Organizations that use construction equipment face worker shortages not only to complete project work, but also to do the work necessary to maintain the equipment deployed there. Newly hired project workers and operators may not be comfortable with equipment or aware of the various maintenance issues that come up in the field.
At JCB North America, the construction and ag telematics teams are working to take some pressure off of those responsible for fleet maintenance, uptime management, and issue diagnostics.
“Let’s say your new employee is charged with fueling up all of your equipment at the end of every shift,” says Oliver Lewis, JCB general manager of product support. “If something didn’t go right in that process, you’re looking at the potential for dozens of pieces of equipment with water in the fuel or major fuel pump issues. No site manager wants to wait until all of their equipment is down to recognize they have an issue. At JCB, our goal is to offer proactive data and actionable alerts via our telematics system so that managers can get ahead of the issue instead of waiting until it takes a machine, or entire fleet, offline.”
New employees can be overwhelmed by today’s more sophisticated equipment, he says.
“A JCB telehandler could have more than a half-million diagnostics points available in a telematics system,” says Lewis. “No operator needs that much information.
"Fleet managers don’t need a terabyte of data every week from their machines; we know that much information is useless to them,” he says. “We believe in ‘No Data without Action.’ We don’t flood customers with data; we want to provide value.”
That’s why JCB allows fleet managers or crew leaders to pick and choose the alerts they want to receive about their equipment.
If a fleet is connected to JCB’s LiveLink online system, a manager can subscribe to app notifications, emails, or texts for specific issues. Fleet managers or crew leaders can also contract with their JCB dealer, so alerts go directly to the dealer’s service department for proactive assistance.
With thousands of JCB machines currently operating with JCB LiveLink, his JCB North America team has almost an infinite amount of diagnostic data available centrally, Lewis says, which allows them to track the most common preventive maintenance alerts and downtime issues.
Lewis encourages crew leaders and fleet managers to think of their equipment like new cars.
“Imagine you’re driving your new car, and a light signals an issue,” Lewis says. “But you don’t know what the light means, so you ignore it, just like many people would do in their own vehicle. Now imagine when you get home that night you get a notification from your dealer letting you know that the light is a big deal and informs you on how to take care of the issue or allows you to schedule a time to bring in your car to have it taken care of.
This is the kind of proactive future we envision for our operators.”