5 Apps to Help You to Track and Quickly Act on Fleet Service Needs

These digital tools help you monitor and maintain your construction equipment fleet in real time.

Caterpillar’s VisionLink can be configured to send notifications to your choice of recipients when the fuel level in any machine’s tank drops to a threshold you specify.
Caterpillar’s VisionLink can be configured to send notifications to your choice of recipients when the fuel level in any machine’s tank drops to a threshold you specify.

Mobile devices and available software applications are making monitoring and servicing equipment easier than ever. Fleet managers and service technicians can readily assess service needs, track fuel use, troubleshoot systems on the machine and more from the field or in the office.

Following is a look at five apps that you may want to consider. To find additional options, search under Technology in the Buyers Guide at ForConstructionPros.com.

MyMaintenance from John Deere

Construction maintenance mangers can track their preventative maintenance and repair programs of John Deere equipment with JDLink using the new MyMaintenance mobile app (available on Apple and Android devices). The app will work on any equipment with JDLink, including non-Deere equipment connected with JDLink Express.

The app provides users with a connection to John Deere’s Maintenance Manager web-based tool. It is part of a complete maintenance solution that sends managers and technicians alerts when services are due. MyMaintenance allows users to view and document maintenance intervals by either calendar date or machine engine hours while on the jobsite or in the workshop.

“The MyMaintenance app gives users a plethora of information at their fingertips, including the ability to view equipment on a map, look at machines nearby, barcode scan a machine to see maintenance plans, access a parts list for maintenance and the ability to keep track of maintenance costs,” says Paul Garcia, product manager, John Deere WorkSight. “The application allows managers to view machines enrolled in a plan through Maintenance Manager that are due or past due for maintenance to efficiently increase uptime and performance. Repairs can also be documented even for machines not enrolled in a maintenance plan, and documenting a machine’s maintenance history can help drive higher residual value.”

App features include:

  • List of machines enrolled in a maintenance plan through Maintenance Manager
  • Track maintenance costs for labor and parts
  • Map view of all machines
  • Barcode scan machine PIN to view maintenance plan
  • List of tasks associated to each service interval
  • Ability to document completed maintenance by user and time stamp

Equipment360 Mobile Mechanic

The HCSS Equipment360 Mobile Mechanic app (available on Apple devices) is a maintenance management solution that connects mechanics on the jobsite to the shop. It is tailored for the construction industry and offers a full suite of applications including inventory management, asset management, preventive and predictive maintenance, work order management and more.

Mechanics and technicians can work offline in remote locations and use tablets to schedule jobs, check equipment status, analyze unit costs and track tasks, work orders, inventories, time cards, etc. Priority alerts help them keep an eye on preventive maintenance, field requests, due dates, inventory reorder levels and more. Automatic email and text alerts can be sent to those who need them.

Fleet managers using Equipment360 can view alerts and notifications about the fleet. The app also allows users to assign work orders and schedule mechanics. The Mechanic Planner view lets users view all mechanics and the status of their work orders.

Equipment360 users can create an electronic time card to eliminate the need for double manual entry, and manage assigned work orders. Shop managers can review time cards and make needed adjustments, send them back for correction or approve them. Approved time cards can be sent right to accounting or payroll departments.

Other features include the ability to take pictures and record detailed notes, as well as access equipment details, warranty information and reference parts lists. The app integrates with other HCSS products.

Cummins Connected Diagnostics

Through an active telematics connection, Cummins-powered equipment can now wirelessly connect the engine to Cummins for immediate diagnosis of an engine system fault alert.

Connected Diagnostics notifications are sent to the customer within seconds of a fault code occurring. These notifications identify and prioritize fault codes and provide a clear recommendation of the action to take based on the primary engine system fault, outlining the most probable root cause and identifying any impacts to performance. The priority level assigned clearly advises whether immediate action is needed, or how long the equipment can continue working before the fault will impact operation. A link to the Cummins-certified service providers in the area makes finding support fast and easy.

The Connected Diagnostics mobile app extends the reach of Connected Diagnostics by allowing customer management or operators to receive notifications direct from Cummins to their Apple or Android mobile phone or tablet, providing valuable insights into engine systems faults and expert operational recommendations regardless of location. This information enables instant decisions to be made on the most appropriate course of action, thus maximizing equipment productivity and reducing downtime.

Nearly every Cummins electronic engine is fully compatible with Connected Diagnostics and only requires an active telematics device installed in the equipment to transmit data to Cummins for automated analysis and reporting. Connected Diagnostics is applicable to all types of construction, mining and materials-handling equipment powered by the 3.8-liter and larger Cummins engines.

By October 2016, Cummins will launch Connected Diagnostics into the North American and European off-highway markets. The mobile app will also be available for existing Connected Diagnostics customers to download from the App Store and Google Play.

VisionLink with Unified Fleet

It’s a constant balancing act to work multiple jobsites efficiently and economically. One place where inefficiency has a measurable impact to the bottom line is fuel delivery. When the process doesn’t run smoothly, costs escalate and productivity suffers.

Now there’s an easy way for users of Caterpillar VisionLink to optimize fuel delivery. It’s one of the new features of Unified Fleet, a VisionLink application that lets you manage your assets — no matter what the brand — with a PC or mobile device.

Using “parametric reporting,” VisionLink users can set the parameters for notifications. In the past, these decisions were made for you, but now you have greater flexibility to choose the limits that make the most sense for your fleet and worksite.

For example, you may want to know when any asset’s fuel level drops below 25% full. Customized fuel notifications combined with near real-time data about machine location provide what you need to plan and manage fuel delivery. It’s also easy to engage dispatchers, fuel truck drivers and others in the process, as Unified Fleet can be enabled on their mobile devices to further streamline efficiency.

HCSS FuelerPlus Mobile

HCSS FuelerPlus can help get rid of paper fuel tickets and track every drop of fluid across your organization electronically. Available on Apple and Android devices, it consolidates all of your fuel management programs into one system, enabling you to perform all fueling operational tasks — including dispenses, container-to-container transfers, time cards and bulk fluid purchases — in one place.

The FuelerPlus dashboard lets you know in one glance which field fuelers have synced their fuel transaction data for the day and which ones are still missing. The dashboard also monitors fixed container fuel levels so you can quickly call in orders when tanks need it. Fuel distribution trend lines help users instantly spot outliers in fuel patterns.

FuelerPlus Mobile lets a user scan barcodes and perform validation checks, with information sent directly to accounting.

App features include the ability to:

  • Track daily fluid and fuel consumption
  • Manage fluid container levels
  • Import fuel card data and manage fuel cards
  • Create, manage and approve fueler time cards digitally
  • Export approved time cards to payroll with one click
  • Build custom reports organized by fuel types, equipment, fueler or location
  • Capture data such as topping off fluids and servicing equipment
  • Track meter/odometer readings

The app integrates with HeavyJob, HeavyBid and HCSS Dispatcher.