Wireless Fleet Management System

Description

Known for delivering the lowest total cost of ownership in the lift truck industry, Crown Equipment Corporation has gone a step further to help customers maximize asset utilization and the value of their fleet. With the introduction of the InfoLinkTM wireless fleet management system, Crown becomes the first lift truck manufacturer to develop, manufacture and market a state-of-the-art fleet management tool. It will also support the InfoLink system through its own established dealer network. “To deliver the operational cost savings our customers desire, we need to develop technology that provides them with information to manage their systems as efficiently as possible,” said Crown Senior Vice President Jim Moran. “The problem is that many customers lack a convenient and accurate way to capture the data necessary to make informed decisions.” “This will be one of those technologies that once they have it, they will quickly realize the value it brings to their operational planning process,” Moran added. InfoLink is comprised of a user-friendly, on-board operator interface that wirelessly communicates lift truck data to a central server using the network that most warehouses already have in place. Through InfoLink, warehouse managers can compile data on how many hours each truck is in operation; control who is allowed to operate any given truck; ensure that safety inspections are conducted by each operator; manage planned maintenance programs; and be alerted and track when and where trucks have been in a collision. “Our customers want to know if their fleet is the right size and if each truck is being used in the most efficient manner possible,” said Moran. “By comparing data across their facilities, our customers receive the information that provides them with a competitive edge.” InfoLink, which began shipping in early October, is the only fleet management system that incorporates Crown’s expertise in lift trucks and material handling applications. “As we were developing InfoLink, our industry experience played a key role in addressing customer and market-specific needs. For instance, it helped us identify the most effective placement of a sensor and its sensitivity level for individual applications. It’s not just a collision alert in a box,” said Moran. “Providing service support on a national basis can be difficult for pure software providers. We feel our established dealer network creates a competitive advantage for us and is a value-add for our InfoLink customers.” Moran adds, “We are concerned about what worries our customers. Our product development begins and ends with talking to customers, and our discussions revealed that fleet management and asset utilization was a high priority. With InfoLink they will have ongoing statistical measurements to gauge fleet performance and utilization.” InfoLink together with Crown’s FleetSTATSTM fleet service tracking, accounting and support program offer a complete asset utilization system for those users who are working to lower their operating costs. Customers can expect InfoLinkTM to pay for itself in just 14–18 months.
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