What is Construction Equipment Telematics?

Construction equipment telematics data includes location, speed, fault codes, engine hours, computer engine diagnostics, and other vital asset health data that is read through a machine or vehicle’s onboard computer. This information is accessed and transmitted through IoT technology via GPS and cellular trackers and is critical data provided in a construction equipment management system.

Construction Equipment Telematics Interfaces

Modern vehicles and heavy equipment all contain various computers and an Engine Control Unit (ECU) that controls the engine and various aspects of the asset. These computers also contain a wealth of maintenance and diagnostic information than can be read via various standardized plug-in interfaces.  Fleet trackers and other cellular GPS trackers are designed to plug into the standard OBD II or JBUS vehicle interface or wire directly into the engine. In addition to transmitting live data GPS location information over a cellular network connection, these devices are also capable of transmitting telematics data including location, speed, fault codes, engine hours and other important diagnostic information.

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OBD II Connector

A vehicle’s computerized diagnostic data center and reporting interface is known as On-board diagnostics (OBD). Today, all consumer vehicles are required by law to have an OBD interface. The OBD-II specification is what is in use in most automobiles today. OBD-II can be accessed via a specific 16-pin connector which is also standardized under SAE J1962.

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JBUS Connector

Heavy-duty vehicles utilize J-BUS, sometimes referred to as the Modbus protocol, for vehicle diagnostics. J-BUS devices are typically accessed with one of two connectors – a 6-pin J1708 or a 9-pin J1939.

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Electrical System Adapter Cables

Heavy equipment requires direct wiring of a Cellular GPS tracker to the engine. In the absence of a native interface, like the OBD II port, this connection happens under the hood. Cables from the tracker connect to the equipment ignition sensing interface to detect when and how an asset is operating.

Where is telematics used in Construction?

Any vehicle or piece of equipment with an OBD II or SAE J1708/J1939 interface/port.

On-road Vehicles

Monitor on-road fleet vehicles for performance and maintenance needs.

Service Trucks

Monitor on-road fleet vehicles for performance and maintenance needs.

Engine Operated Equipment

Track engine hours and the precise location of large, engine-operated equipment and machines.

What are the benefits of telematics?

Tenna’s telematics data provides rich insights into the performance and health of your assets. Benefits include:

Rich, Actionable Data

Provides accurate, actionable data for efficiencies and compliance.


Reduces risks of breakdowns or malfunctions during operation, optimizes performance and reduces downtime.

Equipment Utilization Insights

Reduces risks of breakdowns or malfunctions during operation, optimizes performance and reduces downtime.

Improved Safety

Minimizes operation of unsafe or unfit equipment.

Automated Alerts

Alerts when asset conditions change or maintenance is needed for timely attention.

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Tenna Telematics Technology (Product Download)

One technology does not fit all

Learn which hardware works best to track your mixed assets for your unique needs.

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