Better performance. Increased efficiency. Exceptional precision. It’s no secret that emerging technologies have improved the compact equipment industry. But what’s next?
Let’s jump ahead 10 years to 2027 and enter the era of Connected Awareness, Connected Performance and Connected Control. All three technology evolutions provide operators and business owners with improved performance and better oversight into the inner workings of their companies. Take a sneak peek at what’s ahead.
Business owners can’t be on every jobsite 24/7 and need an easier and more precise view of what’s going on with each job. They want to anticipate future needs instead of reacting to current ones. And in 2027, they have the technology to do that.
The first technology evolution, Connected Awareness, helps owners track equipment and jobsite happenings. Fleet management systems use telematics to send up-to-the-moment machine and component stats to the owner’s cell phone, including:
- Machine health
- Fuel levels
- Operator performance
The fleet management system also immediately notifies dealerships about equipment issues. Gone are the days of calling a dealer and scheduling a technician to come, diagnose and repair equipment. The dealer can remotely diagnose many machine issues in minutes by accessing the diagnostics.
As a result, businesses need fewer on-site mechanics, and leasing equipment, rather than owning, becomes a more favorable and cost-effective option. Leasing offers certainty of costs as well as full warranty and maintenance coverage. With machine and operator performance characteristics in hand, business owners save significant time and money on equipment, logistics and labor.
Thanks to Connected Awareness, business owners can optimize their operations; now Connected Performance – the second technology evolution – helps them beef up business intelligence by making it easier to estimate jobs and evaluate efficiency.
Connected Performance measures how much material equipment actually hauls, so manufacturers and financing companies can charge business owners by how much material has been moved or, essentially, how much work has been done – rather than an hourly or daily fee. This allows businesses to easily estimate jobs because actual work is now an actual cost. Business owners then add a set margin to the top of the cost to figure customer billing.
Connected Performance also allows machines to work smarter and safer. Operators and machines can see utilities and underground objects live on a screen inside the cab as they work. The machine then automatically avoids these types of hazards, digging precisely alongside utilities without any damage to equipment or utility lines.
The third technology evolution, Connected Control, allows business owners to discover what their businesses are really good at, rather than trying to take on any and all jobs. They can then bring in experts to handle jobs they’re less efficient at.
Autonomous operations are also a reality, and owners can assign operatorless equipment to complete redundant and repetitive tasks like site prep. Because the need for operators is down, equipment manufacturers are designing and building equipment that maximizes productivity without having to make trade-offs for operator safety and comfort.
For those jobs, such as landscaping, that require the skill and artistry of an operator, design plans now appear on the front windows of the operator’s machine via virtual and augmented reality. Features, elevations and grade data are easily accessible to operators, allowing them to accurately orchestrate each and every project.
Thanks to Connected Awareness, Connected Performance and Connected Control, business owners in 2027 will be able to arm themselves with data and real-time performance updates to transform the way they do business. Operations that were once estimated and varied will become precise and measured. Specialization will increase, and the businesses that can orchestrate and coordinate a project’s distinct pieces will meet the most success going forward.
Connectivity is about information. If businesses know more – more about the machines, their operations, the jobsite, the operators – they can do more and can do it better, improving efficiency and – most importantly – profitably.