Maximize Work Site Efficiency Through the Smart Use of Auxiliary Vehicles: Here’s How

Worksites have multiple moving pieces, from contractors to equipment and vehicles. Your crew’s organization will determine how efficiently you complete the job and satisfy project timelines. How can you maximize efficiency at each location?

Utilizing auxiliary vehicles is an excellent starting point. Here’s how UC professionals using these machines can heighten productivity.

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1. Leverage Technology

Efficient execution requires knowing how to operate your equipment efficiently, but you don’t have to do it alone. Leverage technology with your auxiliary vehicles to enhance their effectiveness and make the job easier for everyone at the worksite.

Here are a few examples of software and gadgets you can employ.

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GPS devices are commonplace among passenger vehicles, but UC professionals can also use them at job sites. For instance, you can use GPS to track the locations of your auxiliary machines and determine the best routes for each operator when driving.

Knowing locations will help contractors optimize vehicle use and create more efficient worksite plans.

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Telematics is another tracking technology similar to GPS. You may be familiar with it through logistics professionals, but these devices also have roles in utility worksites.

Telematics gadgets assist UC contractors by tracking your driving habits and telling you the best route depending on daily traffic patterns. These devices provide legal backing through dashcams and earn insurance discounts if they qualify through your provider.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has become invaluable for UC professionals through wearable sensors. These technologies can track your body’s vital signs and detect issues like gas leaks. IoT gadgets are also helpful for auxiliary vehicles for real-time tracking and data collection.

Utility contractors benefit from IoT-powered auxiliary vehicles by tracking the machine’s motor temperature or fuel levels. You can also use IoT to monitor the engine, which is helpful because issues here might not be apparent when operating. The sensors will alert you when issues arise, making maintenance easier by detecting the problem promptly.

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While IoT is a relatively new technology, experts say its market size will grow by 15% annually. UC professionals should expect new technologies this decade to benefit their worksites. For instance, 5G technology will make jobs more efficient with faster data processing and transmission speeds.

2. Use Only the Necessary Vehicles

UC professionals can utilize numerous vehicles for their job site, including bucket trucks, trenchers, cable reel trailers and other useful machines. While these auxiliary vehicles have roles to play, not all may be necessary for the day’s goals. Use only essential machines by cutting your fleet size.

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Transporting unused vehicles is expensive, considering the associated fuel and labor costs. UC professionals should consider reducing their fleet size in these instances because the savings will increase over time. Experts say you can save between $5,000 and $8,000 annually per vehicle by dropping unnecessary machines.

3. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Another way to cut costs and maximize worksite efficiency is to schedule regular maintenance checks. These inspections prevent significant issues in these machines by detecting them before disaster strikes. Additionally, they help your auxiliary vehicles last longer and reduce the need for replacement.

Preventive maintenance applies to all auxiliary vehicles on-site, as each machine requires attention and care. For instance, a UC professional may have a dump truck for waste and other excavated materials. Proactive contractors will enlist a professional to inspect the truck’s hydraulic systems, fuel lines, belt tensions and other critical parts.

Performing upkeep reduces the risk of downtime and delayed schedules. Experts say about 37% of companies lose production time due to equipment downtime, so preventive maintenance is essential for maintaining productivity.

4. Use Mobile Workshops

While preventive maintenance and quick repairs are preferable, some UC professionals might need more time to see a certified technician for their auxiliary vehicle. One solution for maximizing efficiency is to have an on-site mobile workshop.

Utility contractors can use a dedicated van or trailer to store spare parts and standard tools they’ll need across the worksite. This solution allows UC professionals to mitigate issues as best they can on-site before seeking help from a third party. While this option adds another vehicle to the fleet, mobile workshops are worth the investment with their time and cost savings.

5. Train Contractors for Multiple Vehicles

Cross-training is an increasingly popular strategy for utility companies as the labor market wears thin. Finding and hiring skilled workers can be challenging, so some UC professionals have started upskilling to work multiple auxiliary vehicles on the job site.

For instance, they may attend workshops or classes to obtain certification for specific auxiliary vehicles. Training is necessary before using excavators, concrete pumps and other specialized equipment.

Training contractors for multiple vehicles increases flexibility as workers adapt when circumstances change. Cross-training upskills employees and makes them better UC professionals by gaining more knowledge of the worksite around them. Utility companies should consider implementing training programs, as research shows 92% of employees are more engaged after these initiatives.

Heightening Efficiency at the Worksite

Efficiency is crucial as management teams emphasize profit margins and limited overhead costs. UC professionals can maximize worksite efficiency by smartly using their auxiliary vehicles.

Technological advances allow utility contractors more control over these machines through IoT, telematics and other innovative devices. Use these strategies to get the most out of your job site and increase productivity.

Oscar Collins is the editor-in-chief at Modded. He’s written for sites like Contractor and StartupNation. Follow him on Twitter at @TModded for frequent updates on his work.