Tight margins are due to get even tighter for many in the industry with the predicted rise in material costs following soaring prices in 2021 and the introduction of new legislation such as the reform of red diesel usage, coming into force in April. But smart use of technology can help to make much needed financial savings.

The introduction of new restrictions on the use of red diesel will bring cost implications for many construction businesses, with the duty on white diesel significantly higher than red. Add in the fact red and white diesel are becoming more and more attractive targets for theft, and site managers are facing not only fuel cost challenges but security concerns too.

“It’s understandable that many businesses may be feeling ill-prepared or concerned about the rising threats surrounding increasing fuel prices – particularly after the challenges thrown at us all through 2020 and 2021. But there are ways that control can be taken back and savings made, thanks to technology,” explained Kevin Bull, Commercial Director at market-leading telematics firm ABAX UK.

Technology tackles rising construction costs

Telematics is vehicle and asset tracking technology that is simple to install, and effective immediately. Small GPS tracking devices can be installed in vehicles, on machinery and on tools to monitor their usage, track emissions and plot their whereabouts – with all machine data is available via one system with solutions such as the ABAX Smart Connect.


No time to be idle

One area offering potential savings with the use of tracking technology is idling. According to CAT, construction equipment idle time can be as much as 40-50% of total operation time – it’s unavoidable but many find that it can be reduced, and with rising fuel costs a reduction can equate to significant savings. Telematics technology will highlight idling time per vehicle, allowing site managers to identify areas where improvements could be made.


Tackling the cost of theft

In 2020, the cost of theft and vandalism to the UK construction industry was at least £800million. That cost is predicted to rise in 2022 as a direct impact of increasing fuel and materials prices. Again, telematics can help – live positional updates every 60 seconds are available 24/7, with customisable geofences and usage reports also to hand, allowing construction sites complete visibility of assets.

The evidence that telematics works in theft scenarios is clear to see, as Kevin explained: “we’ve had customers recover stolen vehicles that have travelled over 150 miles, all thanks to ABAX GPS tracking.”

Productivity savings shouldn’t be forgotten

“Although theft will be one of the biggest avoidable costs when it comes to construction vehicles and tools – there’s a hidden cost in time wasted searching for misplaced assets. Our research shows construction workers lose 38 hours annually looking for their tools – that’s a significant productivity loss that telematics can help overcome,” said Kevin.

Telematics used for tool tracking allows workers to quickly and effectively locate what they’re searching for – a time saving but also tackling an easily avoided frustration for workers.

ABAX telematics units are self-installable, provide HMRC compliant data and offer live-tracking solutions, all allowing you to access actionable location and usage data on all your assets – and via one easy-to-use interface. Mixed, large and small fleets can all be tracked in an efficient and cost-effective manner, whilst also provide vital reporting data on demand.

Technology tackles rising construction costs


If you’re looking for your fleet to make financial and productivity savings, then ABAX could be the solution for you. Go to ABAX.com or call 01733 698888.