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How geofencing can boost productivity and safety

Telemetry is changing the way our customers locate, manage and maintain equipment

If you’ve ever wasted time trying to pinpoint the exact location of equipment on site, you’ll understand the impact this lack of visibility can have on your operations. That’s where telemetry and geofencing can help.

Telemetry uses sensors on equipment to capture physical or electrical data, which is then transmitted to a web portal, such as our proprietary MyCoatesHire customer portal, for monitoring and analysis.

OEMs are increasingly embedding telemetry sensors into their products, while Coates Hire is also retrofitting thousands of devices to our fleet to take the guesswork out of hiring equipment.

“When we first started retrofitting devices to equipment at a mine site, we spent 34% of our time driving around trying to track down the equipment,” says Joshua Tompkins, IT Project Manager at Coates Hire. “Once the device is fitted, geofencing eliminates this problem.”

 

What is geofencing?

 

Geofencing is just one feature of a telemetry system. It allows you to create a virtual fence around a geographical area on a job site to track the equipment contained within it.

“There's no limit on how many geofences you can create,” says Joshua. “You can modify, edit, change their shape or delete them if there are too many. You can also create enclaves, or geofences within a geofence, which you can turn on or off to see different areas while excluding other parts of the site.”

The advantages of geofencing equipment vary across industries.

“For a remote mining site, the main problem might be that equipment is not being shared equitably across different cost centres,” says Joshua. “For civil projects such as road construction, theft is one of the biggest problems. One of the key benefits of our telemetry portal is that you receive notifications on your dashboard every time a piece of equipment enters or leaves a geofence.”

 

Increasing equipment utilisation

 

Once you know where your equipment is located, you’ll then want to know whether you’re using it effectively. “That’s the question our telemetry system answers,” Joshua says.

Analysing near real-time utilisation data allows customers to make intelligent decisions that can lead to cost savings for both customer and rental company.

“For example, a customer might want to know what equipment has been used less than 15% of the time over the last fortnight.

“They can quickly run a report on our telemetry portal and share with the relevant business unit to find out why the equipment is being under-utilised. If there's no operational need to have the equipment, they can off hire it,” says Joshua.

But isn’t it in the interest of an equipment hire company for customers to keep rental equipment longer than needed?

“It does seems counter-intuitive, but there are a lot of benefits for us, too,” says Joshua. “For example, we can transport equipment more efficiently and eliminate over- and under-servicing of equipment.”

 

Improving safety and security

 

Monitoring equipment remotely via telemetry can also enhance worker safety by reducing the exposure to potential hazards.

“Geofencing means you don’t have staff driving aimlessly around the site trying to track down equipment, so you eliminate that risk exposure altogether. It also means you don't have service technicians driving around to find equipment and servicing it unnecessarily,” says Joshua.

“Conversely, if you can reduce under-servicing by triggering maintenance jobs using real-time utilisation, then you're reducing breakdown risk and the associated safety risks for workers,” adds Joshua.

Increased site security is another key advantage.

By sending real-time alerts when a piece of equipment moves outside a geofence, telemetry can help prevent theft or unauthorised use of equipment.

 

How do customers access our telemetry portal?

 

Just log-in to MyCoatesHire and the portal will list all your equipment on hire that is connected through an OEM integration or one of our retrofitted devices.

Not a My Coates Hire user yet? Contact us today to request access.

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