There’s more to managing a landscaping project than just sending your crews into the field. Are they on-time? Are they sticking to the prescribed limits for noise levels and vibration? Do you have enough tools in the field or too many? A set of apps, hardware, and sensors makes up the Husqvarna Fleet Services system. It creates a unique service for landscaping professionals. The system includes three components that make up a vast cloud-based system. The system manages your entire landscaping fleet, your tools, and the processes by which jobs get done on time and with a high degree of safety. As part of their vision for urban parks as conveyed in there Husqvarna Silent City 2030 event, Fleet Services plays a huge role.
Before we go into the hardware, I want to step back and look at the Husqvarna Fleet Services system as a whole. Husqvarna Fleet Services launched officially this year (2016) though we got our first glimpse of it at the Husqvarna Silent City event in 2015. The three components that make up the system include individual machine sensors (which work for gas, battery, and ride-on tools), a WiFi-integrated Bluetooth base station, and an operator tag. Beyond that you choose the desired subscription software that matches the needs you have for your particular fleet. Yu may be a small operator with a few guys, or a larger operator with dozens of crews and hundreds of tools. Either way, Husqvarna has a solution that can help you manage that team more effectively.
Individual Machine Sensors
Each tool used as part of the Husqvarna Fleet Services system has a sensor that pairs to the operator and uploads data via a wireless base station. For maintenance this can tell you how many hours a machine has run, simplifying maintenance and service and helping keep equipment operating longer and in peak condition.
The sensor platform for Husqvarna Fleet Services transmits the data to the cloud. An online portal or a mobile application can access all collected data thereafter.
The applications sorts data about the machine fleet usage and the landscaping teams into the following main categories:
- Workday log – gives a quick answer to how productive the company really is, visualizing how much the whole fleet, or individual machines, are being used. With that information, it becomes clear if the fleet needs to be expanded or not.
- Interactive maintenance system – keeps track of all machines and alerts both the service manager and Husqvarna dealer before maintenance intervals. Each machine family has a dedicated maintenance program allowing for maximized up-time, safer machines, prolonged machine life and better control.
- Machine handling – allows managers and operators to understand how to better handle and master each product in the fleet in an optimal way. Improved machine handling can prolong the life of the product, improve safe machine operation, and enhance wellbeing for staff as well as efficiency and productivity. There are also positive effects on both wallet and environment from reduced fuel consumption.
- Vibration reports – focuses on improving the health and safety of operators in the field by helping them better understand and manage vibration levels. Though Husqvarna constantly strives to minimize vibration, all power tools generate a certain level of movement. The vibration report gives an indication of how much vibration each employee has been subjected to. It references applicable standards and provides invaluable proactive tools. These tools are great for helping both management and operators utilize tools better.
- Library – continuously aims to arm both management and operators with practical, up-to-date insights and tools. This includes operator manuals, workshop manuals, parts lists, machine handling videos and tutorials.
- Business lead bank – landscaping teams can submit business leads from the field. Those business leads ends up in a ‘Business lead bank’ making it easier to landscapers to communicate the most cost-efficient way to improve the maintenance levels on the park.
- Greencare objects – allows managers to create the information around each park or greencare object. Information can include tasks, dates, frequency, quality levels, location information and contact information. All this is then pushed out to the team via the smartphone app.
Husqvarna Fleet Services Dashboard
We got to see a demo of the fleet system. The dashboard gives you a top down view of everything that’s going on in your fleet. It shows idle time vs use, team productivity, machine handling (how are they used). It also displays how the team handing (as a whole unit) is doing.
In the Machine list page you can filter and sort to get a handle on what all of your tools are doing. You can check utilization, age of the tools, average use per day, and notifications for high engine speed, maintenance period due, and excessive low (or high) rpm.
The Operators list page is similar to machine list. It lets you see warnings for high exposure to vibration, which machines were used, and how long the operator worked.
Using the Fleet Service App
Using the fleet service app you can see the engine hours of use per day and other items associated with machine handling, vibration, projects and customers. You have access to a work day log that’s divided by weeks. Like the web app, it shows idle time vs run time and cumulative vibration use. There’s also a media library with Pro-targeted how-to video clips on tool operation and techniques.
Logging into the Husqvarna Fleet Services app is corroborated by GPS, and all contact information for the job is also included. On the screen the team leader and the operator can access work order on the map, the customer list and even capture and submit new business opportunities – for example unattended green spaces not included in the current assignment – to the new ‘business lead bank’. It’s a great productivity feature and really empowers your team to better account for their time as well as new opportunities.
The Husqvarna Fleet Services system is coming December on Android and shortly thereafter for iOS. This system requires a business owner to enter in the initial projects to the cloud. From there, the sensors and base station can begin collecting data.
“Say farewell to guestimates and unexpected downtime. Connectivity and insights from data are elevating landscaping professionals – operators, technicians, managers, dealers and us at Husqvarna – to simply work smarter, with better precision in everything we do, from detailed tasks to the bigger picture.”
– Håkan Wahlgren, project manager at Husqvarna
An Example of How Husqvarna Fleet Services Works
Imagine that the sensor on a ride-on front mower sends the fleet manager a message. That message indicates it needs service in 25 hours. The system can send the same message to the closest Husqvarna-dealer. It could give them a heads-up when spare parts need to be ordered. If necessary, it can book time for service. Not only could you book a service in advance, you can also plan your maintenance, maximizing uptime and enabling a proactive maintenance strategy.
Husqvarna Fleet Services can also cross-reference information about each machine and user. That means each worker within a landscaping team can get individual feedback on specific machine handling skills. Reports can even include vibration exposure levels. This informs both operators and managers on important matters or events. Those events can be a staff’s exposure to vibrations, need for service on the equipment, or optimization possibilities.
You can access Husqvarna Fleet Services online via a computer or the new smartphone application. Several new functions support the landscaping team during the day. The app seems to really support on-site operations and improves crew involvement. The workday log, the vibration report, and the video library are also just a tap away.