Editors’ Blog

Doosan Bobcat VP discusses possible future for jobsites

By |  March 13, 2017
Joel Honeyman, vice president of innovation at Doosan Bobcat, discusses the future of jobsites during a Tech Talks presentation at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017. Photo by Megan Smalley

Joel Honeyman, vice president of innovation at Doosan
Bobcat, discusses the future of jobsites during a Tech
Talks presentation at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017. Photo by
Megan Smalley

Jobsites of the future could look fairly different from what operations are familiar with today, as they might have fewer full-time employees, fewer machines and much more information and data available at workers’ fingertips.

Joel Honeyman, vice president of innovation at Doosan Bobcat, led a Tech Talks session at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 to share his vision for a “connected jobsite.”

“We just thought it was important to start laying out the strategy for how we at Bobcat and Doosan feel our industry is going,” Honeyman says. “And also the impact on our customers because they are wondering and nervous about technology.”

During his presentation, Honeyman shares a hypothetical scenario comparing the work experiences of a construction contractor today compared with that same contractor 10 years from now. He explains how contractors today might have “42 employees and four crews that own equipment.”

“This kind of business can be chaotic since the business ends up running the contractor instead of the contractor running it,” he says.

Honeyman continues by explaining how a few evolutions could take place in the construction and aggregate industries to streamline businesses. The following are some of his predictions for the future of jobsites.

In the near future, jobsites will integrate more telematics, according to Honeyman. Photo by Megan Smalley

In the near future, jobsites will integrate more telematics,
according to Honeyman. Photo by Megan Smalley

2017: Jobsites will feature more connected awareness as they integrate fleet management systems and telematics on both big and small equipment to monitor job performance. Owners will be able to keep track of employees from smartphones and tablets to check for signs of fatigue. Companies will also likely begin to lease and rent more equipment instead of purchasing new equipment.

“There is redundant equipment on jobsites today,” Honeyman says. “While [older generations] prefer to own equipment, [younger generations] are seeing value in leasing and renting equipment for specific jobs. You can own some equipment for business, but you don’t have to own all of it.”

2022: Jobsites will feature more connected performance. Instead of simply knowing where equipment is located, equipment could also tell owners how much work is being performed.

“We might have cylinder-sensing technology on excavators and dozers,” Honeyman says. “Finance companies won’t charge contractors by the hour or day, but rather by how much material is moved, and this makes businesses much more efficient.”

2027: Jobsites will provide more connected control, as owners will be more specialized in their jobs. Owners will bring in experts to help with more specialized jobs. Autonomous equipment will help get jobs done faster.

“Technology will enable these things to come together,” Honeyman says. “When you combine these things, it will make contractors incredibly efficient.”

Honeyman suggests aggregate producers looking to prepare for future jobsite changes should approach manufacturers and equipment dealers about piloting new technologies.

“I think a lot of manufacturers have things they want to bring out to the market and do in real jobsites,” he says. “I think if you went to a dealer or business partner, they would be more than happy to try new things.”

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