Better Insight, On Site

Better Insight, On Site

March 28, 2013

Sponsored Blog.

One very productive aspect of site technology that can be overlooked by contractors is connecting their machines, sites and assets. Although most people think of this as a solution for large contractors with lots of equipment and trucks, the Return on Investment benefit can be substantial for small contractors, too.

To analyze and document this, Trimble worked with an earthworks contractor in the United Kingdom to test the accuracy and productivity of automated cycle counting compared to traditional manual cycle counting.

The project tracked two trucks, hauling material from a quarry to a dumpsite about half a kilometer (about a third of a mile) away. The trucks were equipped with Trimble’s VisionLink® fleet, asset and site productivity monitoring software, a telematics solution that uses on-machine sensors to communicate machine position and productivity information to a remote office over a cellular network. The manual system included a dedicated person manually monitoring arrival and cycle information on a notepad.

The duration of the test was only 2 days, but the results showed that connected machines with automated tracking can have very substantial benefits short term and long term:

• For the same cost, the automated system allowed the contractor to monitor 10 times more days of operation than the manual counting approach

• The estimated Return on Investment was a payback period ranging from three to six months.

 Basically, your machines have a lot they can tell you... if they are connected via a solution like Trimble VisionLink. For example, in addition to the counting data, VisionLink can report on idle times and operation times, individual asset load, travel and dump times, and the specific path taken by each asset on each cycle. Once a contractor has access to that kind of in-depth information they can bid more competitively and make the real-time management decisions that drive the return on investment.

If you would like to see the details of this test, and how they might help you be more profitable, my white paper An Analysis of the Return on Investment of Automated Versus Manual Systems for Counting Earthmoving Cycle Times is available for download at


You can read many stories about why and how customers made the decision to implement technology, and what their experience has been, at