Understanding Telematics to Maximize Value


Those who care about telematics care mostly for one of two reasons. One, they design the systems and want to do so efficiently, producing a product that has value to the OEM and to the equipment owner. Two, they own pieces of equipment, perhaps many different brands or models, and they want to use the information telematics provide to maximize the productivity and profitability of that equipment. While focused on OEM and solution providers, they and end users will derive value from the IFPE session presented by Chad Repp, Business Development Manager of Telematics at HED.

Both parties will also face the same challenges in managing their use of telematics. There’s an almost limitless amount of data than can be gathered from any worksite. It’s not all equally important and the importance of each data set can vary as jobsite conditions change. How do you decide which data to include and which to ignore? How do you deliver and present that information? And for end users, how do you put that information to use in your business management strategy?

Drop the jargon to create a tool

Repp says to begin by purging your process of jargon. “Forget about the term ‘telematics.’ Forget about ‘IoT’ [internet of things]. Focus on building and using a tool, one that makes the worksite safer and allows better management of equipment and other assets.” And rather than being overwhelmed by the scope of telematics, break down the topic by use case, such as cameras, crash detection, and coordinating PM tasks with a scheduled downtime.

HED works with OEMs and solution providers, such as Brigade Electronics, to create telematics packages for OEMs. “In that landscape,” says Repp, “Brigade is the Tier 1 supplier and HED is a Tier 2 supplier. HED is providing telematics tools from which Brigade can build their proprietary offering.”

Telematics is a congested market with OEMs and third-party providers all vying for customers’ dollars. The advantage of a proprietary package is that it will provide deeper insights than a third-party package may. The manufacturer of your excavator or wheel loader may not make deep data available to third-party providers; they reserve access to that information for their customers. On the other hand, third-party products are more likely to capture standardized data from a mixed fleet with many types and brands of equipment. It takes analysis and understanding to commit to the right telematics package.

Does the demand for telematics lag behind the tech of telematics?

Telematics technology has been around for a while. For all the benefits it offers, acceptance has been slow. Initially, there was some concern about Big Brother, that OEMs would monitor equipment usage and use that information to deny warranty claims. When that proved groundless, some customers said, “Fine. It’s on the machine and I’ll have to take it. But I’m not going to use it.” More recently a larger percentage of the customer base is using telematics and within that group, a considerable segment is using the technology to its full advantage.

Even so, Repp says, “The off-highway industry is still in the middle of adopting and leveraging telematics.” Advanced as they are, the systems must do better at the gathering, parsing, and presenting data. And customers, even those with whom the tech has found favor, need to get better at applying the information strategically if they’re going to get the greatest value from it.

Adding challenge is the fact that “IoT and telematics form a living product, one that responds to changes in the environment of the technology and the worksite,” says Repp. “The industry is working to stay current with a product that’s constantly evolving.”


Co-located within CONEXPO-CON/AGG, IFPE provides an unmatched opportunity to harness the power of in-person connection. Engineers can meet with potential partners to discuss processes for streamlining the integration of sensors with hydraulic systems, all with the latest innovations in fluid power at their fingertips.

Learn more about the show and the endless possibilities that come with collaboration on the front lines of fluid power. Take advantage of discounted rates available and register for IFPE 2023 today


IFPE’s comprehensive education program is the leading source for executives, engineers, manufacturing plant and operation leads, technicians, mechanics, and other fluid power professionals covering the latest technical topics and trends. Click here for more information.


Mark your calendar for IFPE, March 14-18, 2023, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and take advantage of discounted rates available and register for IFPE 2023 today


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