Telematics For Forklifts: How It Can Help Boost Your Business

Forklift telematics allows you to operate your fleet as efficiently as possible. With GPS technology, wireless connectivity and telemetry, today's telematics systems offer significant advantages when assessing your fleets efficiency. In addition to monitoring the position of individual trucks, telematics systems can track which operators have accessed equipment, when and for how long; they can track operator activities such as speed and movement patterns, and report on repair and maintenance needs. In order to provide real-time information, statistics and analysis on fleet location and deployment, EP's GPS Fleet Management system uses the latest in GPS and wireless technologies.

How Does Telematics Work For Material Handling Equipment?

Telematics minimises costs by making it possible to run a fleet of fork trucks and batteries to ensure that they are used in the right places and used in the right way. Wireless communication and tracking technology informs controllers about how capacity is being used, how drivers are performing, and provides insight into the safety of trucks.

Telematics, using sensors and monitoring technology, provides real-time productivity information to supervisors and operators and offers a birds-eye view of equipment used at any given time. Telematics can be applied to any "fleet" of forklift trucks in the vehicle management system, controlling anything from one vehicle to many.

How Does Telematics Track Your Fleet? 

Telematics connects the dots and turns the forklifts into communication devices connected to a central information hub. The sensors on the connected forklift enable the user to track the location and status of the truck. Telematics started as a basic GPS tracking device and as technology evolved from military applications, technology has become widely used in business and everyday life.

Quickly emerging from a means of aiding navigation and calculating the distance traveled by vehicles, telematics has become something much more effective for covering any aspect of a vehicle's work-life operation. The once modest forklift truck has become a part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The linked vehicle management system, using forklift telematics, links the communication systems to the on-board electronics of the truck and the BMS battery management system. Some may also use mobile networks to transfer data.

What Does A Telematics System Track?

Vehicle management systems record all activities carried out by the fleet. Tools actively track start, stop, stop and travel and lift operations for all vehicles.

Some systems can also monitor people's whereabouts and activities and provide insight into operator actions to help improve efficiency and profitability and provide a valuable safety aid.

Today's telematics systems go far further than just recording events with increasingly advanced reporting and analytical management resources. Systems provide not only useful data, but also provide real-time business intelligence.

With lithium ion batteries, the telematics system will also monitor the charging, discharging and temperature of the battery in real time. This way the lifetime of the batteries can be optimised.

Manage Your Drivers Along With Your Forklifts 

Telematics will also provide you with tools to help control your drivers, as well as your fleet. EP's vehicle management system uses access cards to look at how your employees use the forklifts.

With the access card system, each driver has a card and can only access a truck if it is swiped via the card reader on each of the forklifts. The telematics system then records the information and actions of each driver using the truck.

This then provides you with an overview of the drivers working hours, how often each truck is used and for how long, and other important details that will help you ensure that you get the best out of your employees and your fleet.

Why Use A Telematics System On Your Forklifts?

A vehicle management system will remotely track, diagnose and troubleshoot units to ensure that the equipment is back on-line as soon as possible.

Systems can track battery efficiency, allowing fleets to operate with a power source that is optimally charged, powered and ready. If operators consistently fail to recharge batteries, this can be easily detected and rectified.

Integrating all of this data expands capabilities further. Offering insight into material flow and labor utilisation, systems allow fleet managers to quickly identify inefficiencies and the unnecessary costs associated with the interaction of people, processes, equipment and batteries.

The Application Of Telematics Data

Real-time insights from telematics data are vast and allow for a degree of fleet deployment control that has never been possible before. Systems track and respond to every step of the material flow management process.

The vast flow of operational data from each unit can be easily analysed using powerful software tools to report on fleet deployment. Analysis will help planners to assess the optimal fleet size and combination.

The evaluation of the activities performed by individual equipment can identify circumstances in which a more suitable piece of equipment could be deployed. For example, if a forklift is used primarily for horizontal transport of goods around a warehouse, a powered pallet truck may be identified as a more suitable choice.

The Business Benefits Of Using A Telematics Vehicle Management System

The implementation of telematics systems across the globe has shown that operators perform more consistently when they know that they are being monitored.

Telematics systems make it possible to compare the performance of various teams and differences between all other operators and vehicles in the network. This rise in accountability is an effective way to improve productivity. Several companies have implemented initiatives such as league tables and reward systems based on the results of telematics data to improve and promote performance.

Fleet management systems allow controllers to measure the performance of the fleet at any given time. Real-time data ensures that idle trucks can be detected and downtime minimised. Many organisations may have the impression that their fleet is running inefficiently, but without hard evidence to back it up, successful action can be difficult to enforce. However with the use of telematics it can be done.

A telematics system can be integrated with organisational monitoring and compliance procedures to provide essential insight and reporting. Compliance and improvement targets can be implemented to boost safety and productivity.

Telematics systems may be implemented to enhance training and maintenance requirements. Analysis of the hours spent performing certain tasks can be done and training tools devoted to critical and repetitive tasks can be undertaken.

The Bottom Line Of Forklift Telematics Systems 

Your company’s fleet of fork trucks tend to be one of the largest expenses the business will deal with. As materials handling equipment telematics continue to grow in application and deployment, the global market is expected to expand to 6 billion GBP by 2025, according to a study conducted by Grand View Research. The technology has quickly become an essential tool in an effective materials handling strategy.

Cost savings resulting from the implementation of telematics technologies differ greatly from industry to industry and depend on the size and complexity of the project. Nonetheless, studies continue to document massive efficiencies and savings and substantial returns on investment.

To find out more about our telematics systems and how they can benefit your business contact us now.