You know Cat® Product Link™ comes standard on the Cat Truck, and you’ve probably heard about its benefits: controlling costs, improving uptime, boosting productivity, increasing security. But how can it really help you every day on the job? We asked our On-Highway Product Link expert some questions about specific ways you can use this asset and fleet management tool.
Q. Everyone’s looking for ways to reduce fuel consumption. Can Product Link help with that?
A. Definitely. Product Link’s web-based user interface (VisionLink®) not only shows you a truck’s current fuel level at any given moment, but it also lets you monitor overall fuel consumption—for one truck or a whole fleet. No more down-the-road surprises about how much fuel you’re using.
Another great feature is the working-versus-idle-time graph that appears on your VisionLink dashboard when you open up the application. You can see at a glance where fuel might be being wasted and take action right away.
Of course, the best way to keep fuel costs down is to make sure your trucks are working at peak performance. Product Link can help here, too. It’ll alert you when maintenance is due so you don’t miss any key service intervals. It can even tell you when a specific truck is losing performance and help you identify why that’s happening so you can fix it fast.
Q. We’ve heard horror stories about trucks being stolen. How can Product Link help prevent theft or misuse?
A. It’s easy to set virtual site boundaries—sometimes called “geofences”—to keep a close eye on your Cat Truck. You just use the “maps” function in VisionLink to create site boundaries, then have an alert sent whenever your truck or trucks move outside those boundaries. You can limit the hours when alerts are sent—only after hours or on weekends, for example.
Last summer, someone cut a hole in the fence at Cat Dealer Ring Power’s facility in Sarasota, Florida, rammed through a gate and fled the scene in a Cat Truck. You can bet the dealership was pretty happy that truck had Product Link, since police were able to locate and recover it right away.
Q. Some customers are even using Product Link to help with driver training—tell us about that.
A. That’s right. It’s a great way to monitor driver performance without having to be in the cab or on the jobsite yourself. You can set up what are called “driver-generated” alerts that will tell you when drivers are doing something that might hurt truck performance. Then you can follow up with the individual driver to correct the problem. Product Link will also help you spot patterns of behavior, which can indicate when it might be time for some additional training.
Product Link even GPS tags where problems occur, so you might discover it’s not the operator that’s causing a certain issue—maybe it’s something on the road or jobsite that you can fix or avoid.
Q. These are all great examples. Where else can customers learn about the specific uses of Product Link?
There’s a great overview video about how Product Link works in the Cat Truck here. And there’s a whole series of customer testimonials here—they’re machine-focused, but it’s pretty easy to see how the benefits could translate to the Cat Truck. And of course, you can always ask your Cat dealer for more details.