Equipment Type

Three Tasks for Equipment Managers in 2012

November 10, 2011

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

The asset-management profession has enjoyed several successes in recent years as the construction industry comes to recognize the importance of fleet management beyond preventive maintenance and acquisition prices. Telematics, emissions and the benefit of sound financial management through an extended economic and construction drought have put the spotlight on how equipment is managed.

Yet three disturbing gaps remain between knowledge and implementation.

First, fleet owners are not taking seriously enough the issue of equipment emissions management. As we suggested years ago, equipment managers are most likely to take or be given responsibility for emissions/environmental compliance. Today, 38 percent of equipment managers say compliance falls under their purview, according to our recently completed 2012 Industry Report & Forecast. But a full one-third of fleets either don’t have anyone with official responsibility for compliance or don’t know who has responsibility.

In 2012, each fleet must designate someone who is responsible for compliance.

Who has primary responsibility

for emissions/environmental control?

Equipment manager 37.7%
Nobody has official responsibility 30.7%
Operations 13.9%
Corporate compliance manager 10.4%
Don't know 4.3%
Manager within the equipment department 3%

Source: Construction Equipment

Second, fleets are not implementing telematics. AEMP recently asked its members about telematics usage, and 57 percent said they do not use the technology to manage their fleets. Given the level of professionalism within AEMP, that percentage is probably higher (closer to 75 or 80 percent) for the industry as a whole.

In 2012, every fleet must investigate how it can implement telematics and put a plan in place to roll it out.

What percent of your off-road fleet

is equipped with telematics?

Less than 10% 63.4%
10-20% 12.9%
21-30% 8.9%
31-50% 6%
51-70% 4%
More than 70% 5%

Source: AEMP

Finally, we hear frustration from fleet managers who work in organizations where upper management doesn’t appreciate what a professional equipment manager brings to the table. This ignorance or short-sightedness on the part of management results in wasted time and money.

In 2012, equipment professionals need to better articulate how their function benefits the organizations whose fleets they manage. Fleet managers can start with three key areas that directly affect an organization’s viability: equipment safety, emissions compliance, and financial management.

Each of these three gaps needs to be addressed in 2012. Talk with the team, upper management, peers. Take the steps today that will prepare the fleet for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow.

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