providing equipment owners and operators flexibility for access to critical engine and equipment operational data. Data points, including location, engine hours, usage, fuel and battery levels, and maintenance schedules, are conveniently available in real time and accessible from desktop or mobile devices. The dashboard, settings and a library of widgets can be edited and prioritized according to customer preferences. The system also monitors fault codes and other critical alerts, which can be sent via text and email. Additionally, ClearSky data can be integrated with customers’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for seamless fleet management.


New telematics technologies coming in the future

Using ClearSky telematics for fleet management can help get the information necessary to better optimize equipment and help customers be more productive. That said, information (data points) is only helpful when it’s put to good use. It’s important for fleet managers to work with the OEMs to get the right data, integrate it into useful reports and then utilize it consistently to help make critical fleet management decisions. 

It is important for fleet managers to work with the OEMs to get the right data, integrate it into useful reports and then utilize it consistently to help make critical fleet management decisions.

Keep in mind, while it’s helpful to know every machine’s unique status, that data needs to also feed the bigger picture where it can contribute to long-range business goals and improvement strategies. Those goals and strategies might include growing a customer base, offering better machine familiarization at the start of each rental, limiting the geographical radius in which machines may be used and decreasing the number of job site service calls, just to name a few.

Since it was first introduced, developments with the JLG ClearSky telematics solution have been based on customer feedback, which allow us to provide more focused, meaningful data delivered in a cost-effective solution. Future additions to the system will continue to make it more intuitive, as well as will make it easy for our customers to use the data to proactively manage and maintain their fleets. As a result, ClearSky will continue to let users enjoy the benefits of improved fleet performance and productivity, increased equipment uptime, enhanced fleet security and visibility and reduced cost of ownership.

So, what’s the bottom line? The best is yet to come in terms of connected fleets and job sites as it relates to telematics and access control. Businesses already use these systems to solve many challenges, but technology continues to advance and the future is very bright. We will see even more functionality and fleet management benefits in the years ahead.



The benefits of implementing a telematics solution

Although integrating telematics into a business’s daily operations can be a bit challenging, there are numerous benefits that can help justify the initial time and effort. As telematics data becomes more manageable, fleet managers can easily see the benefits of using these systems to enhance their daily operations. For example, telematics can help fleet managers more accurately manage the service needs of their fleet, therefore keeping equipment running longer which translates into major returns on uptime, reliability, productivity and profitability.

For instance, appropriately timing regular and preventive maintenance, in particular, is a challenge that fleet managers face every day. Equipment usage on job sites often last weeks or months, and that equipment must be maintained while out in the field to ensure that the machines operate as expected and without interruption to avoid unexpected downtime, lost productivity and the related cost implications. 

Telematics technology can help address these challenges by giving visibility to the equipment’s location on the job site, as well as its operating condition, through fault and diagnostic codes — any time of the day or night. As a result, it is easier to be more proactive when it comes to maintenance.

And, access to actual asset utilization metrics, including engine hours, as well as geo- and time-fencing can help avoid unnecessary field service calls and “lost” machines out in the field, makes a telematics system worth the investment. 

Fleet Manager Using ClearSky Telematics to Analyze Utilization Rate


JLG’s ClearSky telematics solution

Equipment fleets that include JLG® aerial equipment benefit from having access to the ClearSky™ telematics system. This solution is purpose-built to focus on three key areas: Increased utilization and uptime; enhanced opportunities to promote safety and security; and boosting a machine’s productivity and performance.

Here’s a little bit more about each one of these focus areas:

1. Increase uptime and utilization
Telematics can show fleet managers where and how equipment is operating to best track and bill any out-of-contract use. It also helps to manage machine maintenance schedules to ensure machines aren’t over- or under-serviced. Using telematics, users can remotely diagnose machine problems to coordinate the right tools and parts needed for on-site repairs. And, users can also deflect unnecessary service calls to increase efficiency of service personnel. 

2. Enhance safety and security 
Why waste time searching for assets in the field? With telematics, users can always know where machines are located. And, they can prevent equipment theft by setting virtual boundaries that alert unauthorized movement or operation. And, with features like access control, telematics systems also help prevent unauthorized use of equipment by limiting access to only trained operators. This means that telematics enables users to always know when, where and how equipment is operating. 

Telematics systems like JLG’s ClearSky also provides users with the opportunity to receive automated reports and immediate notifications when problems arise. And, fleet managers can proactively schedule maintenance to reduce unnecessary service calls. 

Telematics also allows users to set up geofences and time fences to protect an equipment fleet from unauthorized operation or to prevent untrained operators from using the machines. 

3. Boost productivity and performance
Telematics platforms like JLG ClearSky also has tools to analyze fleet and operator data, as well as determine the overall effectiveness of a fleet manager’s operation. Sharing utilization and operator data can significantly improve on-site efficiency. And, by using telematics in conjunction with other digital tools, such as building information models (BIM), users can streamline the planning phase of projects to select the right machine for the job. 

You can learn more about the JLG ClearSky telematics solution here


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