New technology is constantly changing construction equipment's capabilities, helping it become more efficient, safe and productive. You can find construction equipment outfitted with machine learning technology and computerized devices. Technology directly affects and improves equipment's abilities, and it also provides new opportunities for the construction rental industry. With technology, rental companies can offer greater digital communication features to clients, reduce equipment maintenance and better monitor their fleet.
Find out more below about the top advancements affecting construction equipment and the seven ways these new technologies are revolutionizing the construction rental industry.
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To get a clear idea of how technology is changing the rental industry, you may first want to know more about some of the biggest technological advancements benefiting construction equipment today. The rise of total computerization, 3D printing, autonomous robots and green technology all deliver new capabilities for construction equipment.
Here are some of the primary technological advancements in construction equipment:
The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a great deal of value to rental equipment companies because it generates a huge amount of data for them to utilize. IoT refers to a network of objects, like software and sensors, designed to gather and exchange data with other systems and devices over the internet. Many companies have outfitted their construction equipment with software and sensors that exchange data over a network.
Specifically, rental companies use this data gained by IoT to assist with operations, such as using the technology to gather consumption information and GPS data. They also employ it for predictive analysis to stay on top of their equipment's maintenance and predict when it needs an inspection or repair before breakdowns occur. Predictive analysis helps construction equipment owners save money on costly repairs and increase their equipment's utilization rate since it's less likely a machine breaks down in the field.
3D printing is one of the biggest advancements in the construction industry, with many companies using it to print out tools, machinery parts, materials and pieces of heavy equipment. This kind of printing refers to the process of crafting three-dimensional objects out of digital program files. Construction equipment benefits a great deal from 3D printing, making it easy for manufacturers to craft replacement parts for equipment in need of repair.
Alongside 3D printing's ability to produce high-quality replacement parts and components, companies can even use 3D printing to create an entire piece of equipment. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory printed out an excavator with three primary 3D parts — the heat exchanger, stick and cab. As 3D printing continues to advance, it's likely more companies will print out construction equipment and parts for faster and more accurate manufacturing.
Data is huge to modern-day construction equipment, and many companies have developed several new technologies to gain as much information about their equipment as possible. Contemporary equipment comes outfitted with tons of sensors designed to gather data, later using what's collected for consumption information and GPS localizers. These sensors and the data they monitor can be configured to send out service alerts when a part breaks down.
Since these sensors gather so much information, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can sort through it to discover new relationships within the data. Savvy companies use these results to gain insights about their equipment's use and company operations to serve their clients better and become more efficient. As companies continue to train computers to think and learn like human beings via machine learning, AI will become more efficient at analyzing data on its own. It won't need much human interaction, helping rental companies become even more efficient.
Alongside gathering data, rental equipment companies can also use AI to develop autonomously operating machinery. As AI continues to learn about efficiently operating a vehicle and takes on more complex tasks, rental companies can offer autonomous equipment with greater compatibilities. Eventually, fully autonomous equipment could reduce the need for skilled operators, with rental companies no longer needing to connect clients to trained operators whenever they rent equipment.
Robotic technology is likely to continue playing a larger role in the construction industry. Drones are some of the biggest examples of this, as they can be remote controlled and flown over project sites to gather information. Companies regularly use them to conduct aerial surveys, approve construction phases and inspect work sites in dangerous locations. These drones help companies learn where it's safe to use their heavy machinery and give operators more information about a work site.
You can also find more autonomous robotic equipment designed to work without the need for an operator. These autonomous pieces of heavy-equipment excel at handling repetitive tasks and come with advanced technology designed to adjust to various environments. Robotic excavators, for instance, feature compactors designed to automatically adapt to specific site conditions, GPS navigation and remote monitoring systems. Teams can use autonomous robotic equipment to devote staff to more complex tasks, leaving repetitive, time-consuming jobs to automated equipment.
Going green is a significant priority for construction companies and manufacturers across the industry. Due to this priority, the top equipment manufacturers have started crafting more of their equipment with green design and manufacturing standards. A primary objective of green technology is to reduce carbon emissions from equipment. As consumer pressure and environmental regulations continue to rise, you can expect to see more green-friendly equipment become standard across the construction industry.
One of the biggest advancements in the rental equipment industry is the rise of computers in every aspect of a construction project. Companies can use computers to assist in designing a project, keeping track of payroll and communicating with buyers. But computers also help with construction equipment. Many manufacturers include microchips in their machinery to assist with monitoring systems and controls. This greater computerization allows operators and companies to gain more data and exert more control over their equipment.
The ability to communicate instantly is another significant development in the rental equipment industry. Almost every worker these days is outfitted with a smartphone, compatible with customizable apps linked to their equipment and machinery. Smartphones allow users to access cloud-based and web services or resources from their phones, resulting in greater efficiency over time. They also help equipment operators better coordinate while out on a work site.
Computerized equipment can automatically send information to managers and supervisors, providing them with greater data about the equipment's use. Operators with specialized apps on their phones can also share data with supervisors while using construction equipment, helping everyone stay on the same page. Since much of this data and information can be sent over the cloud, teams can easily stay on top of their machines' usage, sending relevant instructions or advice to operators.
Now that you're aware of the latest advancements impacting construction equipment, you can understand how technology in rental equipment is changing the construction rental industry. As technology has evolved, it's helped rental companies and renters improve their operations, benefit from the cloud, access analytics and increase mobility. Additionally, the latest technology has created greater demand for cost-effective rental options, providing companies with the ability to use IoT and enhance their logistics.
Learn more about some of the top examples of how technological advancements in construction equipment are impacting the construction rental industry:
Rental companies now have the opportunity to improve their operations by using technology. Here is how these companies can enhance their operations with recent advancements:
Companies want to use construction equipment outfitted with the newest technology. To buy equipment outright would impose higher costs than renting. Rental companies then see increased demand for high-tech construction equipment. Renters can access new technology without having to invest a great deal of money through down payments or committing to long-term contracts and payment plans. As prices for new equipment rise, you can expect to see more construction companies turning to rental equipment outfitted with the latest technology.
The cloud is one of the most impactful pieces of technology in almost any industry. In the construction rental industry specifically, it helps companies keep up with the latest software solutions for their devices and machinery. Additionally, cloud-based programs are very convenient to use, making fleet and staff management easier for renters and rental companies.
Here are some of the benefits the cloud provides to the construction rental industry:
IoT continues to change the rental industry by allowing companies to track their assets' usage to ensure clients aren't overusing or misusing them. By keeping track of their equipment's usage through advanced sensors and devices, companies can keep their equipment in better condition. Rental companies also have improved knowledge about their equipment's location, as they can easily track equipment outfitted with IoT. This greater locational information helps rental companies better manage the operations and use of their rented equipment.
Along with helping rental companies better track and locate their equipment, IoT assists companies as they perform preventive and predictive maintenance. Since IoT can measure various factors relating to your asset's health, you can use the data gained from these measurements to help with maintenance. Essentially, IoT can better predict when a piece of equipment needs preventive care to keep it in its best condition.
Another primary way technology is changing the construction rental industry is through enhancing a company's logistics, especially for facilitating equipment delivery and planning. GPS and planning technology have benefited both clients and rental companies, making it easier to schedule deliveries, map out the best routes and develop complex arrangements for key staff members to follow. Rental companies can conduct vital logistical tasks with ease, and clients can benefit from more accurate deliveries and greater customer service. Those improved logistics can happen because of:
Analytics play a huge role in the construction rental industry. Companies can now use data collected from key assets to help anticipate problems, develop steps to solve them and take action before potential concerns become real ones. Analytics also give companies insights into how they can digitally transform their business to meet their clients' needs.
Additionally, many rental companies utilize analytics to gain insights into their business systems and the competition. By finding weak points in their system with analytics, rental companies can take action and better streamline their operations. They can also employ analytics to gain information about their competition and develop best practices to stay ahead of them.
The advances in mobile devices and solutions are benefiting the construction rental industry significantly. A mobile solution allows operators and staff to input data on a device, like a smartphone or a tablet, at a job site and transmit the data to authorized team members. Many rental companies offer apps and programs to improve their clients' experiences while they use rental equipment.
Some considerable advantages technological mobility provides to the construction rental industry include:
At The Cat® Rental Store, we're ready to help you find equipment for your unique needs. Since we know how much new advancements can benefit our equipment and your experience out in the field, we equip our products with the most cutting-edge technologies on the market. We also offer The Cat Rental Store customer portal, accessible via an app or website, helping you find equipment for rent, transfer equipment between work sites and request on-site service.Find The Cat Rental Store Near You