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How GPS Tracking Systems Can Improve Operations In The Agricultural Sector

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

The transport industry has immensely benefited from GPS tracking systems. These kinds of technological solutions can provide benefits for the agricultural and rural contracting sectors, which contribute more than $33 billion to New Zealand’s economy each year.

By tracking and collating the data generated by commercial vehicles, plant and equipment, agricultural managers can:

  • Run operations more efficiently to improve productivity
  • Improve staff safety
  • Manage road user charges (RUC) whilst collecting maximised off-road rebates.

With so much to do and so little time, here’s how telematics can help achieve long-term success and stability.

Better Management of Assets

Commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery, plant and equipment are vital in operating an agricultural business, but these assets are costly to maintain. Monitoring the health of your machinery is essential to minimise the risk of unforeseen downtime during a crucial part of the season, however, maintaining visibility across them can be difficult as they are often far away from base.

A fleet tracking system allows agricultural managers to remotely monitor all assets. The system records and collates important data such as engine diagnostics, fuel levels, kilometres travelled and service schedules. The system can also be configured to send alerts when it’s time for a service, oil check or other maintenance. A GPS fleet tracking system allows managers to check the exact location of the working asset. In the event of an emergency, the exact location of the machinery or vehicle can assist in recovering the asset for repairs, thus reducing further downtime.

This real-time data confirms if drivers are on schedule for deliveries. The data can be converted into easy-to-read reports at the end of the month, giving an overview of the fleet. These reports help owners understand if the assets are being utilised to their optimum. With this wealth of data, managers can make more effective business decisions.

Improve Safety and Ensure Compliance

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, everybody from business owners and managers to employees, contractors and suppliers has a duty of care. This chain of responsibility extends to include producers and suppliers of goods, so following safety procedures is more important than ever. This is especially important considering the agricultural sector has the highest amount of workplace deaths in New Zealand: 16 farm workers died in 2019 while operating farm machinery such as tractors and quad bikes.

Fleet tracking software helps reduce an employee’s exposure to risks by giving agricultural managers the visibility to identify and correct driving and operating behaviour. Alerts for speeding, harsh braking and harsh acceleration can be set up to alert drivers in real-time, giving them the chance to correct the risky behaviour. Monitoring driver behaviour gives managers a way to identify risky habits and address them.

  • Lone Workers

In the case of lone workers, the high definition GPS-data can assist managers in checking that vehicles are where they should be and in locating vehicles and their drivers quickly in the case of an incident.

  • Vehicle Safety

A digital pre-trip checklist is a good way to ensure the vehicle is safe for use and allows operators to flag potential problems, such as thin tyre tread, before they become an issue. The data is sent back to the office immediately via the vehicle’s in-cab device and appropriate action can be taken.

  • Site Safety

Setting up geographical boundaries which trigger alerts allows owners to track and manage the vehicles coming and going on sites. This can help keep smaller vehicles out of restricted areas where heavy equipment is operating. Drivers can be alerted of the speed restriction for a site. Managers can also see if a vehicle has not returned at the end of the day.

Get on top of your RUC and get your refund

Teletrac Navman’s RUC Manager is an electronic Road User Charges (eRUC) system that manages, purchases, displays and updates road user licences in real-time. It uses a highly accurate GPS device that incorporates the licence display attached to the windscreen.

RUC Manager automatically tracks a vehicle’s mileage and calculates its off-road activity in all locations throughout New Zealand, which provides accurate and maximum RUC refunds for agricultural businesses.

Agriculture generates a lot of data but many in the industry are yet to tap into it. Using a GPS tracking system can take advantage of data that vehicles and equipment have been generating since the business acquired them. This allows an agricultural operation to know exactly what’s going on, enabling the team to work as efficiently as possible and reap the benefits of a job well done.


Teletrac Navman at Field Days

We’ve cleaned our gumboots and washed our Swanndris in preparation for the upcoming field days. This is your opportunity to get a better understanding of how a GPS tracking system can benefit your business – and see how the software and tech works.  

Northland Agriculture Field Days. 5 - 7 March. We’ll be at stand #622 in the Rural Pavilion.

Central Districts (CD) Field Days. 19 - 20 March. Come see us at stand #AG41 in the Agriculture Pavilion.

Mystery Creek Fieldays. 10 – 13 June. We’re in the same spot as last year; PA4/PA5.

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