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More Effective Fleet Management Is Key to Success

Fri September 02, 2011 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

As remote fleet monitoring systems continue to become more technologically sophisticated, advanced wireless equipment monitoring systems such as Komatsu’s KOMTRAX can provide not only location and hour meter updates, but also additional invaluable information about machine health and productivity.

The Right

Information Is Invaluable

KOMTRAX was designed to give owners the information they need to make strategic business decisions about their machines and their operations. The pay-off is increased productivity and machine availability, as well as smarter management.

The system is installed in virtually all new Komatsu construction equipment including: excavators, crawler dozers, wheel loaders, articulated dump trucks, smaller dump trucks and motorgraders. In fact, the system can be installed in almost any piece of equipment using a 12V or 24V electric system and also is available as a retrofit for older machines as well as non-Komatsu equipment.

How It Works

The system relays basic as well as critical performance data from the machine to the owners’ computer as well as the local distributor — who’s readily available for expert analysis and feedback. Using this information, distributors can align manpower, processes and inventories to best support customers’ parts, maintenance and service needs. With accurate and timely information, distributors have improved their response time, which in turn, has lowered owners’ costs and downtime.

For example, machine cautions are transmitted to owners and to authorized distributor technicians so that the latter can troubleshoot the machine even before arriving at the job site. The upside is that distributors can provide a higher level of support by reducing travel expense, and ensuring a prepared mechanic arrives at the site, which ultimately reduces the owner’s expense and unscheduled downtime.

Machine operation monitoring also can facilitate proper maintenance scheduling and help identify potential problems before failure occurs.



Owners can receive detailed information in easy-to-read daily, monthly and annual summaries or reports about both basic and more advanced aspects of machine performance. KOMTRAX is Web-based and provides a wealth of information in a user-friendly format. The system also allows owners to enter and assign their own equipment numbers, job sites, operators, machine specific note, and more.

A variety of charts, maps and graphs, as well as useful search and filter parameters, make it convenient for owners to find what they need quickly and easily. They can search for information about specific machines based on key factors such as utilization rates, age, various notification messages and more.

Data also can be provided for custom office applications or downloaded directly into spreadsheet applications. In addition, access and viewing rights can be controlled so that the right people see the right information.

Engine Idle Time Information Translates Into Fuel Savings

Lists and charts are great, but the key to a successful fleet monitoring system is that owners can easily adapt that information to use their equipment more efficiently by reducing machine idle time.

Over the life of a machine, idle time typically accounts for nearly 20 percent of a machine’s total fuel burn. And, by eliminating 50 percent of non-productive idle time, fuel costs can be reduced by 10 percent, a significant reduction and savings.

Reducing idle time obviously saves on fuel costs, but one of the chief hidden costs of excessive idle time is reduced residual value of a machine. Because KOMTRAX measures idle time, users with multiple machines doing similar work can compare machine-to-machine idle times for insight into how much improvement is possible.

Owners, who have knowledge about their machines at their fingertips, can make better daily and long-term strategic decisions.

An equipment monitoring system should provide owners with answers to critical questions about their machines: what they’re doing, when they did it, where they’re located, how they can be used more efficiently and when they need to be serviced. If owners and managers can monitor machines on the Web anywhere, anytime, they have the power to make fact-based decisions that directly affect their bottom line through increased efficiency and productivity. All while lowering owning and operating costs.


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