If you work in the construction industry north of the Mason-Dixon Line, chances are you have to pause operations during the winter.
Below-freezing temperatures, ice, and snow all make it difficult to work on construction projects during the dead of winter in the northern United States.
But one company in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, found a way to generate income even during the cold winter months.
Casper Construction operates a snow removal service during the winter. While they are typically involved in municipal water and sewer work, earthwork, and pipeline maintenance, the company hand-picks guys from its five regular crews to run the seasonal snow plows.
“It’s very slow for us in the winter,” estimator Dan Watkins said. “But we’ve got 110 snow plow customers, so we keep busy with that.”
And HCSS Telematics helps ensure Casper’s crews can get the job done quickly and efficiently, without having to spend unnecessary time out in the cold.
Casper installed HCSS Telematics units on all of its equipment, and they use geo-fencing to track employees’ work time and run time at each location. An oversized geo-fence is drawn around each property to be plowed, and the GPS unit pings when the machinery enters the area and again when it leaves, effectively acting as a time card for the employees and a record of service for customers.
“Our guys are out in the middle of the night snow plowing,” Watkins said. “Before, they would write down their time for every property when they got there and again when they exited. This definitely saves us a lot of time and hassle.”
The time and location information is sent to the HCSS Telematics website, where lead estimator Tom Alverson can run reports to get employees paid and record service for customers.
“There’s no more writing it all down,” Alverson said. “Everything is flowing really nicely with what they’re giving us and what GPS is showing on our reports. We print the report and give it to accounting, and they can do the billing and payroll directly from that.”
The GPS units also help Casper in case any liability issues arise.
“Every so often you get a call from a customer saying, ‘You damaged my mailbox. You knocked down my tree,’ when we weren’t even in that area,” Alverson said. “They will try to blame us. But we can just pull up our GPS system and prove to them that we weren’t even there.”
HCSS Telematics does more than just give location data. It also tracks speed, records run time and idle time, monitors driver behaviors and patterns, and records mileage by state.
It integrates with HCSS HeavyJob, HCSS Dispatcher, Equipment360, and FuelerPlus to help you boost trucking analysis, drive preventative maintenance, and manage production and costs.
CASPER CONSTRUCTION OVERVIEW:
• Company’s construction work shuts down in winter
• 110 snow plow customers during winter shutdown
• Snow plowing done overnight
• Damaged property liability issues
HOW HCSS TELEMATICS HELPED:
• Geofencing around properties to clock in and out
• Record of service for customers
• Time and location info sent to HCSS Telematics website
• GPS reports sent to accounting for billing and payroll
• Proof of non-liability for bogus damage claims
• Time saved in the cold from not hand-writing time sheets
• Fast reporting to accounting for billing and payroll
• Money and time saved in potential liability issues
• Record of service available for customers
“Our guys are out in the middle of the night snow plowing and writing down their time for every property. This definitely saves them a lot of time and hassle.”