Keeping track of which areas of your work need attention can be time-consuming, especially when you throw in everything else arborists have to juggle. But technical advancements are making life easier every single day and that’s where Stihl’s Connected Technology comes in. Here we take a look at how some of its latest tools can aid fleet management.

FROM managing small woodlands through to entire forests, more and more arborists are looking towards the latest technologies to offer them innovative and more efficient ways of working.

Here, Stihl explores the advantages connected technology can bring to forestry workers when managing a fleet of petrol-powered or cordless tools.

Some may assume that the forestry industry hasn’t changed much since the introduction of the chainsaw or the pole pruner. Sure, arborist equipment has become more compact and lightweight, but a great deal of what makes for a successful project remains hidden behind the scenes.

Driven by data

Arborists have many tasks to juggle, from tool management and maintenance to safety and forward planning. More often than not, time can be wasted when teams and companies don’t invest in the appropriate technology to monitor essential data. 

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Since arborist teams use a lot of equipment and tools, efficient tool management is critical for keeping track of each piece of equipment, as well as keeping the operation running smoothly. Fortunately, there are many asset management and monitoring solutions available for arborists to use and successfully manage their tools. Most asset management solutions are also compatible with mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, allowing you to manage and track assets while on the go.

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By tracking machine data such as operating times, maintenance and tool location, it allows you to work safely and more efficiently as a team. Ensuring that batteries are well charged, that all tools are fully serviced and safe to use, and that they are close to the job site, for example, can alleviate many stresses of organising a product fleet. 
Connecting with Stihl

Recognising the opportunity for smarter tool maintenance within the industry, Stihl launched its own connected management system, Stihl Connected, which is specifically designed for professional fleet managers and small business owners to make managing tools simple and intuitive. The Stihl Connected system is compatible with non-Stihl machines, so users can reap the benefits of enhanced tool management even if they have a mixed fleet.

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The new Stihl Smart Connector 2 A is compatible with the cordless HTA 135 pole pruner, as well as other cordless machines such as brushcutters and hedge trimmers. This plugs directly into the control unit of the machine and provides additional information such as working speeds, temperatures and fault messages too. Smart Connector 2 A works perfectly alongside the standard Smart Connectors as part of the same management system.

The system is made up of three components – the Stihl Smart Connector which is fitted to the tool, the Stihl Connected app and the Stihl Connected portal (online dashboard).

The Stihl Smart Connector sits flush against the housing and accurately records the runtime of the machine. The pairing process is quick, simple, and can all be done from the Stihl Connected app. 

The Stihl connected app links to the machine’s service schedule and will remind fleet managers when maintenance tasks are required, rather than having to refer to the schedule at the back of the user manual. You can see how long tools have been in operation for, allowing fleet managers to service machines after a certain number of hours rather than guessing, reducing the potential for machinery downtime and saving the business time and money. 

Keeping on top of many different machines and user manuals can be difficult and tiresome, but the Stihl Connected system puts all your necessary tool information in one place, meaning professionals can keep on top of machine maintenance at all times. It can even put users directly in touch with their local dealer to arrange a service. 

There is no personal info or GPS data gathered by the Stihl Smart Connector – the only location that’s recorded is wherever the user opened the Stihl Connected app. So, if an arborist, for example, only opened the app and offloaded the runtime at the end of the day back at the depot, that’s the only location that will be shown, not where the machine was used that day. Remember, the Smart Connector is just a Bluetooth hour meter – all of the clever functionality and location info comes from using the Stihl Connected app.

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Finally, the Stihl Connected portal gives a concise overview of all the information in a clear dashboard format, updated in real-time. You can also access more specialised features such as bespoke maintenance schedules, historic runtime data and Stihl Connected app access for other employees. 

The future of connected technology

Like most industries, the growth of big data has greatly affected the forestry industry and will continue to aid it in the future. With this big data, more accurate and reliable machine data can be obtained which allows for team productivity to be monitored more closely. 

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New arboriculture and forestry challenges demand a fresh perspective on how we can embed technology into everyday management, and utilising a fleet management system where users can collect valuable data is a big step in the right direction. 

For more information on Stihl products and its Smart Connected system, please visit: