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Prevention is better than on-site cure

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Downtime is the last thing that any busy waste and recycling busi­ness wants. In the event of a materials handling vehicle breaking down, waste starts piling up and service levels suffer. The trick to avoiding downtime is to do everything possible to prevent machine failure in the first place.

By using vehicles fitted with telematics, sites can be proactive through preventive maintenance, resulting in continued smooth operation of the facility. This is why the technology is having a sig­nificant impact on waste and recy­cling site productivity.

Through diagnostic alerts, a telematics system acts like a ‘guardian angel’, flagging up any issues that a machine may have to give an early warning of potential faults.

This vital information can be sent to both the customer and to a local dealer, where it can be monitored and used to signal the need for maintenance or changing the way the machine is operated. Immediate action can then be taken to resolve the issues, prevent further and more costly damage to the machine and avoid expensive downtime.

Maintenance history records can be built up, providing valuable data that could identify possible issues, so they are recognised early and dealt with.

Recycling sites will have planned downtime for regular machinery maintenance and ser­vices, but this can be minimised by telematics systems that send an alert when a service is due. This allows the customer to carry out a service at a time that best suits its operation and also when all the necessary parts are available.

A business can take greater con­trol of its vehicle fleet through 24/7 access via a web portal to information uploaded from the machines. This data can be organ­ised through daily or weekly reports and integrated into many common fleet management soft­ware packages.

It will give clear visibility of a machine’s activity on-site – such as what work it is currently doing and what it has already performed – allowing managers to determine the hardest working machines and whether units can be rotated to share the load.

For machines operating in the rugged environment of a waste transfer site, this is a further important way that telematics can be deployed to minimise down­time and produce cost savings.

Recycling sites need maximum productivity. Telematics plays a vital role here, providing a synop­sis of a machine’s daily operation. Managers can see how much fuel is being used, including actual consumption and fuel tank levels.

“By using vehicles fitted with telematics, sites can be proactive through preventive maintenance, resulting in continued smooth operation.”

Operating mode and idle time data shows how equipment is being used. Excessive idling can point to poor utilisation of machinery, alerting management to the possibility of, for example, using a smaller capacity excavator and optimising equipment between sites.

Where several drivers operate one machine, the data can be used to compare the productivity and fuel consumption figures of each operator. This will help to identify potential training requirements or simply to show drivers ways in which the equipment could be operated more efficiently.

‘Site hours’ functionality can provide remote management with visibility that sites are working the correct hours and not breaching agreements with local residents. It also acts as an early warning alert on unauthorised use of plant or theft.

Waste sites can go even further and ‘geo-fence’ their investment. Integrated tracking within the system provides real-time notification should a machine leave a predetermined area. JCB’s Live­Link telematics system, for example, has helped to recover more than £3m of stolen equipment.

Fleet Management

JCB’s LiveLink telematics fleet management system is standard on all heavyline and mid-range JCB machines, many of which have Stage IV/ Tier 4 emissions-compliant engines.

LiveLink offers fuel economy monitoring, operating mode data, planned maintenance and breakdown prevention as well as real-time location reporting.

More than 120,000 machines are currently registered and using LiveLink. www.jcb.com

David Banks is waste and recy­cling sector sales manager at JCB

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