The benefits of tracking solutions in the mining industry


Mining is a tough, stressful environment where accidents can and do happen. Thus the more systems are in place to ensure health and safety, the better for both equipment operators and companies.

Sophisticated tracking technology can bring added safety and security to mines, as it allows the fleet manager to remotely control and monitor his fleet. As an example, seat belt sensors allow the control room to see that all drivers are safely belted in their seats.

“Ctrack uses a range of remote monitoring systems to alert control room staff to vehicle abuse and driver behaviour. This helps to safeguard against accidents, and improves efficiency and productivity,” says Hein Jordt, MD of Ctrack Fleet Management Solutions.

Accident data and analysis play a crucial role when it comes to fleet management in the mining industry. Thousands of miners die in mining accidents each year, especially in coal mining and hard-rock mining. Accurate reports can save time in accident reconstruction and legal proceedings.

The effective management of a mining company’s fleet of vehicles is not only cost-effective, but can also play an important role in the safe transportation of both mine workers and mining materials.

“One of the elements crucial to maximising productivity, is the detailed reporting of operations. Tracking tools need to be able to record a wide range of operational data, including working and operating hours for billing and maintenance purposes, as well as fuel consumption monitoring and cost reporting,” says Jordt.

Including how the vehicle is driven, this can result in significant fuel and maintenance savings. It can also reduce incidents and accidents due to awareness and a more sympathetic driving style.

“Ctrack possesses 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. We typically look to create cost savings of up to 15%.

“Mine efficiency and productivity is further enhanced through load cells than can be integrated with Ctrack’s telematics solutions. This, for example, monitors the tonnage loaded and offloaded at any given point,” adds Jordt.

There are a number of key areas to focus on when considering tracking and fleet management solutions. One of these is monitoring equipment health through accurate reporting. Advanced reporting software should enable a fleet owner to see in-depth reports of the mine’s own data, so that he can make the changes necessary to optimise his operations. These tools must also give him the power and versatility needed to lower his operating costs by reporting on key operational parameters. These include reporting on fatigue and abuse, as well as integration with third party software and devices.

Safety, security and compliance is another important issue to keep in mind. Fleet management tools can pull a history of how a driver handles the vehicle, and identify patterns. Fleet managers can then use this information train the driver. This also enables them to focus their efforts on the riskiest drivers or driver behaviours.

“Ctrack solutions focus on safeguarding and protecting the employee as well as the asset. To help with this, Ctrack monitors seat belt use, rollovers or impacts and driver fatigue, and provide alerts for speed zone violations. Our proactive, 24-hour monitoring includes notifications of unauthorised movement, tampering or unauthorised access, as well as Business Intelligence Reports,” says Jordt.

Ctrack provides a suite of applications to access data. Ctrack Mobi, Ctrack Online and Ctrack MaXx enable the mine operator to access real-time, in-depth operational information, while customisable software and third party interface is fully adaptable and can streamline processes across different divisions.