Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

SEP 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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42 LC DBM at a scheduled date, mileage, or after a certain number of hours of use. If vehicle or equipment security is at stake, find out if the program is compatible with LoJack (like FleetOutlook is) or any other security programs you already use. Some can send alerts for vehicle use outside of regular operating hours. Geofencing allows you to set an area where your vehicles are not allowed to enter, and you can receive alerts if drivers violate the boundar - ies. Conversely, you can set boundaries that the vehicle should not leave, such as the lot after hours, and the system will alert you to any illicit vehicle use. Interface Even if you get the top of the line software with all the bells and whistles, everything you could possibly want for fleet man - agement – if you can't figure out how it works, you will not use it, simple as that. You have to find an in - terface that is intuitive for you or whoever will be using it. Ask the provider if you can get a free trial or a demonstration. If neither is available, at least obtain a screenshot of the dashboard and com - pare it to other programs you are considering as a test of user- friendliness. Find out if you can customize the dashboard to prioritize your needs, and be sure to check in with your drivers – they should be comfortable with any functions of the program they may have to operate. When looking at devices that plug in to the ve - hicle's OBD-II port, find out if the company also has a mobile app – and if so, try downloading it and using it. If you're looking at using a pro - gram run solely from a mobile device, download a trial version before you make a commitment. If your trucks are already equipped with GPS systems, find out if any potential new program is compatible. Will it connect to your existing navigation system and work in sync with it, or will it cause conflicts between the new and the old systems? If it will cause conflicts, ask yourself if the benefits of the fleet management software outweigh the cost of overhauling or replacing the existing GPS system. As with any major purchase for your compa - ny, knowledge is power. Knowing your budget, what features you want, and how the product works will equip you to make the decision that works for your company. LC DBM Right Managers can receive alerts from their chosen fleet management software when their drivers are speeding or driving dangerously, including sharp turns, harsh starts, and harsh stops. Also, software com- panies such as Fleetio offer mobile apps from which managers can track their drivers location and progress. Above A geofence is a perimeter around an area that vehicles are either prohibited from entering or must stay within during certain hours. The virtual fence can be created in any shape that suits a company's need. For example, if vehicles are to avoid roads under construction, with geofencing, a manager will be alerted if a vehicle enters the prohibited area. Managers can set specific hours that a fence is active, or have it active all day. In this example, the geofence is set so that vehicles must be at the company's headquarters during non-working hours. Right Equipment maintenance is equally as important as vehicle maintenance. This year, small engine manufacturer Perkins announced their SmartCap, an oil cap that can be used on new and existing engines. Using the My Engine app on their mobile device (free for iOS and Android), managers can track the use of their excavators, back- hoes, loaders, or other equipment with a Perkins engine, and schedule maintenance based off that. The expected release date for the product is September 2017.

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