Caterpillar will soon launch a new application for smartphones and the web that allows paving contractors to track the location and productivity of haul trucks as they travel between plant and jobsite.
Cat’s Dann Rawls previewed the new app, dubbed eRoutes, during a quick media presentation at the World of Asphalt show in Houston earlier this week. Rawls said the app is the result of an intellectual property purchase that Cat is in the process of making from Minds, Inc., a company that specializes in developing automation control systems and process monitoring software for the asphalt and construction industries.
Rawls said eRoutes began life as a custom software request that Minds, Inc. delivered to customers looking for real-time truck tracking. He added that Cat took what was basically a database at the core of that software and built a new mobile app and web dashboard around it that it will launch as soon as the IP purchase from Minds goes through.
eRoutes allows paving contractors to open up the app and quickly see where their trucks are and when they will arrive to a jobsite. The goal is to allow contractors to align layout and delivery by making adjustments to a paving operation based on information flowing in from the app. eRoutes can also send push notifications to your phone about certain stages of the haul process being completed such as when a truck is loaded or when a mix change has occurred.
The app provides location tracking by placing devices at the plant and on the paver or material transfer vehicle that create a geofence at these locations. The trucks are also outfitted with a small device that is constantly pinging its GPS location. Thanks to the geofence devices, you can instantly see when a truck enters or leaves the jobsite or a plant.
Beyond location tracking, the app’s geofencing functionality eliminates the hassle of paper ticket, logging them electronically instead. eRoutes also promises to give contractors a view of how productive truck drivers are being.
While the smartphone app is designed for use in the field, Rawls said a web-based version will also be available for post processing and generating reports in the office.
Rawls says eRoutes will be distributed through Sitech and will be sold as a service through a yearly subscription.