Part of a series of interviews on telematics, Malcolm Early, vice president of marketing, Skyjack, talks about machine access control, analysis of time elevated, monitoring usage outside of contract, and more.
RER:What have been the most recent benefits and capabilities of the telematics system you offer to rental companies?
Early: Skyjack’s Elevate has been specifically designed for the rental industry and that means removing some of barriers that delayed adoption of telematics for off-road applications, such as rental. Barriers that came from the “on road” origins of telematics, such as monitoring too many and not the right data points, excessive data costs, monthly license fees, and more.
The benefit to Skyjack’s tailored rental package is realized by rental companies in reduced service costs. It means less time on the phone, less time on site and improved support and service planning. Since machine performance data is always on hand, maintenance can be streamlined as accurate and up-to-date run hours are captured without manual entry, and so efficient service scheduling can be developed. Utilization and revenue can be increased since the rental company knows when machines are truly working. Identifying idle machines maximizes fleet utilization.
The ability to monitor usage outside of contract allows the management of billing accordingly. Logistic costs can be reduced as machines can be found faster, particularly on larger sites. Site visits can be shorter, delivery, service and collection become more efficient with improvements in customer service levels an additional benefit. Machine access control reduces unauthorized use and provides a safer work site. Elevate has an option for a dual ID keypad which uses a PIN code, or an RFID card to control who operates your machine.
What are the key types of information that your system shares with rental companies?
Early: Skyjack’s unique “ready to operate” feature is available on DC scissors and vertical masts. This clearly indicates the status of five key machines settings that are required to allow the machine to operate. These same settings are the most common that service desks deal with. Dealing with these calls takes time and can ultimately involve a costly site visit. Skyjack’s Elevate shortens phone calls, reduces visits to site and reduces cost by remotely identifying operator error.
Elevate’s true utilization function allows analysis of time elevated, driving, loaded and total run time provides true working time. Unlike other systems that simply look at engine run/pump time true utilization tells you when your machine was at work, and when it was not.
Machine data and alerts allow rental companies to understand the machine history without needing to be at the machine with specialized tools/software. Providing full fault code access to service staff means they make better decisions for the machine and the customer, better analysis, and reduced cost.
Data driven pre-delivery inspections (PDI) allows the referencing of live data and machine history to decrease time and increase precision of PDI checks. Reducing machine replacement/repair on site means higher profitability per asset.
Elevate BMS (Battery Management System) targets the largest cost of ownership on electric scissors. Elevate BMS provides the operator with charging advice, and the rental company the ability to manage the cost of battery replacement using accurate and immediate data.
Elevate Live provides operators access to the machine’s current state of health and serial specific resources through a simple QR code.
For electric machines (with BMS) and telematics supplied: state of health, simple percentage of battery life, last charge date, and recommended charging action are shown. For combustion machines telematics supplied: engine faults, daily hours, and fuel used are show.
In addition to live machine data, operators also have access to:
▪ Operator manuals
▪ Familiarization videos: brief visual overviews of the machine
▪ Serialized machine information, including parts manuals and specification sheets
▪ Emergency lowering procedures
▪ Pre-use checklist: visual guides for pre-use inspection
▪ Quickstart guide
How does your system help rental companies to bill their customers?
Utilization and revenue can be increased as the rental company knows when machines are truly working, identifying idle machines maximizes fleet utilization and the ability to monitor usage outside of contract allows the management of billing accordingly. All Elevate packages come with access to API connectivity allowing you to feed your rental software/ERP system with live data direct from the machine.
How does your system help rental companies to practice preventive and predictive maintenance?
Since machine performance data is always on hand, maintenance can be streamlined as accurate and up to date run hours are captured without manual entry, and efficient service scheduling can be developed
Sometimes equipment rental companies have commented that they are overwhelmed by too much data. Do you help them to work out what is best and most important for their operation?
In truth, some of this perception goes back to older systems that had their origins in on-road systems where the number of data points and data frequency were high. Some of those features are simply not of interest in off-road applications. For example, speed monitoring of a delivery van is sensible, but when a scissor lift travels at three to four mph, its importance is reduced. In developing Elevate this was one of our major areas of focus: delivering necessary information only. It also helps reduce data transmission costs.
The primary objective of Elevate was to provide actionable insights and therefore to deliver measurable benefits. The ready to operate feature is mentioned earlier and the featuring of data alerts allow the most important data to be more visible and transmitted to mobile devices.
Equally, the move to provide rental software integration means that rental companies do not have to deal with a whole new software interface and through the use on application programing interface (API) allows rental companies IT departments to bring Elevate data into existing systems. All Elevate packages come with access to this API.
In the past, often rental companies felt they couldn’t afford telematics systems. Are they now more affordable for smaller rental companies?
We mentioned earlier that Skyjack looked to develop a package suitable for rental companies in such a way that meaningful and actionable insights could be realized. That process can actually reduce data transmission costs, so we were able to reduce that burden. In addition, until Elevate, telematics packages featured monthly data fees. Outside of the actual level of these fees, the monthly invoicing and payments process created a substantial administration burden. By packaging all the product elements together and offering various time periods rental companies not only get a competitive price they also have a reduced administration burden.