But in less than a month, the tracking units have already far exceeded the dirt contracting company’s expectations.
“There are a lot of things we’re starting to notice, and we’re still in the installation period,” Baranko Bros. project manager Jordan Kessel said. “A lot of it is speeding. We had 20-plus speeding reports (from the GPS units) in the first week, and we didn’t start installing the units until the middle of that week. Now we’re down to four or five.”
While the exact numbers have not been worked out, Kessel estimates that the fuel saved in just the first two weeks will pay for at least half of the 223 GPS units the company has purchased.
Some of those fuel savings come from making sure the trucks are not being used outside of company time. Most of Baranko Bros. trucks are used by employees on the job and to drive to and from work and home. Kessel said the company was having a hard time tracking the locaton of all of the vehicles.
|Baranko Bros. has put GPS units on its equipment, like the vacuum excavator shown above, to monitor location and run time.|
“I actually have geo-fences on 10 locations—two are casinos,” said Kessel, whose company is located in Dickinson, ND. “We’re scattered over a 100-mile radius, and we can’t watch all of our trucks. But I can put a geo-fence up and know when they’re somewhere they aren’t supposed to be. We’ve caught a few already.”
The GPS services can also counter theft and aid in the recovery of stolen equipment. While Baranko Bros. has not lost any equipment, Kessel said it has happened on other companies' jobsites where his company was working as a subcontractor.
Kessel said not all the units they’ve purchased have been installed yet, but the few that have are already turning in surprising data, which he can integrate into his existing HCSS HeavyBid and HeavyJob software to run reports, track job progress, and estimate new projects.
“We got one dozer up and going, and I actually had to call to see if the reading was correct,” he said. “It recorded 30 minutes of actually working, in 12 hours of run time. It was just idling the rest of that time. And the recording was correct—something we’d have never known before GPS.”