7 Reasons To Use Cellular Trail Cameras To Document Construction Projects
Trail cameras have always served a minor role in the "remote" security world but the market adoption of cellular trail cameras has multiplied that 10x. Prior to cellular trail cameras hitting critical mass, most trail cameras used in security use cases were a result of a hunter simply having a camera sitting on the shelf not in use. Today's builders, contactors, and customers alike are utilizing cellular trail cameras as their top choice to document work sites for a multitude of reasons.
If you are a contractor that is unfamiliar with cellular trail cameras but have interest in implementing them onto your job sites, learn the very basics of cellular trail cameras in this article, "3 Things First Time Buyers Should Know".
Now, let's dive into the 7 reasons why you should be using cellular trail cameras to document your construction project!
1. No WIFI
Most home security systems are WiFi enabled but what happens when there is no WiFi? The challenge on a building site is that you likely don't have WiFi. For this reason alone, cellular trail cameras are the best choice for any documentation or security use cases on construction projects. Like WiFi products, cellular trail cameras also have a contingency...you need cellular signal at location.
To be as straightforward and clear as possible, before buying a cellular trail camera for this use case you need to determine which cellular provider has the best signal strength in your area and proceed to purchase a compatible cellular trail camera. Your personal phone provider has no impact on this. The cellular trail camera just needs signal where you place it. Luckily, most construction use cases easily fall within the major cellular carriers infrastructure grids.
2. After Hour Security
Every contractor around the world ends their work day nearly the same. Paperwork, housekeeping, and securing the sight before departure.
The reality of today's world of increasing material costs is anything left unsecure somehow grows legs. We all think of the big ticket items like tools, windows, doors, etc but when you start to lose a handful of 2x4 each week over multiple job sites it doesn't take long to make a dent in your bottom line.
While adding a cellular trail camera to your job site may not totally eliminate theft it certainly helps deter it. The real benefit comes from the satisfaction of having valid documentation of theft and the responsible parties so that legal actions can be taken. Without a useable photo for identification purposes, most police reports fall on deaf ears.
3. Track Man Hours
Any business owner knows labor is a large expense and arguably the hardest expense to manage. As an employer your expense rate per hour is fixed but production is not. On top of that, all those late arrivals, longer than intended lunch breaks, and early departures are next to impossible to track unless you have extremely honest employees that are disciplined with documentation. You're probably shaking your head in agreement.
Adding a cellular trail camera to your job site can easily mitigate unproductive labor costs and track employee/subcontractor attendance. Job to job, year over year this alone can increase your bottom line by thousands of dollars.
4. Document Contractors
General contractors typically weed out subs relatively quick but until you get to that point, finding reliable sub contractors is a constant struggle. Scheduling conflicts can become a huge liability for large contractors managing multiple jobs on tight timelines. A few hour delay from one sub might cost the next sub a day and then the trickle down effect starts if the general contractor is left out of the loop or isn't staying proactive with scheduling.
Just knowing your sub contractors are on site when they are schedule to be there helps resolve any avoidable scheduling conflicts. Having a cellular trail camera on location provides that information without you having to think about it.
5. Verify Material Deliveries
You're likely familiar with freight deliveries from suppliers.."Our driver will be there between 9AM and 3 PM". I'm not sure how we gotten so far away from holding vendors accountable but that where we are. The words "hurry up and wait" get thrown around alot. Get real time notifications of deliveries from your cellular trail camera so you aren't burning man hours waiting on deliveries. When the alert comes to your phone you then can head to the site and be there before the driver has their tie downs undone.
Another added bonus is documenting the landing procedure of materials. If you're a seasoned contractor you've likely had delivery of damaged goods at some point. If the damage came by fault of the freight company during the landing process and that can be verified through documented photos from your cellular trail camera you have an open and shut case to claim a replacement order.
6. Automatic Production Updates
Whether you're a contractor or homeowner, visually seeing progress on your project is always a good feeling. With cellular trail cameras, like the Exodus Rival or the Exodus Render, you can program the cell cam in time lapse mode to take a couple photos each day. These photos can be auto shared with customers, clients, sub contractors, etc to help provide transparency and keep the project on schedule.
For residential contractors, the addition of cell cameras to a project can be an easy upsell to customers and/or a value added bonus to the end customer. At the project's completion you have a beautiful timeline of photos showing off the project from start to finish!
7. Insurance Savings
Want to save on insurance costs? Having an implemented plan for work site safety that is followed and documented can not only save you on annual insurance costs but possibly save your company in the event of a work site accident.
This type of application is becoming more and more common in use cases where equipment and material is being handled in the same areas over and over. This might be a loading area during a logging operation or excavation project.
While there are a plethora of time lapse and security cameras available in today's marketplace, most don't hold a candle to the durability and weather proofing of a trail camera.
Trail cameras, whether cellular or not, typically have a higher IP rating due to the normal use case of being exposed to extremely elements 24/7 365. These devices are designed to be outside exposed to the elements unlike many other cameras.
In addition to weather tight housings, most trail cameras offer better battery life over other camera options. When it comes to cellular trail cameras, an external power source can give you enough battery capacity to last the entire project!
It's easy to see the benefits of having a cellular trail camera monitoring your job site. Whether you're a contractor or paying customer, having documentation through the scope of work brings value and transparency to all parties involved. If you are an individual with interest in implementing cell cameras on your projects we'd love to talk with you about the specific use case to ensure a great experience!