Telemetry, a proven technology

Telemetry solution offerings have been on the rise in recent years in the building equipment rental sector. This technology, based on Geolocation as well as the transmission of various data measured on your machines, represents an undeniable advantage. It maximises investment and minimises machine downtime. Of course, the return on investment will depend on the chosen solution and the use that will be made of the data.

Originally, boxes were used in order to retrieve the position of the machines to prevent theft. They incorporated a GPS chip and a SIM card to transmit data at specific times.

Today, prices have become more affordable, technology has come a long way, many manufacturers are integrating telemetry into their production processes, and the range of products and services on offer has become more diversified.

As costs have been drastically reduced, these solutions are no longer exclusively reserved for international rental groups. In fact, many companies of all sizes are now taking advantage of this technology.

Manufacturers such as JLG, Genie, Haulotte and Manitou are increasingly building telemetry solutions into their machines during production. They also offer a management portal for owners to track their machines. A few years ago, manufacturers each had a proprietary format, which made the use of data tedious and expensive, but that era is over. The AEMP (Association of Equipment Management Professionals) has been working to create a a uniform standard for data formatting in order to integrate these different data streams more easily.

The technology has evolved and the information collected goes much further by also providing you with data on machine usage, energy level, meter values, error codes, and so on.

Then, either the machine is already equipped at the time of purchase, or it is necessary to place an additional box. If an additional box is required, you will have to choose whether you wish to purchase the box or rent it. In both cases, you will incur costs for the use of the data, which can be done either via a web platform provided by the manufacturer or by integrating the data into your ERP system.

Telemetry is much more than a trend, it has become a must-have.

The advantages are multiple – here are a few practical examples of integrations:

  • Reduced maintenance costs
    Imagine the savings you could make if your ERP system incorporated the meter readings of your machines in order to adapt planned maintenance.
  • Reduced costs and optimising invoicing
    Thanks to the machine usage information fed back into your ERP system, you can easily identify usage that does not comply with contractual clauses. This would also give you the opportunity to charge for additional hours or to immediately notify your customer that they must comply with the terms and conditions and thus avoid any dispute.
In the beginning we had installed a telemetry system on some machines against theft. Then we looked at equipment on long-term rental (e.g. generators). Based on the administrative cost of human collection of meter readings, we made the move. This undeniably represents a saving for on-site maintenance planning. Today, our goal is to be able to remotely identify a problem on a machine in order to send the technician with the right solution. This not only saves time but also increases customer satisfaction.
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