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How to Make Scaling a Hardscape Business Easy with Technology

GPS Tracking for Construction Vehicles

It’s been a challenging few years for the hardscape industry, first with the supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and now a period of high inflation. Costs for every business owner are up, mixed with the uncertainty of the economic environment. But with better information and improved efficiency, scaling a hardscape business can still be easy. Here are five ways technology can help you do it.

  1. Tackle Fuel Efficiency
  2. Some things never change: Fuel costs are still one of the largest expenses for any hardscape business that relies on vehicles to move materials and workers to job sites. Fuel costs have trended slightly down from the heights of 2022, but they’re still historically high. It’s not realistic to start replacing fleet vehicles, but you can get more mileage out of the ones you already have with the visibility you get from a fleet management platform.

    GPS Trackit’s software gives hardscape contractors the ability to monitor idling, speeding and aggressive driving—all of which burns more fuel. Jim Bernier’s landscape service outside Charlotte has saved hundreds of dollars per month by tracking these factors. It saves Bernier fuel, time and wear-and-tear on his trucks.

  3. Zero In on Fleet Maintenance
  4. Want to stall your growth? Get a reputation in your market for showing up late or missing appointments. That can happen for a variety of reasons, but vehicle downtime is one that is completely under your control. Scaling a hardscape business is easier when you have access to all of your trucks because you were able to perform needed services when the vehicles were at base instead of triaging repairs out in the field.

    GPS Trackit’s fleet management system has a robust maintenance module that works with the information coming from each truck’s engine management system to let you know when your vehicles need attention. It helps you schedule preventative maintenance and monitor metrics like fuel economy for signs of issues with engines, tires or other systems.

  5. Dial Up Route Optimization
  6. Who doesn’t want to accomplish more in less time with the same assets? GPS Trackit’s route optimization function gives you the ability to build routes that cover territory more efficiently. Clients like Bernier have been able to reduce miles driven by 20 percent while still servicing a full client load. Not only does that reduce fuel costs, but gives you more room to add new clients to your schedule. Plus, being able to see where all your assets are at a given time gives you the flexibility to move crews to help out or fill in where needed.

  7. Lock in Employee Performance and Retention
  8. It’s never been harder for hardscape contractors to find and retain good crew members. Experienced crew members leave for other positions or simply age out of what can be physically demanding work. In some cases, industry turnover can exceed 80 percent—and it will cost an average of 60 percent of a new hire’s first-year pay to find that replacement.

    The first line of defense? Keeping your best crew members by identifying and rewarding them appropriately. GPS Trackit’s driver performance metrics give hardscape contractors the tools to monitor safety, efficiency and performance and give the best crew members the acknowledgement they need. One client posts her driver metrics each week and inspires competition between crews to see which ones can top the chart for fuel efficiency and satisfactory job completion. The winners receive cash incentives, while the crews who regularly struggle can get remedial training. The net result? Higher driver retention and better overall fleet efficiency, safety and performance.

To learn more about how GPS Trackit can help you scale your hardscape business, set up a free, customized demo with a Fleet Advisor today.

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