The Fleet Office develop innovative technology for Quarry Solutions
The Fleet Office was approached by Quarry Solutions part of the SEE Group to develop an innovative technology solution for safety and material accountability during the Pacific Highway Upgrade Project.
Quarry Solutions acquired the Main Supply Agreement for the Pacific Highway Upgrade, a massive undertaking to provide the material for 124 kilometres of road.
To achieve this undertaking the team identified two key issues they needed The Fleet Office’s support in finding a solution:
- To increase their safety component for the transport of the material from the quarry to the job site, this is a high traffic zone with a school bus route.
- To develop a stock monitoring system for the plant to be capable of having accountability for the material produced and where it is utilised. This previously hasn’t fully existed within the quarry industry.
Quarry Solutions chose The Fleet Office as their Technology partner because of their unique ability to develop custom systems and integrate with Viewpoint, the company’s current ERP.
Quarry Solutions highlighted a safety issue with over 150 thousand truck movements across the year. They had the insight to recognise the concern of school buses stopping and starting along the same stretch of road their trucks were using to transport material. Prevention was required before there was an interaction between a stationary school bus and a truck travelling at up to 100km per hour.
To provide a technology solution The Fleet Office developed the Truck and Bus Avoidance System (TBAS).
In the month that Quarry Solutions was operating prior to TBAS being deployed, there were four near misses with school buses, creating urgency to solve this problem. The Fleet Office built the TBAS system within 24 days from initial brief to full deployment, a feat in itself. Since then, for the year that TBAS has been in place, there have been zero near misses among the 150 thousand truck movements.
The Fleet Office utilised telemetry (the process of recording and transmitting the readings of an instrument) in both the school buses and Quarry Solutions trucks.
The buses had a beacon tracker installed that wouldn’t disrupt the driver of the bus, but the trucks had a two-way system that The Fleet Office could use to notify the truck driver they were approaching a vulnerable asset such as a bus.
For example, if a truck was approaching a school bus the driver would receive notification they were 800 meters away, allowing the truck driver sufficient time to slow down and minimise the risk of an incident. On occasions when the truck came within 50 metres of a bus, not only would the truck driver be notified, the company would receive an email notification, so the driver could be monitored and re-educated regarding the dangers of travelling close to a school bus.
In addition, The Fleet Office built into the TBAS system specific speed restrictions for school zones. If the driver was speeding during a school zone, the company is notified and could act in the interest of child safety. Any other telemetry system can only report speeding over the speed zone outside of school regulated hours and does not consider the morning and afternoon speed changes of weekday school zones. The Fleet Office not only took these school zone restrictions into account but lifted them during school holidays, ensuring its accuracy.
The system has capabilities of reporting all truck driver’s driving behaviours – driving without a seatbelt, speeding, harsh acceleration and harsh braking. This allows the company to monitor their drivers and re-educate or reassign habitual rule breakers causing safety issues.
Based on the data The Fleet Office provides, Quarry Solutions created a 21-point driver behaviour action plan to assist drivers to adhere to safety and community standards. Quarry Solutions found their drivers welcomed the changes as it helped them stay safe and keep the children in the community safe while minimising the stress they previously experienced when blindly approaching a stationary school bus.
The safety standards as an outcome of TBAS have exceeded industry standards and positioned Quarry Solutions for industry recognition.
For this particular project, in a three-month period, Quarry Solutions produce and distribute one million tonnes of material. Without proper procedures and systems in place to monitor this material, there was a risk that uncertified material could be used in production due to human error, leading to subpar roads.
The need to prevent and monitor all material led to The Fleet Office creating a system called FleetStock, a custom software development for Quarry Solutions.
With this technology, FleetStock tracks key information:
- Asset movements
- Material grade
- Stock levels
- Certification capture
- Tip locations (on job site)
This level of accountability has never been achieved in the quarrying industry before.
The FleetStock technology works by tapping into particular stages of the plant process to capture data and trigger alerts.
Using this system, the Quarry manager can simply select which lease the material came from, then receive data on the quantity of material entered into the crushing plant from the weigh scales. After this, the material would sort into the different bins based on one of 22 Types of crushed material, ranging from large rock to crusher dust. FleetStock would then track the ‘assets’ (an ‘asset’ is a dump truck in this instance) collecting the material and where it is tipped.
For example, if the asset was collecting from bin one, this confirms the collection of grade 20 material. The asset then proceeds to a rolling
weighbridge, and without having to stop, FleetStock taps into the hardware to take measurements. It is then tracked where the load is tipped for stockpile testing.
From there, the stockpiles of materials are ready to be certified to ensure they are of the highest quality. As each asset has FleetStock installed, if an asset were to accidentally take from an uncertified pile, an alert will sound, thus preventing subpar material being used.
After a road transport asset has collected certified material for use on the project, they cross a weighbridge at the gate allowing FleetStock to track, down to the kilogram, which asset had taken how much material. This allows FleetStock to accurately measure how much stock is on the ground for that entire quarry and what has been used. Using this information, FleetStock can report to the Quarry managers key performance data.
By implementing FleetStock, Quarry Solutions can now measure the quantity of material taken from each lease, as only a certain amount of material can be removed from each lease per year. It also enablesQuarry Solutions to manage and correct human error.
For example, when a truck leaves the quarry and accidentally takes the wrong material to the wrong destination, FleetStock can track the material through every stage of the materials lifecycle from the place of extraction, allowing this error to be corrected quickly and efficiently to minimise loss.
FleetStock has assisted Quarry Solutions with client accountability regarding the truck waiting time. By contract, a truck has a 15-minute allowance to come in, tip their load and leave. Before FleetStock, there was no way to enforce this time restriction and Quarry Solutions clients were often holding trucks up with no consequence to slowing down the delivery process.
FleetStock commenced measuring the time a truck spent delivering each load. The outcome of this was every minute of delay was added to the invoice with 3 to 4 hours additional being billed daily. Once clients received this bill and saw the effect of delaying these trucks, they became more efficient in the trucks in and out procedures. Improving efficiencies through highlighting time measurement, a single truck can retrieve a further two loads per day. The outcome was Quarry Solutions is selling more material daily and the client was delivering more materials, allowing them to work faster with a win-win result for everyone.
FleetStock is a custom developed, state of the art stock management program.This management system is not limited to quarry material. The asset or product can easily change. If you can haul it, FleetStock can track it.
The Fleet Office had the honour of presenting the outcomes of the partnership with Quarry Solutions at the recent industry awareness day in Coraki, and both FleetStock and TBAS have been nominated for IQA awards.
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