While the operation of large fleets of vehicles is integral to a mining company’s day-to-day functioning, the management of the vehicles is not necessarily the mine’s core business imperative. This is where Ctrack’s fleet and mobile asset management and tracking solutions take control and bring added safety and security to the mines.
Ctrack, a division of DigiCore Holdings Ltd, a JSE-listed entity, develops and uses the most technologically-advanced vehicle monitoring and fleet management systems. With continued investment in research and development since its inception in 1985, Ctrack has designed fleet management solutions and user friendly software, to ensure a perfect match with a customer’s needs and requirements. And, within the mining industry, it is no different.
Safety and security are at the top of the list within a mining environment. Ctrack’s fleet management solution is the enabler in ensuring that all vehicles that operate on a mine – from plant equipment to trucks to company cars – do so as safely and cost efficiently as possible.
The Ctrack solution includes various safety features that may be remotely monitored in real time. For example with seat belt sensors the control room is able to see that all drivers are safely belted in their seats.
“The versatility of our system enables a mine to monitor various trigger points that are particular to that mine, such as stock pile movement, and any number of operational areas and speed restrictions within these areas for any given vehicle – in fact, the system can be customised to cover all the safety requirements that will result in effective fleet management and cost efficiencies,” says Marcel Blokland, sales director: Ctrack Fleet Management.
“What makes the Ctrack system unique is its ability to monitor and produce accurate and intelligent fleet management data. With a vehicle tracking system, anyone can ascertain the GPS positioning. The challenge, however, is to display and dissect the information for the customer in such a way that it makes business sense. As Ctrack uses cellular and satellite technology communication is continuous no matter how remote the location.
“On the mines, we make use of server-based software that provides our mining clients with essential and relevant real time monitoring. Having access to this information enables the mine to take corrective action immediately, should there be a problem with one of the vehicles or drivers,” explains Blokland.
The versatility of the system enables it to be customised for each client’s safety requirements and monitoring risk protocol. These could include monitoring different aspects of a vehicle and its driver, such as seatbelt compliance, strobe light activation, speed zone monitoring, use of brakes, RPM, fuel consumption and the vehicle’s carbon footprint.
The system can also identify each driver and restrict him from driving vehicles which he is not qualified to operate
“The Ctrack fleet management system is further able to monitor which vehicles are allowed to leave the mine, for example, and creates automatic notifications of vehicle service reminders, and vehicle and drivers’ licences renewal dates. The mine management team can also interrogate the recorded data should they need to investigate an incident involving one of the vehicles or drivers on the mine,” states Blokland.
Monitoring how the vehicle is driven can result in fuel and maintenance savings of up to 15%, and a reduction in incidents and accidents due to awareness and a more sympathetic driving style.
Mine efficiency and productivity is further enhanced through load cells that can be integrated with Ctrack’s telematics solution installed in the vehicle, to monitor the tonnage loaded and off loaded at any given point, for example.
“Ctrack has the intelligence to monitor the different inputs that enable a mine to operate its fleet of vehicles safely and efficiently, while saving costs and reducing the carbon footprint,” concludes Blokland.