Innovative Iron Award Winner: Hatz’s Diesel Engine Telematics Services

Hatz’s Performance Tracking Services

The Top Construction Landscape and Rental Equipment Launched in 2023

The world of off-highway machinery is evolving — battery-powered units, hydrogen engines, luxury and economy tiering, machine control automation — but maybe the biggest evolution is that everyone wants a compact machine. Small, tool-carrying construction equipment now make up about 50 percent of the U.S. machinery market with mini excavators and compact track loaders being the two most popular categories in America. To meet this enormous demand, machine makers released some pretty awesome machines in the past 12 months: advanced skid steers, electric asphalt pavers, entry-level grade control attachments and so much more. The 2023 Innovative Iron Awards celebrate the best of these compact equipment launches. Scouring tradeshows, visiting manufacturers, operating units, interviewing experts, this annual compilation represents the best equipment we’ve seen and experienced all year, including…

Hatz’s Diesel Engine Performance Tracking Services

Here's a packaged Hatz IoT Module
Here’s a packaged Hatz IoT Module.

Telematics is being integrated into engines. Motorenfabrik Hatz is a German manufacturer of diesel engines with its North American headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The company actually just rebranded as Hatz Americas. In 2023, Hatz released one of the most interesting diesel engine telematics services available for equipment owners and rental houses. Hatz’s new Performance Tracking services can integrate the information of small and compact equipment into a contractor’s or rental fleet’s telematics platform. Once integrated, the engine’s operating data can be accessed, including fuel consumption, operating hours, error codes and more. This allows machine scheduling or maintenance intervals to be optimized, as data updates are done every 15 minutes. The connection can even enable performance- and order-related billing opportunities. All of this coolness has earned Hatz a 2023 Innovative Iron Award.

Hatz is a brand that’s already famous for its compact, lightweight and robust engines that are used in just about every type of light construction equipment application — from Multiquip trowels and BBA water pumps to Leeboy sweeps and National Signal hybrid light towers. Back in the summer, I caught up with Dr. Maren Hellwig, head of digital business development with Motorenfabrik Hatz GmbH and Co. KG, to discuss this new engine telemetry.

“Hatz’s Performance Tracking Basic service is primarily aimed at companies that want to use or already use a fleet management solution and now want to integrate information of small and compact equipment into that system,” explained Hellwig. “Our engines can be connected to common fleet management software systems via standard interface AEMP 2.0. Once integrated, the engine’s operating data can be called up such as fuel consumption, operating hours, error codes and more. This allows machine scheduling or maintenance intervals to be optimized, and data updates are done every 15 minutes.”

Hatz Performance Tracking is ideal for rental and private fleets alike. All that’s needed is a Hatz IoT module and a software license. The former can be installed on all electronically controlled engines — both for Hatz drives and those from third-party manufacturers. Standardized CAN network protocols are used. Owners and operators can track engine status, engine speed, operation hours and fuel consumption. This technology can also work in concert with other tracking technology and telematics modules.

Hatz logo

“Hatz Performance Tracking can either interact with other control units or sensor systems of the machine or can be a stand-alone solution,” says Hellwig. “Our solution is capable of extracting data from not only the customer CAN bus system but also from the diagnostics CAN bus system. Thus, we can provide deep diagnostic information which optimizes service needs. Additionally, our Hatz Performance Tracking licenses adapt to the customer’s needs in terms of their digitization journeys. Our goal is to examine individual needs and match our solution accordingly.”

With this Hatz telematics service, fleet owners can maximize machine uptime and security on ancillary machine categories like trowels, light towers, saws, compaction equipment and various drills. It also goes beyond maintenance. The connection of the engine data enables performance- and order-related billing opportunities. A rental house could easily track real-time utilization data from a piece of equipment, making flat-rate or fixed-term contracts a thing of the past. Image this sales pitch: We only bill for the actual time the machine is used.

“Via our IoT module, we can also enable the provision of additional functions or individual extensions for compact equipment with over-the-air updates,” notes Hellwig. “Regardless of the license model, however, Hatz Performance Tracking always works easily via plug and play. Mount the Hatz IoT module on the machine, wire it to the engine control unit — no external antenna is required — run the Hatz Connection Check via our web app and register the engine in the Digital Solutions Manager administration platform. After the initial installation and setup process, customers will be able to read out data and gain useful information.”

An individual Hatz IoT module kit has a retail price of around $500 and is simple to install in most powered applications.

“We recommend that our customers specify their trouble points,” says Hellwig. “What should be solved and what added value should be generated? To be able to support our customers in the decision-making process in the best possible way, we offer personal advice from our sales team. In addition, customers have the option of using our product configurator to get the suitable software license recommended via a selection of specifications.”

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Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.