Four Tools to Transform the Jobsite With Construction Tech

Technology can provide the data companies need to learn more about equipment, jobsite conditions and workers.
By Christina Andrews
September 27, 2022

Construction contractors need to take advantage of every available tool to help them win projects, complete work on time and increase jobsite safety. Construction technology can provide the data and insights companies need to learn more about jobsite conditions, workers and equipment. There are a range of tech tools that can transform jobsites, improving how work gets done.

Let’s look at four tech tools that can better position contractors to save time and money and reduce safety incidents.

1. Managing Equipment Access

Keypad ignition locks give companies complete control over which workers operate their machines. Only authorized individuals can start the ignition by entering a PIN provided by the contractor or scanning an RFID-enabled ID card. Access control systems can also enable contractors to remotely lock and unlock equipment.

Equipment can be assigned based on skills, craft and organization. When contractors restrict equipment operation to workers with the proper training and certification, they minimize the risk of accidents, injuries and property damage.

A keypad ignition system also allows companies to track when and where their machines are used. Contractors can analyze this data to measure productivity and improve equipment utilization.

2. Improving Equipment Visibility

OEM or third-party telematics devices can constantly send data about equipment status. Contractors can use cloud-based fleet management systems that bring the telematics data of owned and rented equipment together in one information platform. This will eliminate the need to log in to multiple fleet systems and enable contractors to manage their entire fleet more effectively.

Through desktop or mobile app access, jobsite crews can receive low fuel alerts so an operator does not run out of fuel unexpectedly. They can schedule maintenance and configure alerts to provide reminders when maintenance is due. Companies can monitor equipment utilization to identify under-utilized and over-utilized assets, providing the information needed to right-size their owned and rented fleets. For example, a low utilization alert may inform a contractor when a piece of rental equipment has not been used for a predetermined number of days and can be returned, saving money.

3. Gaining Worker Insight

Using wearables devices on construction sites can help make workers safer and more productive. These systems provide real-time insight into worker location and safety. Data from wearables can make it easier for companies to identify pinch points. If there is a backup at the mobile tool room, for example, a contractor can add tool room staff to get workers back on the job faster. If the data reveals long waits at worksite entrances during shift changes, a company can consider staggered start times to eliminate delays.

Wearables also help companies to respond faster to safety incidents. For example, these systems send an alert when a worker falls. If crew members notice another worker is in trouble or see an unsafe jobsite condition, they can notify managers simply by pressing a button on their clip. If a serious incident, such as a chemical spill, occurs and requires jobsite evacuation, the wearable device will emit an audible evacuation alert that helps clear out workers quickly.

4. Monitoring Temperature and Humidity

Remote temperature and humidity monitoring systems use wireless sensors to provide contractors with real-time information on worksite conditions. These systems can be configured to send alerts to a worker at another location when measurements go out of a pre-set threshold. This can decrease labor costs that had been incurred by physically checking on heaters.

With remote monitoring systems, companies can ensure that jobsite temperatures and humidity remain at optimal levels for both crews and materials. Temperature data allows contractors to optimize heater placement and remotely adjust smart heater temperatures to reduce fuel waste. This optimization can also lead to reducing the number of rental heaters if certain jobsite areas are warmer than necessary.

With these systems, companies can remotely monitor concrete curing temperatures and adjust the temperature as necessary to ensure uniform and reliable curing. Taking these steps can reduce the need for costly rework.

Construction technology that increases equipment visibility, worker visibility and jobsite visibility is here now and ready to be deployed. Leveraging these tech tools is a smart way for contractors to achieve safety, productivity and performance improvements that help them stay at the top of their game.

by Christina Andrews
Christina Andrews has been with United Rentals for over six years, working primarily on customer communications and sharing the United Rentals story.

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