The Benefits of GPS Tracking for Construction Equipment

Seeing all your equipment on a map is a game-changer.

Not all rental construction equipment is the same. For one thing, some machines have telematics devices that enable GPS fleet tracking, while others don’t. Here’s why GPS tracking for construction equipment matters to your schedules and your bottom line, and how to leverage it on your next project.

Tracking equipment location

Construction equipment has a way of hiding, especially on large jobsites. Perhaps a worker parked a skid steer in the wrong place three days ago and nobody’s seen it since. And what about that missing dozer? Is it even still on the jobsite? Construction activity may grind to a halt as crews search for essential assets.

Or is someone holding onto a boom lift or air compressor in case they need it again, and as a result, no one else can find or use it?

With GPS tracking devices used in conjunction with equipment management software such as Total Control®, you can pull up a map on your desktop app or even your mobile device and immediately see the location of all your equipment in real time. This visibility puts a stop to time-consuming hunts for equipment. It also helps construction managers right-size their fleets. If you already have a skid steer that’s not in use, you probably don’t need to buy or rent another one.

GPS fleet tracking gives eyes on equipment even if it’s sitting, possibly unused, on another jobsite. And it lets you position equipment where it’s needed for the next day’s tasks so work can start first thing, without delay. Less time squandered means more profitable jobs.

Total Control allows companies to see all their telematics-enabled equipment, both rented and owned, on the same maps, so no pieces of equipment go to waste.

Reducing equipment theft and “borrowing”

When equipment remains on an empty jobsite at night or on a weekend, it poses a temptation for thieves, and even for work crews. A worker may try to remove it from the site to use it for another, unauthorized job.

If your equipment has GPS tracking, the solution is simple: geofencing. Using your fleet management software, draw a geofence around the jobsite or the specific area the machine should stay in. Next, configure an alert that notifies you if the machine exits that virtual boundary.

In Total Control, you can even define your work hours and get alerted in real time if the machine is moved or the ignition is started outside of those hours. If you suspect an attempted theft, you can contact your security team or the police to initiate an immediate response.

Boosting utilization

Rental equipment often constitutes a significant project expense. Construction equipment telematics can help you find the sweet spot between renting too little equipment and renting too much. How? By identifying your utilization of each unit.

A simple GPS tracker can’t tell you how much you use a piece of equipment, but one that’s part of a telematics device that connects to the machine’s engine can. Such telematics devices provide a wide range of useful engine data, including engine hours.

By running a utilization report in your fleet management app, you can see at a glance how many hours the machine was used in the past day, several days, week or month. If that mini-excavator is being overworked, renting an additional unit could be a smart move. If it’s being underutilized, consider whether you still need it. If not, return it and stop the rental clock. United Rentals customers who use Total Control to manage their rental fleet cut their annual rental costs by up to a third.

Knowing your equipment utilization helps you understand how much equipment you really need for jobs. It can even increase revenue by enabling your company to make more accurate bids in the future.

By giving construction managers the visibility they need into the location and utilization of all their equipment, telematics-based GPS fleet tracking combined with fleet management software can make jobsites more productive, cut project costs and grow the bottom line.



Expand your digital toolbelt

With the United Rentals Mobile App and Total Control®, United Rentals customers can find the right digital solution to manage their fleet, off-rent equipment and monitor equipment utilization in easy-to-use, convenient tools.

United Rentals offers telematics on 90% of the eligible equipment it rents. Visit our online marketplace to browse equipment for your next project, or call us at 833.347.6180.

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