Get Off the Sidelines Regarding Telematics Implementation

Dec. 23, 2015

When I’m going to have a period of waiting, I take that time to better manage the activities in my life and schedule. I’m the guy reading a magazine, on my laptop making travel plans, or catching up with family Facebook posts on my smartphone.

Daniel Samford CEM, principal of Peak Performance Asset Services LLC, consults in all aspects of fleet management, mixed fleet telematics integration, negotiations for specialized construction equipment, annual vehicle purchases, national accounts, and fleet value evaluations.

Samford sits on the AEMP Board of Directors, its Telematics Futures committee, and has been vocal on the need for a unified telematic language and single portal equipment management for the construction equipment industry.

For information, go to, or [email protected].

So why is it that so many of my industry peers are sitting on the telematics sidelines waiting on version 2.0 of the AEM/AEMP Telematics standard?

When I’ve asked that question, here are 9 of the replies and my response to them:

1. We need more data included in the Standard to justify the investment.

Version 1.0 has the base data points from which most (if not all) future data will reference and need to make that data valid. The myriad uses for version 1.0 data will more than return your investment in mixed fleet data collection entry.

2. We are waiting for fault codes.

You can access fault codes on many OEM and third-party provider sites now. And a mixed fleet aggregator program can link to the OEM site to view that data.

3. We don’t want to rewrite any software we produce/buy using version 1.0 data.

Software written/purchased to work with version 1.0 can be written with version 2.0 updates in mind. Many collector programs will not require any changes in the mixed fleet collector exports into your back office accounting programs.

4. We don’t want to be an “early adopter.”

You’re not. Estimates range from 800 to more than 1,500 fleets actively use telematics in their businesses.

5. We don’t have the staff to manage the data and think version 2.0 will require less time to manage.

Wrong. The more data you have available, the more you will want to use. You can spend as much or as little time managing the data depending on your needs and expectations.

6. We don’t want to have to change out the boxes after we go through the installation process.

The current OEM boxes won’t change with version 2.0. Third-party telematics providers are well aware of the new data points and are planning for them in the box design and engineering. Current 3G boxes have the life to handle version 2.0 and beyond.

7. We think the cost of equipment and monthly charges will come down with version 2.0.

Not likely. The more value the data has, the more it will cost to manage. With current competition in the telematics provider and aggregator providers, the monthly costs have never been more competitive.

8. We are waiting for more applications of the data to be developed.

You don’t have to wait. I talk daily to software developers that have built equipment and transportation solutions using version 1.0 data. Mobile apps reduce the lag and noncompliance of daily inspections and forward the correct data to the right person to resolve the issue or to the correct department for policy/governmental compliance.

9. It’s too big of a project for us to undertake.

It’s not going to get any easier. Current providers have the resources to assist in hardware installation services. And AEMP member mixed fleet collector providers are well versed in connecting to version 1.0 data from the OEMs.

Many large fleets have already made the move to implement the use of current data. Those early adopters are willing to pass along their knowledge and experience for your benefit. This topic is discussed regularly in AEMP and other user group’s forums. The recently announced AEMP publication on the subject will be a great place to start. And last but not least, ask those who are currently using the technology.

It’s like the question we all have heard and already know the answer to: How do you eat an elephant? One “byte” at a time.

How will you spend your time while waiting for a plane? I’m looking at assets using version 1.0 data. Just call me if you want a peek. Maybe I’ll see you at the airport.