Real-time technology connects construction managers to sites, reducing operating costs and improving efficiency.

RESTON, Va.Trimble, Sunnyvale, Calif., and Nextel Communications Inc., Reston, Va., announced the availability of Trimble Construction Manager, a wireless solution that utilizes Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to deliver construction professionals a two-pronged solution: 1) to locate and manage assets at construction sites via Nextel handheld phones, and 2) in-vehicle devices to optimize asset utilization and productivity of mobile assets. The solution effectively connects the office to the jobsite and is designed to reduce operating costs and improve construction efficiency.

The service available on Nextel handsets uses Nextel's iDEN network to deliver information to workers on jobsites, such as the location of assets and employees, allowing them to locate and navigate to the assets needed to complete projects. In addition, jobsites boundaries, or "geo-fences," can be sent to the phone, allowing the solution to record site entry and exit events so site managers are notified if a worker enters a hazardous or unsafe zone. Users can also download maps and site designs to their Nextel wireless phones and view their current location superimposed on the design. This enables workers to perform reconnaissance activities such as inspecting terrain and visualizing how the site will be prepared. Trimble Construction is available on the ruggedized i605, the i710, i730, i733, i736, i830, i833 and the i860 digital camera phone.

The in-vehicle component is an ideal tool to improve asset utilization by identifying onsite bottle necks, reduce unnecessary fuel costs by measuring vehicle idle times and improve employee safety by monitoring driving speeds. Asset utilization data can also be used to improve maintenance scheduling, and in turn deliver faster service to customers and prolong the life of the asset.

Trimble Construction Manager uses one interface for both the handheld and in-vehicle components, which allows construction managers to manage all their assets from one software interface, regardless of how many construction sites, assets or employees are enabled with the solution. Construction managers can produce reports on asset utilization and activity to fit the business needs of each construction company, such as generating a vehicle activity summary showing which sites were visited, when they arrived at each location and stops made along the way. In addition, some reports automate processes that have previously required manual recording of data, such as recording the mileage traveled in each state by each vehicle for state road tax purposes.

A variety of map views, including high-resolution color imagery and street maps, provide different representations of the site, helping with site visualization and decision-making.

Source: Trimble, July 20, 2005