The construction industry’s basic mission – to create structures that human beings use – has stayed the same throughout its history, but over time there have been tremendous changes in how we work within the industry.
The current generation of construction professionals is seeing a major shift thanks to equipment innovations that will vastly improve our job sites and how we go about working on them each day. Here are 3 of the top equipment innovations that are changing the construction industry.
1. GPS Tracking Devices
When you work in construction, losing equipment is just a part of life. Tools can break, get accidentally taken home by a mate in his toolbox, or otherwise go missing. When it comes to larger and more expensive construction equipment like excavators, it’s vital to do everything possible to prevent theft and unauthorized use, and to be able to keep tabs on where your equipment is at all times — especially if it’s being used across multiple job sites. That’s why the GPS tracking devices we’re seeing installed throughout construction equipment are such a great innovation.
Although GPS tracking has been common in Aus for many years now — odds are good you’ve got a GPS device in your vehicle or use a GPS-enabled app on your smartphone — it’s starting to become more widespread in construction as well. Using GPS tracking for your construction equipment will ensure you never have to wonder where a piece of machinery has ended up and can even help reduce insurance premiums.
2. Autonomous Vehicles
Self-driving technology has been quickly improving with major companies like Google and Tesla working on developing autonomous cars. There is still a long way to go before autonomous cars take over the road, but the technology is also being used in other vehicles such as construction equipment. It’s likely that its use will progress more quickly on construction sites as there is somewhat less complexity to manage: for one thing, job sites don’t have to deal with traffic or pedestrians.
The use of autonomous construction equipment provides many of the same benefits as self-driving cars. For example, they increase efficiency as they’re designed to always take the fastest route between points on the job site and they can perform tasks while workers handle other things. In addition, machinery doesn’t need breaks the same way humans do — autonomous vehicles have the potential to work on a specified task for hours on end without needing to switch shifts. They also improve worker safety as they can be controlled from afar and don’t require anyone to put themselves in potentially risky situations to operate them.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) equipment has been circling the edges of our daily lives and workplaces for a long time now. Back in the 1990s — before VR entered its current era of popularity with mobile and console video gamers — arcade machines and other gadgets used the technology. But it’s only in recent years that the technology has really caught up and that the cost as gone down enough to make VR widely accessible.
Even great blueprints and cutting-edge modelling displayed on a laptop or tablet can’t replicate the experience of seeing a fully finished building before your eyes on the job site. Thanks to the use of VR with gadgets like smart glasses, we can expect to soon be able to see exactly how the finished construction will look as well as see it at different stages of progress. Greater use of this tool will speed up work and cut down on mistakes and delays, delivering a massive boost to productivity across all projects that use it.
A Real Revolution
The innovations we’ve discussed are already being put to use on job sites, and they’re only the beginning. That’s one of the reasons why the future of construction is so promising. All of us can look forward to a future where job sites are safer, more productive, and more dynamic, and innovative equipment is going to be right at the centre of it.
What other construction equipment innovations are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below.